Glynda (Gold)
Glynda (Gold)

3:40 AM - Oct 06, 2001 #11

Hi John!

So, quitting a 1 pack a day habit adds 200 cal/day to the metabolism? I can burn approx. 100 calories per mile walked, so I would need to start walking a little over 2 miles everyday, and not eat additional food....just to break even! No wonder I gained weight! Let me do the math for my case (roughly):

250 cal/day (just from quitting smoking) + 350 cal/day (from extra eating instead of smoking) =
600 cal/day added x 53 days since I quit =
31,800 add'l calories divided by 3,500 cal/lb =
9 additional pounds....I've actually gained 10 in almost 8 weeks

Glad I started exercising everyday! I'm determined to stop and reverse this trend because I've got lots of nice clothes in my closet and I'm TOO CHEAP and TOO LAZY to buy a new wardrobe. This problem is actually a blessing in disguise because it's forcing me to get even HEALTHIER by exercising everyday and eatting better. I WON'T GIVE UP MY QUIT FOR ANYTHING! Talk about a lifestyle change! And it all started with quitting smoking :)

Thanks for the insight John :) YQS, Glynda
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Joel
Joel

9:16 PM - Nov 10, 2001 #12

I thought the parade yesterday pointed some important issues out. First and foremost, the weight gain health issues are nothing compared to the health benefits derived from not smoking. But as this article talks about esthetics are a big issue for some people and as can be seen in the parade, there were some people who in fact kept their weight the same and some who have actually lost weight. It shows that gaining weight is not an inescapable end result of quitting.

If weight management practices are started at the beginning of a quit, weight gain can be kept minimal to nothing, and if weight gain has already occurred, it can be reversed if the issue has become important enough to any specific individual. You all have quit smoking--that proves to you that if you make up your mind and want to make a change badly enough you can do it. If you did it with smoking you can do it with weight too.

Although it may even be harder--it is still possible. The reason it "may" be harder is it really is a trickier issue. The reason it may be harder is it is often more difficult to know when you are overeating or under-exercising to balance the caloric intake of what you do eat. Eating is something you have to do for the rest of your life to maintain health and it is a matter of being vigilant to keep the average amounts in sync with your ever-changing activity levels. This can take some complicated thought for some people just are not able to gauge the right amount of food by hunger or need.

The smell or sight of food can create an intense desire whether a person is hungry or not, and then the thought of is this al little more food than I actually need is one that can be easily negotiated.

But quitting smoking or should I say staying off smoking is easier in the long run for the battle line is very clear. Smoking is an all or nothing proposition so the only calculation or negotiation one must do is considering going back to full-fledged smoking with all its problems and implications or smoking nothing. This in fact is a much clearer issue to happily say "NO" to. You don't need to do charts or keep tract of how much or of how little you are doing anything to stay off smoking now--all you have to do is simply remember to never take another puff!

Joel
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Joel
Joel

11:59 PM - Nov 24, 2001 #13

I saw where weight was brought up by one of our newer members. Even if one had not brought it up though, this is a time of year where we all need to be cognizant of the fact that we may eat more than normal with the holidays--a time of year that possibly even posed a problem while you were smoking. So the temptation to eat may not just be a quitting issue, it may be a time of year issue to.

Try to take precautions of planning proper eating patterns now, and also be careful not to write off all excessive eating events on only smoking cessation now. Watch the non-smokers and smokers around you and you will probably see both groups overall eating more than usual. The one difference you may observe is how the smokers just leave the table earlier or sit at the table a tad fidgity because they are trying to hold off going for their next fix.

They are in withdrawal--you are not. They have to leave the table earlier--you don't. You have a choice--you can leave with them and not smoke, or stay at the table and visit comfortably with the non-smokers. Either is doable and likely will be more comfortable than you imagine. But the smokers are not going to have such as easy time comfortably blending into the non-smoking group.

Again you have a choice and will continue to have the choice for the rest of your life. You can either relapse and be stuck having to maintain constant nicotine levels for the rest of your life, constantly relapse and start over and over again the rest of your life, or you can choose now to never take another puff!

Joel
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Joel
Joel

7:27 PM - Nov 29, 2001 #14

For Mandy. The sooner in a quit an effort is made to avoid lifestyle changes that can cause significant weight gains, the less ingrained the behaviors will become and the easier it will be to keep your weight constant even as an ex-smoker.

