After I Lose Weight I Will Quit Smoking


10:14 PM - Oct 18, 2001#1

Joel's Reinforcement Library

"I Will Stop Smoking After I Lose Weight"

"After I lose some weight I will stop smoking."  Many times a smoker will use being overweight as an excuse for continuing to smoke.  He may feel that the logical sequence is to lose weight and then quit smoking.  But the end result of this approach is usually quite disappointing.

For even if the smoker does lose the weight, the odds are that he will do so by increasing his cigarette consumption.  Cigarettes are capable of suppressing the appetite.  Then when he tries to quit smoking he will probably eat more in order to curb his urge to smoke.  Once again he will gain back the weight, and out of discouragement will probably relapse back to cigarettes.  And then he is in the same position that he was in at the start--overweight and smoking.

If a smoker's goal is to quit and stay off cigarettes and to permanently lose weight, he must achieve success in one without depending on the other as a crutch.  This is not to say that the smoker must quit smoking and go onto a diet at the same time.  While it is not impossible, dieting is difficult for many smokers during cessation.

Due to the drop in blood sugar levels that accompanies smoking cessation, the urge to snack on sweet foods is constant.  Also, without a cigarette to cue the end of a meal, the smoker may continue eating long after dessert is over.  But if the smoker wants to control his weight while quitting, he must either control the urge to snack or eat lower-calorie alternatives during the initial quitting phase.

But the ex-smoker may feel that it is better to deal with one problem at a time. He may indulge himself with his favorite foods with the full expectation that he will only be doing this for a week or so. Cakes, cookies, potato chips and many other popular snack foods are used. A potentially long-term and destructive eating habit may be established. What he thought would last only a few days, becomes weeks and maybe even months. Weight gain will be the inevitable result. The ex-smoker will either relapse to cigarettes out of discouragement or continue gaining until positive steps are taken to break free from the new pattern of overeating.

If, on the other hand, the ex-smoker addresses the food issue when first quitting, all the long-term weight problems can be avoided.  To help curb the urge for sweets, plenty of fruit juices should be consumed for the first three days after quitting.  This will help stabilize the drop of blood sugar, hence alleviating some of the common withdrawal symptoms encountered during smoking cessation.  Also, the acidity of the juices should help accelerate the excretion rate of nicotine, thus shortening the duration of physical withdrawal symptoms.

Snacking on carrots and celery is also a reasonable alternative for the first few days.  These items should be encouraged because they are low in calories and, for the most part, non-habit forming.  Within a couple of weeks, the ex-smoker will tire of these vegetables and just give them up.  He will have quit smoking without replacement of food as a permanent crutch.

Staying off smoking is a lifelong commitment. The most important step you can take to insure success in this goal is to keep a positive attitude about not smoking. Don't develop a negative replacement behavior which will result in a secondary problem. This will make a positive attitude toward not smoking impossible, and the end result will be a relapse to cigarettes.

If you have already gained weight since quitting, take action to rectify the problem. Then you too will feel good about your accomplishments. Not only will you have quit smoking, you will have done so without depending on any other destructive crutches. You really will have taken control of your life. To keep control, watch your diet and - NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF!

© Joel Spitzer 1989
Last edited by Joel on 3:37 PM - Jul 24, 2014, edited 1 time in total.

marty (gold)

5:57 AM - Oct 19, 2001#2

That's a great summary of a recurring topic here, Joel.

My own approach was the reverse of your headline --- "After I quit smoking, I will lose weight".

Three months into my quit, I had added 14lbs to my pre-quit weight of 164lbs. So I joined a gym for the first time in my life, and my 3-times-a-week workout has now become a fixed and totally enjoyable part of my life. I'm down to 168lbs, but more important (to me) my waist is now one inch smaller than it was pre-quit. I've actually replaced my paunch with muscle!!!

Of course it was quitting that gave me the extra energy to be able to work out. And I now have a new, healthier lifestyle, and I feel physically so much fitter and stronger. I can lift up my grandchildren as easily as my sons-in-law, and when I run round the garden with them they get tired before me (well, sometimes ). Any quitter can do what I've done. Losing weight just needs a small part of the determination and motivation that we needed to quit. But it does need a little more patience, because results take longer to make themselves evident.

Yes of course it's better not to put on the weight in the first place. But if you do put on weight, that must not jeopardise your quit. You can always take off the weight later. You can't reverse lung cancer or a heart attack.


8:30 PM - Dec 23, 2001#3

For lurkers looking in, eating more because of the holiday season, and holding off quitting until they lose the weight they are currently gaining--there is no need to wait to quit smoking. Now is as good as time to start your action plan to never take another puff!


childofnite GOLD.ffn

11:40 PM - Mar 06, 2002#4

Okay Joel, so this was written expressly for me, right?

As anyone who has ever read any of my threads knows, this was exactly how I conduted my addicted life. I don't think I've ever seen this thread before. Hmmm...

Well, if *my* constant reminders of how addiction can mess not only with your life but the quality of it as well (how long one remains overweight, that is) I'm glad you're there to pick up where I left off!

Love ya, Joel!

7 Months, 1 Week, 2 Days.

mirigirl (silver)

2:28 AM - Mar 07, 2002#5

I had to absolutely let go of the idea that "After I Lose Weight I Will Quit Smoking"
I had used that excuse for too many years - never quit smoking and continued to put on weight!!

So I'm still addicted to food - and I still struggle with the weight issue - but there is NO WAY - NEVER - am I ever going to buy into that lie again. This next breath I take is too precious.
yqs mirigirl
Last edited by mirigirl (silver) on 4:38 AM - Apr 10, 2009, edited 1 time in total.

6:49 AM - Nov 16, 2007#6

From: BonitaJean0 (Original Message)
Sent: 11/15/2007 4:26 PM

With each previous quit I returned to smoking because of the weight gain and once I planned to drop all my excess pounds in preparation of my quitting smoking....unfortunately, that didn't work because I gained the weight which was so depressing to me that I went back to smoking! Bad choice on my part!!!

This time (22 months ago) I decided to quit smoking and not worry about my gaining weight. After I was comfortable with not smoking and feeling good, I would try to tackle the weight issue. I am still smoke free and so pleased with the fact I can breath even though I've gone from a size 4 to a size 14. I am comfortable with myself and will eventually seriously work on dropping the pounds.

Don't focus on the weight but instead focus on the not is important to keep your priorities in check to be successful.

Smoke free for 676 days, 17 hours and 25 minutes and loving every minute of it ;~)

Edited for external links