For various reasons I've decided to nix my disgusting habit for good. I've been smoking 1-2 packs a day for about 8 years, so it ain't gonna be no cake walk. I did actually quit once (many years ago) and lasted for a few months before, like a total moron, I started sneaking a few cigarettes back in here and there. Didn't take long until I was right back to the old chimney-stack self
The reason I'm posting this here is because I'm deathly afraid that I'm going to gain weight when I quit. From what I've read lately it's quite common and not always the smoker's fault as your metabolism does slow down a bit (or, more accurately, returns to its normal non-nicotine raised level).
The main reason why I started exercising, lifting, and really trying hard to reach my final goal is because I figured if I could at least lose some weight before I quit, then if I gain some back it won't be a huge deal to me. And I thought it would be a good idea to get my fitness routine well established before the big day. I'm gonna do it this time darnit!
So I'm wondering... have any of you out there quit while trying to slim down? Did you experience a weight gain if so? Any ex-smokers have any advice or tips? Any smokers want to join in the misery, ehm, I mean challenge, and quit with me ?
CONGRATULATIONS on your decision to quit smoking!!!
As to weight gain during quitting . . . I will admit that I've never smoked but I can offer weight-loss support.
Your idea to exercise to raise your metabolism is a great one. Smoking (nicotine) does raise your metabolism slightly but exercise will raise it more. I believe that research has shown that it's not the lack of nicotine that causes the weight gains in former smokers but the need to, literally, have something in their mouths that has become a habit. Suggestion: Try sugarless gums & candies. Also, breaking your meals into 5-6 mini ones a day instead of 2-3 large ones with an emphasis on items that require extra chewing (raw vegies being an excellent chose) might help also.
I sincerely wish you the best of luck and, again, congratulations on your decision to quit smoking.
Hey Luciole! Congratulations on your 90 pound weight loss, and now, your decision to quit smoking! You don't have to gain weight when you quit, as long as you don't replace smoking with eating.
On 1/3/05, I decided I was going to quit smoking and lose the weight no matter what it took. For me, it has taken strictly following a reduced calorie diet and exercise. I visit the weighty matters forum at quitnet and many there are able to keep from gaining by increasing their exercise. To lose weight after quitting though, it takes a combination of diet and exercise.
To deal with my nicotine addiction, I found the patch very helpful. There was really only one day of slight discomfort when I took it off and I didn't notice any dramatic slowdown of weight loss when I was finally nicotine free.
The main thing I want to tell you is how wonderful I feel now after being quit almost four months. I can't even describe how good it feels - it's such a freedom. I can't imagine ever smoking one of those nasty things again, ever.
Please let me know if I can help in any way. Let us know how you're doing!
Thank you both for your support! It means the world
I figured I'd come out and declare my intentions here so that I have something to be held accountable to. I'm so mad at myself for constantly finding excuses for why I can't quit. My quit day is Friday the 22nd *gulp* I picked then because I have a long weekend and the last time I quit I found it helpful to just sleep whenever I couldn't stand not having a cigarette anymore. I also don't want to subject my co-workers to the "queen of mean" that I became for about 3 days. After about 3 days I was much better, but the first few days were pure H-E-double hockey sticks.
Anyhow, it's great to have your support and suggestions! Also, Diana, it's really a huge comfort to hear that you are successfully keeping the weight off after quitting. At your suggestion I might try the patch. It's so darn expensive though
For the past few weeks I've not been smoking in my car (I read it's good to break the association of smoking at common places/times before you quit) and I stocked up on chewing gum.
I'm open for anything that might help hehe
Thanks a ton!
PS: Diana-- Congratulations on quitting successfully!!!!
Gotta hurry and get ready for work, but I bought most of my patches at Walmart where they were less expensive and worked just as well. And remember, they're still A LOT less than cigarettes! I never would have made it without patches. Nicotine withdrawal was so intense for me. Some people however, just want to face it head on and get through it without prolonging it. I guess you just have to figure out what works for you. Gotta run.
I wish you the best of luck on quitting!! I'm sure you can do it! My 65 year old mother just quit after smoking for 47 years!!! Before she quit she had also lost some weight and told me the other day that she put a few pounds back on because of the snacking she was doing when she wanted a cigarette. I reminded her of when her brother quit smoking and he would always carry a pocket full of sugar-free candies to suck on when the urge struck!! We were shopping on Sunday and she was buying a few things and said to me "Hey, now that I quit smoking you can't believe the money I'm saving, I can afford to buy a few new things!" Yay Mom!!
I quit smoking (and drinking, they sorta go hand in hand) at the same time I decided to finally lose the weight. I did not have a weight gain at all, in fact I continue to lose. By not smoking you have a LOT more energy for EXERCISE, which helps enormously.
Also, there's a great book called "The Heart of Addiction" which talks a fair bit about replacing one addiction with another, resulting in never really beating your REAL issues. I found it easier to address smokes, alcohol & food all at once; in the past I tried one or two but just wound up compensating by eating, smoking or drinking more, and never really getting to the heart of anything.
As for metabolic slowdown, if it happens at all I suspect you can counter it be exercising, particularly strength training, which speeds things up. BUT, it may make it harder to lose (a slowdown), but as dear old Dr. Phil would say, you have to play the hand you're dealt. Sadly, that means that those of us with slow metabolisms have to work harder to lose weight. It does NOT mean that we can't do it.
