The Relationship between Food and Quitting Smoking

by Dr. Antonio Howell, MD

in quit smoking

The 3 Week Diet

When quitting smoking a number of people are known to use food to replace nicotine cravings and most end up adding weight which is another problem on its own. Research has shown that certain foods are known to suppress tobacco cravings. With this knowledge, you can use food to your advantage to help you quit smoking and reduce your likelihood of adding weight.


It is important to understand that you will naturally pop food into your mouth every time you get nicotine cravings to satisfy the urge of keeping your mouth busy. Popcorn, sugarless candy, vegetables and fruits have been highly recommended as foods to turn to for this purpose. There are several groups of foods and drinks which have been identified to help suppress the urge to smoke because they make cigarettes taste bad.


1. Water and Juice
Composition-with-glasses-of-di-50473217Water and juice have been known to help suppress the urge to smoke. Alcohol and caffeinated drinks have been known to increase the urge to smoke. It is wise to avoid these drinks and increase your intake of water and juices when you embark on quitting smoking. Always have a bottle of water with you and reach for it when you get the urge to smoke.

2. Fruits
Fruits have also been identified as some of the foods which reduce the urge to smoke. Having a bunch of grapes or an apple at hand can be handy particularly when you are at work and need a quick snack. You can switch up the fruits you have with you to keep from getting bored and to help prepare to battle your cravings.

3. Vegetables

DID YOU KNOW?

Research has shown that certain foods are known to suppress tobacco cravings. You can use food to your advantage to help you quit smoking and reduce your likelihood of adding weight.

Vegetables are the other group of foods known to help with nicotine cravings. Have cut up vegetables like carrots or celery with you to turn to when you get cravings. The advantage of turning to vegetables is also that it helps you to meet your daily vegetable intake recommendation. Vegetables are also a safe option for those who are self-conscious about gaining weight during the period when they are quitting smoking.


4. Cheese
Cheese has also been found to help curb nicotine cravings. However, it is important to be careful with the amount of cheese you take because it may translate to unnecessary calorie intake.
Meat has also been known to increase the urge to smoke and it is therefore one of the foods that you should avoid when quitting smoking. It also helps to avoid situations which could strike up the urge to smoke. For instance, during coffee breaks take water or juice and try hang out with the non-smoking crowd at work. Avoid bars because they are usually filled with smokers and alcohol which will increase your urge to smoke.

It will be overwhelming attempting to make several changes in your lifestyle at once. You should try to implement one change at a time to give yourself time to adjust to these changes. Food can be a negative thing when you are quitting smoking, if you stick to old habits or use it as a replacement to smoking. However, with the right information about the relationship between food and nicotine cravings you can use food to help you quit smoking.


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