It's time to put your previous quitting experience to work. The best way to overcome a habit like smoking is to anticipate problems and plan in advance what you will do to handle them. Use the ideas below to make plans to handle each of the barriers you said were problems for staying smoke free.
Lack of Knowledge: Staying smoke free will not happen by accident. Read all the information in this program. It will arm you with essential facts to help you get the job done once and for all!
Social Pressure: Most people will not try to sabotage your efforts to stop smoking. But you do need to ask for their support. Early on it may be necessary to stay away from friends or family when they smoke. If you live with a smoker, set up Smoke Free Zones at home to give you safe areas to be. (See week 5)
Urges to Smoke: Use nicotine replacement therapy products to reduce or eliminate the effects of nicotine withdrawal. Urges can also relate to your patterns of cigarette use. When they come up, try: changing your surroundings, getting involved in a different activity, or talking to a supportive person to get your mind off the urge. Most urges will pass in 3-5 minutes. Also, for any strong urges, use your product.
Preventing Weight Gain – Just Find 50
Weight gain or loss is all about changes in the calories you eat and burn. For example, a small change of only 100 calories/day will result in a 10 pound weight gain over a year. So here's your job:
1. Find 50 calories to cut out of your diet. Do this by looking for sources of fat in your diet that you can eliminate or make a lower fat substitution. Increase your intake of fruits, vegetables, and higher fiber foods. Finally, watch out for alcohol! It's a source of extra calories. It increases the odds of overeating. And it's a strong smoking trigger for many people.
2. Find 50 more calories that you are willing to add to your activity level. Do this by finding ways to waste calories – take stairs, park farther away, take the dog for a walk. Also add short (5 to 10 minute) blocks of activity, like walking, to your schedule. Fifty calories is about a ½ mile of walking – about 10 minutes.
To find more information about weight control, visit the websites for the American Dietetic Association, the American Obesity Association, or the Weight Loss Information Network.