How Smoking Affects Metabolism

I have smoked for about 25 years and recently stopped. Now I am fighting weight gain. What can I expect and what can I do to keep the weight gain to a minimum? What is it that happens to the metabolism that causes the weight to go on so fast?

Congratulations on your wise decision to stop smoking. More Americans die from smoking-related diseases than from AIDS, drug abuse, car accidents and murder – combined. You have taken a big step towards better health for yourself as well as for those around you.

Nicotine, one of the components of cigarette smoke, increases energy expenditure by stimulating the central nervous system. Once this drug is removed from a person’s system, energy expenditure returns to normal. This difference is not very significant and the person should adjust to it in a short period of time. Smoking also appears to ease feelings of hunger. Smokers can usually overcome hunger signals by lighting up. Consequently, weight gain is often experienced soon after a person quits smoking. The average weight gain for people who quit smoking is less than 10 pounds. Being aware of the problem will help in avoiding or minimizing the weight gain. It is often necessary to adjust eating habits and physical activity to maintain weight during and after quitting.

Smoking cessation, however, lengthens life expectancy by an average of 2-4 years and is well worth the effort. Here are some guidelines to help you avoid the weight gain:

  • Eat three balanced meals every day.
  • Choose plenty of fruits, vegetables and whole grains, avoiding high-fat and high sugar items.
  • Avoid skipping meals. It leads to hunger and a tendency to snack on high-calorie foods.
  • Keep fresh fruit and cut-up raw vegetables handy and choose them when the need for snacking arises.
  • Keep busy to keep your thoughts away from food. Choose an activity that you enjoy (except eating) and do it more often, especially if you feel the urge to smoke or eat.
  • Increase your physical activity: join a gym, walk more, use the stairs.
  • Initially, stay away from other smokers and situations that led you to smoke (or eat).
  • Join a support group.

Never let the fear of weight gain keep you from accomplishing your goal. With a little effort and determination you will succeed in achieving both goals: quit smoking and avoid putting on weight. Your health depends on it.

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  • lorenda

    I smoked for 18 years and quit last march. I gained 25 lbs and can’t lose it. I have always been physically active, but since smoking cessation, I do aerobics almost 5 days a week and watch my caloric intake. Everyone I have spoken with, and all accounts I”ve read show very few that have gained LESS than 15 or 20 lbs. I’m not saying that one should continue smoking, quitting was the best thing I’ve ever done, but the info given here is wrong, medical or not. To tell someone that weight gain cannot be laid at the feet of smoke cessation is blatantly wrong and misleading. My doctor told me that I should continue to work out for general, overall health, but until my metabolism evens out from the beating it took when i quit smoking, I was pretty much out of luck.

  • Chrissy

    I have to agree with Lorenda here… I smoked for 27 years and I am going to be 42 next week. I quit smoking a month ago and have worked out like a dog since day one. I have gained 10 pounds so far. I have to keep encouraging myself that it will even out.. I know I am improving my over health as well but it sure is hard when you try on those jeans that you now cant button!!! lol… I know there has got to be light at the end of the tunnel.

  • Kater Sue

    I am twenty five. I quite smoking a few months ago and, anticipating possible weight issues, I worked out every day and when I had the munchies, I ate carrots or grapes. I still gained. I am very sensitive about weight. I got weak and started smoking again and lost what I gained. I do, however, want to quit again. I am not a smoker!!! Will I balance out or am I doomed to weigh an extra 10 lbs as a non-smoker??? Help!

    • Fred

      So glad to hear I am not alone. Been off smokes for two months and have worked out hard six days a week and taken in less than 1500 calories a day. I can’t lose a pound! I am severely depressed, and searching the net produces only bs about “you must be eating more without smokes”. I’m not! So frustrating that there is no info about this issue. Glad to read you guys. Thanks for make me feel less insane.

  • jake taylor

    You know, i have smoked for three years with my metabolism remaining at the regular activity level. But once i quit, it slowed dramatically. I had ended up in the hospital becuase of the lack of nicotine.
    what do you have to say about that?

  • Andrew

    I’ve smoked for 12 years. I’m 24 years old, and have ALWAYS had a very high metabolism. My wife and I have decided to quit smoking together. My metabolic rate changing does not worry me. What I want to know is this. Seeing as I do have a high metabolism, does that mean nicotine is passed to receptors quicker, and adversely, does nicotine get removed from my bloodstream quicker? I suppose what I’m really interested in knowing is, after my final cigarette, will it take less than the average 72 hours for the nicotine in my body to be filtered out?

  • Eric M.

    I quit a month ago yesterday and have gained about 5 lbs. I have been doing cardio 6 days a week, resistance 3 days a week, and am on Nutrisystem (approx. 1500 cals/day). I am 37 and started smoking at 11, eventually smoking a pack+ per day since I was 15. I am never going back to smoking but this weight gain is very aggravating. I guess it will just take some time for my body to adjust. It’s nice to know I’m not alone. Besides, a few lbs is still better than sucking in that poison all day every day.

  • Linda

    Keep track of everything you take into your system. Weight gain/loss is calories in / calories out. If you aren’t putting calories into your system, you are not going to gain weight. Even non-smokers struggle with weight gain/loss and I usually just give them a sheet of paper and say, here, for the next 3 days, eat like you normally do and write every morsel and how much down, then bring it back to me. Then we sit down and assess their caloric intake versus what they are doing for activity to burn calories. I’ve yet to see anyone who is still eating healthy (not starving yourself, because your body will go into survival mode and hang onto every calorie it can), is engaging in physical activity and not able to lose weight. Running for one hour, 5 times per week, for 4 weeks is what is takes to lose one pound of true fat, so you need to know what your exercise regime is really doing. Each pound is 3500 calories, so it takes time and patience to lose unwanted pounds but very little to pack it on. I’m so tired of people complaining and saying oh I haven’t changed my diet and then I see them pounding back a 300g bag of chips. I’ve done it myself and know exactly what my weight gain is related to but also know exactly how to get rid of it – number one thing for me was getting real with myself on what I was consuming and what I was doing for exercise. Good luck out there.

    • Eileen Hay

      Linda, from what you have written above, you evidently have never smoked and tried to give up. To all those “want to quit smokers” out there, you will put on weight when giving up, the amount of weight you put on will depend on age and gender when giving up. But there is hope, once your metabolism has sorted itself out, after approx 18 months, if you eat healthy and do a min of 30 mins exercise 3 times a week, your weight will level out and then start to decrease.

  • jane donut

    Linda, nice advice, but it isn’t working for me. I have quit 2 months and have tracked every morsel of calories in and out from food in, and activity out. I am on a lose-two-pounds-per-week calorie level, and I have not lost an ounce, and am now steadily starting to gain.

    it is NOT calories in / calories out. Smoking breaks something. I just hope it doesn’t stay broken forever, or I will have that to kick myself for, as well as all the other things smoking has taken from me.

  • Patricia

    Today I googled “smoking and metabolism”… and here I am…. Like most of you, I quit smoking 4 months ago and gained 20 lbs… Prior to quitting I worked out daily for over 3 years burning on average 700 calories during each workout. Since I quit smoking I bumped my cardio up to 50 minutes from 15 and eat healthier/less calories than ever before, which is always under 1200. I count each calorie and follow it faithfully on an app on my iphone. Since January, I have lost about 8 of that 20 gained. I kill myself in the gym and see very little results. I will never go back to smoking, obviously the benefits far outweigh the side effects of quitting, however I will have to agree that Linda’s calories in/calories out theory, which is EXACTLY what I thought when I quit, has not held true for me either…. It is frustrating, depressing and discouraging. I will continue to work just as hard every day and I am glad to know that I am not alone in this fight, but I would love to know WHY. I have been 2 my Dr. twice and he has run the gamut of tests on me. He is baffled as well and attirbutes this issue to the fact that smking has seriously screwed up my metabolism and that it takes on average 6-12 months to see a balance return. He said to just continue doing what I’m doing and wait for my metalism to balance out. It’s hard to be patient!!! Anyway, STAY STRONG FOLKS! Keep working out and eating right. We’re BOUND to see results… WE HAVE TO! LOL! Good luck to all! Here’s to a long, healthy life!

  • KC

    I’m a long-time (25+ years) smoker who has quit and re-started many times. My opinion’s based on my own experience, talking to friends who have quit, plus years of reading umpteen books, journals, websites, etc. Smoking obviously screws with your metabolism – but no one is sure exactly how. Expect to gain up to 10 pounds within the first 6 months after quitting. Gaining more than 10 pounds in that time probably indicates overeating. It takes your body about 1 year to re-adjust its metabolism. Accept the idea that you will likely gain a few short-term pounds after you quit; consider it a “symptom of recovery.” 10 pounds is not that big of a deal, though it certainly grabs your attention. After 1 year, your weight will slowly return to normal if you keep exercising and eating right. Managing the weight gets harder as you get older, so start NOW. Having said all that, I know people who have quit smoking and never gained an ounce, so hope for the best. Stay strong everyone, stay motivated, and Good Luck!!!

  • Sarah

    ok so think of this smoking burns 250 more calories a day(when you smoke around a pack a day) you have to eat right… go to this will help you caculate on your normal activity level what you need to intake to lose say 1 to 2 pounds a week i suggest going with 1 pound then subtract two hundred more caloreis … DO NOT go under 1200 your body will just store what you have keep your fat grams 25 and under give yourself a small ice cream or something once a week… i gaurantee for you to lose weight. I have quit for once for about seven months i maintained my wieght of 130 went up and down to 135 sometimes but that was all water…

  • phil u.k

    I am currently doing a bobybuilding program in an attempt to GAIN weight. i put a stone and a half on in about 2 monthys but it has involved force feeding myself along with training hard…..i gave up smoking a weeka ago…should i expect to find it easier to gain the bulk im looking for now???

  • Stacey Imre

    I am 45 yrs old, I quit smoking 6 months ago and have gained 10lbs, I hate not fitting into my clothes, and trying to find new stuff with this aweful body is horrible, I really want to smoke again, they should make a pill to help our metabolism make the adjustment and I am sure more people would quit and stay smoke free. I am glad to read about what other people are dealing with, atleast I am not alone, thanks!

  • chrissy w

    Thanks everyone, I’m so glad I’m not the only one!! I have gained over 5 pounds in 3 to 4 weeks and have had less food intake and more exercise.. I hate not fitting into my jeans. I just keep re-affirming that it is for the greater good!! I’m 43 y/o 5ft 9″ and never had a weight problem so it has been very frustrating.. But hey it’s great to be free of the ciggies!

  • Ella

    Yes, thanks to everyone. It was a relief to read all of the posts. I quit one year ago this last 7/7, and I am one of the unlucky ones–from 138 to the 150s. I smoked for 15 yrs and am 32. I run 4-5 miles/week, lift weights and other machines at the gym at least 5 times a week. I was also very active, with boxing, aerobics and other stuff for 5 years prior to quitting. It’s been difficult to deal with 30 pounds. But I am also taking the advice of some of the other posts and gonna come clean about my caloric intake and my ALCOHOL consumption (hey–misery loves company–a smoke in one hand and a drink in the other and now, without one, well keep pouring ….) Anyway, I have taken a month off the hooch pledge and am back on a diet. I am also going to up my 45 minutes at the gym to at least a full hour. Hopefully I will make a dent before the end of the summer.

  • Brammy

    It is my understanding that wieght gain when quitting smoking even with no dietary changes is caused by the yway we metabolize fat. NIH studies showed that women who quit smoking had more glutteal fat even with diet and exercise. The study has not gone on long enough to say whether those weights went back dow nto normal or not.

    I went from being an absolute Desk potato to being active 1.5 hours 6 dyas a week and measuring portions from day one of my quit 3 mos ago with an app called Fitness assistant. However I have still gained 6 pounds. for all intents and purposes I should be losing weight not gaining ANYTHING. Calories in and calories out do not seem to hold water when it comes to stop smoking.

  • Marion

    I agree. Smoking has to have some type of effect on your metabolism. I quit 3 months ago and have gained 18 lbs. I don’t feel like I am eating that much more, I have started an exercise program so I should be losing weight.