People don't gain weight from quitting smoking, they gain weight from eating more after they quit smoking, or, as in Linda's case as can be seen in her earlier post today, from medical conditions that can sometimes be responsible for weight gain. If a person swears that they are eating no more and gain excesses of ten pounds or more, they should get checked out to see if there is some underlying cause for a weight gain. The effect should not just be written off to quitting smoking. But most people will not have these reactions if they just implement some sensible eating and exercise patterns while quitting. Barring medical complications that most people will not experience, weight control is fully possible for people if they take early precautions and keep in practice a healthy and normal eating and exercise pattern even though they stick to their commitment to never take another puff!

Joel
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GrumpyOMrsS (Gold)
GrumpyOMrsS (Gold)

2:42 AM - Nov 30, 2001 #15

the above posts from John and Joel, are absolutely on target. My doctors have all said the same thing. forget the word "diet" it only creates stress which leads to more eating and concentrate on behavior modifications which means changing your entire eating habits. Eat small and frequent meals, never reach for seconds, do not eat standing up or anywhere except a designated eating area and increase excercise to 40-45 minutes of walking, swimming, or any low impact aerobices, 4 times a week. If you desire a piece of chocolate or are out in a restaurant and creme brulee is on the menu....go for it. But make this the exception and not the rule. Oh, and don't forget the wine and other forms of alcohol. Lots and lots of calories there, too.
Joel's letting me stand behind "other" medical problems as an excuse for weight gain and yes, the fluid retention is a large part of it...but he know's first hand just how much I enjoy not only my food, but cooking.....and basically, since I've quit and battled other health problems and medications, nothing has impaired my appetite. I've eaten more and exercised less, and when you get down to it....that's why I've gained most of my weight.

but all in all.....this quit has been a miracle and and no matter what, nothing will ever take it away from me....if I remember to never take another puff. and by golly, that one phrase is etched in my mind like nothing else.

Linda
one year and 11 months free
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Joel
Joel

12:47 AM - Mar 07, 2002 #16

One thing I want to point out to our newest members--those off two weeks or less. There is a water retention (bloating) effect that often accompanies initial cessation. The scale is not an accurate indicator of fat changes in this time period--just weight fluctuations often accompanying water retention. Those initial gains will come down if water is the cause, usually by the third week.
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Ladybird is Gold
Ladybird is Gold

4:28 AM - Mar 07, 2002 #17

This water retention information makes sense to me ! Thanks! I gained about 3 pounds in the first 2 weeks of my quit, but now (3 weeks & 3 days into my quit! )I am at my original weight with only some extra exercise & a few extra calories along the way.
Susan
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blondie (green )
blondie (green )

4:37 AM - May 23, 2002 #18

Hi,
I'm on day 12 nicotene-free now I think. It seems like overnight last week I weighed 4 - 5 pounds more than the day before. Could this be the water retention you speak about?

Of course, I'm concerned about weight gain, but first I'm trying to focus on my quit.

Is this water retention because I'm drinking so much water or an effect of withdrawal? Will the bloating ease off some pretty soon?

I am a lot more hungry than I used to be and am trying to follow your recommendations about eating and now that it's almost summer certainly I can get out and exercise more.

It does seem like I'm ALWAYS hungry and was never this way before. I hope this will level off.

Ruth
12 days now
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Joel
Joel

5:27 AM - May 23, 2002 #19

Yes Ruth, this is very likely a water retention effect. It can last well into the second week. It should adjust in the next few days if it is truly just water.

Joel
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Joel
Joel

6:57 AM - May 28, 2002 #20

I saw some newer member touting the benefits of candy to quit. What will make a quit successful is not what you stick in your mouth--it is what you don't stick in your mouth. To stay nicotine free is a matter of knowing not to stick a cigarette in your mouth and more specifically knowing to never take another puff!

Joel
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CaseyB (Silver )
CaseyB (Silver )

10:04 AM - Jun 05, 2002 #21

Hello!

I'm still a newbie here, but there's a couple of things that I know regardless of where you are in your quit as far as weight gain...
Exercise -- even if it's light exercise!
and drink lots of water!

Even if you're not used to exercising, start off with walks around your block and increase the time or distance every day. It not only helps maintain your weight (and eventually lose some!), but it also curbs cravings and makes you a happier person (its just sometimes hard to realize that part until you're finished)! Not to mention... it feels good to get more oxygen in your new, healing lungs!

