Rest, a Balanced Diet and Hydration

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Aetna Intelihealth InteliHealth Aetna Intelihealth Aetna Intelihealth
 
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Harvard Medical School
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Chrome 2001
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Rest, a Balanced Diet and Hydration

Tobacco Cessation
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Rest, a Balanced Diet and Hydration
Rest, a Balanced Diet and Hydration
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Quitting smoking is much easier if you pay attention to other aspects of your health.
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InteliHealth
2011-09-14
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InteliHealth Medical Content
2014-09-14

Reviewed by the Faculty of Harvard Medical School

Rest, a Balanced Diet and Hydration
 
Quitting smoking is much easier if you pay attention to other aspects of your health. While cleansing your system of nicotine and other toxic substances, also concentrate on other ways to improve your body. Work toward maximizing your full health potential.
 
You don't have to become a "health nut" overnight, but every good health behavior you adopt will make smoking cessation more manageable. A major advantage of practicing good health habits is that they will make you better able to resist nicotine cravings.
Rest
Quitting smoking may make you tired and irritable, particularly during the first week. Rest helps alleviate these symptoms, so try to get at least eight hours of sleep at night. And rest during the day if it helps keep you calm as you go through nicotine withdrawal.
 
Rest also helps you keep up the fighting spirit. A good night of rest leaves you refreshed and ready to tackle the day ahead. You'll stay more motivated and focused on the job at hand: living a smoke-free life.

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Eat a Healthy Diet
 
When you quit smoking, food will taste and smell better. Many smokers worry about gaining weight when they quit. But this worry should be secondary when you consider all of the health benefits associated with quitting. You can deal with your weight later, when you're a nonsmoker.
In fact, when you quit, you should try to eat regular meals. Not eating enough may lead to hunger pangs, which you may mistake for nicotine cravings. A well-balanced diet includes the recommended amounts of protein, carbohydrates and fat. Load up on fruits, veggies and whole grains.
 
A good diet also helps relieve the severity of withdrawal symptoms. You'll be less irritable and have fewer headaches. In addition, food can help replace the oral fix that cigarettes offered. Keep pretzels, apple slices, celery and carrot sticks or other healthy foods available, should you need something to munch on. A crunchy treat takes the bite out of a nicotine craving.

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Drink Plenty of Fluids
 
Many smoking triggers are beverages, especially those containing alcohol or caffeine. It's best to avoid both alcoholic and caffeinated beverages when you initially quit. Instead, drink a lot of water.
 
Juice is another option when trying to quit smoking. If you get the urge for a cigarette, reach for a glass of juice for a quick pick-me-up. The sugar content in juice offers a jolt of energy and provides some nutrients at the same time. Be aware that whole fruit is a preferred choice over juice, particularly if you have diabetes.
 
Milk can also help fight nicotine cravings. Many smokers find milk to be downright repulsive when mixed with smoking. So it may temper your longing for a smoke.

 

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Last updated June 09, 2014


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