    I also have 5 friends who have recently quit smoking, all middle aged and have the same complaint. 10 – 20 lbs. all around the waist like a mushroom. Maybe nicotine really is a anti depressant, who knows. All I know is that I am miserable and sometimes wish I would not have quit smoking if I would have known that it would be so hard to lose this weight.

    Any suggestions, I am up for them!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Brammy


    I can tell you what I did and it IS frustrating. I downloaded a program called Fitness Assistant. Log my meals count my calories and am working out on a daily basis 30-90 mins. I SHOULD be losing weight. Right now I am just grateful that I have stopped gaining and have managed to shed 5 of the pounds I gained. The only plus I see right now is with the allotted calories, I am allowed to eat MORE than I was before and it seems the weight is coming off SLOWLY. Just be sure if you use it to measure your potion sizes. They may not sound like much but I was surprised at how much larger portions actually are than what I perceived them to be. The transistion to 5-6 meals was harder than I thought but doable.

  • Molly

    I smoked regularly (pack a day) for 13 years–from 14 until 27. Then I became a social smoker, smoking occasionally, but not on a regular basis. Now, I haven’t smoked at all for a few months and I am 30. After I quit smoking (at 27) I slowly became very depressed and put on 30 lbs. I wasn’t exercising, but I wasn’t eating more either. Changing the kinds of foods I ate is what helped me lose weight. When I cut out alcohol and switched to a high vegetable (lots of cruciferous veggies) and whole grains diet and started walking, 15 lbs came off quickly. I modeled my diet after one that would lower estrogen levels–high estrogen levels lead to excessive tummy fat and breast cancer. Also, I started taking St. John’s Wort and I think it uplifted my mood. I think everyone who quits smoking should take St. John’s Wort. It’s only side effect is slight sensitivity to the sun and it helps curb the depression quitting can cause. People who quit smoking need to be patient with themselves. Smoking does mess with the metabolism and the people who say calories in calories out are not fully understanding the issue. It might take time for your body to get used to its new way of operating without the constant dose of nicotine. I am proud of all of you who quit smoking. I am really proud of myself. I seriously thought I would never be able to quit. So, good luck with your weight loss, but a few pounds are worth not smoking! And after all of the abuse we gave our bodies, we should focus on loving and appreciating them–even if they are a little chubbier than we would like, they are still beautiful!!!!

  • Linda

    Aftern reading some of the comments I felt like I was reading about myself.All the way from the frustration of the weight gain in the belly,I even sometimes regret having quit because I vnever had this problem before,I heard that my metabolism should straighten out after a year but it hasn’t for me yet.Got any suggestions to help with that?

  • sharon letcher

    I have not smoked for 10 years. I am 52. I went nack to school and am graduating the ceramics program this year. 4 year ba of arts. So… what I am saying is I am running all day up and down stairs etc. Lifting 50 lbs. bags of clay. Isometrics on the wheel. And I am seriously considering starting to smoke again. I have gained 30 lbs. in the last 4 years. More stress more weight gain. I used to smoke for the weight gain now I eat for the weight gain. I have been told people who smoke marijauna don’t seem to have the cancer rise like nicotine smokers do. May try this. Whoever said metabolism straightens out after a year obviously has not smoked.

  • lynn

    i think more research needs to go into what happens to our metabolism when we quit smoking. i know research shows that smoking a pack a day increases metabolism to the equivilent of approx 250 calories per day, but i believe when we quit smoking ( as i have done twice) that our metabolism ceases. i could not possibly safely eat any less than i do without developing an eating disorder and i cannot train cardio any more than i do and was still putting weight solution this time is to continue on the lowest 7 mg nicotine patch. very wrong i know, but i would rather be addicted to a very low dose of nicotine rather than 20 a day and rather than being 3 or 4 dress sizes bigger. Please Plear research.

  • david

    Quit 10 months ago and now gain weight just smelling food. Wonder how the President keeps his figure- still smoking? Being fat depresses me. Ug.

  • Louise

    I quit smoking 25 years ago. I gained weight and I battled it off again. I have done this most of my life and I can no longer attribute weight gain to the metabolic changes in my body due to having quit smoking. Simple fact is, I am a food addict. Diet plans that told me to eat unaccountable veggies and fruit during the day were keeping me food-focused, much like I was cigarette-focused years ago. Abstinence from eating between meals, eating less, and 30 minutes of cardiovascular a day is the only way to steady the weight. I joined Overeaters Anonymous and I highly recommend it.

  • Teresa

    Hey everybody. I quit smoking 3 months ago [7/25/09] and have gained 10-12 lbs [depending on the time of day I weigh, water retention, etc…n} I’ve been doing the the calories in/calories out thing for a year n a half to loose weight… One of my biggest fears with quitting was the weight gain, as that was the reason I started smoking in the first place 18 years ago so i tried upping my activity more [went from walking 1 mile 2x a week @ 2 mph to walking 3 miles 4x a week @ 3.5 mph + kickboxing 2 x a week], decreasing my calories, increasing my food [others thought 1200 was too low]… everything…

    My issue is that the muscle built from activity is not burning anything and the fat increased [I’m seeing rolls where I never had a problem before and getting BIGGER-gained 2 inches in my waist so far]. Can anyone tell me-really and honestly- how long it will take to level my non-existant metabolism?! I don’t want to start smoking again. But when I’ve worked so hard to loose weight , putting it back on has made me re-hate my body even more than I did before. I have to loose what I’ve gained and more by the summer [I was already the fat bridesmaid even before I quit].

  • Marion

    Don’t give up, I quit on June 14 and have gained 25 pounds so far, my husband quit a year ago in July and his metabolism is starting to level off. He gained over 40 lbs. It will take time, but keep it up and you and I will continue to be smoke free. I am very discouraged also but I have to realize that I am more healthy since I quit. I am having problems having enegy. Before I would jump out the bed in the morning to smoke and now I only want to sleep all day. No reason to get out of the bed. I have alot of adjusting to do.

  • Debbi

    Well girls, I am going for laser therapy to quit smoking on Saturday, November 14th. I quit smoking about 15 years ago – gained 30 lb. without over-eating and increased my exercise. I stayed off the cigs for 1.5 years but was so miserable with the weight gain I started again and instantly lost 20 lb! People do not believe that I wasn’t over-eating and it made me angry. This doesn’t seem to happen to men – not fair! I’m sending everyone this webpage so people don’t think I’m lying. I currently go to the gym 3-5x/week and follow weight watchers….I’m not losing like I should now – I can hardly wait to see what happens after Saturday……

  • lynn

    hi again – i think i found something that helps – Acai berries – i been on them for a few weeks and the weight gain seems to have ceased – will keep you all informed in a few weeks – lets pray hey, cos i cant stand the unfairness of my fat tummy!!

  • Debbi

    Hey Lynn – you said you were staying on the 7mg nicotine patch a few weeks ago. What’s helping – the patch or the berries? My guess it’s the patch because I never gained while on the patch the last time I quit – when I went OFF the patch is when the weight started piling on.

  • marianne

    Hey all
    I’m so relieved to read I am not alone in my stop smoking wieght gain . I
    quit 7 months ago , smoked since I was 18 yrs now 57 yrs, ” THE MY TIME TO QUIT ” reality check . I feel great but gained 10 lbs. which I hate its seems to be stablized .In Sept I had a routine blood test done and it came back that my thyroid was underactive. So am on a low dose if Synthroid . My Dr. did not relate it to the cig. I think its related myself . Am incline walking , do palates . My jeans are tight , scale does not change . I had thoughts of giving up but thank you all for sharing
    your exsperience . I will keep on trucking smoke free on my treadmill !!

  • Lydia

    I would be curious to know how many people who post here are really becoming overweight when they quit smoking as opposed to putting on some healthy weight. My impression of people who smoke is that they often look unhealthy and are too thin, if they aren’t severely overweight. It seems uncommon to find someone with any kind of addiction who is really “healthy” aside from that addiction. If you are within your ideal weight range after you gain weight from quitting smoking, it sounds like this is just vanity. That may sound harsh, and I don’t mean to imply that anyone should be content being overweight, but I would be curious to know how much of this is a health issue and how much is just individuals who want to look skinnier.

  • I help people to quit smoking using hypnosis in combination with other healing modalities. It is always an individual approach. Not everyone gains weight after quitting, so I have noticed that people who do generally have other underlying health issues, such as underactive thyroid function. Why than smoking keeps the wight down? There are few possible explanations.
    1. when you smoked you constantly had something around your mouth, so you ate less.
    2.The taste buds are getting desensitized because of the nicotine.
    3. according to some Chinese medical sources the nicotine is a very hot substance and upon entering your body it dries up your fluids – vital fluids as well, such as your blood. This is why cardiovascular disease is associated with smoking.

    Now when people quit smoking their body has to go through some sort of rearrangement. Food starts tasting better and it is important to start adjusting your diet even prior to the quitting smoking in order to prepare yourself for the long and healthy life. Adding more vegetables and fruits to your diet helps a lot. Drinking lots of water.

    Detoxification process is a good approach after quitting to help your body get rid of the gunk accumulated over the years. This way you give yourself a good chance to get back in balance. There are different detox treatments available to do at home and some of them are very mild yet effective.
    And, most importantly, taking care of yourself helps to get you healthier in all aspects.

  • Teresa

    first off -not very nice -or constructive and certainly not appreciated by me-i can’t speak for anybody else…

    not that i should feel like i have to explain MYself to YOU but over the last year n a half i have been dilligently dieting [keeping my calorie intake between 1200-1350] and exercizing 4-6 days a week[walking 3 miles/day 3-4 days/ week n doing cardio n strength training as well]. i went from 161 [at 5 ft 1 in] down to 130. i was at a point where i was almost at the weight i needed to be at to be healthy. then i decided to quit smoking. i am now back up to 141 with dieting[still same calorie intake] and increasing my exercize to more intese cardio- trying to avoid weight gain. my waist is now 2 inches bigger than it was when i quit and the new clothes that i bought for myself are tight and uncomfortable. this is a super sensitive subject for some people and if you can’t be constructive-and consider that people stuggle not out of vanity but out of really being stuck then it’d be great if you just went to youtube to comment on videos that don’t really matter rather than comment on a site to people who already feel weak, depressed and/or generally feel like crap about themselves already…

    if you just quit and didn’t gain-must be nice n you’re really lucky. the rest of us are fighting tooth n nail to maintain…. you should really think about youtube…

  • Debbi

    RIGHT ON TERESA.!!!…. I was, and will be in the same boat as you very soon since I just quit on Saturday and it IS very sensitive & serious issue we’re facing. I follow Weight Watchers and go to the gym as many days/week I can. I’m hoping & praying that this time I do not gain 30 lb. as I did before.

  • Lydia

    Re: Teresa

    Walking is not sufficient exercise for anyone to continually lose weight, and it will not help you build muscle beyond a certain point. Even walking for an hour 3 times a week will not help you lose a lot of weight because your body becomes used to the exercise and unless you’re increasing your exercise steadily, your body will simply adjust to the amount of energy you expend and retain weight. Your body has to be building muscle in order to increase the amount of calories it burns in any given activity, so I recommend weight training in place of 2 of the 4-6 days of cardio you are doing every week (walking is a type of cardio, but only if you are walking fast enough, about 3.6-3.8 mph). I hope this is helpful to you in your weight loss goals.

    I’m actually not a smoker, but a researcher looking for information on articles I am writing. I’m surprised that you became personally defensive about a question asked out of genuine curiosity. I’m sorry if you feel like crap about yourself, but that, like smoking or not smoking, is entirely your decision. I don’t have the ability to make you feel any way you don’t want to. I hope you feel better soon. 🙂

  • Debbi

    Re: Lydia – On this site, we are all facing two HUGE battles, nether of which you seem to have. We have all stopped smoking are are trying to deal with the after effects which you obviously don’t understand. Do us all a favor and keep your ‘research’ to yourself!

