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Is quitting and losing too much to ask?

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Old 01-19-2012, 12:50 PM   #1
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Default Is quitting and losing too much to ask?

I quit smoking the first of the year. It wasn't a new year's resolution or anything, I was just ready. I'm so happy I did! I feel so much better, I know I smell better, and I'm saving a fair amount of money. It wasn't a cakewalk and I still have cravings but I'm doing pretty well.

Anyway, I have been 173 pounds since December 23rd. I haven't ever been stalled this long and it's killing me because I know it's because I quit. I had a good groove going and then I threw everything in a tailspin. I haven't changed a single other thing. I didn't replace smoking with eating and haven't upped my caloric intake at all; I still average out to 1400 a day. Nor have I begun exercising less or more.

I've read that it can take up to a year for your metabolism to bounce back after quitting, so apparently it's just too much to want both of these things. So it seems to me I can be here at 173 and smoke free and reach goal two or three years down the line or possibly never or I can smoke, get to goal sometime in the next year (in fall perhaps), and quit then. I really, really don't want to do that. So my question is are there any other chicks out there who quit smoking and it didn't completely derail their weightloss? Or if it did, for how long? Did anything help you out of it? Lifting, perhaps? I need some hope stat!
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Old 01-19-2012, 01:29 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thistleberry View Post
I quit smoking the first of the year. It wasn't a new year's resolution or anything, I was just ready. I'm so happy I did! I feel so much better, I know I smell better, and I'm saving a fair amount of money. It wasn't a cakewalk and I still have cravings but I'm doing pretty well.

Anyway, I have been 173 pounds since December 23rd. I haven't ever been stalled this long and it's killing me because I know it's because I quit. I had a good groove going and then I threw everything in a tailspin. I haven't changed a single other thing. I didn't replace smoking with eating and haven't upped my caloric intake at all; I still average out to 1400 a day. Nor have I begun exercising less or more.

I've read that it can take up to a year for your metabolism to bounce back after quitting, so apparently it's just too much to want both of these things. So it seems to me I can be here at 173 and smoke free and reach goal two or three years down the line or possibly never or I can smoke, get to goal sometime in the next year (in fall perhaps), and quit then. I really, really don't want to do that. So my question is are there any other chicks out there who quit smoking and it didn't completely derail their weightloss? Or if it did, for how long? Did anything help you out of it? Lifting, perhaps? I need some hope stat!
I quit in college and it made me lose weight faster because I was able to run and breathe easier while lifting and working out.
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Old 01-19-2012, 01:38 PM   #3
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Congratulations! Quitting smoking is huge for your health. The unfortunate side effect is that it no longer cranks your metabolism. You'll have to find something else to make it crank. You can try changing your calories a little. Or upping your exercise for a while until you break your plateau. You can also try something like green tea, which is said to give a metabolism boost. Or you can just wait it out.
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Old 01-19-2012, 02:07 PM   #4
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There is no evidence that smoking has any substantial effect on metabolism. Rather, for some people, it decreases appetite. For others, the problem is the oral fixation. When you no longer have that constant cigarette in your hands and in your mouth, you turn to food as a substitute. Weight gain can also have to do with the need to seek comfort during withdrawal through food. There are a lot of reasons people gain weight when they stop smoking, but smoking itself just doesn't affect the metabolism that significantly. So, if you aren't eating more, something else may be at work. It may be that you need to change up your exercise routine. It may be that the amount of exercise you are doing requires more calories. It is natural to look at smoking as the culprit, but it truly may be something else entirely.

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Old 01-19-2012, 02:31 PM   #5
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There is no evidence that smoking has any substantial effect on metabolism.
Most research I've read supports the idea that smoking does, at least to a measurable degree, effect metabolism. Basically, when you deprive your body of oxygen while simultaneously feeding it a stimulant (nicotine), your heart rate increases substantially. An increased heart rate burns more calories, regardless of whether it comes from exercise or the replacement of oxygen in your red blood cells with carbon monoxide.

Luckily, you can get the same heart rate raise, with none of the carcinogens and oxygen deprivation, by upping your exercise. The added benefits: exercise is shown not only to make cigarette cravings easier to manage (increasing the chance of success), but actually acts on the same neurotransmitter pathways as nicotine, releasing dopamine into your brain and helping to mediate some withdrawal symptoms. So if you want to kick your weight loss back into gear while simultaneously making your quit more likely to stick, exercise more! Weights, cardio, etc.
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Old 01-19-2012, 02:39 PM   #6
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I am having the same problem. I quit and have not lost a thing since then.
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Old 01-19-2012, 02:51 PM   #7
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There is no evidence that smoking has any substantial effect on metabolism.
Actually it does. As Mandalinn82 says, Link

Now it may very well depend on your definition of "substantial".
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Old 01-19-2012, 02:57 PM   #8
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Congrats on quitting smoking, it is truly a tough addiction to break!

