Friday, April 12, 2013

Eat After Giving up Smoking

Those who quit smoking often fear gaining weight. Following a healthy diet regime not only will help you avoid those unwanted pounds, but can help make your attempts to quit smoking easier for you. Properly-timed meals packed with nutritious and wholesome foods can help maintain blood sugar levels, decrease irritability and mood swings, and may even help reduce your desire for a cigarette. Smoking also depletes your body of many essential vitamins and minerals; changing how you eat after quitting smoking can make a huge difference to your health.


1. Avoid your usual morning coffee fest, or at least try to cut down on it some. Caffeine heightens the desire for cigarettes, according to a study performed at Duke University by F. Joseph McClernon, Ph.D, and may also add to the normal irritability present while trying to quit smoking. Other items found to be cigarette-stimulating were meat and alcohol.

2. Skipping breakfast heightens the low blood sugar condition that normally occurs mid-morning--a time when powerful cravings for nicotine can swoop in to aggravate your efforts to quit. Even if you are not a big breakfast fan, be sure to eat a slice of multi-grain bread or cereal, which will release complex carbohydrates to help maintain glucose levels.

3. Keep a variety of low-calorie snacks close at hand, such as dried apricots, raw carrots and veggies, apples, pears, and rice cakes, in addition to walnuts, sesame or pumpkin seeds, which help maintain blood sugar levels while satisfying your oral need to munch.

4. Replace the vitamin and mineral deficiencies caused from smoking by foods rich in vitamins C (oranges, blackcurrant, grapefruit, and kiwifruit), E (wheat germ, mangos, almonds), A (apricots, nectarines, carrots, broccoli, plums), B-12 (dairy products and eggs) and B-6 (tuna, bananas, chicken, and fish).

5. Avoid the serotonin dip often experienced by those who quit smoking by fortifying your diet with foods rich in tryptophan such as beans, chicken, turkey, peanuts, and sardines. Tryptophan is an amino acid crucial to serotonin, a "feel-good" hormone in the brain.

6. Eat a lunch high in protein in order to avoid the post-lunchtime dip. This will help keep you alert and bypass your need for that afternoon cigarette, so be sure to include lean fish or poultry, eggs, and vegetables during your noon meal.

7. Combat the insomnia often experienced by those trying to quit by having a hot milky drink before bedtime, which releases brain chemicals that help you to sleep. You may also try a calming herbal tea before bed such as Chamomile. Avoid caffeinated foods and drinks a minimum of four hours before bedtime.

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