  • i’m unsubscribing-so debbie n everybody else that needs support good luck n i hope all goes well for you

    and btw lydia-it is a very personal subject for me-and evidently other people too because they’re looking for support and advise from people who have BEEN where they are

    fyi some of that cardio[2-3 days a week as instructed by a professional] is high intensity cardio kickboxing… i’m not just walking thanx –

    again w/the youtube suggestion…

  • Debbi

    Don’t unsubscribe! The rest of us would like to know how you’re progressing!

  • Monika

    I too am glad to have found a site where people are going through the same thing I am experiencing with the quit smoking/ metabolism problem. I have 83 days off cigs and luckily the cravings have not ben to bad.the dificulty for me lies in the fact that I have gained 15 lbs rapidly throughout this time. i splurged for the first couple of weeks on some nightime ice cream binges bt quickly stopped that behavior..I workout 5/6 times per wek on cardio and some weight training. cardio is 25-30 mins and I realize after reading your posts i wil double it startig tomorow. I have a small frame at 5’2″ i cannot cary this much weight and none of my clothes fit except for sweats and they are tight, even. I am eating only lean protien and complex carbs (veg and fruits), cut out bad carbs, sodim, red meats and sugar.quit cofee since it makes me nervous without cigs. .i dont know what else i can limit out of my diet. i dont realy want to leave the house while i lok this way and, not to be negative, but i am starting to consider smoking since i am not enjoying life right now.! i am researching weight loss pills – if anyone has any advice plz let me know! best of luck to everyone! xo Monika

  • lynn

    Hi again
    i did go back on the 7mg patch and also at the same time is started on acai berries so i dont know which one is working for me to steadily reduce my weight again – when i say steadily, i mean REALLY steadily, one thing though, the acai berries see to have regulated my bowel which also went awol when i stopped smoking, i REALLY want to stay fag free and just hope this metabolism problem resolves itself – im gonna come off the 7mg patch again tomorrow so i will let you know how im doing x keep up the good work everyone x

  • Debbi

    I’ve been off the cigs for 1 week, 1 day now and it’s been ok with a few bad days, but no smoking at all. I went for laser therapy with 2 boosters…followed the supplement regimin to cleanse, and so far, so good. Haven’t gained any weight YET, but will keep you all posted on that. I’m hoping this time it’s all different.

  • ALAN

    hi been of the cigs now for 9 moths i use the champix and quit no problem that was after 30 years of smoking and many atemps to quit.maybe it was my time .I am 41 years old and play 5 a side football twice a week and do 30 mins on a rowing machine 4 days a week also have springer dog and walk him twice a day .I would say that i am eating no more now than when i was smoking but my weight gain is been imense dont know exactly how many pounds i ve but on feared to weigh myself.i am seriously thinking on going back on the ciggs.HATE BEING THIS CHUBBY cant shift it this is to the woman that says it doesnt affect men.

  • Laura

    It has been over a year since I quit smoking and the 17 lbs I gained has never gone away. Within the first month of quitting I gained 6 lbs and I tried to keep it off but the weight kept piliing on. I don’t regret quitting I just wish there was a way to get this weight off. Good luck to everyone who is experiencing this problem. If anyone figures out a solution let me know!

  • Debbi

    Re: Laura. That is my biggest fear. I have been off cigarettes for 2 weeks now and have gained 4 lb….but I’ll blame a lot of that on Thanksgiving and an an unusal work schedule that has me eating things I wouldn’t normally eat. I normally stick to weight watchers and go to the gym several nights/week, but my schedule has not allowed me to do any of that. On Sunday’s, I’ve been going on a 5 mile walk/run and thats’ about it. I pray my schedule returns to normal soon before there’s 20lb extra on me! The last time I quit, I gained 30 and could NOT lose it no matter what I did, and that drove me back to smoking after 18 months! Someone out there has to help us!!!

  • Dear Debbi and everybody else concerned about weight gain after quitting smoking. First of all – congratulations on quitting and keeping your health!
    Your body is out of usual smoking schedule and trying to generate more fluids for recreation of damage done. But it doesn’t know how to distribute it properly. Your task is to help your body creating a new schedule AND maintaining it.
    1. Look really close to your nutrition intake – keep food journal and write down everything you eat with date and time attached.
    2. Avoid eating after 6 pm. It is challenging for working women with family but doable – I did it after I quit and started gaining weight.
    3. Get off ALL the dairy, gluten, sugar, soda, alcohol – it is not good for your health anyway, so now is a good time. There are wheat and gluten free breads, like millet bread.
    4. Always eat good protein breakfast.
    5. Exercising only is not going to help you lose weight, this is where frustration comes from – we work out and weight is still there. Nutrition is the most important part of it.
    6. Cardio workout – to keep your circulation going and your lungs clearing.
    7. Weight lifting – to build a healthy muscle mass and strengthen bones weakened by ex-smoking.
    8. Drink a glass of water with lemon upon wakening up.
    9. Consider liver detox under doctor’s supervision. Liver gets toxic because of the medicine we take, smoking, foods we eat. Clean liver boosts up your lipid (fat) metabolism.
    10. Check your pH level – you could be too acidic/alkaline and because of that food is not digesting properly. However the diet free of dairy, gluten, sugar, soda, alcohol might bring it to normal with time.

  • Debbi

    Dear Maya: Thanks for the advice, but I don’t believe in changing my diet to eliminate food groups. I personally think that dairy and grains are very important and will continue to follow the Weight Watchers program in addition to going to the gym. Quitting smoking is difficult enough…don’t take away my alcohol too!

  • Dear Debbi,
    Absolutely do what brings you results. If it is working keep doing it! And it is your personal choice, it will work only if you decided to do that. And beliefs are very important as well.
    For the clarification I would like to give you the reasons for my suggestions:

    * Alcohol has many empty calories and sugar.
    * There many more types of grains than wheat. I mean wheat specifically, other grains are very important in the diet.
    * Dairy is by far not the best source of calcium, especially skim milk because the body cannot absorb the calcium well without the fat in the milk. Yogurt is the best choice from dairy products if you decide to keep them.

    And, again, if what you are doing is working – great. If not – maybe you would think of playing with more choices.

  • Joy Franks

    I smoked for 40+ years and quit. I used Chantix and never had a craving and I had been a very heavy smoker. (I embarrassed to say how many packs a day I smoked) Anyway, I ended up on a starvation diet, gained weight, felt miserable and after 8 months I went back to smoking. Weight fell off, I was able to eat normally again, and felt much better. I now smoke ONLY 5 or less cigarettes per day. I know that is not healthy, but I’m at risk for diabetes and my weight was getting dangerously high for me. I was tired of smoking controlling me, so now I control the smoking.

  • Debbi

    Re: Joy OUCH. I know for a fact that I could not limit myself to 5 cigaerttes/day for very long. I know what you mean about the weight falling off when you return to smoking – it’s like a miracle diet! When I gained 30 the last time, 20 fell off when I started smoking again. This time I’m going to hang in there….I”m 3 weeks smoke-free, gained 4 lb. which I’m not happy about, but sticking to Weight Watchers and doing the best I can. Best of luck with those 5 cigs…I know I could never do that.

  • Diane

    I am 54 years old, I have smoked since I was 15 (half to a pack a day). I made the decision 3 mos ago to quit “I DID IT” As of 11/15/09 I have not smoked. First – I AM SO PROUD OF MYSELF, second MY FAMILY is very proud of me. I have always had a weight problem (about 60 lbs over-weight). One of my greatest fears is even getting heavier, but if I can conquer the smoking battle – I feel I can work on the weight issue. I have never been a health nut, just raised on good food and what we could afford. Today I can breathe without whizzing, I can walk-up stairs without running out of breathe, and I run after my grandchildren. I have gained 6 pounds in 3 lbs. but the accomplishment is far more worth it. BE HAPPY LIFE IS SHORT.

  • Debbi

    Re: Diane
    Wow…you and I are like the SAME! I will be 54 on Monday and quite November 14! I also have gained 6 lb. but am currently on a ‘fitness vacation’ trying to get rid of it. I’ve always been about 10 lb. overweight but this is sending me over the edge. Gained 30 the last time – hope that doesn’t happen again! Good luck to you! I”m in my first non-smoking hotel room on the beach and it feels pretty good!!!

  • Karen

    I quit smoking 9 months ago. I am so glad I found this page because I have been driving myself (and my husband) crazy. I figured that my metabolism would slow down after I stopped smoking but coming to a full blown halt has really thrown me for a loop. I have always worked out, even when I smoked. I am still working out 5 days a week but can’t seem to lose any of this 10 lbs I have gained. I am really depressed about it and basically ready to thrown in the towel. I have always watched what I eat, now being no different. Its a struggle when you work out almost every day, watch what you eat and still see now results. (especially when you see that your friend, who smokes, cuts out a few calories and loses 10 lbs.) I do realize what all of you are going through. Its nice to know when someone says ” I understand” that they actually do.

  • Debbi

    RE: Karen
    HALT is not the word! I think my metabolism is going in reverse! I have now gained 12 lb. for absolutely no reason. Some clothes don’t fit at all and the others are just uncomfortable – this really gets me mad because I am doing everything in my power to NOT gain weight. I do not want to start smoking again but I know the weight would ‘fall off’ if I did. There must be an answer out there somewhere!

  • Tiffany

    Hi. I’m 25 years old and have been smoking for about 2 years. There are social, physical, and economic reasons to quit obviously, but I have been overweight basically my entire life and I am SO SCARED of gaining more weight because I quit. I will totally chalk it up to my own screwed up neurosis, but I’d almost rather be thinner and live a shorter life, than a longer fat one. Has anyone NOT gained weight after quitting?

  • Debbi

    I THINK WE ARE ALL ALONE WITH THIS PROBLEM – there is no answer for our ‘nicotine-free’ metabolisms. The only advice so far is: ‘stop eating’, ‘exercise more’, ‘eat heathier’, etc, which CLEARLY doesn’t work. I am at my wits end after not smoking for 2 months – the weight keeps piling on and I am getting more and more depressed. Laser therapy seems to help with the depression, but not with the weight gain. Help!

  • Amie

    POSSIBLE SOLUTION: I have only quit for a month and so far (with ridiculous excersize and dieting) only gained 4lbs. I’m only 5ft tall and I can’t afford to gain much more. My co-worker (age 38 smoker for 17years) quit a year ago and gained 20lbs. Last April of 09 she went on the Atkins diet and lost almost 35lbs WITHOUT EVEN EXERCISING! She looks great and has been able to keep the weight off. Has anyone else had success with Atkins? If not it’s worth a try since nothing else is working. If I gain another pound I’m going on it. Good luck!

  • Terri

    Hello. I’m on day 16 without (42 Yrs young and smiked for 25 years). I have been going to the gym everyday; sometimes twice a day- but on average 2.5 hours. I do most of this time at night, which is my crave time to smoke. Keeps me busy and was hoping to keep my weight down. I’m up 5 LBS even with all the working out…. seems as if I need to increase it more since I was an a gym rate to begin with. good gosh should I live there? About 15 years ago I lost about 70lbs- and I have kept all the weight off since thanks to the gym and smoking I guess- I never realized smoking increased ones’ metabolism…
    I saw a new vitamin on TV for woman that is to help increase metabolism. Has anyone tried it? I think I’m going to get it today…

  • Debbi

    WHAT IS THE VITAMIN AND HOW DO WE GET IT? (2 months smoke-free – 12 lb. up)

  • Terri

    Hi Debbi:
    ouch 12 lbs… so sorry…. congrats on 2 months!!!! I just got it today at took one this afternoon.. We will see? I got mine at CVS it is the One a Day Multi called” Women s Active Metabolism”. I’m willing to try… worst case I get more Vitamins. But I can say this, I just got home from the Gym. Since the quit I was having trouble getting my heart-up on the Cardio machine (Never had that problem). This evening It was up 10%???? Was working harder? Was it a placebo effect? Was it that little vitamin? Humm… Not sure? I’m hoping to see some changes in a week….

  • Terri

    Also, Does Dr. Gary Pepper ever post here? I don’t see anything from him?

