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ranchpark's avatar

How do you quit smoking and NOT gain weight.

Asked by ranchpark (9points) December 18th, 2007

I am planning on putting the “stinky sticks” down for good on New Years Day, but don’t want to gain weight…help?

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7 Answers

Poser's avatar

Start exercising. That way, even if you do eat more, you’ll be burning more calories, so your weight should remain fairly constant. You might even lose weight. The bonus is that exercise makes the cigarettes much less enticing.

The trick is to find some sort of exercise you enjoy, or else you’ll never keep it up. The best exercise program in the world is the one that makes you want to keep doing it. Tennis, racquetball, swimming, golf (forgoing the cart, of course), bicycling—whatever. Just do something you enjoy.

IMHO, while gaining weight may be a fear when quitting smoking, it shouldn’t be a reason to stop you. Better to be a few pounds heavy with healthy lungs than skinny and emphysemic.

Either way, good luck to you! Best Christmas present you could give your loved ones.

occ's avatar

having had a few friends who have gone through the quitting ordeal, it seems to me that some of the weight gain is because you end up munching and snacking a lot more, to fill the oral fixation that you miss out on when you give up cigarettes. So it might help to make sure you have healthy low-calorie snacks around, like carrots or pretzel sticks.

eclesh's avatar

Use the time you would have used for a smoke break (5 minutes about 10 times a day, depending on your level of vice) for a mini-exercise session. Go for a brisk walk around the block, do some sit-ups or push-ups, or start some stretches.

A lot of people start to get antsy after quitting because all of a sudden they are stuck at their desks eight-hours a day without taking a break every hour or so. Take all the same breaks you used to, and just use it to keep yourself healthy. You’ll start to feel great in no time.

joli's avatar

I gained 10 pounds. I woke up one morning and had to borrow a pair of pants from my daughter! That was about 2 months into quitting. I knew needed to get it together so I snacked only on corn chips, popcorn, and cut out the comfort foods I was scarfing down. Whenever I start to gain weight I switch my lunchtime meal to soup and don’t eat three hours prior to bedtime. Exercise replaced smoking for me, but you still have to watch calories as your body metabolism will slow down without nicotine. My Dad gained 30 pounds when he quit smoking, started smoking again and died from lung cancer at age 62. You know you have to quit. Do it! No excuses!

HarryVerderche's avatar

Joli: kudos for your closing remark!

It’s a difficult thing to do, as joli has noted, for truth is tobacco gets your heart pumping upwards, before it brings the metabolism down again, which of course brings the smoker somewhere so that eh initial kick into a higher gear can be felt again, then down and then up and then down! That is the horror about smoking, and trying to quit.

If you exercise too much, you will most likely eat too much, because exercise means the body is burning up calories, and therefore after the workouts, the body wants more calories by the mouth method! I had that problem about 33 years ago, when I finally stopped for good, and I knew about the weight gain, didn’t want it, and so this is what I did:

I went on a diet while I was going cold turkey on the smokes, and it was the diet that helped me quit! All will answer the same way, if I ask smokers the same question: When do you find it most difficult not to have a cIgarette? AFTER EATING!

When you eat, the first thing you want after that food, is a cigarette, BUT if you make a choice to do a five day fast while you’re quitting, believe me, you are literally making the quitting smoking easier in the long run. Some other rules for quitting smoking:

Do not especially start your day with a cup of coffee, because you will have to strangle yourself into submission from not taking up smoking right away with the coffee! Also, do not drink alcohol—at all! If you drink, only a few beers will change the frontal lobe perceptions, and your genius-type decision goes like this: “You know, if I had just a single cigarette right now, I could begin again to stop in the morning, when I’m not drinking—duh!”

I’m sorry, I will stick to the question:

Diet as you are quitting, only drinking water—lots of it—about ten to twelve glasses a day, because drinking water, or juice [make the juice “vegetable,” and not fruit juice], makes you feel full, but for only about a half hour, but so long as you don’t push the limit, fifteen glasses a day is fine for you, and will aid you in the bathroom, to flush nicotine from out your body faster. After a five day fast, using water or vegetable juice, you should have all physical cravings virtually gone. Some people need seven days, but surely after seven, the GENUINE physical withdrawal shall be over.

Begin then to adjust your body with soup and maybe a sandwich, a little at a time, until you’re back to your normal manner of eating. If I were you, stay away from coffee and alcohol, for a month, before you try bringing these back into your new lifestyle. Remember, NOT SMOKING is a lifestyle, and you need to remind yourself of it first thing in the morning for a few months, until you feel great because you no longer smoke!

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nw's avatar

I’ve quit smoking a while ago without any cessation aids, but with a fair amount of homework.

What I found was that smoking elevates your blood sugar, so the munchies aren’t as much an oral fixation as they are a way for your body to keep the blood sugar at the level it normally was when you smoked.

To cheat this symptom I went low carb (not something terrible, just no sugar and white flour) for about two weeks before I quit .

Coffee can also spike your blood sugar, so it helps if you can avoid it when you quit smoking. It was easy for me to give up coffee, I just drank it to go with the smokes, and never really cared for it.

I also made sure that I was well hydrated at all times (dehydration can make your blood sugar go up as well.) Water was my best choice.

This strategy – keeping my blood sugar as “even” as possible helped me a great deal when I quit smoking and I would recommend it to anyone. Though I used to smoke a pack a day, I’ve never had nicotine fits. I really think nic fits are a combination between a desire to smoke and lowered blood sugar.

Fasting might work, but if you have to go to work and be productive it might be a really tough call. But fasting does keep your blood sugar low, so if you can do it more power to you.

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