nancy999
nancy999

April 6th, 2006, 6:33 pm #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: January 16th, 2003, 8:00 am

June 2nd, 2006, 7:34 pm #32

Last edited by Sal GOLD.ffn on March 29th, 2009, 5:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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John (Gold)
John (Gold)

August 3rd, 2006, 9:02 am #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

August 19th, 2006, 1:44 am #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: January 16th, 2003, 8:00 am

October 2nd, 2006, 6:45 am #35

Last edited by Sal GOLD.ffn on March 29th, 2009, 5:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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FlyinFree
FlyinFree

November 2nd, 2006, 11:54 pm #36

this crutch piece says alot within a very few words.
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Joel
Joel

November 15th, 2006, 12:55 am #37

New weight control video. General warning--its long.
Title dial-up highspeed Length Added
Weight control concerns after quitting smoking 9.13mb 21.9mb 43:56 11/14/06
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Joined: January 16th, 2003, 8:00 am

January 29th, 2008, 9:45 am #38

Last edited by Sal GOLD.ffn on March 29th, 2009, 5:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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The Bald Belgian
The Bald Belgian

March 28th, 2008, 6:03 pm #39

Hi to All,

Just a quick post with my personal experience on the Weight Gain topic. I am 5 months+ into my quit, and a major change in my life that continues to manifest itself is this very strong urge to exercise. When I still smoked, I did very little physical exercise. I currently play squash twice a week, and go to the gym every time I am on the road for my job. Coupled with a sensible approach to food intake has ensured that I am exactly the same weight now as I was 5 months ago.

Judging by comments from family and friends, I look great, and much, much healthier than I did when I was still a nicojunkie.

Best.

Bob
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soulagement0
soulagement0

June 26th, 2008, 4:13 pm #40

I found the perfect recipe for keeping the weight off...

It is no secret that many of us who smoked heavily also drank our fair share of alcohol. That certainly was the case for me, although I was largely in denial about the slippery slope I was headed down - maye I wasn't an alcoholic - yet.... But I was sure headed that way.

Anywho, if quitting smoking makes you gain weight, and quitting drinking helps you lose weight, then it turns out to be a terrific combination for breaking even! And feeling incredible.

Good luck to all and NTAP!
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Joined: January 16th, 2003, 8:00 am

November 24th, 2008, 9:30 pm #41

Last edited by Sal GOLD.ffn on March 29th, 2009, 6:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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FreedomNicotine
FreedomNicotine

March 29th, 2009, 6:06 pm #42

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ThePanster
ThePanster

March 31st, 2009, 11:55 pm #43

I have so far not had a weight gain in my quit--I've actually lost a few pounds (on purpose). However, I went into this like most all of us do: that is, with nearly everyone on earth telling me "You WILL gain weight." Like it was just a guarantee or something. That's not a comforting thing to hear, but I kept reminding myself why I wanted to quit in the first place, and the truth remains: Whatever weight I gain, it's not as heavy as carrying around an oxygen tank. (an olbie told me that--so true!)

So, that said, I decided I would try to minimize weight gain during my quit. I did a few little things to help myself. I'm not suggesting any of these will work for you--I hope they do, but each of us is different, so take this for what it is: my personal experience. Here are the things that helped me:

Based on what I learned here, I drank fruit juice (cranberry) like wild for the first three days of my quit to help manage the blood sugar issue, and then after the first three days, I stopped drinking it. Blood sugar was normal by then, and I didn't need all those calories.

I reminded myself that I was quitting for my health and that eating like there's no tomorrow wasn't going to help my health any!

I learned through reading here how to recognize that vauge feeling of "wanting something" and distingush that feeling from actual hunger and craves for nicotine. When I realized that I was not hungry and that I just either wanted nicotine or "something," I tried several different things to try to satisfy the feeling and manage it with my brain rather than with, say, cake.

I found that for me, a lot of what was going on with me physically after I was nicotine free involved clenching my teeth. I'm a big clencher! I think I also grind, but the point is that I found myself wanting to get out my aggression and stress that way, and that the act of smoking somehow used to be a part of all that. When I put down the cigarettes, I still wanted to do something with my mouth--chewing seemed good!--so for a small period of time, I chewed sugar-free candies or gum, and I ate a lot of carrots. So as not to adopt a "crutch," I paid attention while doing this (actually told myself while chewing "I am chewing becuase I'm craving--it will pass and I won't need to chew anymore" and "I am chewing to chew, not becuase I am hungry.") and I worked hard to use my brain to manage this feeling. Two months in, I'm not doing the candy and carrots anymore--I'm managing fine without either, and I'm feeling really proud about that!