  • Debbi

    Terri: Thanks for the vitamin advice – I will try anything at this point. This forum has been active for over year and no word from Dr. Pepper….I think he just might be a soft drink! It would be nice if we could get a medical opinion who’s actually looked into this problem. I also think it would be nice if all the smoking cessation groups would help more with the metabolism and depression aspect of quitting smoking – I think those 2 things are more difficult to deal with than quitting itself!

  • Dr. G. Pepper

    The Comments section at is a place where members have the opportunity to get their questions and opinions posted to the homepage for maximum visibility. Every day thousands of people have the opportunity to see what is on your mind. I try not to intervene too much in Comments so people feel free to say whatever…including what may seem negative about the website.

    Everyday, Chris (our webmaster) and I review the Comments section several times. I try to find topics that have general interest which I then turn into a blog. I hope you have noticed that many member questions wind up in my main blog. It takes me a lot of time and effort to prepare a meaningful blog post. I also try to choose a wide variety of issues to cover the whole spectrum of metabolic issues, from the Armour Thyroid crisis, to diabetes care, to smoking cessation, weight loss, low testosterone, Vitamin D etc.

    There is a serious shortage of Endocrinologists and the situation is going to get worse before it gets better. At I try to share my experience with as many people as I can even though I can’t get to every question. I regret if it appears I am ignoring anyone’s concerns.

    Many of my opinions run counter to the medical establishment so I am not universally appreciated by my peers. My next blog on the flaws in the latest Diabetes Treatment Guidelines prepared by my professional society is going to make me even less popular.

    Many thanks to you and other members of for your support. And thank you for understanding the mission and limitations of

    All the best,

    Gary Pepper, M.D.

  • Debbi

    Terry: The vitamin contains caffiene….no can do. I gave that up 15 years ago but explains your heart rate!

  • Terri

    Sorry to hear that.

    RE Gary Pepper
    Respectfully, maybe Dr. Pepper will, some day, post a suggested idea. The amount of time it took to write why he does not have the time, he could have offered-up something for all of us. To intervene ‘too much’ should not be a problem for all of us here… define ‘too much’ or maybe ever?


  • Debbi


  • Marion


    I have posted my weight gain problems here too, but I think I may have found a little bit of a solution for our metabolism issues. By the way i have quit smoking 7 months ago and gained about 25 lbs.

    It is cinnamon capsules, take one at night and also take a niacin pill at night, both of these can be found at wal mart in the vitamin section. The cinnamon right on the bottle says that is helps your sugar metabolism and the niacin people are taking in place of their cholesterol pill, and in return has shown to help them lose weight and get off of their cholesterol medicine.

    My mother, husband and brother n law have all been successful. I started this about 2 days ago and we shall see.

    Can’t hurt right, it’s just vitamins:

    Good luck, will give you an update in 3 months:

  • lynn

    hi marion
    what strength niacin and what strength cinnamon – cant wait to try – thanx so much

  • Debbi

    Be careful with the niacin….do your homework first.

  • Cheryl

    Hi everyone, I too smoked for 20 years & quit smoking using Chantix a year ago this month. I have been struggling with losing the 20lbs i put on. It doesn’t matter what i do i dont gain more or lose anything! Have tried everything!! @ the gym doing cardio, stairmaster taj mahal everyday was walking 7 miles a day up and down hills in real sweats … NOTHING has helped. My doctor has ran every test possible thinking i was anemic, diabetes, thyroid … nothing. It is soo frustrating and depressing I dont ever want to smoke again still disgusted by the smell which is great but fear that is why i am not losing weight. i weighed 150lbs when i quit and am now 170lbs was kinda happy at 150 thinking i only wanted to lose 20lbs … now i want to lose 40lbs soo frustrating cant even lose a lb. Please help?? There has to be something that can help boost our metabolism?? My doctor even gave me a years worth of water pills prescription which i cant believe he would do considering after having my 2nd child they wouldnt even give me 1/2 of one….

  • Terri

    Hi Cheryl
    Congrats on being smoke free at 1 yr!!! What an accomplishment! Kudos.!

    I hope I’m that successful, as I’m at day 25 and doing ok. I too smoked for 25 years… cold turkey (chantix made me do/feel weird things).

    Well, the weight issue is/was a problem for me ( I think I’m back on track??). I was up 7 lbs and only into 10 days of my quit…. This was very upsetting since I had lost about 70 lbs 15 years ago and do work out religiously. In this I thought, “not me”, I work out I won’t gain weight. Wrong! I did not realize that smoking increased ones’ metabolism rate thus, I was (did) gain weight. So, I upped my workout time 2 hours of cardio and nothing… still gained weight. I purchased the ‘One a Day vitamin for Metabolism’ and now I’m down the 5 of the 7 lbs I gained. Don’t know if it helped or not or if I’m just more focused at the gym, or if time is a factor (so many variables here) but maybe this combination may help you too?

    Water pills is a false sense of weight loss, get a new MD. Remember, letters after a name (MD) does not make a person and expert in a field od study- get a new MD.

    Much luck!! Keep at it… Terri

  • Debbi

    I’m 54, smoked for 37 years and am at 2 1/2 months smoke-free and gained 12 pounds so far – lost 2 1/2 last week by REALLY working out way more and REALLY sticking to Weight Watchers. The One a Day Vitamins for Metabolism contain caffiene so that could help some. Unfortunately, I stopped caffiene about 15 years ago and not about to go back. This is probably the most difficult thing I’ve ever done but I’ve already had to buy new clothes (to fit) and I don’t want to buy more! There must be another way – I know I can’t keep this pace forever!

  • Thanks for all of your comments about quitting smoking and gaining weight. I thought I was crazy and people who have never smoked seem to think I am making it up just to have an excuse to start smoking again.

    Well, I have quit smoking many times. The last time before this time was about 4 years ago. I had quit for 3 months and gained 30 pounds. I was a bit over weight at the time of quitting, but only about 10 pounds.

    So this time it has been since November 12th and I have already gained about 20 lbs. YUCK. I will not start smoking again because I do not want to wake up at night hacking and I am sick of the stench on my clothing. I cannot bear to think of going through trying to kick it again.

    Unfortunately, I am a real addict and if I have only one cigarette, I’m on my way to the gas station to buy three packs. I could NEVER do the 5 cigarettes per day, I am an addict.

    I know that there is a real metabolism change, I can feel it. But I also know that I am filling in my habit with eating and I am working on trying to stop that. I think we should all congratulate ourselves and keep on plugging along. I plan to tackle the weight next…….good luck to all and don’t listen to people who have no clue!!

  • I replied some time ago to this thread and would like to add something. Everybody here posted a personal story of dealing with weight gain after quitting smoking. I went through that too. I smoked since I was 15, quit to have a child, picked up just that one cigarette a year after…, and than quit again 7 years ago for good. I did start gaining weight and was diagnosed with hypothyroid condition right prior to quitting. However what was effective for me is to modify almost all my life habits, not only eating and exercising. I did go to gym every day (and worked out hard) , ate small portions, meditated, made peace with few people in my life, looked at the bright side of things, etc. I even got certified as a fitness trainer! By no means it was easy but it was worthwhile doing. I wrote down all my life patterns and changed them all – even good ones modified slightly. I did it to reset my system completely. All the women in my family are very overweight and I’m not – only due to the discipline and frame of mind I choose to keep.
    I started helping people to quit smoking with customized individual hypnosis sessions, because it is the best thing you can do – quit smoking forever. All it takes is a firm decision and sometimes some help.
    I know that you can do anything when you make a decision to do it. Real firm once-and-for-all decision. I came to Dr. Pepper four years ago as a mess on Synthroid, and now with Armour, Selenium, meditation, and holistic medicine even my antibodies levels are going down. I decided to get healthier and did everything it took that is healthy for me. We all are not getting younger so I choose to take care of my body and eliminate unhealthy habits on daily basis, and help my patients do the same.
    Good luck to you all, congratulations on quitting, and I wish you health.

  • Debbi

    I wrote to Dr. Oz and here’s a portion of the response I receieved.

    “Strengthening exercises will help speed up your metabolism. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking, misguidedly, that strength exercises are for increasing your size. You can do resistance exercises without making your muscles bulge. The true payoff for strengthening your muscles is that you’ll build a little more lean muscle mass, which will help you burn more calories throughout the day and speed your metabolism.
    Any movement speeds metabolism, including fidgeting (called nonexercise activity thermogenesis in scientific lingo, or NEAT for short). Every increase in body temperature of one degree increases your metabolic rate by 14 percent (eating protein appears to do the same thing naturally, by the way). When you sleep, your metabolic rate decreases by 10 percent. When you starve yourself for more than twelve hours, your metabolic rate actually goes down by 40 percent. When you skip meals, your body senses a dietary disaster and quickly goes into storage mode rather than burning mode. That’s the primary reason why deprivation diets don’t work. Your body panics about going into a famine, so it slows metabolism into emergency-storing mode rather than a steady state of burning. Breakfast eaters are on average thinner than those who skip breakfast because they keep their metabolism genes turned on; this means that calories are more likely to be burned off before they can turn into fat.”

    I started strength training about a month ago (BodyPump classes 3/week) and am losing about 1 lb./week. I’ve quit for 3 months now and never thought I would lose! I am also following Weight Watchers faithfully and started a walk/run program It’s a lot of physical activity, but it’s better than the enormous weight gain I had the last time I quit – which eventually drove me back to cigarettes.

  • cheryl

    Yeah no one seems to get the point. NOTHING I do is effective!!! I have a bit of salt after weeks of working out and eating bland nothing and I’m ballooned and bloated!!! Its the chemicals all of it thats stopping my body from losing weight. Have heard our metabolism comes to a halt once we quit anyone have a solution for that a REAL solution i think not! Thats the whole plan ya quit smoking then become fat and depressed wow what a plan …

  • Marion

    Just wanted to give you an update, quit smoking 8 months ago and have gained exactly 20 pounds, seems like the weight gain has finally slacked off. Last Monday a week ago I started Atkins, lost 9 lbs in 7 days, must be alot of fluid. Just the effects of being on Atkins, I feel so much better, but the best part is it forcing your body to burn fat and increases your metabolism. Try it its not as hard as you think. The NEW Atkins is alot more flexible and easy to learn than the old version. Basically the same with a few easier ways of understanding it. Good Luch I hope it works. Thanks, my goal is to wear a bikini this summer, not in public of course just at home in my pool, lol.

  • Ulrica

    So I came across this website trying on some research on why does your metabolism stop when you quit smoking… I looks like everyone has the same problem, I quit September 2008 gained 15lbs which I still haven’t lost, It does not matter that I run 45min/day, eating healty and have a job which keeps me on my feet running around like a maniac all day long. I have had my hormones tested, my doctor put me on diet pills where I lost 10lbs(water weight) and as soon as I stopped taking the pills the pounds came back on. I’m looking into having my thyroid tested so we will see what happens… you’d think it be an answer for this…

  • Caroline

    Hi, firstly I would like to say how happy I am to have found this site and read all your posts, at least now I feel like I’m not alone in my struggle.
    Im 41 years old, female and stopped smoking 2 Jan 2009 – almost 15 months ago and have gained 9lbs. I was slightly overweight to begin with but it didnt bother me that much and usually when I tried to loose weight as a smoker I could, quite quickly -not any more. Since quitting I gained weight steadily even while following Weight Watchers and increasing my activity levels (though only slightly) and have watched every bite I put in my mouth for the last 12 months. I admit to eating more sugary food and high calorie snacks in the first 3- 4 months to compensate for the cigarettes but soon realised that I was gaining weight fast and started on Weight Watchers but continued to gain. Stopped gaining after about 12 months but I’m still trying to shift the 9lb and nothing is happening. I have been to the doctor who gave me fat binding pills but they were useless cos I was on a very low fat diet anyway so no point, even tried Slim Fast religiously for a week and nothing!
    I am only hoping that if I continue trying, and now that I am smoke free 15 months that my metabolism might soon return to normal and I can start loosing weight. (I wish there was some more factual information about this).
    I agree with previous posts that while I am happy to be a non smoker and do not want to start again, If I had known about the misery of the weight problem I might not have stopped in the first place.
    Those who were going to try Atkins recently – have you had any luck?

