6 Dietary Guidelines to Be Considered When Quitting Smoking

by Dr Antonio Howell, MD

in quit smoking

Dr. Howell

Once you stop smoking, you have to be sensible on what you are eating. Do not eat foods that will increase your cravings to smoke. Avoid foods that will worsen your withdrawal symptoms. Eat only those that will help and support your body while you quit smoking.

Red apple and ashtray. Say No to Cigarettes, Say Yes to Apple.Consider these dietary guidelines to improve your chances of quitting cigarettes for good.

Keep away from sweet foods.


Once you stop smoking, you are likely to crave for sweet foods as you try to resist cigarettes. Nicotine stimulates a sudden discharge of glucose, which makes you feel better and gives you a short burst of liveliness. The sudden drop of sugar levels will promote feelings of anxiety, hunger and fatigue. When you quit smoking, you are no longer receiving a high sugar, which causes dizziness, headaches and restless. Do not take sweet foods. You know this is terrible for your health. Avoiding sweets might cause feelings of irritability in the short period of time but in the end it will help you to become successful in quitting smoking.

Watch your portions.


When you are quitting smoking, you will have the tendency of eating a lot of foods. Eating will replace the habit of smoking. Even though you are enjoying the taste of food, you still have to choose the right food and watch out for the amount you take because overeating will most likely lead to weight gain.

Overeating also slows down your metabolism. A slow metabolism makes it impossible to lose weight and maintain a healthy weight. So it is very important to do things necessary to avoid this problem. By simply exercising regularly and avoiding fatty foods, you can easily protect yourself from a slow metabolism and prevent being overweight.

Eat more protein and whole grains.

Focus on protein and whole grains because this will help you to maintain a stable blood sugar level. Avoid eating refined grain products, and focus on whole grains instead. Getting enough protein-rich foods such as eggs, beans, fish, tofu, string cheese and yogurt will help ensure that you are getting the best essential amino acids or what we call the “building blocks of protein”. Protein can greatly curb weight gain while you quit smoking.

Be sure to get the basic nutrients.

These basic nutrients are essential to your body. Eating a well-balanced diet will help you get the basic dietary nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, essential amino acids and fatty acids. When your body lacks these, your mental health will suffer. You are likely to become moody. You will have sleep problems and your cigarette cravings will increase. So it is very important that you get all the necessary nutrients needed by your body to attain a balanced state without the use of nicotine.

Eat citrus fruits.

Citrus fruits and citrus juice will help cut your cravings for cigarette. It is the best source of vitamin C, which gets depleted as you smoke. So it is very essential to eat a lot of fruits especially citrus when you are quitting smoking.

Lessen caffeine intake.

Avoid drinking caffeinated beverages such as coffee, black and green teas, and caffeinated soda when quitting smoking. This is necessary because nicotine reduces the effects of caffeine in the body and when you stop your nicotine intake, the same amount of caffeine can have stronger effect on your body.


Focusing on your diet while quitting smoking will not only help you manage weight gain, but can also help you stay cigarette-free for good.


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