What to replace smoking with, other than food or drink

One of the biggest worries harboured by smokers thinking of quitting the addictive habit is what they’ll do when the cravings kick in; and what they can do to stop themselves replacing smoking all their favourite types of junk food, increasing the risk of obesity.

Stop smoking

DID YOU KNOW…?

  • 20 minutes after quitting cigarettes: your blood pressure and heart rate both drop
  • 12 hours after quitting cigarettes: the carbon monoxide level within your blood drops back to a normal level
  • 3 months after quitting cigarettes: your lung function increases
  • 9 months after quitting cigarettes: you’ll notice that your coughing and shortness of breath has decreased
  • 1 year after quitting cigarettes: your risk of heart disease drops
  • 5 years after quitting cigarettes: your risk of cancer reduces by half

Whether you’re weaning yourself off cigarettes, you’re going cold turkey, or you’re considering the help of aids, ultimately you want the end result to be the same; to quit smoking. Here’s some great replacements for smoking that you can turn without worrying about excess weight gain…

fruit infused waterDrinking

No, not alcohol – that would be replacing one addictive substance with another – but drinking in the sense of water and fruit juices. Reports suggest that drinking plenty of fluid helps you on your way to quitting by quite literally washing out some of the toxins and pollutants that have built up in your body over the years. Further reports suggest that cigarettes burn up the Vitamin C levels within your body, so citrus juices, fruit juices and even vitamin tablets can help to get your levels back up.

Eat fruit & veg

Sometimes for smokers it’s not so much the nicotine that satisfies a craving as it is habit of putting something into their mouth, and snacking on fruit and vegetables can help with that. Not only is fresh fruit and veg extremely good for you, you also won’t gain weight, and will be contributing to your 5 a day at the same time – win, win! Just note that you shouldn’t eat too much fruit per day due to the natural sugars, which can go on to damage your teeth in as damaging a way as cigarettes.

Musicmusic

Believe it or not, a lot of your cravings will be completely in your head and not from the rest of your body; “I typically have a cigarette at this time of day” and “I’m stressed and right now I need a cigarette” for example. Put some headphones in or turn up the music (depending on your surroundings), drown out those negative thoughts you’re having and listen to your favourite band or album in order to block out the smokers voice talking inside your head. It won’t be long until this act of retraining your mind will help you forget you ever craved cigarettes in the first place.

Colouring in

Adult colouring books are THE new fad sweeping across the UK right now. The new craze started out as a nifty little distraction tool for those suffering with anxiety and depression, giving them something to focus on other than what was taking place in their head at the time, but it’s taking the UK by storm and it seems everyone’s colouring in these days. Yes, many of us do it because until now it hasn’t been socially acceptable for anyone but kids or parents, but it’s a great hobby to take up when you do need distraction from the nicotene cravings. You can buy small ones to carry around with you, or larger ones if you prefer the bigger, more detailed images. Just make sure to keep your pencil sharpener close – it’s more addictive than you may realise!

ExerciseExercise

Whilst this may not realistically be the easiest action to turn to every time you have a craving, it will help with the ones you get during lunch breaks (you can take a walk out of the office and around the area) or after work / at weekends when you get go to the gym or find a local field in order to exercise and take in the fresh air. It doesn’t have to be a strenuous exercise, walking will suffice, and you’ve got the added bonus of getting fitter and improving the strength of your lungs.

“Snap”

It may sound a bit odd, but you can tie an elastic band around your wrist and “snap” it on your wrist every time you get a craving so strong you’re considering giving in. The brief sting will take your mind away from the craving, allowing you to remember all of the reasons you’re quitting, whether it’s for your health, for your finances or for something else.

Whatever you choose, it has to work for YOU! What your partner, best friend or colleague may be doing in order to quit smoking may not work for you, and that’s fine; everyone’s different. The fact you’re even contemplating quitting smoking is a big step in the right direction – but whatever you do, don’t replace an addition with a crutch (another addiction that’s just as bad). Make your replacement something that will either a) help you quit or b) be something you enjoy doing.

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Found in Health Awareness