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Does Vaping Make You Lose Weight?

Published 15 September 2023, Updated 10 April 2024

Does Vaping Make You Lose Weight?

Vaping can lead to weight loss as nicotine vapes suppress appetite and increase metabolism. The nicotine in e-cigarettes interacts with the hypothalamus and neurotransmitters in the brain, reducing feelings of hunger and increasing feelings of satisfaction.

Studies show that nicotine increases the body's metabolic rate by 10%, leading to faster calorie burning and annual weight loss of about 10 kg. Nicotine stimulates fat burning through thermogenesis. Some tobacco and e-cigarette companies have patented weight management technologies based on the properties of nicotine.

You can continue to vape while on a diet. Vapes contain about 4 calories per 1 ml of e-liquid, which is unlikely to cause weight gain. In the context of intermittent fasting, vaping does not break a fasting period and does not negatively impact a keto or carnivore diet. But, vaping nicotine can slow down muscle growth.

CBD vapes can contribute to weight loss by reducing appetite and improving sleep quality. However, studies suggest that long-term use can lead to sleep disturbances which might indirectly contribute to weight gain.

Does Vaping Nicotine Cause Weight Loss?

Vaping nicotine can lead to weight loss as nicotine suppresses your appetite and increases your metabolism. A joint study from the University of Pennsylvania and the University of California San Francisco found that smokers typically weigh 4-5 kg less than non-smokers and that nicotine increases metabolism by 10%.

The nicotine in vapes and cigarettes is the same alkaloid. However, while nicotine can suppress appetite and increase metabolism, neither vaping nor smoking should be considered as a weight loss method due to their associated health risks.

Does Vaping Suppress Your Appetite?

Vaping can suppress your appetite when using e-cigarettes containing nicotine. Nicotine is an appetite suppressant that can reduce feelings of hunger in two main ways: through its interaction with the hypothalamus (a tiny gland in the brain that induces feelings of hunger) and its effect on neurotransmitters.

Firstly, nicotine interacts with the hypothalamus, a tiny gland located deep in the brain. The hypothalamus induces feelings of hunger or fullness based on the hormonal and neural signals it interprets. When nicotine from a vape binds to the nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in the hypothalamus, it stimulates the release of hormones and neurotransmitters that signal the body is full, thus reducing the urge to eat.

A study from the School of Medicine at the University of Colorado found that nicotine, the active ingredient in most vapes, can suppress appetite, leading to changes in body weight. The study identified that nicotine interacts with a specific receptor in the brain, the alpha-7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (α7nAChR), which helps regulate food intake. This interaction can lead to feelings of fullness and reduced appetite. The study also suggested that this receptor could be a potential target for obesity treatment strategies.

Secondly, nicotine influences the levels and activity of neurotransmitters, including dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin. Nicotine increases the levels of these neurotransmitters in the brain which can create feelings of satisfaction that may replace the desire to eat.

  • Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that is involved in reward, motivation, and pleasure. It mediates the pleasure and reward system of the brain. Nicotine increases dopamine levels in the brain, which can lead to a feeling of satisfaction and fullness without eating.
  • Norepinephrine (Noradrenaline) is a neurotransmitter that is involved in attention, arousal, and stress response. It stimulates the body's fight-or-flight response. Nicotine increases noradrenaline levels in the brain, which can suppress appetite.
  • Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that helps regulate mood, sleep, appetite, and digestion. Nicotine increases serotonin levels in the brain, which can reduce appetite and promote feelings of satiety.

According to a study by J Audrain-McGovern from the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania and NL Benowitz from the Department of Medicine at the University of California San Francisco, nicotine's impact on body weight is largely due to its effect on neurotransmitters in the brain.

The study explains that nicotine stimulates the release of dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin, neurotransmitters that play a crucial role in suppressing appetite and increasing metabolic rate. The study found that adult smokers typically weigh 4-5 kg less than non-smokers and are less likely to be overweight. However, when smokers quit, they often experience weight gain, with 13% of them gaining more than 10kg.

Does Vaping Impact on Metabolism?

Vaping can increase your metabolism when using e-cigarettes containing nicotine. Nicotine is a stimulant that activates the body's 'fight or flight' response, increasing metabolism. The increased metabolic rate means your body burns calories faster. Some studies estimate weight loss of up to 10 kg (22 lb) over a year.

