Food and Quitting Smoking

Updated:Nov 25,2014

man cooking and tasting food on stoveWhen 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.

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 these foods 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)

  • Vegetable sticks (carrots, celery, cucumbers, green peppers, etc.)
  • Sugar-free gum
  • Sugar-free hard candy
  • Sugar-free Breath mints
  • Cinnamon sticks
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

  • Frozen bananas or grapes
  • Frozen 100% juice bars
  • Sherbet
  • Low-calorie ice cream bars
  • Nonfat frozen yogurt
Learn more:

Quit Smoking

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