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Tips for Staying Smoke Free: Dealing with the Cravings

For all of you out there that have recently quit smoking (like Sugar user smarler) - CONGRATULATIONS!!!!

Although life without nicotine might seem challenging; you are on your way to better health for life. But how to deal with those incessant cravings? Here are some tips to help:

  • Exercise: C'mon this is FitSugar; you had to know I'd be writing that one first. It is true though, exercising for at least 5 minutes can curb the craving. So take a vigorous walk around the block instead of picking up the lighter. Or why not try some push-ups? I think exercising is a great way to deal with the cravings and breathing hard will help remind you of why you quit and you will start to see that exercising becomes easier the farther you get from your quit date.
  • Deep Breathing: Nothing clears the mind and celebrates your healing lungs as much as a deep breath. It will calm and relax you. While breathing think of all the reasons you quit - a little reaffirmation.
  • Healthy Snacking: Surround yourself with healthy snacks. Carrot sticks and celery. Apples or cherries. Sunflower seeds or pistachios still in their shells are a lot of work. The act of shelling them will take your mind off your craving and satisfy your oral fixation.
  • Drink Water: You know I love water, but staying hydrated can really help with the cravings. Drinking water will help flush the toxins out of your body.
  • Break your Routine: A lot of cravings are associated with your daily patterns, routines and rituals. To avoid these triggers mix up your day a bit.
  • Keep your Hands Busy: Idle hands like to pick up cigarettes. Try knitting, starting a jigsaw puzzle or teaching yourself some card tricks.

I sure do hope these help.

Join The Conversation
cravinsugar cravinsugar 9 years
Thanks for pointing me back here Fit! I must admit, I have a HUGE oral fixation...no clue as to why, but it's why I overeat too. I am always doing something with my mouth, whether it be eating, smoking, drinking, biting my nails, biting my lip (yes, i nibble on my bottom lip), habitually flossing, etc. I am horrible. My quesiton is, how do I get rid of that? If I could get rid of that, i would get rid of a lot of my bad habits...
a-gentle-rain a-gentle-rain 10 years
Golf claps to all of you guys!!!! I am so proud of you! That is so amazing! I've heard that when you get the urge to smoke, think of who would miss you if you were to die from lung cancer. A niece? A father? Good luck to everyone, and congrats again.
BeeMoney BeeMoney 10 years
Good job to all of you guys who quit. I bought my mom the book "The Easy Way to Stop Smoking" by Allen Carr and she quit, cold turkey after 30 years smoking.
smarler smarler 10 years
This is wonderfully helpful--thank you! And Melissa, the silly putty idea is fantastic!
girlwonder76 girlwonder76 10 years
Congrats on your 1 year Melissa! I've just hit my 3 month mark and have never felt better in all my life. There were a couple of things that helped me, but educating myself on the effect of smoking was essential for me. There is a great website whyquit.com that is really in-your-face about it, but in a really great way. I agree with you on the whole mindset thing. I've quit smoking about 5 or 6 times, but never changed my mindset. Even before I quit this time, I was a non-smoker! Good luck to everyone trying to quit- YOU CAN DO IT!!! :)
melissa10101 melissa10101 10 years
I quit smoking about a year ago. And I must admit I still struggle with the cravings and comfort of a cigarette. One thing I believe helped me alot was to carry around silly putty. Mostly to keep my fingers busy when thinking of smoking. Small enough to carry around and keep on my desk while at work. When feeling stressed for a cigarette just grab silly putty and play away. Another thing that helped me was to keep the mindset that I choose not to smoke. Alot of friends and family still smoke so it was difficult to be around sometimes. But my mindset is if I choose not to smoke that is my decision and I am not dependant on cigarettes. But if you dedicate yourself to the commitment to stop smoking you can overcome the addiction. And dont forget you are always one puff away from being a smoker again! I once started up after 3 years of no smoking. One puff is all that it can take before you are right back where you left off. Best of luck to you all. You can do this!!!
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