The 10 ways to quit smoking I’m going to present have one thing in common – they each restore balance to the neurotransmitters in the brain that are responsible for addiction to nicotine.
The reason so many people fail to be successful in their quest to quit smoking is because they don’t understand the true root cause of their dependence on nicotine. Like all addiction, nicotine addiction is caused by a disruption in brain chemistry. Addiction to nicotine is as powerful and difficult to overcome as hard drugs like cocaine and heroin, because it has the same biochemical impact on the brain.
Neurotransmitters are natural chemicals in our brain that are used for communication between nerve cells. Some of them like acetylcholine, serotonin and dopamine are responsible for regulating our moods, memory, nervous system and behavior. Nicotine, and many of the other substances added to tobacco, alter these neurochemicals in a manner that eventually leads to depletion. Once depleted, then the brain becomes dependent on nicotine to function normally — it now needs the nicotine to perform the functions of the neurotransmitters. To overcome nicotine addiction, we simply must replenish and restore balance to the neurotransmitters. The following 10 ways to quit smoking will do just that.
- Give up the sugar
Sugar impacts the neurotransmitters, dopamine and serotonin, in the same manner as nicotine and often results in cravings for nicotine when one tries to give it up.
- Give up the caffeine
Caffeine also impacts the neurotransmitters, dopamine and serotonin, in a similar manner as nicotine and can be a significant trigger for nicotine cravings.
- Give up the alcohol
Once again, alcohol also effects dopamine and serotonin in a similar manner, leading to cravings for nicotine.
- Live an environmentally friendly (green) lifestyle.
Common everyday chemicals in your home disrupt the endocrine system and dopamine, serotonin and acetylcholine, the three primary neurotransmitters involved in nicotine addiction, which often results in cravings. Adopting green living principles is one of the best things you can do for your health overall.
- Give up the grains (even whole grains)
Whole grains are not healthy for you. They break down into sugar in the body which disrupt neurotransmitters in the brain and the autonomic nervous system. They often lead to cravings for nicotine as well as sugar, carbs, caffeine, alcohol or drugs.
- Eat the Paleolithic diet.
The Paleolithic diet is the diet that we are genetically coded to eat, therefore it promotes balance in the neurotransmitters in the brain, as well as optimal health all around.
- Keep blood sugar in balance.
Nicotine raises your blood sugar and then crashes it, which results in a craving for nicotine to bring it back up. Many smokers develop hypoglycemia and/or get dependent on nicotine to regulate their blood sugar and once you give up the cigarettes, it takes time for your body to learn how to handle it again on its own. If blood sugar goes too low, then it can result in a craving for nicotine to bring it up back up. Blood sugar is best kept in balance with a diet high in meat protein and fat, like that found in the Paleolithic diet, not carbohydrates.
- Replenish neurotransmitters with amino acids
Dopamine, serotonin and acetylcholine can be replenished with amino acids.
- Replenish nutritional deficiencies (vitamins, minerals, amino acids, fatty acids)
Nutritional deficiencies cause disruption in brain chemistry and neurotransmitter deficiencies that lead to cravings.
- Reduce and manage emotional stress.
High levels of emotional stress can be a powerful trigger for nicotine because it too disrupts neurotransmitters in the brain.
- Bonus – Chew toothpicks during the first couple weeks anytime you want a cigarette. This helps with the habit of having something in your mouth and fingers. This worked beautifully for me.
These three substances (alcohol, caffeine, sugar) are substitutes for nicotine and one another. You need to give up all three simultaneously, otherwise they perpetuate the addiction cycle. The elimination of all three will eliminate cravings for each of them.
You can learn about each of these factors in more depth and how to overcome your nicotine addiction by eliminating cravings in my new Blueprint, Quit Smoking with Ease – Naturally.
Each of the 10 ways to quit smoking listed above restore balance to neurotransmitters, thereby eliminating cravings for not only nicotine, but sugar, carbs, alcohol, caffeine, compulsive overeating etc. Not only will they help you quit smoking, but they also alleviate depression, anxiety, unwanted weight gain and encourage better physical and mental health all around.
In my day I smoked 2 packs a day and I haven’t had a cigarette in 22 years. I had given up the alcohol a year before I quit smoking and then gave up the cigarettes, sugar and caffeine simultaneously. I chewed toothpicks for the first couple weeks whenever I wanted to reach for a cigarette. After a couple weeks, I never experienced cravings. I relapsed with nicotine once, a year later when a break up with a boyfriend produced a great deal of emotional pain, but it was brief. To my surprise, the cigarette tasted horrible and made me feel sick. I no longer wanted them and never relapsed again. At the time I was unaware that amino acids, vitamins and minerals could help with the cravings, so if you add this to your regimen, then the battle is even easier.