According to a study by J Audrain-McGovern from the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania and NL Benowitz from the Department of Medicine at the University of California San Francisco, nicotine increases 24-hour energy expenditure by approximately 10%. This 10% increase in metabolic rate corresponds to an expenditure of 200 kcal per day. If nicotine intake is maintained with no change to caloric intake, this 10% increase in metabolic rate can lead to a loss of 10 kg (22 lb) in body weight over one year.

The study also found that nicotine increases thermogenesis, or heat production, in adipose tissue, which is the body's fat storage. Nicotine increases thermogenesis by increasing lipolysis, the breakdown of fats, and recycling fatty acids into triglycerides. This mechanism contributes to the increased metabolic rate and potential weight loss associated with nicotine use.

Does Vaping Burn Fat?

Vaping can burn fat when using e-cigarettes containing nicotine. Nicotine stimulates receptors in beige adipocytes, a type of fat cell that, when activated, increases energy dissipation and fat burning. This process, known as thermogenesis, contributes to a higher metabolic rate and potential weight loss.

Two studies support the hypothesis that vaping nicotine can burn fat.

  • A 2018 study published in Nature Medicine found that nicotine activates a specific receptor, known as the cholinergic receptor nicotinic alpha 2 subunit (Chrna2), in beige adipocytes. Beige adipocytes are a type of fat cell that, when activated, can burn calories to generate heat, a process known as thermogenesis. This activation leads to increased thermogenesis, which can result in fat burning. Furthermore, when researchers deactivated the Chrna2 receptor in mice, it led to increased obesity and metabolic disorders when the mice were fed a high-fat diet. This suggests that the activation of Chrna2 by nicotine plays a crucial role in fat-burning and energy metabolism.
  • A 2018 study from the Institute for Global Tobacco Control at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health analysed patents related to e-cigarette devices and weight loss. The research revealed that several companies were developing e-cigarette technologies for weight management. These devices deliver nicotine, which stimulates thermogenesis and fat burning, along with other substances that could potentially enhance weight loss. These include compounds that modify metabolism and suppress appetite. The study suggests that e-cigarettes can enhance fat burning and contribute to weight loss.

Do Vapes Have Calories?

Yes, vapes do have a small amount of calories, approximately 4 calories per ml of e-liquid. Nicotine does not contain calories, but the other primary ingredients of e-liquid, specifically vegetable glycerin and propylene glycol, do contain minimal calories. The calories from vaping are unlikely to cause weight gain.

Does Vaping Affect My Diet?

Vaping can affect your diet indirectly. The nicotine in e-liquids is an appetite suppressant, which can lead to a reduced calorie intake. The e-liquids used in vaping have a low caloric content (approximately 4 calories per ml of e-liquid), which is unlikely to significantly impact your daily calorie count.

Does Vaping Break Intermittent Fasting?

Vaping does not break intermittent fasting due to its negligible calorie content. In fact, the nicotine in e-liquids can suppress appetite, making it easier to maintain fasting periods. Some e-liquids contain sweeteners or flavours but are unlikely to trigger an insulin response that would disrupt the fasted state.

Can I Vape on a Keto Diet?

Yes, you can vape on a keto diet. Vaping does not provide carbohydrates or fats, the dietary components that could disrupt the metabolic state of ketosis. As e-liquids are sugar-free, they align with the low-carb, high-fat principles of a ketogenic diet.

Can I Vape on a Carnivore Diet?

Yes, you can vape on a carnivore diet. Vaping does not involve the consumption of plant-based foods or carbohydrates, aligning with the zero-carb, animal product-focused approach of a carnivore diet.

Does Vaping Make You Gain Weight?

No, vaping does not make you gain weight. The e-liquids used in vapes contain a negligible amount of calories, approximately 4 calories per ml, which is unlikely to make you fat. Additionally, nicotine, a common ingredient in e-liquids, is an appetite suppressant, which can lead to a reduced calorie intake.

Does Vaping Affect Muscle Growth?

Yes, vaping can slow down muscle growth. Nicotine, a common ingredient in e-liquids, has been found to cause apoptosis, or programmed cell death, in various cell types, including muscle cells. This can slow down muscle growth and repair for those who vape nicotine.

Can CBD Vapes Help You Lose Weight?

Studies suggest that Cannabidiol (CBD) can contribute to weight loss by reducing appetite and improving sleep quality for some users. Conversely, long-term use of CBD can lead to side effects such as sleep disturbances, which might indirectly contribute to weight gain.

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