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Old 04-28-2007, 02:53 AM   #1
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Now that I am losing weight, I am also trying to stop smoking. I don't want to die a gruesome death of lung cancer from my own stupidity.

I just wanted to know what to expect. WHY do so many people gain weight when they stop smoking? I always figured it was because they replaced a nicotine craving with food for comfort. Is this the case, or do you really just magically gain weight when you stop smoking?

I figured if my craving theory is the case, then since I am already on a diet and resisting my food cravings I should be ok..

Any experience or knowledge on the matter?
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Old 04-28-2007, 06:36 AM   #2
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I am wondering the same thing. This is horrible, but I don't think I will have the willpower to quit if the weight gain is magical, and not from using food as a cigarette replacement.
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Old 04-28-2007, 07:27 AM   #3
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Replacing the cigarettes with food for comfort is a big part of it, I think; however, on top of that, nicotine is an appetite supressant:

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Originally Posted by Wikipedia
Nicotine's mood-altering effects are different by report. First causing a release of glucose from the liver and epinephrine (adrenaline) from the adrenal medulla, it causes stimulation. Subjectively, users report feelings of relaxation, calmness, and alertness. It is even reported to produce a mildly euphoric state. By reducing the appetite and raising the metabolism, some smokers may lose weight as a consequence. It also allows the mouth to be stimulated without food and the taste of tobacco smoke may curb the appetite.
So it's probably a combination of the two. That having been said, I think you both have the willpower to quit regardless! It won't be easy, but it will be sooo worth it
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Old 04-28-2007, 08:24 AM   #4
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Im working on quitting myself.. and I am scared ****less about the weight gain that almost always accompanys it.. but I hate smoking,.. I hate it.
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Old 04-28-2007, 10:23 AM   #5
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Nicotine does give the metabolism a little boost and you will experience a bit of a drop when you quit.

Consider too how many times you will reach for a cigarette when you're stressed, frustrated or even happy - point is, you're not eating.

After you quit and your taste buds stop getting burnt from the hot smoke, things will start to taste better and you might find yourself eating more than you thought.

Take all those reasons and the fact that people substitute candy and food to replace the cravings - yes - you will gain some weight when you quit smoking.

But those few pounds won't be doing anywhere near the harm that the cigs are doing to you. And, if you keep it under control - you can limit the damage.

Quitting is the best thing you can do for yourself. Please do everything to try. wwwDOTquitnetDOTorg is a great online support site.

And yes, I do know what I'm talking about. I was one of those who hated smoking, thought I could never quit and was afraid to and did gain weight. But I'm still glad that I quit - even if I do miss it occasionally.

Good luck to you!

Wow ladies - just noticed your tickers. Some FANTASTIC weight losses there. Congratulations to you! Just shows you that you've conquered one challenge in your life, quitting smoking is alot like sticking to a new eating plan.
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Old 04-28-2007, 10:43 AM   #6
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I think gaining weight upon cessation is completely circumstantual (sp?). Yes, some folks gain a noticeable amount of weight, but what you have to keep in mind is that you do have some control of this. Also, your metabolism slowing down is temporary (and quite frankly, marginal over the big picture).

I used to smoke and used my weight as the one reason to not quit and it absolutely terrified me. But I made a promise to myself and stuck with it. There were a couple of things that I think contributed to my weight not shooting up. I gained about 4 pounds for a week, but then I lost it without doing much of anything more.

-I understood that a big part of smoking for me was about the oral fixation, so I planned accordingly. Part of that itty-bitty (and temporary!) weight gain was because I had purchased a couple of bags of creamsavers. A great idea? Probably not, but I quit smoking and only needed them for a couple of weeks.

-I had started running and wanting to be a runner was a huge motivating factor. So, the less I smoked, the more I ran (and in turn, the less I gained).

-I was already a maintainer. I think if you are already working hard at weightloss, you have a leg up and it's that much easier to not go nuts.

I somehow got it in my head that if I quit smoking, the world would fall off its axis and I would resort to a life of drive-thrus and couch surfing and my healthy lifestyle would just end. Of course it didn't happen, because I just didn't let it. I think if you just keep doing what you are doing and quit smoking, it will not be as scary as you think. In fact, I equate my weight gain to TOM gain.
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Old 04-28-2007, 04:04 PM   #7
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I lost most of the weight before I quit smoking. More than a year later (it might even be closer to 2), I still don't smoke, and I've lost about 5 pounds more.