  • Caroline

    Oh forgot to say – I was smoking for 25 years, about 20 – 30 a day . That looks terrible when I see it written down!

  • Cate

    Found this forum looking for info on the effects of stopping smoking on metabolism. I was a smoker for 16 years, smoking anywhere between 10 & 40 a day. I have now stopped smoking for nearly 3 months and have gained around 14lbs! There have been no significant changes to my diet, I am excercising more. The main thing I have noticed is the effect on my digestive system…. Having been very ‘regular’ as a smoker, I am constipated and bloated nearly all the time now. I have a healthy balanced diet of fruit and vegetables – and always have wholemeal/wholewheat products. Like some of the others on here I have considered returning to smoking again to be back to ‘normal’, I recently had my blood pressure checked and this had reduced significantly to the healthy range again (having always been slightly raised as a smoker) so at least I am seeing some benefits! But still the constipation thing is really starting to get me down… other sights I have looked at have suggested this is normal for a few days – but more than 2 months?! Help!

  • Debbi

    Re: Cate & Caroline

    I’m 4 1/2 months smoke-free now and gained about 13 to start, but have lost 5. I am 54 and smoked a pack or more a day for 37 years. My stomach is a trainwreck, irregularity, gas, etc. My nails break constantly; my face is breaking out; my hair sucks – nothing is right. I workout 5-6 days a week including weight lifting classes, run/walk interval training, Pilates, ice skating and also follow Weight Watchers. I have seen no weight loss in 8 weeks!!! It’s depressing as hell. I seriouly wish that someone would help us all!!

  • Marion

    I have quit smoking for 9 months now and I can only tell you what works for me. I gained 20 pounds in no time and was going crazy until I decided about 5 weeks ago to begin the Atkins diet, that is the diet that will absolutely jump start your metabolism. Start eating the atkins protein bars and you will go to the bathroom. Lots of fiber in those bars. Also, I was so excited just to quit gaining weight. In 5 weeks lost 10 lbs. I am so excited that is without any exercise. Finally, I got my body to quit gaining weight that’s the best part. Try it I hope it works for you.

  • Debbi

    How does one learn the Atkins Diet? Do I need to buy a book? I eat Fiber One bars daily…..

  • Michelle

    I quit smoking and gained 10 pounds within 6 months. I was already exercising/cross training daily and so could not up my exercise any more than it was. My diet has always been excellent. So there was nothing I could do to lose the stubborn 10lbs, that is, until I went on the Atkins diet, and lost 8 so far!!

  • Marion

    Atkins is a carb free diet, the “New Atkins Diet” Book is out at all book stores. It’s a little different than the original version but still very simple. No carbs only allowed 19 per day. The atkins bars have so much fiber in them they don’t give you gas they make you go to the bathroom. Also, for lunch I will either eat a bar or I will get a burger from anywhere with no bun. Side Salad. Just about anywhere you eat you can choose a meat and salad or vegetable dish.

    What ends up happening is in about a week your body will go into transition mode called Ketosis. That is when you body stops using carbs to burn fat and and uses the fat your body has stored for energy. I am not very good at explaining this. Good luck, I hope this helps….

    You know what else will help your stomach is those aciphydillas pills, whatever is in yogurt, there are pills of that you can take. cleared my stomach up in about a week. Makes everything work so much better. They may be called BIOTIN. Wal mart sells them. That will wonders to regulate you.

    Good Luck and stay smoke free, it is so worth it:::::::::::::::::

  • Hi everyone. I know folks go through some heart wrenching challenges to quit smoking and try to improve their health and sometimes don’t see positive results right away. Hang in there and remember some basics about nutrition before turning to any extreme measures. We cannot survive for long without adequate carbohydrates. Our brains, red blood cells and muscles need some carbohydrate (glucose) to function.

    A really important thing to remember is that the brain and nervous system alone use 100 to 150 grams of glucose per day. It is true that if we don’t consume enough dietary carbohydrate, then we will start to breakdown our own muscles or dietary protein to make the glucose we need. That is ok for the short term but it generates ammonia and keto acids and turns our blood so acidic that we start to pull calcium out of our bones to balance the acid!

    Also this is very dangerous for someone with diabetes or compromised kidney function. It can tip some people into kidney failure. I personally know 2 people with diabetes who ended up on acute dialysis because of restricting carbohydrates too much. Carbohydrates have a “protein sparing” effect that is well recognized and utilized in critical care nutrition support.

    Of course we don’t need to consume lots of simple carbs from processed foods (PROCESSED FOODS are the REAL CULPRITS in our health and obesity issues here in the USA). The protein sparing effect should come from HEALTHY PLANT BASED CARBs in their WHOLE UNPROCESSED FORM. Legumes, starchy vegetables, whole grains and fresh fruits should be the source of our “brain fuel”. Be so careful to get a balance of healthy carbohydrates, proteins and fats… I don’t want to see you in the ICU!

    As always, consider having a professional individualized nutrition consultation!

    Clinical Nutritionist
    Beth Ellen DiLuglio, MS, RD, CNSD, CCN, LD/N

    In regards to this reply please read the our terms of service at:

  • Marion

    Really glad to read the post from Beth, I gave a kidney to my brother 5 years ago and I guess I really should not be putting this additional stress on the only good one I have. In addition, my husband quit smoking about 1 & 1/2 years ago and found out he is diabetic and I have him on this diet. I guess we really need to see a nutritionist. This really bothers me though because this is the best I have ever felt. Thanks for the information and I will make an appointment to see a nutritionist.

    Maybe because we do cheat a little, the atkins diet has not had a significant negative effect on us.

    Thanks, Marion

  • lavone perkins

    Wow, I am so glad to see that I am not the only one! I immediately started working out (60+ cardio 6 days per week and strength training 4-5 days per week) as well as weighing, counting and portioning my caloric/nutrient intake the moment I made the decision to quit smoking. For all intents and purposes, I should be losing weight – like crazy. But I am not. The scale AND measuring tape refuse to budge in that downward motion. I’ve gained 5-10lbs that won’t go away. It has been 3 months. It’s insane! I figured that it had everything to do with the quitting smoking and how it effects the metabolism. I don’t have a problem with continueing my healthier lifestyle sans cigarettes but what I would really like to know is: does anyone out there have an idea about how long it will take before the metabolism will return to normal and I will see some positive results?

  • Debbi

    Welcome Lavone….I am in month 5 of quitting – gained 13, took off 6 and that’s where it stopped. I go to the gym like you and nothing is happening. I’ve heard it takes about a year for things to even out. Here’s hoping! It’s very frustrating.

  • Michelle

    It took a good year for my metabolism to finally stabilize. It was a very long year, but it does happen and you will get there! Hang in there!!

  • Debbi

    I am VERY happy to hear that news!!!

  • teresa

    well it’s been a while since i’ve been here. it’s been 9 months since i quit smoking. the weight gain has lvled off -i’m not gainging anymore at least-stuck at +15lbs pre quiting…

    i consulted a dietician about the weight-she made me read a book. i think there are a few people here that have some of the same struggles as i do w/not only the issue of gaining weight but the emotional stuff that goes along w/it like poor body image n stuff…. if you think it might be something you want to look at the book is fairly cheap-got it at borders for like 15 bucks.

    Intuitive Eating : A Recovery Book For The Chronic Dieter; Rediscover The Pleasures Of Eating And Rebuild Your Body Image. Elyse Resch; Tribole, Evelyn (1996). New York: St. Martin’s Paperbacks.

    in the meantime the arches in my feet both completely fell-btw that sucked so everybody take care of your feet if you can. i am not able to do my kickboxing anymore-the dr thinks that’s what finally did it [well that and crappy shoes for my whole life]. so i guess the fact that i’m not gaining but not able to be as active is a sign that my metabolism is starting to come out of the nicotine -enhanced state. i just wanted to give an update.

    good luck to everybody and don’t give up. i do feel a lot better since i quit in a lot of ways so it is worth it :~)

  • Jayne

    Ok, I’m 53 and quit Jan 30th, 2010. I smoked for 39 years. I have now gained 5 lbs on this round of quitting. I quit 4 years ago for a year and went back to smoking due to the weight gain. I didn’t lose all that I had gained. I am 5’2″ and as you short gals know 3 lbs make a difference. I am a recovered bulima-rexic and I don’t need to tell you that this could throw me back in a tailspin if I let it. I am waging war against all the negative spirits that may come against me in this battle to survive. I am accepting the fact that it may take a year for my body to settle down. In the meantime I will keep up the healthy, “I love me, no matter what,” lifestyle. My father quit smoking in the early 70’s he was in his forties at the time. We just celebrated his 80th birthday last week. This old guy sailboards and puts the rest of us to shame. He also gained weight after he quit but it did come back off. So to all of us, congradulations, stay strong, love yourself unconditionally and know that you are much more than a number on a scale; this too shall pass.

  • Debbi

    Thanks Jayne….
    That’s about the best advice I’ve heard this far. I’m 5 months smoke-free with about a 10 lb gain that won’t budge -even with heavy exercise and Weight Watchers. I will give it the year and hopefully it will even out. I TRULY do not want to go back to smoking. For the first time since quitting, I was in 2 smokey bars the other day and it actually made me feel sick – no temptation there at all. I guess we all have to hang in there because there is no magic potion for us!

  • Melanie

    I’ll be 50 next month, 35 year smoker, 1 pack per day…finally quit 1/11/10, and I have gained 25 lbs. I am NOT eating more, contrary to what everyone tells me I must be doing. I have tried walking, swimming, calisthenics, treadmill, jogging – nothing works. I am constantly starving, with hunger pangs and noises. I’m bloated and fat and disgust myself. I have gone up 3 pant sizes since January. I was always 125 lbs., 5 foot 5, and looked fine. Now I’m over 150 lbs., and I can’t even maneuver my body around. I don’t want to leave the house, and the depression is the worst. I hate looking in the mirror, and I can’t take too much more of this. Every day, the scale goes up, and I am eating “normally,” i.e., a little breakfast, a sandwich for lunch, no snacking, and a regular dinner. I am not a snacker or a junk-food junkie. This is making me nuts. I’m so glad to know that maybe it isn’t all my fault, waiting until I’m so old to quit and then creating a perfect storm of menopause and lack of nicotine. But, if it takes a year to level out, they’ll be burying me in a piano case. This sux.

  • teresa

    melanie. i know where u are. i know it’s really upsetting to you-believe me i know! i’d be concerend that you’re not eating enough which can also slow your metabolism down-the body wants to keep what it has when you don’t fuel it. remember we’re all right there with you. don’t give up/loose sight that quiting was a healthy decision-even if the scale hurts your feelings every day for a while. hang in there n know we’re all behind you – i promise there’s no piano case in your future k :~)

  • Marion

    Keep your chin up you are doing great, accept the fact of the weight and decide that you like yourself more right now even if you are a little heavier. I have done the exact same thing, waiting for a something to make me want to lose this weight.

    Not sure what it is but even though I now weigh 168 lbs. and wanted to be 135 forever I am very proud of myself that it will be a year on June 14 that I quit. Hopefully the weight will diminish this summer.

  • MCLilly

    Thanks Marion and Teresa – I’ll keep my chins up! It is hard to accept the weight, as it is all new to me and I don’t really even know how to move around in this type of body. I feel very much like a humongous slug most of the time. As long as I’m standing, I don’t look too bad, but when I sit down – boy, howdy, it’s Jabba the Hut time…I did join an online fitness tracker, and have found that so far today I have burned 2,106 calories and consumed 916. Don’t know what that means, just know that I am still hungry after lunch. I am somewhat afraid to eat when hungry, though, because I just keep getting bigger! and I can’t afford new clothes ever 4 weeks. Also, I feel like I should probably have bagged myself a husband before I got big, as now I’ll be 50 and fat…not a very good dateable combination. Sometimes I give up, and sometimes I get motivated. I need to find a way to stay motivated…or give up, either which way 🙂

  • Debbi

    Melanie: Not sure if you have read all of these posts, but a few years back, I quit and gained THIRTY pounds just as you described. Made me feel exactly like you say “humongous slug” and buying bigger clothes every 4 weeks. It drove me back to smoking. Recently, (Nov. 14, 2009), I quit again and gained 13 lb. by Christmas!!! I had to buy new clothes once again & could feel the depression rolling in again, but instead of smoking this time, I started going to the gym like a total maniac. I follow Weight Watchers also. I am 54 years old, 5′ 2″and have weighed 120-125 most of my life – now I’m ‘hanging tight’ at 135 by doing what I’m doing. It will be 6 months smoke-free for me on Friday and I don’t feel too bad about it. I love going to the gym, especially my weight-lifting classes 2x week. I also do Pilates and a lot of walking and rowing. I just came back from a 18 day vacation and only gained 2 lb. – which isn’t bad considering I did NO exercise at all! Hang in there….things WILL even out. I am waiting for the day I can drop these 10 unwanted pounds and I know eventually it will happen. Be proud of yourself for not smoking – I am!

