03 Nicotine and the Body: Cause, Effect and Digestion

What happens when you quit smoking, anyway? A quick review, since all of this is pretty well-known.

- About 12 hours after your last cig, expect symptoms like head spinning, difficulty to concentrate, etc. And that's OK: it's your nicotine-addicted body craving for its treat (physical dependency). Physical dependency is actually quite light — unlike what pharmaceutical conglomerates &c. would like you to believe — and quickly got over.

- Then there's the psychological dependency — meaning: all the rest, mostly the behavior and habits linked with smoking, whether you'd grab a smoke while turning the computer on in the morning, while the coffee's brewing, or how you'd play with the cigarette between your fingers before lighting it, or you'd chain-smoke while thinking hard on a problem, or while waiting for the bus, and so on. Effect: urge to smoke while performing these patterns. That's the tough part — well, that is supposed to be the tough part, but you'll be so concerned about dinner that you won't even notice it.

Now, what happens when you quit smoking, diet-wise?

Well, you start absorbing, digesting food & drink like you should have: well.

Nicotine stimulates colon activity & slows down digestion process, meaning: food goes out quickly, unabsorbed for a large part ('laxative' effect). Add coffee on the top of cigarette, and it's rush time: you can basically eat whatever you want, and not gain weight, because almost all you eat goes directly into the toilets (1).

Take nicotine out of the equation, and you'll consequently feel really full and heavy, maybe for the first time in a long time. During the first days, you'll see you belly inflate like a balloon. And you'll worry that nothing comes out of it. And that won't feel quite nice. It was the worst feeling for me anyway.

And that's normal, don't freak out. That's not constipation, even though it looks like it: it's just normal digestive process getting back in business, and fine-tuning.

And we'll tweak that too.

Ready? So what do we eat now?


(1) Awesome, some may say. But don't start doing something as stupid as using cig + coffee to lose weigh, because, well, you're paying for it with your life anyway.

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