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Quitting Smoking + Weight Loss

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Old 08-07-2011, 09:24 PM   #1
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Default Quitting Smoking + Weight Loss

So my weight loss over the last three months has resulted in 25 pounds loss. I hit the 150s this morning (didn't eat well today though, so dunno if that lasted...). I feel better, look better, and am more confident. I loss the pant sizes dropping, the comments, all that.

Back in Feb I donated blood and had 180 cholesterol. This last week I donated and came in at 145 cholestrol, so I know my body is benefiting in more ways then just the numbers on the scale dropping.

But...despite the weight loss and lifestyle change...I am still a smoker. I am more ashamed of that then my weight.

I want to quit, and aside from the normal worries...can I? I have the worry that I will trade the smokes for food. I have a friend who doesn't even have a weight problem, she stopped smoking for a while and gained 10 pounds. I don't want to loss this progress while fighting off smoking. So should I wait, like I'm thinking I should? Tackle one thing at a time. I can't afford patches, and chewing gum hurts my teeth.

I don't know what to do.
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Old 08-07-2011, 09:39 PM   #2
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If you're ready to quit smoking, then you should definitely do so. But you'll want to plan carefully.

I quit a 2 pack a day habit back in 2008 when I was at my lowest weight and greatest level of fitness. In all honesty, the exercise is probably the number 1 thing that enabled me to succeed with quitting smoking. I channeled all my anxiety, cravings, freaked out-ness and etc into exercise and it really, really helped.

On the other hand, I almost instantly gained a few pounds, even though I was tracking my calories and doing everything properly. I had figured that i would probably gain 5-10 pounds while I quit and I thought that was fine because I would be able to lose it again once the worst of the quitting was over (say the first 6-8 weeks). I still think this is a sane approach. Quitting smoking was so overwhelming for me and so unpleasant that a little slack in other areas seemed a reasonable trade off for getting through it.

The trouble for me came when my life got disrupted and I stopped tracking my food and eventually stopped working out. I wound up gaining 70 pounds which I am now trying to get rid of.

I don't blame the smoking for my weight gain--clearly I made a series of really bad choices and succumbed to fat-person inertia--but it was a catalyst. If you can take anything from my experience I hope you will: 1. quit and use exercise as a tool in your process, 2. be reasonable about the effects of the first month or two of quitting on your diet--a gain of 5 or even 10 pounds is WORTH IT if you're giving up smoking, 3. STAY ON TRACK with your diet and exercise once the worst of the quitting has passed.

Good luck!!

p.s. 3 years later and I rarely think of cigarettes and am easily able to resist them at parties. Would that food and wine were so simple to resist! Also, it is GREAT to be able to run and breathe without being all phlegmy and disgusting.
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Old 08-07-2011, 09:54 PM   #3
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I had read some article a while back that said that the average weight gain for a woman quitting smoking was 2 lbs. Drink lots of water and keep counting your calories and I'll bet you can avoid even a tiny gain. You can do it!!
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Old 08-07-2011, 09:59 PM   #4
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Darn I was going to suggest chew gum...

How about sucking on sugarless candies?
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Old 08-07-2011, 10:23 PM   #5
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Thanks for the advice everyone! I will take your advice and focus on exercising more. Though I will wait till after the beginning of September, because my hours at work will slow some, I'll be a bit less stressed, and I'll be able to focus more on work outs. And if you think workin alot would help quit...there is a group of us who all go out and smoke several times a day. It will make it worse...o_0

So I will focus on exercise, plan for a September start off, and try to do this.

I'll also look into sugarless candies. Just not sure how the calories are there?

A few smokers and I were talking, and we came to the conclusion that some of us were in it for the nicotine. For others, it was an oral fixation. We came to the conclusion mine is an oral fixation. As I smoke after certain triggers, food, while I'm driving, if someone around me starts smoking, etc. And then when I get bored. If I have to go a whole day without a cigerette (like when I went to a water park all day, and rode to and from with a non smoker) then I don't really feel the cravings, or irritable because of it, nor do I feel deprived. If I'm distracted, and the cigs aren't available, I don't think about it. So I'm at an advantage with the quitting area, but as it is an oral fixation I'll have to be careful to not replace it with food.
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Last edited by mlgibson : 08-07-2011 at 10:25 PM.
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Old 08-07-2011, 10:50 PM   #6
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Ok, worst case scenario. You quit and gain ten pounds. No tragedy- you now have the tools to take those ten pounds off- and those pounds could not possible be as dangerous to your health as cigarettes.

And that's the worst case! There's no guarantee that you will "turn to food."
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Old 08-07-2011, 11:01 PM   #7
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You can definitely find low calorie candies out there. (Jolly Ranchers, butterscotch candies, etc.) That's how my dad quit the second time around. He kept gum with him all the time (I know that's not an option for you.) and popped a piece in his mouth when he felt a craving.

I think you should go with hard candies rather than jelly beans or something of that nature, just because it takes longer and is more distracting to suck on a hard candy than it is to chew a handful of jelly beans.

Good luck! Quitting cigarettes is going to benefit your health much more than losing anymore weight. (You should still do both, but you're not obese by any means.)
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Old 08-07-2011, 11:30 PM   #8
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Chewing gum for the oral fixation, exercise for the withdrawal!
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Old 08-08-2011, 04:04 AM   #9
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I'm about 6 weeks in, and I second the exercise for the withdrawal part.
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Old 08-08-2011, 02:47 PM   #10
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Once you quit smoking, your lungs and heart will be working better, you'll have an easier time exercising, and it will be easier to lose weight. That's what I think about it, but I'm not a smoker!
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