As for water, there's nothing wrong with drinking water! It can actually reduce water retention. So, cut down on sugary drinks and get your 8, 8oz glasses a day - or more!

Casey
I have chosen not to smoke for 5 Days and 23 Hours !!! Cigarettes not smoked: 89. Money saved: $11.17. I have rescued 14 Hrs and 53 Mins of my life!

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Suekickbutt (GOLD)
Suekickbutt (GOLD)

3:02 PM - Jun 17, 2002 #22

I'm so relieved about the water retention/bloating explanation. Is there a physiological answer to this phenomenon? anyone?

Your quit sis

Sue

I have chosen not to smoke for 3 Weeks 6 Days 5 Hours 55 Minutes 29 Seconds. Cigarettes not smoked: 817. Money saved: A$249.31.
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Joel
Joel

6:57 PM - Jun 17, 2002 #23

Hello Sue:

Nicotine causes the release of antidiuretic hormone which on the surface would make you think that quitting smoking would cause you to lose water immediately upon cessation. But it seems that this is one effect that is a rebound effect of quitting, a reaction that nicotine used to do upon administration actually gets intensified when its administration is ceased. One other example of this are people who get tingling effects in their fingers and toes after first quitting. The cause often is that the arteries to these areas go into constriction for a few days after quitting. Nicotine itself is a vasoconstrictor so you would think that stopping smoking would cause arteries to open right up but as in the case of the diuretic effect here, the opposite reaction occurs. This vasoconstriction effect usually adjusts by the fourth day, but the water retention effect often lasts into the second week before things go back to normal.
Hope this helps clarifies things. Even if a person never understands the mechanisms for such reactions, his or her body gets back to normal and will stay that way as long as he or she always remembers to never take another puff!

Joel
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Changingmyname(SILVER )
Changingmyname(SILVER )

12:14 PM - Aug 31, 2002 #24

Glad to hear the the mushy sludge around my waist that seemingly grew overnight could be temporary water retention. VERY glad to hear it, as my eating habits are far healthier now (following real hunger cues--what a treat to feel really hungry--with nutritious foods) since I quit, and I am very active physically. I am so grateful to be nicotine free and making healthier choices...even if I gain 5-10 pounds, I'll know I'm nourishing my body rather than robbing it from nutrients by smoking.

Feelin' Groovy....
Theresa
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JennyBoBenny(Gold)
JennyBoBenny(Gold)

9:50 PM - Oct 05, 2002 #25

Just offering a little ray of hope for those who think they can't quit without gaining. Immediately after quitting, I did indulge in comfort foods and I did 'treat myself' quite a bit for the first three weeks. But I set a definite cut-off point, and so by the time I turned green, I was no longer giving in to the food cravings. I also started exercising in order to rehabilitate my lungs. Now, I am 5 pounds below my pre-quitting weight. I never gained any weight, and the exercise has helped me to slim down a bit. So, as you see, you can structure your quit so that you still 'baby' yourself a little with regard to the food. If you are smart enought to quit using nicotene, you can certainly learn to avoid falling into the trap of eating unhealthy foods as well.

JennyBoBenny
I have been nicotene FREE for: 4M 4W 9h 49m 47s. I have NOT smoked 3760, for a savings of $658.04. Life Saved: 1W 6D 1h 20m. And I have NOT gained a single ounce of weight!
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John (Gold)
John (Gold)

6:21 AM - Jan 09, 2003 #26

A crutch is anything that you lean heavily upon in order to support or motivate your effort to break nicotine's grip upon your life, including food! If your effort is dependent upon any crutch, what will happen if the crutch is for some reason removed or in the case of food, not removed? Why allow your health and very possibly our life to depend upon any person, place or thing other than you!
Yes, eating lots of extra food that must lead to substantial weight gain, major lifestyle changes that would eventually tire anyone, a quit smoking exercise program that can be interrupted by weather or injury, an uneducated quitting buddy who statistically has an 88 to 90% chance of relapsing within 24 weeks, the support of family and friends who are not drug addicts themselves and can not in fairness be expected to appreciate the magnitude or duration of chemical nicotine withdrawal or psychological recovery, or even leaning too heavily upon any support group to keep your motivation strong, can all serve as risky quit crutches.
This is your quit and the list of reasons on your reasons list all belong to you! The next few minutes are doable and you'll be the only one doing them! If you have only quit for one hour be proud of your accomplishment as no one hour during this temporary journey of adjustment called "quitting" is any more important than another. Baby steps, just one hour, challenge and day at a time! This is doable if we simply NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF! John
Last edited by John (Gold) on 3:46 PM - Mar 29, 2009, edited 1 time in total.
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Joel
Joel

11:47 PM - Mar 17, 2003 #27

I saw where one member wrote to another member that he or she should do what ever it takes to quit smoking. The example specifically given was drink water or eat ice cream. I have to say, if someone plans on going the ice cream route they had better be ready to go buy a whole slew of complete wardrobes, of ever increasing sizes. If your crutch for smoking thoughts are going to be any high caloric food weight gain of massive amounts should be expected.