I started exercising more--nothing wild and out of control--just 30 minutes of walking (hard enough to sweat) three or so times a week. That's fun not only because it's good for the weight issue, but it also gives me a chance to experience the improvement in my breathing. I love that!

I already knew how to eat right, and I just kept doing it. This is a big one because if you're not eating right, you're going to put on weight whether you quit smoking or not. If you don't know how to eat right, there are lots of ways to find out.

All of that helps me manage the weight and, so far, has helped me lose some.

Through it all, though, I put my quit first. I'd serioulsy rather gain 10 pounds than a tumor of any size or shape. I'd rather hear my doctor say, "Um....you could stand to drop a few pounds" than hear her say, "Amanda, you have cancer." But I have found that for me, it is not an either/or situation. I wanted to have both, I am willing to work to have both, and I have both-- a good quit and a weight loss. Both of those things support my overall goal of being a happier, healthier, more positive person!

I wish you all the very best with your quits!

Amanda

I have been free for 2 Months, 3 Days, 22 hours and 24 minutes (62 days). I have saved $167.54 bmoking 943 cigarettes. I have saved 1 Week, 4 hours and 53 minutes of my life. My Quit Date: 1/27/2009 9:30 PM

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Joined: November 11th, 2008, 7:22 pm

September 9th, 2009, 4:24 pm #44

Study finds quit smoking
weight gain temporary

by John R. Polito
Compared to smokers who continued smoking, a new study found that among smokers who quit smoking that women weighed an average of 2.6 kg more and men 5.1 kg more. But the good news is that nearly all of that weight gain was temporary. Among ex-smokers who had quit at least five years, their weight and body mass index was nearly the same as the weight of someone who had never smoked.

"Our finding that former daily smokers [who were five or more years since quitting] demonstrated equivalent BMI increases to never smokers is in line with evidence suggesting that the average body weight of quitters tends to stabilize over time to levels of never smokers," writes the authors of an August 2009 study in the Scandinavian Journal of Public Health.

The good news is that any immediate spike in weight gain upon quitting appears to be relatively short-lived," says the study's lead author, Deborah L. Reas, Ph.D, of the University of Oslo's Institute of Psychiatry.

How to Minimize Quitting Weight Gain

"There are several tried and true things you can do immediately to prevent or minimize any potential weight gain," says Dr. Reas, who works in the eating disorder clinic at Oslo's University Hospital. "It is important to view all changes as lifestyle changes for long-term weight management, not temporary fixes to be quickly abandoned."

"Eat breakfast, walk everywhere you can and take the stairs, and build some form of exercise into your daily routine," advises Dr. Reas.

"Trash the low-nutrient, energy dense, highly processed foods and beverages in your cupboard. Have healthy snacks such as fruits and vegetables washed, cut, and in see-through, ready-to-go containers or sitting on the counter ready to grab."

"Timing is everything," says Dr. Reas. "Spacing meals too far apart puts you at risk for overeating and making poor choices, as well as signaling your body to conserve energy. Ideally, meals should be eaten about 4-5 hours apart, and it's important to consume a healthy snack in between meals."

Weight Control Consensus Developing

While many smokers fear smoking cessation weight gain, as Dr. Reas's research suggests, such fears are totally out of perspective. "Quit," says Dr. Reas, "The risks of continuing to smoke to both you and your loved ones far exceed any minor weight gain you might experience."

According to the U.S. Surgeon General, roughly half of adult smokers are losing an average of 14 years of life if female and 13 years if male.

"The health implication of a minor weight gain is negligible in comparison to the health risks posed by smoking," writes Joel Spitzer, author of the free PDF quit smoking book Never Take Another Puff . "The average smoker would have to gain 75 to 100 pounds to put the additional workload on the heart that is experienced by smoking, and this is not saying anything about the smoking cancer risk."

It isn't unusual to see up to 5 pounds of water retention weight gain during the first week of quitting, pounds that can be shed as quickly as they arrived.

Dr. Reas nails how to avoid having to deal with over-eating in asserting that the timing of calorie intake is everything. One of the most challenging aspects of recovery is re-learning to properly fuel the body. Nicotine activates the body's fight or flight response, instantly pumping stored energy into our bloodstream. Never-smokers who get hungry can't instantly satisfy the onset of hunger. They have to eat food and then wait for digestion to turn off the body's hunger switch.

Once we become ex-users, whether we eat with a toothpick or shovel we will need to wait for digestion to satisfy hunger. By re-learning how to properly feed ourselves again we diminish the risk of adding food craves to nicotine craves, of witnessing our body's hoarding instincts kick into high gear.