  • cheryl

    Help. I’m 9 months smoke free and have gained 45 pounds. Am working out and watching what I eat. Everytime I gain again (I’m still gaining), I increase my exercise, reevaluate my diet and loose a few pounds only to gain that back and more. I do not know what to do.

  • Debbi

    Cheryl: Have you tried Weight Watchers and going to the gym and working hard 4-5 days a week? That is the only thing that has worked for me.

  • Lora

    I stopped smoking 13 and 1/2 months ago and have been on WW 20 months… I have stuck with the WW program thru it all and managed to lose some weight but it’s been a very hard and trying time. I have only lost about 10 lbs in the past 10 months! I have had tons of lab work and heart test including a heart Cath and the doctors can not solve my problem…my pulse rate and metabolism have been so slow…I started looking at my weight charts that I have keep faithfully since 09/25/2008 and started noticing that my maintains and bouncing back and forth with gains and loses all started after I stopped smokiing. Then I started researching the effects of smoking and metabolism…I found and article that stated it can take over a year for the body’s metabolism to recover after years of smoking. People who quit find it difficult to lose weight, and often even gain extra pounds in spite of attempting to diet.~~~~Well it’s over a year now for me…………so it’s time my metabolism recovers and lets me move on to get the rest of this weight off.

  • Tracy

    hi all,
    well done to all of us non stinky smokers!
    however, the good I have done is fast being diminished due to the massive weight gain. I admit at first I did not care that I was eating more as the stopping smoking after 30 years was hard enough and I ‘rewarded’ myself with nice foods having been on a diet half my life anyway! I was soon to regret this gain though, as I am nearly 9months on, 28 lbs heavier and can’t shift it. I re joined the gym and go every day ( 5/6X) I do body pump X 2 and aerobics/walking incline, follow wwatchers and havn’t lost A pound!!!!! I waited for 8 weeks with no gain or loss and continued on as gym instructors and others told me that not losing would be due to the muscle mass, but am now on week 9 and still to lose anything!!
    Its about time this problem was noted by the professionals – afterall they could be making a fortune if they researched and solved this metabalism ( or whatever it is ) issue for non smokers. We worked hard to stop smoking and are still working hard now – without any support or truth to recognising this issue. I too am sick of people insinuating that I must be eating too much or not excersising enough. Man, I am working so hard and its getting so upsetting.
    Would never smoke again though.
    Thanks to all who post on here, I loved reading all your ideas, frustrations etc and its nice to know I am not alone and that I am not going mad!
    I am in the UK and am 43. I gave up in Oct 09 and smoked for nearly 30years!!

  • Debbi

    Tracy – I could not agree with you more!

  • Michelle

    I am 43 also and that first year after quiting was hell for me. The research definitely shows that smoking increases our metabolism and decreases our appetite. We all know that for a lot of us it is not that we are eating more, but dealing with a slower metabolism. It’s now been a year and 2 months and I could really tell my metabolism is starting to level out. Finally!!! I never ever thought that would happen though. It was a long year of struggling to stop the weight gain. No matter what I did, absolutely nothing worked. NOTHING worked! (and I’m a personal trainer and know all the tricks to lose weight). But it wasn’t until I went on the Atkins diet (really decreased the carbs), that everything started to shift. Here is how I did it:
    I would go on the Atkins diet for 4 weeks to start the loss and was super strict. Would then maintain for 2 weeks; add some carbs in unless I saw the scale start to go up. After those 2 weeks, I’d go back on the diet. I did this 4 week on/2 weeks off cycle till I lost the weight I wanted to lose and I’ve now kept it off. So I know it works. It’s hard to stick with, but well worth it.
    Hope this helps! Try it 🙂

  • Leanne

    Finally i found a website which discusses this important issue. I’ve been off the smokes for 7 months and gained 5 kilos during this time. I can relate to you all. I dont think that I can reduce my calorie intake anymore. After reading your posts, I have decided to see my GP, try the Atkins Diet and if no luck there, will be patient and wait for 1 year of giving up and hope that my metabolism returns to normal. Wish you luck in losing the extra pounds..

  • Melanie

    Hi Michelle and Leeanne – Melanie here – I’m 6 months off of the butts tomorrow (and my birthday – ugh) and I seem to have stopped gaining, at least. I’m now 154 at 5’6″, which is 20 lbs more than I’ve ever been. It seems to be all around the middle, but I know it’s not. It’s kind of all over, with more in the middle. But at least I’ve stopped adding 2 lbs every time I eat. I’m just banking on the 1 year mark in the hope that this will all reverse. If not, I guess I’m a 12 now forever. I tried exercise, diet, and all of it – too frustrating to have nothing work. Keep up your good works all, and maybe we will all get to a place where this weight issue doesn’t really matter. I know I’m not there, but here’s to hope!

  • Leanne

    I spoke to my local pharmamist today regarding the dilemma we are all facing..he said to me that it is possible to lose the weight but it will take some time (not sure how long) but he assured me that extra weight will not be permanent if i eat healthy and exercise. he also advised me to eat my meals at the same time every day, and eat before i get hungry ie if i normally eat morning tea at 10.30, eat at 10.00. this guy gave up smoking himself and gained weight so he knows what we are going through and he also has the medical knowledge…i feel better that im not going to look 9 months forever and there is hope for all of us…if we stay committed, determined and discplined im sure we will achieve our goals…let;s hope

  • Debbi

    I am 54 and 7 months in and hanging in there trying to lose the 11 lb. I gained JUST thinking about quitting and ultmiately quitting. Some people think 11 lb is NO big deal but try wearing your clothes – nothing fits! I work out with weights and cardio 5x/week and follow WW to the best of my ability.. None of my clothes fit anymore and nobody understands!

  • teresa

    Hey everyone. It’s been a while since i checked back w/you guys so here’s an update- it will be 11 months on the 25th of July for me. I have continued to gain in spite of my efforts -cutting calories, upping activity, working on my stress levels etc … I have gained 22 lbs back of the 30 I had lost before I quit. I have gone to the doctor and gotten checked out and it may actually be a thyroid problem [my TSH is deficient ..?..] Evidently smoking not only assaults the lungs but also other things… You guys may want to talk to your doctors even if it’s just to rule out anything. I’m hoping that she’ll put me on meds to tell the truth. If it’s low but not enough to do anything… I really don’t think I can handle the thought of that right now… Anyway, I’ll let you all know what happens-cross your fingers n send me some good vibes Good luck everyone

  • Caroline

    Hi again everyone. Firstly congratulations on quitting and staying off cos that is the important thing.
    I first posted on 24th March and regret to say that very little has changed since that. I have even had thyroid and blood sugar tests done and thankfully they are clear but I still have the weight problem.

    At that point in March I was going to try the Atkins diet which I eventually did for 3 weeks in April; I stuck to it religiously and nothing – not a 1lb. My father died on 2nd May so all diets and thoughts of diets went out the window for the few weeks following that and I ate anything and everthing that I wanted and subsequently gained another 4lbs for it. (On top of the quitting gain of 10lbs)
    Beginning of June came and I was so depressed about my size so “time for action” again so I joined Slimming World, that was 1st June and I am happy to say that I have lost the 4lb already but the test will be if I can start chipping away at the 10lb that I gained after quitting the cigs and which has been impossible to shift. I am going to remain positive and tell you that the next time I post I will have lost the 10lbs and looking forward to my first 1stone off! Wish me luck.

    I’m off the cigs 18 months now, so if I can shift the weight on this current diet it will show that maybe it does take over over a year for metabolism to level out. I will let you know how I get on. Good luck to you all.
    Caroline (42).

  • Donna

    Hello everyone! This is my first post and am proud to say that after 40 years of smoking I have been smoke free for 2 months! Yippee! I never intend to go back either. Similar to all of you I started gaining weight immediately, 3 pounds the very first weekend. since then I have gained 3-5 more pounds depending on the day and what I have eaten. I am moderately active and do yoga 2 times a week and work with kettle bells another 2 times a week, so I am not completely sedentary . I too have done some extensive research on how to revert all the damage I have done through the years to my body. Unfortunately I haven’t found that quick fix that our world is always looking for LOL. But what I did find is some interesting information about the whys that we keep on asking about. It seems that during smoking, the nicotine somehow forces the fats in our body to go in and out of our cells, increasing metabolism. Once we stop smoking, the fat cells no longer go in and out and just remain stagnant in sort of a confused state. So the more we eat the more settles in those areas that we retain fat cells. For me it is my thighs, my stomach and my boobs! I have been unable to find out a time frame of how long this will take to reverse……but I know that I abused my body for so long I can’t expect it to be cured right away and am trying to be patient, eating healthy, mostly organic now, drinking lots of green tea….no sugar.(I brew my own daily which helps to flush your system of the toxins we built up) I read somewhere that even though the nicotine leaves your body after 96 hours there are still remnants of it up to a year which would trace you back to smoking cigs. HOW AWFUL IS THAT??? Oh and Caroline sounds like you are doing really well! Can’t wait to be where you are! Thanks everyone for all your great posts, it was really helpful, and hopefully we can all go back to a healthier state real soon! If I read any other info I’ll pass it on. Good luck friends!

  • Debbi

    Good for you and Welcome Donna! Keep on truckin’ and we’ll all get thru this together!

  • David

    Hi I have been smoking for 14 years and being in the army its difficult for me to maintain my run. And every time I go and try to quit I find my run time has fallen and when I give up and pick it up again my run time is back where it was how long would I have to wait for my lungs to catch up to where I need to be in my run or am I imagining things?

  • Dael

    Like all of you on here i have had the same problem. I was a total fitness fanatic. I worked out 5 days a week, walked everywhere and generally never stopped moving. I also smoked about 15 ciggies a day. All my life i have been 140lbs and never varied. When I got bored of smoking i decided for my health to stop. I really loved not being a smoker. when i gained a few pounds i thought (along with my doctor) hey, this will even out in time. 3 years down the line and 3 stone (28lbs) heavier i have just had enough. Working out seven days a week, never ever sitting in a chair and eating only 1750 cals a day the weight just continued to pile on. My doctor did not know what to do as i just got bigger and bigger and there was no way i could achieve any more exercise in a day. So i decided because i was so unhappy (when i was supposed to feel all of those amazing benefits) to try an experiment. I am now smoking 5 cigarettes a day. In two months i have shed 40lbs and now have a quality of life and a level of happiness back that makes life worth living although i still detest smoking. But what is one to do? what is the point of four more years of life (supposedly) when i felt suicidal for being so overweight that i couldn’t bear to look at myself or even leave the house? I am resigned to either nicotine replacement on a long term basis or severe depression. Until someone can come up with an answer i know what i shall choose…

  • Dael

    Like all of you on here i have had the same problem. I am a total fitness fanatic. I worked out 5 days a week, walked everywhere and generally never stopped moving. I also smoked about 15 ciggies a day. All my life i have been 140lbs and never varied. When I got bored of smoking i decided for my health to stop. I really loved not being a smoker. when i gained a few pounds i thought (along with my doctor) hey, this will even out in time. 3 years down the line and 3 stone (42lbs) heavier i have just had enough. Working out seven days a week, never ever sitting in a chair and eating only 1750 cals a day the weight just continued to pile on. My doctor did not know what to do as i just got bigger and bigger and there was no way i could achieve any more exercise in a day. So i decided because i was so unhappy (when i was supposed to feel all of those amazing benefits) to try an experiment. I am now smoking 5 cigarettes a day. In two months i have shed 40lbs and now have a quality of life and a level of happiness back that makes life worth living although i still detest smoking. But what is one to do? what is the point of four more years of life (supposedly) when i felt suicidal for being so overweight that i couldn’t bear to look at myself or even leave the house? I am resigned to either nicotine replacement on a long term basis or severe depression. Until someone can come up with an answer i know what i shall choose…

  • This is a really good article. I discovered your website from yahoo while searching a similar subject matter. I really appreciated what you had to discuss. Keep up the good work!