Congrads on your great weight loss Luciole. You can quit smoking and continue to lose or maintain. I quit after a 35 year habit and have lost 50 pounds since then. They are right you will have alot more energy for exercising and everything. The world looks better when you aren't looking thru a cloud of smoke. I used www.quitnet.com too. Great people there and several different forums to help you. You can do this. One day at a time. Cindi
It's so great to hear about successes. I was reading so much negative information (regarding the correlation between quitting and weight gain) on the net that I was starting to feel doomed to accept it. It definitely didn't help that my one co-worker who's in her early 30's quit and packed on 30lbs after doing so. Basically everyone I know who's quit then gained weight so it's very comforting just to know that it can be done with gaining. When I know something can be done, I'm a lot more likely to believe that I can do it myself
I think my whole fear of regaining circles around the fact that I felt so out of control of my weight when I was heavy. I have this secret, nagging, nightmare inside me that someday I'll start regaining (without cause) and not be able to do anything about it. I think I've been viewing quitting smoking like that
DayByDay-- I thought about what you said and you're right on. It's not like I'm flat-out broke... if I can afford to spend money on cigarettes I guess I can afford AT LEAST one box of the patch. I'll head over to my local Wal-Mart and stock up. Secretly, I think I'm hesitant to spend money on cessation aids because I don't really believe that I'll be successful, deep down inside, and don't want to "waste" the money. But that shouldn't be an issue. I will be successful! So I think I'll take your advice there and give the patch a try
Mom of 3-- The money! Omg yes. I think of all the money that I can save if I quit and it's a large reason why I am quitting. I'm trying to tell myself, to keep motivated, that once I quit I may spend $20 a week on new clothes as I lose or maintain weight
Suechef-- Thanks for sharing your story and congrats to you! I'll see if I can find the book at the library I had never thought about having more energy after quitting! I like to go for hikes and I've been looking forward to breathing easier on the trail, but I hadn't considered that I'd have more energy overall!
Flower Power-- Thanks for you story too (and congrats to you)! I'll check out the link that you supplied; I tried to find some smoking cessation forums on my own but wasn't too successful. Hehe, maybe it's because I'm always typing here
Thanks everyone! Hearing of all the successes does a ton for my morale. It's seems like I just have to stay in control of my eating and I can enjoy the best of both healthy worlds
It might be worth noting that people don't gain weight "because they quit smoking" - they gain it because they replace cigarettes with food.
You might also consider that by allowing fear of weight gain to overwhelm you, you are simply putting off what you don't want to do anyway! (I mean, I know you want to quit, but legitimate fear of weight gain allows you to postpone quitting).
Losing weight, quitting smoking - both are really hard work. But both CAN BE DONE, and I have no doubt you can do it if you want to enough. And just consider the alternative...
I'm going to try and be as positive as I can...I think it's awesome that you quit. I know how hard it is since I quit 9 months ago. I was smoking 2-2.5 packs a day for 20 yrs (only the last 3 were in that amount though).
I'm going to be honest.. I packed on some weight and it's been REALLY hard to curb my eating because I have replaced cigg time with food.
Just keep frozen grapes in the freezer and grab one each time you have a craving. Also there is a site (hope its ok to do this) called quitnet. Worked awesome for me.
Good luck.. it's not easy but it's so important.
My dad who is 75 also decided to quit since mom had and its been a couple of weeks for him. I'm so proud of them both. Boy they are really going to be rolling in the dough now! I guess I know where to go when I need some cash
I think it would be a really neat idea to put all the money you are saving in an account for a year and see what the total is at the end, or maybe something like whenever you get a really strong urge put the amount of money a pack of cigarettes would have cost you in a jar or something. Maybe that could be kind of motivational.
I'm a bit short on time but I wanted to pop in and at least say thanks for the on-going tips and encouragement! I have definitely been postponing quitting for the semi-legitimate reason (in my head) of weight gain. I feel like I've done my best to set myself up for overall success here... so now's the time to do it!
nhmommy--I just wanted to say that I really appreciate your honesty! It doesn't turn me off from quitting to hear that you gained a few pounds I can deal with a few if I must!
Thanks everyone I'll post an update in a week or so to let ya'll know how it's going!
Luciole, I came over when I saw your thread title and wanted to wish you the best. I had smoked since I was 16 years old. I smoked almost 14 years. I quit about 9 years ago and I have to say to this day.....I could still smoke one. BUT I DON'T DARE! I quit when my mom said she wanted to quit with me. She bought the patches (which I highly recommend!!!) and we started our journey. I quit, she didn't. Today she is on oxygen part time. It should be all the time, but she won't quit smoking so she can take oxygen during the day! Her health is horrible. I have to say that even though I am now dealing with the weight gain, I made the right choice. Being overweight is not attractive, but neither is carrying around an oxygen tank. As a former smoker, I wish I had know then what I know now. I didn't think I of all people would gain weight! Everyone else does! HAHA! I would have made much more healthy decisions about what I ate. Like the others said, keep grapes on hand, sugar free candy and gum, Lots of water and sugar free drinks such as crystal light, raw veggies and some sugar free popsicles! I will be summer so that taste really good. Get those things right off the bat and have them handy. And WOW! A 90 pound loss! If you can do that, you can quit smoking. You already have that under your belt! You seem like a determined person, or you never would have been able to lose that much weight. YOU CAN DO IT! Remember..........and oxygen tank is not ever going to be the latest style!
Keep us updated on your success!!!!! I am cheering you on!