Once you quit, keep it that way
It does get easier and easier to deal with cravings after you quit smoking but the cravings do happen and it is important to be prepared. Handling cravings can take complete focus and sometimes you really need to talk yourself down. The key is to remember that THE CRAVING WILL SUBSIDE.
There are several things you can do to deal with a craving for a cigarette. Everybody finds their own solutions to this and it can help a great deal if you are prepared. By keeping an arsenal of drinks, snacks, and activities handy for the tough cravings you can make it much easier to find something else to do besides having a cigarette. Always remember the goal of substituting a good habit for a bad one. If you have a cigarette first thing in the morning, try starting with a shower, drinking fresh juice, or eating something instead.
Things you can do instead of smoking a cigarette:
Keeping your hands and mind busy
Sometimes keeping your hands or mind busy with an activity can make the craving pass or just get your mind off of it. Quite often, when we quit smoking we forget how to fill those moments we used to smoke during with other positive habits. It is important to get used to doing something else during breaks and will help minimize the number of cravings we get as we change our habits.
- Empty the dishwasher
- Go for a walk
- Take several big breaths of fresh air
- Lie down for a few minutes
- Call someone
- Take a bath
- Take a shower
- Brush your teeth
- Floss your teeth
- Go for a drive
- Pick up a magazine
Keep your mouth busy and satisfied
Quite often, the experience and habit of smoking leaves us with an oral fixation or the need to do something with our mouths when we have a craving. Crunchy, sweet, or other types of snacks can help alleviate the need for a cigarette and be quite satisfying in of themselves.
Helpful Snacks (From our readers)
- Carrot or Celery Sticks
- Blow Pops or Tootsie Roll Pops
- Jolly Ranchers
- Beef Jerky
- Crackers such as Cheeze Its or Triscuits (anything with some crunch and flavor)
- Raw vegetables such as broccoli or Cauliflower with Ranch dressing as dip
If you have gone without cigarettes for a day or two, you will immediately notice a stronger sense of taste and smell. This can make certain drinks taste absolutely delicious as if you are tasting them for the first time. Many of our readers have commented that sodas taste stronger and sweeter than ever before. Unfortunately, drinking soda can add a lot of calories to your diet and chances are you will be gaining a bit of weight when quitting smoking already.
If you must, stick to diet sodas or try some of our other reader suggestions such as:
- Freshly squeezed orange juice
- Carrot Juice
- Tonic Water
- Diet Cola
- Strawberry and Banana Smoothies
Be Creative and Productive
No matter what you use to get through cravings, remember that every craving you fight off using another activity will make it easier next time. It will be hard at first but stick with it and keep the good habits coming.