As for your question, although its frustrating and difficult. It is possible to lose weight and quit smoking at the same time, I did it! When I started out I was 177 and I quit smoking and simultaneously started eating healthy and working out. It was no cake walk, but it was well worth my struggles! I think the exercise kept me from relapsing. It gave me an hour or two out of each day to work through my feelings of anger, irritability, cravings and whatever else I was feeling.

It is possible as long as you are willing to fight for it. I am not sure if there is any truth to the issue with metabolism, I actually lost weight rather quickly when I quit. Just believe you can do it and keep yourself moving forward, at some point the scales gotta budge.
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Old 01-19-2012, 03:10 PM   #9
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Congrats on the quitting!!!

I have no helpful advice to offer, but let me be a cautionary tale.

A few years ago I had dieted and exercised down to a fabulous 137 pounds and 14% body fat and I quit my 2.5 pack a day smoking habit. In part my motivation was to improve my exercise and fitness, and in part because I had a nasty smoker's cough and it is expensive and smelly. Anyway, I pretty much instantly gained 10 pounds. I had expected something like that (despite really ramping up the HIGH intensity exercise to get through the worst of the quitting), so it didn't stress me too much. But then I struggled, struggled, struggled with motivating myself to lose that 10 pounds...And eventually my eating strayed and I gained more weight, and then I stopped working out and gained more weight. Eventually, within a year and a half of quitting, I had ballooned up to 210 pounds. (That's a 73 pound gain!).

Don't let it happen to you!!!!

Maybe I do have some advice: increase your exercise and see if that helps. If you continue to plateau, you might consider increasing your calories to maintenance for a couple of weeks and then dropping them back down again. Keep your metabolism confused.
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Old 01-19-2012, 03:30 PM   #10
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I really appreciate everyone's feedback. Thank you so much!

All of the information I've found on the subject does indicate that smoking effects metabolism just as mandalinn said. I did research the topic pretty thoroughly before I quit and in those first few days because it helped me focus. Unfortunately, while I found a lot of information and personal stories about quitting without gaining weight, I didn't find much of anything about quitting and losing or continuing to lose weight. Hence my emergence from lurkdom.

I'm currently cycling my calories and eat a minimum of 1100 one day and a maximum of 1800 for an average of 1450. The exercise I do now is mostly cardio. Right now I go to Bodyflow classes twice a week and walk/jog, swim, belly dance, or hoop (all depending on my mood and on the weather) three times a week for half an hour to an hour.

I just ordered New Rules of Lifting For Women earlier in the week with the thought that I'd start weight training. I hadn't up to now because I'm a little afraid of it in that I have no real idea what I'm doing with weights. It's easy to read information on it and feel ridiculously overwhelmed. I was also frightened it would stall me out (even knowing all the benefits!) but, well, here I am anyway. Might as well make the most of it, right?
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Old 01-19-2012, 03:34 PM   #11
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Oooh. NROLW is *fabulous*! I've done it twice! (Though I wasn't able to finish it this time, because of my knee surgery.) Enjoy it and come check out the threads in the Weights section (there is an ongoing thread for people doing NROLW).
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Old 01-19-2012, 03:39 PM   #12
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Oh yes, as soon as I get the book and start looking into it I'm sure I'll spend a lot of time in the Weights section. Thanks for the suggestion.

When you did it the first time were you coming at it as someone who'd done lifting before or were you a complete beginner?

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Old 01-19-2012, 04:16 PM   #13
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I wasn't quite a complete beginner. I had bought NROL earlier and started doing the workouts in that, and I had spent some time doing compound lifts at the gym several times a week with upper/lower body splits. (That means that you work upper body one day and lower body the next day).

That said, one of the great things about NROLW is that it gives you all you need to take ownership of the free weight section of the gym. (Which is big because so many women are intimidated by the weights and all the men tossing them around.) It gets you doing real, proper exercises right off the bat (the kind of exercises that all the beefy men will respect) and gradually introduces some wacky balancing exercises that take up lots of space and encourage everyone to get out of your way. I'm a real advocate of that program, for beginners and for more experienced lifters.

Also, it's an a$$ kicker!!! <3
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Old 01-19-2012, 05:54 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andrew80k View Post
Actually it does. As Mandalinn82 says, Link

Now it may very well depend on your definition of "substantial".
That's it right there, I think. I'm not denying that it has an effect.
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Old 01-20-2012, 02:32 AM   #15
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I quit right before christmas and havent had any problems....
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