As far as using whatever it takes, I guess that can be translated to taking any food, any drug, legal or illegal to quit smoking or any activity, no matter how ludicrous or dangerous that activity may be. Does the comment smoke crack cocaine, or shoot up heroin, or drink lethal dosages of arsenic make any sense to anyone as practical advice to quit smoking? If not, the comment of do whatever it takes loses any real concept of credibility.

The comment needs to be do what it takes to quit smoking. What it takes is simply sticking to your commitment to never take another puff!

Joel
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John (Gold)
John (Gold)

5:44 PM - Nov 09, 2003 #28

Last edited by John (Gold) on 4:01 PM - Mar 29, 2009, edited 1 time in total.
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Joel
Joel

1:01 AM - Jul 26, 2005 #29

From the string "Do whatever it takes to quit smoking"
From: Joel Sent: 12/28/2004 8:50 PM
I saw a suggestion up earlier about things that a person can do rather than smoking--eating sunflower seeds being one of the suggestions. The same comment in the original post in this string about eating ice-cream can easily be said about turning to any high caloric food as a substitution for smoking. The advice we give at Freedom is not "do whatever it takes to quit smoking," but rather, "do what it takes to quit smoking." What it takes to quit smoking is simply sticking to your commitment to never take another puff!
Freedom is different than most other sites. We want our new members to be spending a lot more time reading than posting. It takes a lot more time and effort to meet people and write stories that it does to read. While meeting others and sharing your own stories might seem more fun it is not likely going to be giving you new insights to effectively deal with quitting. If you have questions or concerns let us know but spend the bulk of your time enhancing your learning about your addiction and how to treat it.
See also Crutches to Quit Smoking

It does not take a whole lot of sunflower seeds to equal 100 calories. Pick up this pattern while quitting smoking and carry it on over an extended time period and you can needlessly gain lots and lots of extra fat and weight. It may shock some people to find out that all that a person needs to swallow in order to sustain a quit is to swallow the advice to never take another puff.

Joel
Last edited by Joel on 4:22 PM - Mar 29, 2009, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: 8:00 AM - Jan 16, 2003

6:21 AM - Apr 06, 2006 #30

From Blood Sugar Changes When Quitting:
Hunger!
A New Experience for Many
If you are just arriving then this thread is VERY important and worth reading again and again. Each new puff of new nicotine fed us by releasing adrenaline, which in turn released stored fats and sugars into our bloodstream. I, for one, lived in a very unnatural feeding world where I almost always skipped breakfast and lunch and yet never knew true hunger. How could that be? Nicotine was my spoon!

It's not only important to understand this issue to help avoid unnecessary blood sugar swing symptoms during early withdrawal, but also in helping understand and appreciate how to deal with "real" hunger. It's important to appreciate the time delay between the arrival of hunger, eating food, and our digestive system having time to convert the food to usable energy that arrives in the brain to turn-off the brain's hunger switch. It takes about 20 minutes.

As Joel points out, if, because of nicotine constantly feeding us, we are not used to the natural period of hunger and attempt to satisfy it with a shovel instead of a slow spoon, we can devour an awful lot of groceries in those 20 minutes. None of us need to eat one calorie more than we did while smoking nicotine but we may need to learn to properly deal with hunger and we may need to learn to spread our normal calorie intake out more evenly over our entire day. It's really a learning experience in simply feeding ourselves again - just like a never-smoker!

If the food craves should arrive, the slower we eat and the greater amount of time passing between food helpings, the fewer helpings we may find ourselves consuming. After all these years of nicotine feeding us it can take a bit of practice learning how to feed ourselves properly again. What a wonderful problem to have!

Breathe deep, hug hard, live long!

