Food and Quitting Smoking

Updated:May 23,2014

When you quit smoking, your taste buds come back to life. So you'll start to enjoy food in a new way. During this time, food can help you:

  • Feel pleasantly full, which helps reduce the urge to smoke.
  • Have something to chew and hold in your mouth.
  • Satisfy cravings with nice flavors instead of cigarettes.

Things to Consider:

 
Cravings and When to Eat
  • Always eat three meals a day, including breakfast. If you skip a meal, you may become too hungry, which makes it hard to fight the urge to smoke.
  • If you get hungry, have healthy, low-calorie snacks between meals.
  • Crunchy or chewy snacks can help ward off emergency urges.
Healthy Foods for Snacking

Use this food list to help you choose healthy snacks. Check off the foods to keep on hand and add them to your shopping list every time you buy groceries.
 
Ready-to-eat Snacks
  • Whole-wheat bread or bagel
  • Low-fat muffin
  • Fruit such as apple, banana, peach, etc.
  • Nonfat yogurt
  •  Whole-grain cereal
  • Nuts (only eat a small amount — less than a handful)
Easy-to-make Options
  • Half a sandwich
  • Vegetable sticks such as carrots, celery, cucumbers, green peppers, etc.
  • Popcorn (air popped, unbuttered)
  • Cut fruits, such as watermelon or pineapple
  • Fruit and yogurt smoothie
Emergency Foods (for when your mouth feels empty, like it needs a cigarette)
  • Sugar-free gum
  • Sugar-free hard candy
  • Jelly beans
  • Breath mints
  • Cinnamon sticks
  • Vegetable sticks (carrots, celery, cucumbers, green peppers, etc.)
You may feel a strong desire for sweets right after you quit smoking. Often sweets can help you fight the urge to smoke.
If you crave sweets, try these:
 
Frozen Treats

  • Sherbet
  • Frozen 100% juice bars
  • Low-calorie ice cream bars
  • Nonfat frozen yogurt
  • Frozen bananas or grapes
Other Sweets (in moderation)
  • Marshmallows
  • Jelly beans
  • Gelatin (sugar free) or pudding (low-fat)
  • Angel food cake
  • Dates or raisins

Quit Smoking

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