Breakfast and quitting smoking

Skipping breakfast might sound like a good way to help keep weight off, but it actually can lead to weight gain.

This factsheet explains why breakfast is important, especially when quitting smoking. It includes some breakfast ideas to help you make it a part of your morning routine.

How will breakfast help when quitting smoking?
  • Breakfast cereals and wholegrain toast help people to feel full. This can help you reduce snacking later in the day.
  • Weight gain is a concern for many smokers when quitting, and eating breakfast can help maintain a healthy weight.
  • Eating breakfast can help you quit as cravings for cigarettes aren’t as strong when you have a full stomach.
  • Eating breakfast improves alertness, concentration and mood. This will help fight off cravings and keep you motivated to quit.
Handy hints for eating breakfast
  • If eating breakfast early in the day does not sit right with you, try eating a ‘light’ breakfast such as a slice of wholegrain toast, English muffin, glass of milk, piece of fruit or a small bowl of cereal. Or try eating breakfast a little later in the morning.
  • If you do not usually eat breakfast, starting with small portions can help you to ease into the routine.
  • Give yourself the best chance of success by being prepared. Have a variety breakfast options in your pantry (see breakfast ideas below). It makes eating breakfast easier and may help stop you from eating less healthy foods.
  • Set your alarm 15 minutes earlier than usual to make sure you have time to eat breakfast.
  • Plan what you will make for breakfast the night before to make it easier in the morning.
Breakfast ideas

You do not need to be an amazing chef to eat a good and healthy breakfast. Here are some fast, easy and affordable ideas to help you start the day with breakfast.

  • Porridge
  • Wholegrain breakfast cereal with milk
  • Wholegrain toast with baked beans, avocado, sliced tomato, or sliced banana
  • Boiled egg, with or without toast
  • Piece of fruit
  • Tub of yoghurt


Boiled egg with tomato on toast

Serves: 1
Preparation time: 10 mins


  • 1 egg
  • 1 slice wholemeal bread, toasted
  • 1 tomato


  1. Place egg in a saucepan and add enough water to cover. Set the saucepan over medium-high heat. As soon as the water begins to boil, start the timer. Boil for 4 ½ minutes for a soft-centred egg or 8 minutes for a hard-centred egg.
  2. Slice tomato and layer on toast.
  3. Serve egg on side.


Boiling a few eggs at a time will save time in the morning and they can be kept in the fridge for up to three days.


Banana smoothie

Serves: 2
Preparation time: 5 minutes


  • 1 banana
  • 1 ½ cups reduced fat milk
  • 2 tablespoon reduced fat plain yoghurt
  • 2 teaspoon honey
  • 1 handful of ice


  1. Place all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. If smoothie is too thick, add more liquid to reach the desired consistency.
  2. Pour into glasses and serve.


  • If you don’t own a blender, a hand-held stick blender still works well.
  • Try adding a Weet-Bix to the mixture to increase the fibre content and fill you up for longer. You might need to add a little extra milk if it is too thick.


Porridge with fruit

Serves: 1
Preparation time: 5 minutes


  • ½ cup oats
  • ¾ cup water
  • ¼ cup reduced fat milk
  • Your choice of fruit – E.g. 1 sliced banana, ¼ cup sultanas or chopped dried apricots


  1. Add oats to a microwave proof bowl.
  2. Microwave on high for 1 ½ minutes. Stir.
  3. Microwave for a further 1 minute.
  4. Stir through milk and serve.
  5. Top with your choice of fruit if desired.


Apple bircher muesli

Serves: 4
Preparation time: 5 minutes


  • 1 ½ cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup low fat milk
  • 1 apple, grated
  • ¼ cup orange juice
  • Low fat natural yoghurt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)


  1. Combine oats, milk, apple and orange juice in a bowl. Refrigerate overnight.
  2. Divide between 4 serving bowls and top with a dollop of yoghurt.
  3. Sprinkle with cinnamon and extra chopped apple if desired.

For more information visit

Produced by Nutrition Australia NSW Division, supported by Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District, June 2015. 

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