Many smokers have a tendency to light up in order to quiet the hunger pangs that strike midday, late at night, or even first thing in the morning. That’s just one reason why people who quit smoking tend to gain a little weight in the first few weeks or months after overcoming their addiction. Putting on a few pounds is the body’s natural way of reacting to this huge change, but it may also be a sign that it’s time to get back to a healthier lifestyle, one that is drug-free, that incorporates exercise, and that promotes a nutritious dietary outlook.
Moreover, when you eat well, you increase the likelihood that you won’t fall back on cigarettes to give you energy or wake up you when you’re feeling sluggish. Follow these guidelines to eat healthy and stay away from cigarettes:
Start each and every day with a healthy, adequate breakfast. Try to eat within one hour of waking up, since that’s when your body craves an energy source. Eating in the morning gives you the energy to get through your day without having to fall back on a cup of coffee or a smoke later in the afternoon.
Don’t wait until your stomach is grumbling to eat meals. Smokers often turn to cigarettes to take away hunger pangs, so when you give up cigarettes you are going to have to start paying more attention to your body’s nutritional requirements. Eat lunch promptly at noon. If you can’t have a full lunch at that time, eat a healthy snack, such as a piece of fruit, a handful of nuts, or a couple slices of turkey or chicken breast. Our body needs nourishment at fixed time intervals and at those times you had better grab something to eat.
The human stomach is a remarkable thing and can even digest small bones and small stones. So if you do not give it something to digest from time to time, it will very well start attacking its own walls. That is when people end up with conditions like acidity, ulcers and digestive disorders. If you have never experienced such disorders before in spite of your erratic eating habits, don’t wait for it, believe me a digestive disorder is not something to play with.
Eat a healthy dinner that incorporates a variety of food groups. Include veggies, whole grains and lean protein. Instead of a sugary dessert, choose fruit. Steer clear of food supplements or nutraceuticals as they are sometimes called. If you are eating properly, you do not need any supplements.
Avoid coffee. Coffee contains the same sort of stimulants as cigarette. It will temporarily silence the hunger pangs, but they’ll come back later with a vengeance. Also, coffee can cause you to feel more alert as soon as you drink it, but later on you’ll feel even more tired–that’s what we call a “caffeine crash.” Opt for juice, tea or water instead of coffee. If you must drink coffee, have two glasses of water for every one cup of coffee to avoid dehydration.
Drink plenty of water. Water is nature’s most perfect substance. It flushes out toxins, keeps all our organs functioning properly, and helps us feel more alert. Most people don’t drink enough, particular those of us with substance addictions. When you’re quitting smoking, aim for at least 10 glasses of water a day to get your body back to optimum shape.
A few more pointers on what to eat…
It is best to go for natural foods instead of processed or packed foods.
Eat fresh fruit instead of drinking fresh juices whenever you can. Fresh fruit has a lot more fiber, which your body needs.
Go crazy on vegetables and salads; they can never do much harm.
The next time you are thirsty, try drinking water instead of soda. Your body prefers water in its purest form.
Following all of these dietary guidelines will transform your body into a temple you won’t want to sully with dirty cigarette smoke or nicotine!