12 Tips On How To Stop Smoking – Without Gaining Weight

Smoking has benefits. It really does! For example, smokers are less likely to suffer from Parkinson disease, they usually don’t need knee or hip replacements and smokers have lighter heart attacks. Not yet convinced? How about this: nicotine suppresses hunger. Sounds tempting, right? It gets even better: smoking burns 200 – 250 extra calories per day.

“Smoking makes you slim.”  This is a quote by Edward Bernays, one of Sigmund Freud’s nephews. That’s one of the reasons why stopping is so difficult – we’re afraid we might put on weight.

Are you among those 70% of smokers who still want to quit smoking? Perfect. Actually, the best day for it is Monday. But careful, when quitting smoking people often satisfy their cravings with sweet or salty snacks. That’s where I come into play. Today, I want to show you how to stop smoking without gaining weight.


1. Closely watch yourself

Where and when do you the need for a drag? When driving in your car after a meal, when having a cup of coffee or talking on the phone? Figure out when you will have to resort to your plan B in the future.

2. Get support

Quitting together is easier. If support groups are not your thing, find other ways to help yourself. Nicotine patches or special chewing gums can support your plans.

3. Blow off steam

Smoking actually boosts your metabolism. By smoking one packet of cigarettes, you burn up to 250 additional calories. Now we have to find an alternative. A healthy alternative. You can burn approximately the same amount of calories during a 30-minute bike ride, when moving your hips with a Zumba DVD for half an hour, or by taking 6,000 steps. You see, that’s a walk in the park – plus, it keeps you in shape.

4. Resort to a special trick

9.30 a.m. Your colleagues are happily puffing away at their morning cigarette. Oh man, stay strong! You need a plan, a special trick. Always have these utensils at hand: A pencil – keeps your fingers busy and you can chew on it in case you’re overwhelmed by the desire to smoke. Chewing gum or, even better, sugarfree lollipops – they make for a great ciggy substitute. Cinnamon sticks – nibbling at them is said to help, too.

5. Careful: one false move and…!

Keep your hands busy. When they can’t play around with a cigarette, they just love to open your chocolate drawer. Don’t allow them to make a false move. Make paper planes, fold napkin swans, scribble in your notebook, or try crocheting or knitting.

6. Forgot something? Yep, your water bottle

Your mouth feels dry as dust, your tongue is sticking to your gums. Nicotine deprivation kicks in. Plus, there’s this weird taste in your mouth. You walk to the nearest drink dispenser and eagerly chug a sweet soft drink. This is not bound to happen if you bring along a bottle of fresh water. Take a big sip every hour as a prophylactic. Add basil or mint leaves if you’re craving something tasty.

7. Caffeine instead of nicotine?

Instead of smoking cigarettes, we add another 2 – 3 cups of coffee to our daily dose. Two to four cups per day are okay. However, having your steamy drink with 1 cube/spoon of sugar really adds up and increases your daily calorie intake. Therefore, the less sugar, the better. Best case scenario: have you coffee with no sugar at all.

8. Your meals should be rich – in fiber

The more fiber you eat, the more satisfied you feel. That’s a good thing – because when you’re full (but not over-full) your desire to smoke or snack decreases. Cereals, fruits, vegetables, and legumes are great fiber providers.

9. Spice it up!

Smokers’ taste buds don’t taste that well. Therefore, they ask for more intensively flavored food. Which unfortunately means more sugar, salt or fat. This is not good for your figure and health. Try cooking with fresh or frozen herbs. This is a much healthier alternative that allows you to add a special touch to your meals.

10. What’s for dessert?

You put down your fork and knife, satisfied after a delicious meal – and then what? Ususally you would light up a cigarette. But you can’t. Maybe a piece of chocolate? Better not. Rather than filling up on unnecessary calories, gargle with a refreshing mouth wash. Good for your teeth, good for your figure.

11. Full after a feast?

The only thing that helps now is a deep drag? Go take a walk instead. It will distract you from your desire to smoke, supports digestion and burns some extra calories.

12. Phew, what a stress. Cigarette or chocolate?

Neither. Stay strong. Even if you’re stressed out and would love to raid the fridge. Prepare a plan in advanced of things you can do in case of acute stress. Take a relaxing bubble bath, call a friend or enjoy a hot cup of tea (but without sugar 🙂 ).

People who quit smoking often suffer from sleep disorders. Sufficient and deep sleep is vital – also for your weight. If you lie awake at night, you’re more likely to tap into the fridge.
“Tobacco will kill you, and I am living proof of it.” These were the last words of Marlboro Man – before he died of lung cancer.

Smoking definitely has more disadvantages than advantages. We can agree on that, right? Quitting smoking is not easy, but you can do it. So, do it – for you and for your health.

Have you successfully quit smoking? What worked best for you? Any more tips on how to stop smoking? I am looking forward to your comments!

In my next post, I will tell you more about the first and most important step towards your desired weight.

Bye for now,


Vera Schwaiger Vera studied dietetics & psychotherapy. She lives her life according to what Einstein once said: "Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving." View all posts by Vera Schwaiger