It’s generally well accepted that cigarettes suppress appetite. When you quit, two things happen which can lead to weight gain: you lose your regular appetite suppression, and your taste buds grow back, which makes food taste better. Food can easily become a replacement for smoking when you combine these two factors, but it clearly isn’t a long-term solution. However, vaping has qualities that can keep you from packing on pounds when you ditch the cigs.
Nicotine is an appetite suppressant
This study showed that nicotine on its own is a big appetite suppressant, and there are many similar studies out there. Since you start vaping eliquids with nicotine, you are getting the appetite suppressant without all of the other harmful chemicals which you get with cigarettes. Plus, you can take as long as you like to reduce your nicotine levels, giving you enough time to form healthy habits which will make up for potential weight gain when you do go nicotine-free.
Additionally, smokers who quit tend to pack on the pounds in their first year of quitting. Most nicotine replacement therapy methods are only meant to be used for up to six months. If you can trick your body for that first year with vaping while you are off the cigs, it will be much easier to keep from packing on pounds when you quit.
But wait - do cigarettes really keep you skinny?
If potential weight gain is the primary reason you are not quitting smoking, you may find this surprising - the more you smoke, the more likely you are to retain weight. Smoking heavily can actually increase insulin resistance, causing fat to be stored around the waist. So even if you can use vaping to help you reduce the number of cigarettes you smoke, you’ll be tipping the scales in your favour.
How one vaper actually lost weight
Vice recently published a story about James Price, who had chewed tobacco for 20 years. Once he switched to vaping, Price actually lost weight because he replaced his favourite snack - candy - with similarly flavoured eliquids. Price essentially replaced snacking with vaping, and has continued to lose weight since. If you search around vaping forums and Reddit, you will find very similar stories to Price’s.
The various flavours available to vapers allow them to experiment and find the ones that they like, and the journey can be exciting. Most eliquids are inexpensive, so it’s easy to find new flavours you enjoy. And it makes sense - if pastries are your Achilles heel, pick an eliquid that matches the flavour of your favourite pastry to keep from eating too many of the items in question. Your new, renewed taste buds will appreciate it as much as your waistline.
Quitting smoking can make healthier habits affordable
If you’re on a budget, it can be hard to eat more leafy greens and get a gym membership. But vaping is far less expensive than smoking. You have one startup cost for your vaping device, then an ongoing cost for eliquids, which are very affordable. If you take some of the money you save and allocate it to healthier food and activities which you enjoy, you’ll effectively replace the artificial appetite suppressant you are imbibing with natural, healthy activities that help you keep weight off once you ramp down to zero nicotine eliquids. Keep healthy snacks around you at work and home to have something good to munch on if you get the urge - you’ll be able to afford to find a new culinary indulgence with all the money you’ll be saving. For Stoptober 2016, Slimming World is also offering a free 7-day eating plan and discounts off its services.
Even if you do gain a few pounds, a little short-term weight gain is completely worth the long-term health effects of quitting smoking. And vaping can help you get there, possibly replacing snacks and letting you ramp off nicotine at your own pace, rather than a time-prescribed programme.