Nicotine both speeds up your metabolism and depresses your appetite, meaning you feel less hungry when you smoke AND burn more calories. It’s not an accident that fashion models tend to be photographed with a cigarette in their hand.
When you quit, particularly if you go cold turkey, your appetite will suddenly go back to normal, making you feel hungry out of the blue. Most people also find that their sense of taste and smell improve, making food seem more appetizing on top of it. This can be difficult in the short term, but does get better as you get used to it.
If you’re worried about eating too much, be sure to keep water and healthy foods on hand. Avoid snacks that are high in sugar and fat but low in nutrition, like sweets and chips. Instead, go for fruit, veggies, whole grain crackers, and foods that are high in protein, like a bit of low-fat cheese, nuts, or hummus.
Medical review: Nathan Cobb, MD, November 6, 2017