  • Leanne

    hi…i have taken up smoking again as i have not lost any weight in fact i have gained more….i feel disappointed with myself but i cannot accept my body….i wish u all well in your attempts to lose the excess weight….

  • Debbi

    Re: Leanne
    So sorry to hear you are smoking again. I am 9 months smoke-free and still unable to budge the 12 lb. I gained 8 months ago!! It’s frustrating, but I continue to work out a lot and stick with my healthy eating regimin. It becomes depressing at times, but something has to happen eventually!

  • Leanne

    hi debbi

    i hope u keep going and have more patience than me…i so hope i dont die from smoking 🙁

  • Debbi

    Hi Leanne:
    Don’t EVEN say that. And please don’t beat yourself up because you started again….this is about my 5th time quitting and the last time I quit I started again becauseof weight gain. Keep in touch on this website – I will try to be inspiration for you to try again (if I EVER lose this weight!).

  • Virginia

    Hi all. Amazing stories you’ve all shared. I’ve never been so horrified and yet inspired at the same time. There is no literature out there that actually tells you any of what your stories have told.

    I am 38, smoked for 20 years, quit 5 months ago. I am roughly 20 pounds over my target weight and am not happy about it. I have watched what I eat and started exercising nearly every day. Yoga, bootcamp, weights, running. All sorts. I have not gained or lost a single pound since quitting smoking. I was becoming very discouraged, but I see now that maybe I should at least be grateful for holding off a weight gain. I see most replies that have had long term success say hold on until past the ONE YEAR mark. I’m halfway there, and this is going to be the easy half.

    There’s no way I’d start smoking again. I went through weeks of hell – detoxing, emotional roller coaster, changing my habits and routines, not having that one thing to fall back on to de-stress every day…. I wouldn’t put myself through that again. I feel FINALLY like I have kicked it for good.

    I will be more strict in the diet and keep my butt moving and wait out the next few months. I’m looking forward to some permanent changes. For those of you in the same boat, YOU CAN DO IT TOO. You’ve made it this far. It only gets easier.

  • Debbi

    Virginia: Welcome to the club….all we have is each other because you are absolutely correct in saying there is NO literature or help out there! Sounds like you’ve got a grip on the weight problem….I am struggling with back issues at the moment which worries me – can’t keep up my workouts with this going on but I will try. I have no plan of smoking again either – that was sheer torture I don’t want to experience again! Keep up the good work and check in on us!

    Has anyone had a lung function test and been given a “lung age”? Mine is 92 and I’m only 54! YIKES….and that’s after 9 months smoke-free!

  • Marion

    Dael I am so sorry that you started smoking again, I wish you would have known that after 1 year and a few months my weight has finally begun to come off, but not easy. I quit a year ago on June 14th and I have just lost 8 of the 20 lbs. that I gained. I never will smoke again, and I will find a way to get this weight off.

    Unfortunately my husband quit 2 years ago and he has been diagnosed (from the weigh gain) with diabetes, high blood pressure, cholesterol, but it is still better than smoking. We are officially working on getting healthy so that he can get off of all of this medicine.

    I think if you put up with the weight for a little while, it does pay off, and it will begin to come off. They say it takes about a year for your metabolism to get back on track. So whenever you are ready try to quit again. I smokes since I was 12 and so for 32 years a pack and a half. The only way I was able to do it, believe it or not WAS BECAUSE I WANTED TO QUIT and the patch. Before the patch never worked, the difference was that I wanted to quit. So unless you are ready, do it on your time and your way, everyone is different..

    Good luck to all of you and I hope all goes well, I will keep you posted.

  • Laurie

    Is it the nicotine or the smoking?
    I went through some serious effort (gastrectomy) to lose 75lbs, so I’m now at 175lbs. I’ve been smoking 5 cigarettes a day for the past six months, and my weight was very stable, I didn’t have to watch what I ate, and exercised every day. I quit smoking and switched to Commit lozenges, and I’ve put on 4 lbs in a week.

    I’d be quite willing to go to Nicorette patches, if that would keep the weight off.
    To be perfectly honest, if I’m looking at a 15-25lb weight gain, I’ll go back to smoking 5 cigarettes a day . . . .
    So, what do you think? Has anyone tried simply staying on the patches and avoided the weight gain?

  • Debbi

    I quit once when the patch first came out. I stayed on the patch (7mg) for months, eventually cutting them in half and finally weaning off. As soon as I quit the patch, I gained 30 lb. faster than a speeding bullet!

    This time I quit 9 months ago without nicotine replacement and have gained 15 lb. (10 lb. within the first 6 weeks; the last 5 over 8 months). I feel as tho I’m going to continue to gain even tho I am following Weight Watchers and working out several times a week. I have been sidelined by a back injury so my workouts have been less than usual. To be honest, I didn’t think I could keep the pace I was at for long – it was all consuming. I am becoming more and more miserable with the weight gain which also becomes depressing. I wish someone had an answer.

  • Mike

    Hello all… reading through this forum has been very interesting and informative for me. I’ve been studying nicotine, tobacco, and smoking for some time now… and thought some of you would be interested in the following study: Serum TSH Levels in Smokers and Non-Smokers. The 5th Tromsø Study
    R. Jorde1, J. Sundsfjord2
    1 Institute of Clinical Medicine, University of Tromsø, Tromsø, Norway
    2 Department of Clinical Chemistry, University Hospital of North Norway, Tromsø, Norway

    The study abstract concludes with the following statement:
    Serum TSH levels were significantly lower in the smokers than in the non-smokers, both in males (1.63 ± 0.88 vs. 1.95 ± 1.04 mIU/L [p < 0.01]), and in females (1.55 ± 0.86 vs. 1.86 ± 1.01 mIU/L [p < 0.01]). Serum free T4 and free T3 levels were significantly higher in smokers than non-smokers (14.0 ± 2.2 vs. 13.4 ± 2.4 pmol/L for free T4 [p < 0.05], and 3.89 ± 0.79 vs. 3.72 ± 0.67 pmol/L for free T3 [p < 0.01], males and females analyzed together). There was no association between number of cigarettes smoked and the serum TSH level. Conclusion: Smokers have lower serum TSH and higher free T4 and free T3 levels than non-smokers, which may be of importance when evaluating subjects with subclinical hypothyroidism.
    This seems to be really solid evidence pointing to a need for smokers to address the metabolism issue very carefully, as this shows that TSH will be low for smokers, and tests for hypothyroidism will rather dissuade most doctors from prescribing t4/t3, because obviously the test and criteria will not reflect the unusual need of the quitting long term smoker.

    Also this shows that the smokers body will be used to having more available t4/t3 than the normal person. So if a doctor attempts to maintain in an ex-smoker… the t4/t3 levels of the average population… the person will be at least subclinically in a hypothyroid state… or at least hypometabolic. Too bad.
    Couldn't we just get beef or pork thyroid glands, prepare them appropriately and eat them (yuk! but it would be worth it no?) and go by feeling and subjective/empirical personal evidence??? see miller's organic farm… I just saw that he sells beef thyroid (expensive though)

  • Mike

    Hello all… reading through this forum has been very interesting and informative for me. I’ve been studying nicotine, tobacco, and smoking for some time now… and thought some of you would be interested in the following study: Serum TSH Levels in Smokers and Non-Smokers. The 5th Tromsø Study
    R. Jorde1, J. Sundsfjord2
    1 Institute of Clinical Medicine, University of Tromsø, Tromsø, Norway
    2 Department of Clinical Chemistry, University Hospital of North Norway, Tromsø, Norway

    The study abstract concludes with the following statement:
    Serum TSH levels were significantly lower in the smokers than in the non-smokers, both in males (1.63 ± 0.88 vs. 1.95 ± 1.04 mIU/L [p < 0.01]), and in females (1.55 ± 0.86 vs. 1.86 ± 1.01 mIU/L [p < 0.01]). Serum free T4 and free T3 levels were significantly higher in smokers than non-smokers (14.0 ± 2.2 vs. 13.4 ± 2.4 pmol/L for free T4 [p < 0.05], and 3.89 ± 0.79 vs. 3.72 ± 0.67 pmol/L for free T3 [p < 0.01], males and females analyzed together). There was no association between number of cigarettes smoked and the serum TSH level. Conclusion: Smokers have lower serum TSH and higher free T4 and free T3 levels than non-smokers, which may be of importance when evaluating subjects with subclinical hypothyroidism.
    This seems to be really solid evidence pointing to a need for smokers to address the metabolism issue very carefully, as this shows that TSH will be low for smokers, and tests for hypothyroidism will rather dissuade most doctors from prescribing t4/t3, because obviously the test and criteria will not reflect the unusual need of the quitting long term smoker.

    Also this shows that the smokers body will be used to having more available t4/t3 than the normal person. So if a doctor attempts to maintain in an ex-smoker… the t4/t3 levels of the average population… the person will be at least subclinically in a hypothyroid state… or at least hypometabolic. Too bad.
    Couldn't we just get beef or pork thyroid glands, prepare them appropriately and eat them (yuk! but it would be worth it no?) and go by feeling and subjective/empirical personal evidence??? see miller's organic farm… I just saw that he sells beef thyroid (expensive ? though)

  • Dr. G. Pepper


    Very interesting info. I’ve never seen this reported before. It seems that smoking raises the thyroid levels making smokers a bit “hypermetabolic”. Perhaps that is one reason smokers can keep their weight down and why so many people complain of weight gain once they stop. It may also help explain why smokers with hyperthyroidism appear to have more complications (the additive effect of the smoking and the underlying thyroid disorder)

    Thanks again for your contribution.


  • Michelle

    Thank you for posting this information Mike. This is very helpful!

  • Carmelo Guggemos

    Great post,Send you my picture. so well expressed. In Jr. High I remember my first cigarette. I too was trying to impress a girl named Leigh. We climbed on my parents garage roof thinking we were hiding. She had a pack of Salem’s, “Salem’s taste good like a cigarette should.” I took a drag and, like you, she said, “No, you have to inhale.” So I did. I became so dizzy I fell over and rolled off the roof. Splat! Of course that didn’t stop me from trying to get used to it. In high school I was an athlete so I didn’t keep smoking, but in college, again like you…I began again. My friends did, it was cool and my roommate was from Europe and smoked like a smoke stack. I continued on and off over the years, and even stopped for many years and then would start again. I haven’t smoked anything Fifteen years. And it was just a decision. For some reason, unlike so many other people, I never had a craving ever again and can’t bear the smell of cigarette smoke at all. I don’t like to think of any damage previously done. hen I smoked, I chain smoked, so even if I did;’t smoke every day, I got my fill of poison. I saw Dr. Oz on Oprah say, that smoking is like Russian Roulette, some people will smoke their entire lives and not get cancer and others like Dana Reeves will never smoke and get lung cancer. And he said, that I will be one cigarette that will get the domino effect rolling…it could be the first cigarette you smoked in college or the 1o millionth, you just don’t know, and that also helps me not desire to pick up another one. So glad you quit, I hope your words help others.

