Deciding to kick your smoking habit is one of the best decisions you can make for your health. But with any major change, there will be challenges along the way. Due to the addicting nature of cigarettes, it can be especially tough to walk away from smoking.
That's why we've rounded up some of our best tips to help you leave smoking behind for good, based on the most common side effects of quitting smoking.
If you're used to smoking regularly throughout the day, not having something in your mouth like a cigarette can make you feel uncomfortable. Here are some ways to deal with it:
- Try chewing a stick of gum made with xylitol when you need a cigarette. The xylitol is a natural plant sugar alcohol that can actually help prevent the buildup of cavity-causing tartar and plaque.
- Keep a toothpick in your mouth.
- Pop a mint or vitamin C chew in your mouth to freshen your breath and support your immune system.
Cravings for nicotine can lead you to replace cigarettes with food or drinks, which can have negative effects on your nutrition and weight. This is because smoking serves as an appetite suppressant and a metabolism booster. We've got some better ways to deal with these cravings to keep you from gaining weight:
- Keep your house and office/desk well stocked with healthy snacks that are prepped and ready to go. Stick to fresh fruits and vegetables and nuts as much as possible.
- Drink a glass of water before running for a sweet or salty snack from the vending machine to calm a craving.
- Talk to your doctor about nicotine-replacement products that can make quitting easier and reduce cravings.
- Limit alcohol and caffeine consumption, which are common triggers for cravings.
- Eat at regular intervals of two to three hours during the day. These small meals will keep your metabolism moving and your blood sugar stable.
Quitting smoking can be very stressful, since most people who smoke feel calmed by the nicotine. Learning to counteract this stress with better activities can make all the difference in your efforts to quit smoking:
- Take a short walk around your house, the office or the neighborhood.
- Pick up a new hobby that allows you to channel your energy into something creative.
- Try aromatherapy by using a diffuser with essential oils like chamomile and lavender, which are calming.
- Get plenty of sleep.
- Make exercising a regular part of your routine, if you haven't already, setting a new goal to help you work through stress.
The most important tip of all? Be proud of yourself for choosing to leave behind an unhealthy habit and practice positive affirmations as much as possible. Give these suggestions a try to help you quit smoking for good. Check back soon for more health news and information!