As we all know, quitting smoking is often a momentous challenge for smokers. Several impacts can result from this personal choice, despite the will and motivation. In fact, smoking cessation is often associated with weight gain that gradually and even sneakily sets in. However, you can stack the odds in your favour by being aware of the main obstacles people usually encounter! Are you ready to take on the challenge to change your habits?
1- Fill the void caused by the absence of cigarette breaks with physical activity.
As a matter of fact, smoking quickly becomes a way out and a way to refocus. A smoke break helps you clear your mind and thus helps you relax. For some, it even becomes a social activity! Instead, go for a walk to satisfy your irresistible needs for relaxation, to reduce your stress level and thus increase your body’s concentration of dopamine, a chemical messenger involved in mechanism of addiction.
2- Satisfy your sugar cravings by eating foods full of flavours.
Smoking usually alters your perception of flavours and smells. Because of this, you’ll have a tendency to turn to tastier foods, which are often sweeter and saltier. Instead, go for a very flavourful menu by cooking delicious meals at home. Opt for fragrant, hot or spicy ingredients, which will satisfy your cravings for sugar or even salt. Long live the spices!
3- Choose foods rich in vitamin C and antioxidants.
Smokers have increased needs for vitamin C and antioxidants to fight free radicals, molecules that are harmful to health. In fact, smoking increases oxidation due to the toxic products found in cigarettes. Consequently, there are more free radicals. So when you begin your journey to stop smoking, consider including a few extra servings of fruits and vegetables to make sure you meet all your vitamin and mineral requirements, some of which have antioxidant properties!
4- Redouble your efforts, no matter what obstacles you encounter.
The urge to light a cigarette can often outweigh the zeal for smoking cessation. Make a list of the reasons why it’s important for you to counter your addiction. Reread it when you’re thinking of giving up, or simply when you feel like it. Even think about sharing it with your loved ones, as moral support is essential in this kind of approach. This will enable your entourage to remind you of the reasons that support your personal challenge, during good and bad times.
5- Reward yourself.
Food is a reward available in the very short term. However, it’s easy to gobble down a piece of cake or see the bottom of a bag of chips and feel good, or even comforted. This makes it possible to replace cigarettes with foods that are quickly accessible. Overconsuming these foods, often in excess of your current diet, will inevitably lead to weight gain. Instead, strive to find long-term rewards that go beyond food, like a trip, a new bike, a party with friends, a hike, a new outfit, and more. Reward yourself positively and in line with the amount of work you’ve invested to stop smoking.
6- Social support and the act of committing.
Inform your close ones of your steps and spend time in their company. It’s possible, and even more gratifying, to enjoy quality time with good company. Your loved ones will support and encourage you throughout the process. Remember that you quit smoking first for yourself, but also for the people you care about. Being around your loved ones is important, as is your health.
Don't give up. As in any challenge, this roller coaster of emotions and adventures will result in some rough patches. Believe in yourself and take the necessary steps to overcome them. Learn to recognize your cravings and fight them. Over time, you’ll crush your addiction and emerge victorious.
Familiprix in collaboration with Hubert Cormier