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Have the Appetite for Vaping? How Vaping Affects Your Diet

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There’s lots of confusion about vaping and diet, and whether the two can go together —  or if vaping can make you fat. We break it down.

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It used to be that some people smoked to stay slim. Even though cigarettes are increasingly passé, because they're incredibly bad for your health, it's still possible to come across some who keep up their habit out of fear of piling on the pounds. "Better dead than fat," say stylish and svelte French women as they keep on puffing away, even as cigarettes kill more than 73,500 people in France every year.

Thanks to vaping and other stop-smoking aids, the number of smokers in France, and indeed elsewhere, is falling. But some people wonder if it might impact on their diet. Does vaping have calories, for instance? Is there sugar in vape juice? Does vaping curb appetite? And — the big one — does vaping make you fat? These, and more, are the questions that current vapers and those considering making the transition from smoking to using e-cigarettes want answers to.

Smokers generally don't want to return to cigarettes, but they also don't want to suffer a rapidly expanding waistline if they stop. Many smokers feel they don't eat as much when they're smoking. That may be all in their mind, or it could be the appetite-suppressing effects of nicotine. Either way, there's surely a better alternative and one that doesn't harm their health.

Does Vape Juice Have Calories?

Because vaping includes the use of e-liquid, some people may wonder what's in this substance and ask themselves if it's packed with calories that may contribute to weight gain. The simple fact is that everything contains calories, or it wouldn't be something, because calories are a form of energy that gives mass to things. Even that stick of celery you're munching to try and avoid sugary snacks and slim down has calories, albeit far less than, say, a doughnut.

So, if you're asking yourself, "Does vape juice have calories?" — you now know the answer. The e-liquid used in vapes comprises of a base that's either vegetable glycerin or propylene glycol, with a flavour and nicotine added. Some e-liquids have no nicotine, just the base and flavour, while different levels of nicotine are available in vape juice supplies: low, medium and high.

As to how many calories are in vape juice, the answer is— not many. Usually, 1ml of e-liquid has around five calories, which is minuscule when you consider a chicken sandwich contains 283 calories and your average burger slightly more. So even if you vape a lot, you're not going to be taking in a lot of calories. Besides, e-liquid is not food and there's no added sugar in vape juice. There are no carbs in vape juice either, so there’s nothing to worry about. You can always exhale the vapour, instead of taking it into your lungs, so all you get is the taste.

Vaping for Weight-Loss: Does It Work?

Lots of people struggle with their weight, and it's hardly a secret, as so many of us overeat and are out of shape. We dream of the perfect body that will turn heads, but we've no idea how to put down that pizza and get fit and healthy and into the shape we want. One way is to distract yourself, so you're not putting food into your mouth. Vaping may be a way to do this, keeping your hands and mouth occupied, so you're not fixating on your next high-calorie snack or meal.

Then there's the nicotine in vapes. As we've mentioned, nicotine is an appetite suppressant and vaping is no different to smoking in this regard. The only clear difference is you're getting the appetite-quashing nicotine but none of the many harmful chemicals found in cigarette smoking, dozens of which are known to cause cancer.

A study carried out in England last year looked at people who vape for weight control. It found that there exists a level of concern among the smoking population about giving up and gaining weight, but that vaping might help. "E-cigarettes may help quitters to control their weight through continued exposure to the appetite-suppressant effects of nicotine and behavioural aspects of vaping," the research says.

The study, published in the journal, Addictive Behaviors, concluded that one in 16 people in England who smoke believe that if they quit and vaped instead, they would not put on weight. One in 22 people is solely vaping for weight loss. The researchers said that "should evidence emerge that e-cigarettes prevent weight gain, one in eight people who smoke would be tempted to quit smoking and use e-cigarettes."

What about Vaping While Fasting, or Doing Keto?

Diets like keto and those that introduce elements of fasting into your lifestyle have become popular ways to lose weight and get in shape and some may vape at the same time. While you don't fast with keto, but stick to certain food groups — proteins and fats while mostly avoiding carbs — some people wonder if vaping while fasting is a good idea if they're supposed to be taking nothing in for a certain period. The good news is, e-liquid has no carbs, so most who are following a Ketogenic diet continue to vape.

If you're fasting for religious reasons, you may not be able to consume anything for the duration. Even drinking water might be out, as is the case with Muslims observing the holy fasting month of Ramadan, from dawn to dusk. But if it's something like intermittent fasting, you can take liquids during the period. Intermittent fasting has risen in popularity in recent years and is commonly used by sportspeople to shred and lower their body mass index, so it improves their performance.

For men, an intermittent fast lasts 16 hours and it’s 14 for women. During this time, you basically skip breakfast or have it later. You can drink tea or coffee, which, like vape juice, has only a few calories per cup. So because what's in vape juice is negligible in terms of calories, you can go ahead with vaping while fasting, and also having tea or coffee, and you won't be impacting on what you're trying to achieve.

Vaping as a Breath of Fresh Air

Another major benefit of vaping is that it doesn't affect sportspeople in the same crippling way as smoking. Smokers are often out of breath after just a small amount of physical exertion, because among the toxic cocktail of chemicals they're inhaling from burning tobacco is carbon monoxide. This hazardous gas prevents the body from getting sufficient amounts of oxygen, as it attaches to red blood cells, which are then unable to absorb the required amount of oxygen to sustain activity.

Carbon monoxide is just one of the many ways smoking harms the body and stops people from leading a full and active life. With vaping, all that is eliminated, and you're just getting your flavour and nicotine, or none. Even if you have nicotine in your e-liquid, there's not much to worry about, according to the NHS. The stimulant may be highly addictive and have a bad reputation, but it's not known to be dangerous to adults, according to the health service. "While nicotine is the addictive substance in cigarettes, it's relatively harmless. Almost all of the harm from smoking comes from the thousands of other chemicals in tobacco smoke, many of which are toxic," it says.

It's for this reason that the NHS advises smokers to use a nicotine replacement therapy such as vaping, patches or lozenges. These are "a safe treatment" and can get people off deadly cigarettes and keep them off them, thereby saving their health and protecting those around them from the real dangers of secondhand smoke.

Incorporating Vaping into Your Diet

Whether you're dieting, watching your weight or just trying to keep your fingers out of the biscuit tin, vaping on a throwaway or refillable vape may be able to help you along with your goals, if you're a smoker or are batting to give up. It could also encourage you to take up some exercise and get fit, because as soon as you stop smoking you'll feel a boost of energy, due to getting more oxygen to your organs and tissues, and you'll be able to do so much more than before.

Combined with the appetite-suppressing properties of nicotine, you will most likely find you won't suddenly start overeating once you stop smoking. If you feel the urge to snack on unhealthy foods, just take a few puffs from your vape and it should be enough to quell your hunger pangs and make you feel good again.

It could be just the change you need to turn your life around and lose pounds while getting fit and healthy.

You can get different strengths of nicotine in e-liquid, as well as no nicotine at all, here at the Electric Tobacconist online store. You'll also enjoy free delivery on orders over various amounts around the UK and Europe!

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Photo by Alexander Redl on Unsplash