Having a plan of action to handle the cravings for comfort or stimulation will help you succesfully quit without gaining weight. Good luck!
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Old 04-28-2007, 07:25 PM   #8
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When I quit I didn't gain weight... I didn't end up with an oral fixation as much as I did a... social addiction? Like, there were certain situations where I'd be very uncomfortable without smoking--standing outside on campus before class, taking a break from studying, going to a bar with friends... If I did feel the need to put something in my mouth I had sugar-free popsicles. They last about as long as a smoke and did the trick for me.

As everyone has said, the health benefits of quitting far outweigh the five pounds or so that you may put on in the first few weeks.... But that weight will come off in no time as your addiction wears off. The trick is to not allow yourself to use quitting as an excuse. A roommate of mine quit smoking after 7 years full-time, and she gained a good 15 pounds in 3 months because she endlessly used quitting as an excuse to eat whatever she wanted. So don't let it turn into that kind of a cycle and you'll be ok

Good luck!
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Old 04-29-2007, 01:01 AM   #9
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I fell you ladies. I am a smoker and my son consistantly lets me know that I am killing myself. The weight is definately better than the smoking addiction.
I really want to quit also. I know many people who quit that did not gain weight and yet my mom quit and gained 25 pounds. Just keep ahold on your diet and you will do great.

I have only just started to attack my weight problem but I also want to quit smoking. I don't know which to do first. I don't know if I can do both at the same time.

Best of luck to you.
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Old 04-30-2007, 08:26 AM   #10
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I'm also a smoker, also trying to change my life, and also want to quit. I know I need to, I've known for a long time, and right this very moment my uncle is lying in a hospital bed dying of lung cancer. So yeah, I think I probably should quit.

My husband's cousin and his wife both smoked, and instead of shoveling bad things (doritos, pickles, ice cream...you know, the good stuff ) they munched on carrot and celery sticks. they said that it was the crunch factor and the hand-to-mouth motion that helped them. Maybe I'll give it a shot...

good luck everyone!
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Old 04-30-2007, 12:37 PM   #11
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I gotta say that my metabolism suffered a bit more than most who have posted. I never gained, but my weight loss stalled while I did everything in my power to bust thru what I thought was a plateau. It was frustrating. I cried. I threw things. I thought about just giving up on the quitting and the dieting.

But I would do it again in a skinny minute. I am back to normal; I don't miss cigarettes except for once in a while. It is 100% worth it, and has actually helped me in weight loss goals because I was able to take up running as a result.

Good luck! It is hard, but it is every last little bit worth it.
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Old 04-30-2007, 07:26 PM   #12
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I'm a smoker, and I believe if I plan to get healthy I have to quit to, but I haven't started yet.
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Old 05-07-2007, 01:04 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sockmonkey70 View Post
WHY do so many people gain weight when they stop smoking?
Having been a non-smoker for 12 months now, I can honestly say that for me I did not gain any weight because I increased my exercise and was very, very conscious of not replacing my nicotine cravings with food.

If I was leaning towards food to curb a craving I would make sure I did something active instead, or ate something healthy. A glass of water, an apple - anything other than a cigarette.

I also found that chewing gum helped subside the cravings and I used nicotine gum too. I think this was key for me in the first 3 months to get through it. I eventually phased out the nicotine gum with regular gum and then I needed neither.

For me it was almost more about the act and doing something rather than my body craving nicotine. Even now I might find myself in a situation where I think I would like a cigarette but its about the environment I am in, not what I am craving.

For example, this morning I went outside to the garden to have my coffee. Not something I usually do since quitting smoking but today I wanted to and once I was out there I felt like a cigarette would top off the moment. Instead I finished my coffee and went back inside and got on with my day. Those feelings will always be there but it doesn't mean I have to follow through with it. Acknowledge the feeling and then move forward.

I wish you all the best with your quitting. You can totally do it!
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Old 05-07-2007, 05:29 AM   #14
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I am a smoker, I gave up for over a year and then slipped back into the bad habit. I didn't gain wieght when I gave up and I'd love to give up again but I know now is not the right time for me and if I failed it would just add to the stresses of my life at the moment.

What I really wanted to say is that this is a great thread, so supportive and motivational and has made me reconsider quitting in a new light.
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Old 05-07-2007, 02:36 PM   #15
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Wow, congrat to Daisy_Boo, futurepixie, britomart, just_a_dreamy1, junebug41, and happy2bme!!!

I think I'll reread this thread when I do decide to quit (hopefully in a few months when I'm a little more used to this new lifestyle of exercising and eating well.)
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