John : )
Last edited by Sal GOLD.ffn on 4:36 PM - Mar 29, 2009, edited 1 time in total.
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nancy999
nancy999

6:33 PM - Apr 06, 2006 #31

As someone who has dealt with minor weight issues my whole adult life, I wanted to add something here that I think is really important.

One of the things we're often trained to do from a very young age is "reward" ourselves with food for doing something good. (Eat your dinner and you'll get desert, clean your room and I'll give you some candy, I just got that promotion - big steak dinner on me!).

I can't think of a better reason to celebrate than quitting smoking. Just be cautious (if you're worried about weight gain) that you're not rewarding yourself too often with high fat/calorie food! I made that mistake and now I'm walking to tim-buk-too on the treadmill

Nancy.
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Joined: 8:00 AM - Jan 16, 2003

7:34 PM - Jun 02, 2006 #32

Last edited by Sal GOLD.ffn on 5:03 PM - Mar 29, 2009, edited 1 time in total.
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John (Gold)
John (Gold)

9:02 AM - Aug 03, 2006 #33

Knowledge is Power
Smoking cessation weight gain and weight control are important issues but we must keep our priorities straight. You face a 50% chance that your chemical dependency upon smoking nicotine will cost you roughly 5,000 days of life, and even greater odds that it will leave you permanently crippled and impaired. When quitting smoking, we would need to gain an additional 75 to 100 pounds in order to equal the health risk associated with smoking one pack of cigarettes a day.

Allow yourself the time necessary to become comfortable in your still healing body before becoming overly occupied with any extra pounds. The self discipline skills you master during nicotine dependency recovery can be applied to all life's challenges, including stop smoking weight gain (baby steps - just one meal, one ounce, one pound, or one brief exercise period at a time - just one day at a time).

As Dr. Nora Volkow, the Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) explains in the "Pay Attention" article linked below, both food and nicotine shared the same dopamine pathways. Nicotine also released adrenaline. Once nicotine intake ends many try to eat their temporarily diminished dopamine flow into nicotine comparable quantities, while others pick horrible fights or create outragous fears in an attempt to induce the body's fight or flight pathways to release additional adrenaline. The competition between a week or two of brain neuron re-sensitization and trying to keep weight and relationships in balance is clearly a challenge but one you're fully capable of handling.

In regard to nicotine invoking the body's fight or flight pathways, one of those lizard mind pathways is responsible for providing instant energy to fight or flea the saber tooth tiger, by releasing stored fats and sugars into the bloodstream. Yes, nicotine was our spoon, allowing us to skip meals yet not experience true hunger, as our bigger meals were fed back to us with each puff throughout the day.

This creates two nicotine cessation challenges: (1) learning to again feed ourselves, to spread our normal daily calorie intake out more evenly over our entire day so as not to experience wild blood sugar swing symptoms (not one calorie more but smaller fuelings about every 3 hours), and (2) learning to handle true hunger pains again. In regard to hunger pains, once one arrives it doesn't matter if we eat with a toothpick or a shovel, it is still going to take our digestive system about 20 minutes to convert the food to energy that is capable of turning off the mind's hunger switch. Eat slowly, reasonable size bites and eat healthy!

How many nicotine smokers do you know who love running? They're pretty rare. But online we see countless ex-smokers develop a passion for engaging in various forms of brisk and lengthy physical activity. Imagine experiencing a substantial increase in overall lung function within just 90 days. Any extra pounds can quickly disappear when such new found endurance and stamina are combined with a small to moderate increase in physical activities. If you do find yourself carrying a few extra pounds, be patient with your healing! New abilities are on the way!

Still just one guiding principle determining the outcome for all, no nicotine just one day at a time, Never Take Another Puff!
Breathe deep, hug hard, live long!
[url=mailto:john@whyquit.com]John[/url]
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Joel
Joel

1:44 AM - Aug 19, 2006 #34

Eating just an additional 100 calories a day will result in a one pound fat gain in just over a month, 10.4 pounds in one year, and an extra 104 pounds in ten years. 104 pounds of fat from drinking the equivalent of one extra soft drink per day. This is why you often hear, "I didn't eat that much more but gained excessive amounts of weight!" True, they may not have eaten that much more daily, but they did it everyday, and the cumulative effect can easily account for the "mysterious" weight gain.
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Joined: 8:00 AM - Jan 16, 2003

6:45 AM - Oct 02, 2006 #35

Last edited by Sal GOLD.ffn on 5:17 PM - Mar 29, 2009, edited 1 time in total.
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