It is not unusual to experience the urge to snack during the quitting process. Food can become your new response to loneliness, stress, or fatigue. These are times when previously you would have reached for tobacco. When you find yourself physically or emotionally hungry, be sure to choose your food wisely. If you eat, allow yourself a small amount of something you enjoy.
- Be sure to plan ahead, have low-calorie snacks on hand. Eat on a regular schedule to avoid becoming too hungry.
Examples of low-calorie snacks:
Fresh fruit Rice cakes
Ginger snaps Low-fat yogurt
Graham crackers Popcorn
- Increasing physical activity helps control your weight and makes you feel better. Now that you have become smoke-free you will find that physical activities and/or sports can be more enjoyable. Here are some ideas how to increase the number of calories you burn each day, without engaging in a full-fledged exercise program. During your day, take advantage of opportunities at home or at work to burn extra calories.
Walk when you get the chance (during breaks or lunch).
Park your car several blocks away.
Use the stairs.
The techniques you have just learned will help you initially control your urges. Now you need to learn how to maintain your tobacco-free life. Once you feel confident about being and ex-chewer, gradually get back into your “normal” routine. You can go back to:
Your favorite chair
Previous driving route
Familiar lunch spot
Slowly re-establish former tobacco triggers, one at a time, stopping when you feel stronger urges. Watch out for events you have not yet experienced as an ex-chewer.
Holidays and family gatherings
Night out with friends
You will notice that after you have been tobacco-free for a while, the thrill lessens. You may not feel the support from others as you did before. In fact, some people may try to sabotage your efforts, making comments such as:
“You’ve been so irritable since you quit, I wish you would go back to chewing”.
“Just once wouldn’t hurt.”
This may cause a depression. It is up to you to continue rewarding yourself for your accomplishment.
It is important to remember the day you quit. Celebrate it every month for the first six months and once a year, thereafter. Now that you are tobacco free, your new healthy habits will allow you to enjoy your life. The best part is that they are habits you will never have to give up.