How to Quit Smoking Naturally: Smoking is an undeniably hard habit to quit, and many nicotine-based smoking substitutes come with their own risks and downfalls. Thankfully, many ex-smokers have successfully quit the habit by relying on natural therapies, dietary changes, and lifestyle solutions.
Concentrate on flavors that clash. Some foods enhance the flavor of cigarettes, but other foods make cigarettes taste worse. Packing flavors that clash with cigarettes into your diet can make cigarettes seem less appealing.
While everyone's taste buds can vary slightly, the flavors of red meat, coffee, and alcohol tend to enhance the taste of cigarettes, so you may need to cut back on these foods and drinks while you're trying to quit.
On the other hand, most fruits, vegetables, and dairy products make cigarettes taste worse, so now would be a good time to add these foods to your diet.
Enjoy something sweet. On average, roughly 30 percent of a smoker's cravings are for carbohydrates instead of nicotine. Sucking on over-the-counter glucose tablets or long-lasting fruit candy can help satisfy the carbohydrate craving, making your overall cravings less intense.
Moreover, chewing on gum or sucking on a piece of candy can give your mouth something to do other than smoking. By keeping your mouth occupied, your hands and brain can stay away from cigarettes, too.
Sip on fresh lime juice. When your next craving strikes, cut open a lime and suck the juice out of its wedges. While not quite as effective as nicotine gum, early studies suggest that lime juice can slow and stop many cigarette cravings.
Citrus is also one of the many flavors that can worsen the taste of cigarettes, so flooding your mouth with the taste of lime juice can make the thought of lighting up less appetizing.
If sucking directly on wedges of lime juice doesn't seem appealing to you, try lime-flavored candies or sodas. You can also cook more recipes that list lime juice among the ingredients for a subtle boost.
Try licorice root. Instead of reaching for a cigarette, reach for a stick of real licorice root. Sucking on licorice instead can satisfy the oral cravings driving you to smoke.
Since many tobacco products are flavored with licorice, taming your craving with licorice can satisfy both the feeling and taste you're missing.
Only use licorice in moderate amounts. Prolonged or excessive use beyond six weeks can cause other health problems.
Chew on red clover. Add fresh clover flowers to salads or chew on tobacco-free, clover-based snuff to ward off potential cravings.
In addition to satisfying oral cravings, clover contains genistein, a compound that may help prevent tumors from growing by stopping new blood vessels from forming.
Include fava beans in your diet. Fava beans contain I-dopa, which your brain converts to dopamine. Increased dopamine production can help soothe the physical and mental stress associated with nicotine cravings.
Nicotine boosts dopamine, so when you quit smoking, your dopamine and mood both drop. Adding more fava beans to your diet can help regulate your dopamine levels and prevent your mood from sinking too severely.
Exercise more often. Both vigorous exercise and relaxing exercise can help you quit, so try to work a little of both into your routine.
Vigorous exercise can cause changes in your brain activity, making it easier to relieve tension and fight depression without relying on your next nicotine fix. If you have breathing or cardiovascular problems, however, you should talk to your doctor to determine how much vigorous exercise is healthy for you.
Tai chi can also help you quit. This type of martial arts can train you to improve your breathing and move in stronger, more fluid ways. As a result, your mind and body feel more relaxed, and you may experience fewer cravings.
Don't make too many simultaneous changes. If you plan on quitting the habit and losing weight through diet and exercise, you should focus on doing one before embarking on the other.
Quitting and dieting both require a great amount of dedication, and if you try to do both at the same time, you can easily overwhelm yourself.
Quit smoking first, then wait one or two months before making any major changes to your diet or exercise routine.
Avoid triggers. Identify the situations that increase your urge to smoke and do what you can to avoid them. When avoidance is impossible, find another way to distract yourself during those trigger situations.
Your triggers typically include the circumstances during which you smoked most often. For instance, you might smoke more when you're around other smokers in a bar or party, or you might smoke more when you're alone watching television or surfing the Internet.
If you can't avoid a trigger, give your hands and mind something else to do other than smoking. Doodle with a pen and paper. Teach yourself to crochet or knit. Nearly anything that keeps your hands busy could help.
Delay and distract yourself. When the temptation to smoke grows strong and you feel like caving into it, tell yourself that you need to wait another 10 minutes before you light up. Then, immediately distract yourself with another activity.
Longer activities that will take more than 10 minutes to complete tend to work better. By giving your mind something else to fixate on, you can help draw it away from thinking about your craving.
You may need to repeat this practice more than once, but keep at it until the craving goes away completely.
Remind yourself of the risks. Visual reminders of the dangers related to smoking can make your urge to quit even stronger. Find images of mouths with cancerous lesions or diseased lungs and post them above the drawer you usually keep your cigarettes in.
If you haven't already talked to your doctor about your smoking habit, take the time to do so now. Having your doctor review the potential consequences can be another way to effectively remind yourself of the dangers you face by continuing to smoke.
Think of the benefits. Balance out the negative by reminding yourself of the positive reasons for wanting to quit. Write down your reasons or recite them aloud each day.
Your reasons can be for your own health, for your self-esteem, for the health of your loved ones, or for the sake of your wallet. Regardless of the specifics, you should continually remind yourself of any and all reasons.
On a similar note, speak in positive terms. Giving yourself the occasional pep talk can help you push through. Instead of routinely fixating on negative words like "quit" and "stop," recite affirmative sayings like, "I can do this."
Keep track of your progress. Pushing through can become easier when you can look back and see how far you've already come. Keep a journal or other record of your progress. Document the therapies you've tried and note which have been successful, and note how long you've gone in between cigarettes.
Nowadays, there are also mobile apps you can use to help record your progress. A few examples include Quitter, Livestrong MyQuit Coach, Smoke Out, and Smoke Break. These apps can track your progress, record your achievements, and integrate everything into your social media accounts.