As Dr. Reas advises, don't skip meals, and learn to eat little, healthy and often. If we insist on skipping meals we should fully expect to confront hunger. If in the throws of hunger, eat healthy and slowly, savoring each bite for as long as possible, so as to allow time for digestion to satisfy it.

As Spitzer notes, a cigarette may have been our cue that a meal had ended. You may benefit by adopting a new healthy cue such as tooth brushing, a toothpick, clearing the table, doing the dishes or stepping outside for fresh air.

One of the most valuable lessons taught by Joel Spitzer is that minor daily adjustments in the number of calories consumed or burned can result in significant weight change over time. As Joel puts it, "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." The same formula works in regard to weight reduction and the loss seen when burning an extra hundred calories a day or consuming one hundred fewer.

Unfortunately, most of us fell into rather unhealthy eating and exercise patterns once addicted to smoking nicotine. Free for more than a decade, I can still picture myself smoking during walks or bike rides. Why wasn't I jogging or running? Truth is, I couldn't.

One-half of the carbon monoxide inhaled with that last puff is still circulating in the bloodstream four hours later. Carbon monoxide hijacks our blood's ability to transport oxygen. It isn't that we didn't want to participate in prolonged vigorous physical activity but that we couldn't.

One of the most exciting aspects of recovery is when we're at last brave enough to venture beyond our former prison cell and attempt activities we previously avoided. It isn't unusual to discover that we can go longer with less fatigue than we've known in years. It can feel like turning back the clock. As Dr. Reas suggests, make your favorite activity a part of each day.

Why wait? The next few minutes are all that matter and each is entirely do-able. Your mind and body can become 100% nicotine-free within 72 hours, with peak withdrawal behind you. We hope you'll explore WhyQuit as we've assembled the Internet's largest array of free recovery tools.

Embrace coming home, don't fear, dread or fight it. There was always only one rule determining the outcome for all ... no nicotine just one hour, challenge and day at a time! Yes you can!



Related Articles
  • Minimizing the Weight Gained From Smoking Cessation by Joel
  • "I've Tried Everything to Lose Weight but Nothing Works!" by Joel
  • "I'd Rather Be a Little Overweight & Not Smoking than Underweight and Dead!" by Joel
  • "After I Lose Weight I will Quit Smoking!" by Joel
Last edited by JohnPolito on September 9th, 2009, 4:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Hillbilly
Hillbilly

September 11th, 2010, 11:42 am #45

I had dieted and lost 56 pounds before I quit over eight years ago, so I had a "head start" on any potential weight gain from smoking.  Over the years since, my weight had gradually crept back up and I found myself a bit overweight again last year.

I had tried to lose weight a few times, but never with any lasting success and I began to wonder if I really could lose weight since I'd quit smoking.  (Didn't make me want to start back, as I know better than that.  (Education is a wonderful thing, isn't it?))  But, I digress.

Anyway, right after Thanksgiving last year I decided to buckle down.  No crash diets, just healthy eating in moderation.  The pounds began to come off, and I've lost 29 pounds and am back to a healthy 170, right where I should be. 

I tell you this to illustrate a point, if I can ever get around to it.  I tried to tell myself that I couldn't lose weight because I had quit smoking.  That wasn't true, just like all the other lies I told myself over the years.  The only thing you have to give up by quitting smoking is your dependence on nicotine. Don't let yourself be fooled by the little lies we tell ourselves to justify things we really don't want to take the time and discipline to change.
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Johnnie
Johnnie

September 11th, 2010, 2:53 pm #46

Like Hillbilly, I'd actually lost a bunch of pounds before quitting--in my case about thirty. I'd never planned for these two events to coincide, but a months-long change in diet, plus moderate exercising enabled me to keep that weight off. So I enjoyed a head start. Since quitting, I've relied an awful lot on water, carrot and apple slices, whole fruit juices, etc. and have lost an additional ten pounds this past month.
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hwc
hwc

September 12th, 2010, 6:46 am #47

It took me two years as an ex-smoker to figure it out, but quitting smoking made it possible for me to start enjoying exercise, eat less, shed a few pounds (55 so far), and get back some physical fitness. The toll of smoking turns us into couch potatoes because we simply don't have the aerobic capacity to enjoy exercise. However, many of the same things that helped me quit smoking have also helped stop the binge junk food snacking and commit to a regular schedule of exercise. I really view physical fitness as another step in the dynamic journey of quitting smoking and certainly one of the big benefits.
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Joined: November 13th, 2008, 2:04 pm

January 2nd, 2011, 2:49 pm #48

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