I used and sometimes still use gum as a substitute, and it really isn't as good as we think. In addition to water and toothpicks, the use of items like a stress ball, worry bead or even a rubber band (around the wrist or rotating it between my fingers have also helps to shift my focus from food. If you have time, a brief walk also works.
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Don't be afraid to give your best at what seemingly are small jobs. Every time you conquer one it makes you that much stronger. If you do the little jobs well, the big ones will tend to take care of themselves.
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For the longest time, I chewed gum to calm my cravings and stopping smoking. I have had to see the doctor about some gastrointestinal issues that I've been having - it was so bad I had to go to the doctor! Turns out it was chewing gum that was causing the pressure. Does anyone have a non-food substitute for gum?
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