View Full Version : Quitting Smoking - Weight gain?

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Thu, May-13-04, 01:27
I just quit smoking too - five months w/o a single cig after 17 years. But, what are the facts about weight gain after quitting. I thought that it was just a simple thing...I'm not smoking therefore I'm putting something else in my mouth, i.e. food. But now, I've heard, that it's actually a metabolic change to which the 'quit smoking weight gain' is attributable. What's up? I couldn't figure out why I was doing Atkins rather strictly and feeling like I was balooning - any ideas?

Thu, May-13-04, 02:02
I found this, I think it will help you to understand why you gain weight after you quit smoking. :)

Why Do Some People Gain Weight When They Quit Smoking?

Nicotine suppresses the appetite and causes the liver to release glycogen, which raises the blood sugar level slightly. With nicotine out of your system, you may feel hungry more often. Smoking artificially elevates heart rate and increases metabolism. When you stop smoking, your body has to readjust to a lower metabolic rate. If you eat the same as you did when you were smoking, your body will end up using less and storing more (as fat) of the food. Smoking dulls the taste buds. Food begins to taste better to new nonsmokers; this can increase food intake. And then there's oral fixation -- some ex-smokers may want something to fill the void of cigarettes.
Use common sense to maintain your weight while quitting smoking. Obviously, if you substitute a candy bar each time you crave a cigarette, you will gain weight. Eating a well-balanced, low-calorie diet with three meals a day, and increasing your activity level, will probably prove effective in maintaining your weight.

If you think this won't be enough, figure out your current average daily caloric intake and use this as a guideline for weight maintenance after you quit. Plan meals and shop ahead at first. Stock your kitchen and office with healthy, low-calorie snack foods, such as carrot and celery sticks, air-popped popcorn, dry cereals, or crackers. Don't give yourself carte blanche with snack foods, however. View them as aids to getting beyond the craving to smoke. Other things that you can use to put in your mouth include toothpicks, plastic straws, gum, and hard candy.

Think about when you normally smoke and decide what you'll do instead. For instance, if you always have a cigarette with your coffee, plan to have something else on hand. If you find that the nonsmoking causes you to want to eat more at meals, drink a glass of water before and during the meal. Chew your food well, eat slowly, and concentrate on how much better food tastes now. After a meal is a great time for a cigarette, right? Well, then get up and moving right away -- wash the dishes, go for a walk, brush your teeth...

Nicotine addiction can be monumentally difficult to overcome. Whatever your reasons for wanting to quit, know that there are many source of assistance. To start, your school or office may have smoking cessation groups and/or integrated practices, such as hypnosis.

Thu, May-13-04, 03:38
I havn't had a cigarette since January 11. In the beginning I substituted food and gained 20 lbs. Now I have lost 10.5 of that with the help of Dr. Atkins. My substitute for nicotine now is sugerless gum. It has not stalled my weight loss (thank goodness) and I only chew it when I feel I really need it. I did feel really hungry at first, but that feeling soon went away.

Thu, May-13-04, 05:55
Hi, I think that it's all a load of tosh - i stoped smoking just like that - overnight and continued to lose wieght without any problems what-so-ever. I think it's just that people replace a ciggy with food - one habit for another and that's why people put on wieght, but if you're aware of that then it should make no difference.
In my opinion of course! ;-)

Thu, May-13-04, 05:57
When I stopped smoking (cold turkey - 1st june 2003) I had this oral fixation and huge hunger... It also was a bit stressy for me during that time (what a moment to choose quitting) so I put on 44 pounds... but I can't blame the lack of nicotine on my body for all those pounds, that was just the trigger... then it was the upsetness for being overweighted that made me overeat... duh!

Anyway, I am about to make a year 100% clean of nicotine and that by itself is a great achievement, and now I can't even stand the smell of a cigarette next to me, isn't that awesome? after 15 years of daily comsuption (20 per day).

So you keep up the great work ladies, getting rid of that addiction is something to really be proud of.

Thu, May-13-04, 06:11
Its an oral fixation. People that quit smoking sometimes start biting their finger nails a lot or start drinking or eating. Its the fixation with having something in your mouth that causes them to eat. They found cigarettes comforting, now they find food comforting.

I honestly can't believe how many women still smoke. I don't have the exact numbers, but I read a poll in the USA Today about 6 months ago that showed the number of male smokers was down a HUGE amount over the last 4 years, while the number of female smokers hasn't budged at all. Too many women afraid of getting fat.