  • Debbi

    I’ve been smoke free for 10 months now and have no desire to smoke. I think it really worked this time. HOWEVER, the weight issue continues. I fluctuate between and 12 and 15 lb. gained and can not lose an ounce no matter what. The people at my gym asked me if I was “moving in”! Some WW friends think I’m not eating enough – but I’m only allowed 18 WW points and that’s what I do. I also keep hearing that it takes about a year for your metabolism to return to normal (whatever that is). I hope that’s true. I’d like to wake up on November 14th 10 lb. lighter!!! Hope you all are still hanging in there! Miss hearing from u……

  • Melanie

    Hi Debbi! Melanie here – I’m still plugging away at 9 months off smokes (cold turkey) and still have the 15-20 lbs. I put on in the first 3 months off smokes. Stubborn bastard fat will not drop off no matter what I do – diet, exercise, no carbs, all carbs, no meat, all meat, no salt, no sugar, vegetarian, no dairy, all dairy, no this no that no nothing, exercise, weight training, aerobics, walking is just as good as everything else, no you need 60 minutes of cardio per day, I don’t have 60 minutes of anything per day, OMG – just shoot me in the face right now. I have cellulite and porkiness all over my body – boobs up at least a cup and two sizes around, big ass at a 12-14 (always a 4-6 my WHOLE life), depressed and feel my chances of anything are absolutely over – seriously who would ever ever ever look want to be with Jabba the Hut? I went 50 years without any self-esteem issues, and quitting smoking has turned me into this. I am seriously considering going back to it, but I have heard that it does not kick-start your metabolism if you go back and then you are just a fat smoker. Nice. How come someone has not developed a nicotine pill to take if it’s so great a regulating a person’s metabolism. Nicotine in a pill form should not be harmful as it is not inhaled, and would seem to solve this problem of 20 lb weight gain after quitting (which everyone seems to have). I will swear on a stack of Bibles that I DO NOT eat anymore than I did before quitting, and in fact actually eat healthier (more vegetables, less junk, less meat, less dairy) because I am trying to not be a fat fat fattie….so why is this weight on me all over my body? There is only one reason, and that is that nicotine is not spurring my metabolism and I am not burning any fat no matter how much I exercise or diet or anything. Too depressing. Wow. I’m sure you will love reading this rant.

  • Debbi

    Melanie….I could not agree MORE! I feel exactly the same and hate myself. All my clothes are tight and look like hell and because I’m trying so hard to lose, I’m reluctant to go out to buy FAT CLOTHES! To me that’s like giving up. Good to hear from someone with the same story. We should keep in touch – are u on Facebook?

  • Michelle

    I totally relate to both of you. It emotionally tore me up inside – horribly. On top of it, I’m a personal trainer at a gym. No one knew I smoked and so when I quit and gained weight, everyone talked about me behind my back and made fun of me about how much weight I gained etc. (gees – are we still in high school) It was horrible. Had to develope really thick skin. Can’t tell you how many times I wanted to go back to smoking, but I held off – good thing. I’ve tried everything! The ONLY thing that finally started to make the weight budge was the Atkins diet. After a 1 1/2 years of quiting, I’ve lost 8 of the 12 lbs I gained. And that’s wtihout changing/increasing my work-outs. I tired the WW diet and that actually made me gain weight. I swear by the Atkins diet!! Good luck and hang in there!

  • Debbi

    Is Atkins NO carb or LOW carb? I don’t like to completely eliminate a food group, but I will if I must!

  • Melanie

    @ Debbi – Yes, I’m on Facebook under “Melanie Lollipops” – I’ll have to jiggle my privacy settings to get your friend request…but I’ll do that now. I have no fat pictures on there, though. My pictures are from 2009 since I refuse to be photographed like this…I don’t have the money to buy anymore “fat” clothes (already bought 8’s, screamed through 10’s and am on to 12’s)…it’s the too small clothes that make you feel worse, though. I just don’t have any choice right now. I’ll go unlock myself on FB….

  • Melanie

    @ Debbi – also, if you are offended by conservative rantings, you can just hide my feed on Facebook and ignore me and my friends’ posts. We are generally funny, but sometimes just pissed off……some people don’t like it, so fair warning!

  • Dael

    Melanie and all you’s guys and girls,

    I really hate to have to do this, but this ain’t an AA meeting so here goes. …. If you read my post at 16 above you’ll know very well that i have suffered like many of you had when i gave up the smokes and just couldn’t cope with the extra 28lbs that i gained….

    Well here is an update… I am smoking about 9 cigarettes a day (still loathe them) an am at about the 2 month mark of starting smoking again. I am now 140lbs (i was 168) and i can eat pretty much what i like, and have the best part of a bottle of wine a night and the fat just seems to melt off me…. So many of my friends were very upset with me for starting again, but none of them now says anything, as i fit into all my favorite clothes, look great, have my love of life back and am no longer the housebound fatso that i became. I have changed NOTHING in my daily routine apart from those 9 cigs. My doctor is astounded. I am off anti-depressants (which i realised i started 6 weeks after stopping smoking) …. now just to prove i am NOT employed by big tobacco…..

    I HATE smoking… so am now on zyban to come off it again BUT i am going on Nicotine replacement for the meantime….. I am experimenting on myself for the benefit of all of you out there who do not wish to smoke another nasty cigarette again – so please help me through this!!!! lol the next phase of this experiment with my body is to see whether the NRT has the same effect as smoking on the weight…. if the weight stays off, then we all know it IS nicotine that changes the metabolism…. if not – then it must be another factor in cigarette smoke, though for the life of me and chemist that i am i cannot figure what that might be…..

    I am NOT an advocate for ANYONE smoking again…. but i decided – as an experiment to do what i have done, to see what the effects were and to save anyone else doing it… If NRT proves to be as effective as smoking then i guess the weight loss industry has to look at nicotine as a chemical and find a safe alternative that does the same job….

    Wish me luck guys…. and thanks for your support…..


  • Melanie

    Dael, Let me know how that goes with the NRT, because I am pretty well convinced that especially long-term smokers +20 years or more have a real problem metabolizing fat without nicotine. I’m not a doctor, nor a chemist, but just using common sense and my own experience. Contrary to some of the rather bitchy posts earlier in this thread, I really have not eaten more, I was not underweight (5’6″ 135 lbs) before I quit smoking and I am now 164 and continue to gain. I never exercised before I quit, now I do resistance and cardio and walking 4-6 times per week. I cut out sugar. I cut out most junk food. I cut my portions of everything in half. Nothing. I continue to gain. I think I would gain if I fasted for two weeks and took in nothing but water. I’m going to try that next, I swear! I hate hate hate this slugginess….if this is what I have to look forward to for the rest of my life without smoking, I don’t think I want to do it. I was thinking of using my electronic cigarettes again – no smell, no smoke but just nicotine. Not sure what anyone thinks of that.

  • Dael

    Totally understand! That is where i was – Promise will keep this forum up to date, daily if i must…. but it is agony to be slapped on the back for giving up the worst threat to health only to find that one hates looking in the mirror and gives up on life – there must be a common ground…. it just has to be out there – this answer we all seek – will let you know how i get on!

  • Michelle

    Debbi, here is the link to the Atkins site:
    There are 4 stages and it does involve limiting carb sonsumption. Lmk how that goes 🙂

  • Debbi

    Melanie: sent you a friend request. I’m Debbi Hogan with a Yankee shirt

  • Debbi

    Michelle: Thanks for the link…..I’ll try the carb limit, but I LOVE BEER!

  • Michelle

    Yeah, I do miss beer. But not as much as my body I had before. Oh well…

  • Debbi

    OK….I refuse to re-introduce nicotine into my body again. Here in Canada, the cost of the patch is almost as much as cigarettes! My resting heart rate is AWESOME without it and I like that…some nights, my pounding heart would keep me awake and scare me to the point of wanting to call 911. Won’t go there again.

  • Debbi

    Low carb/alcohol beer is my new cigarette….it’s only 2g/bottle and 67 calories….can’t be THAT bad.

  • Leanne

    hi everyone…..i took up smokingagain about 6 weeks ago as i couldnt stand having the extra kilos on me….i lost weight within the first two weeks of giving up but now my weight has plateaued….ive been reading you posts hoping to read that you have lost weight…maybe it will take a lil longer…..i am happier now that i have lost weight but feel guilty about smoking….hope you all can lose the weight without taking up smoking to do so….good luck ladies and gents

  • Debbi

    Re: Leanne
    Sorry you started smoking again. I have sucessfully lost a WHOLE 0.4lb this week just short of starving to death and exercising like a maniac! The fun never ends. I understand your guilt, but also UNDERSTAND. Hope you can get on the non-smoking bandwagon again sometime soon. Hopefully SOON I will be reporting major weight loss!

  • Leanne

    thanks debbi, keep me posted 🙂

  • ChrisO

    I came across this thread when I was thinking about giving up smoking, and was afraid of all these reports about major weight gain. Well, I just wanted to post to say that it’s not all doom and gloom, and it *is* possible to lose weight after you give up.

    I was smoking 8 – 10 a day, but then wanted to lose weight again and start my running, which I had given up a year ago. So I began training for a 10k run, and throughout this, managed to maintain a habit of around 4 a day, and lost a lot of weight (about 24 pounds) through dieting too.

    Well, after competing in the 10k run, it inspired me to want to run a half marathon, and I knew that I couldn’t do that while maintaining any smoking habit. So I decided to just quit despite what it might do to my weight. I’ve not had a cigarette for a month now, and between this week and last, when I started dieting again, I have lost 3 pounds (going from 184 to 181). That is with fairly intense exercise (a total of about 30km ran in a week), and dieting (between 1500 and 1700 calories a day).

    So it’s definitely not the case for everyone that it makes it difficult to lose weight. Maybe it helps to decrease the amount you smoke a day before completely quitting? Maybe this means that your body’s metabolism adjusts easier to just quitting cold turkey if you’re a 10-20 a day smoker? Or maybe some of the people in here were just exaggerating the amount of workout and diet they’re really doing? (both pre and post smoking). If you’re prepared to put some intense effort into diet and exercising I find it hard to believe that you would gain weight…

    I feel a million times better now when I run, I have so much more general energy it is unbelievable. After going through a period of initial insomnia from quitting, I am now also sleeping much better.

    I will never go back! F**k smoking!

    Waste of time and money…

  • Melanie

    Good luck with that, Chris. Not probably too productive, though, to call people liars in your post…especially since I didn’t begin my 20 lb weight gain until approximately 90 days after quitting smoking. Since you’ve been off a mere month, good luck with that. Why would people “exaggerate” on an anonymous internet thread? Anything to gain by that? Didn’t think so. If all you have to offer is telling people they are just not working hard enough or are perhaps lying about their diets or exercise, perhaps this is not the forum for you. Good luck in about 60 days….

  • Debbi

    Right on Melanie! In addition to the accusations, smoking 8-10 cigarettes a day is fluff compared to what most of us have smoked. ALSO, is ChrisO a male, female, old or young and HOW LONG did you smoke??? SURE MAKES A DIFFERENCE!

  • ChrisO

    Hah, ok, sorry, let me provide a bit more context about myself and the reason why I decided to post what I did (which was not for the purpose of calling people in here liars). First of all, I’m male, 27 years old, and I smoked for a total of about 4 years over the course of 5, with one year quitting in between to try and get a bit fitter (I can’t even remember why I started again, just a stupid mistake when I was drunk, I think). I smoked on average between 8 – 10, with a peak of around 15 some days. I concede the fact that your body’s metabolism is going to be more screwed up if you smoked a lot more per day, but I’m not personally convinced that somebody who smoked for 20 years as opposed to 5 is going to have a harder time in terms of metabolism adjustment (I appreciate that it would be more difficult psychologically to quit the longer habit). The reason why I made the post, is that when I was thinking of quitting, I came across this thread, and was absolutely shitting bricks at the prospect of gaining nearly 2 stone (28 pounds) in weight, so I decided to maintain my habit. I just wanted to post to say that so far this absolutely hasn’t been the experience for me, so as to give others a bit more encouragement to stick with the quitting. Also to hint towards the fact that maybe reducing the amount that you smoke gradually, as opposed to quitting cold turkey, might help to reduce the effect on the metabolism and curb the weight gain, as this is what has happened for me so far. I find it really difficult to believe that during my training for my half marathon, I’m suddenly going to find myself putting on huge quantities of weight (I don’t remember that happening the last time I quit, and I actually intend to *lose* more weight anyway) in a couple of months time (going by Melanie’s time scale of weight gain after 90 days, since I’m already clean for 30). I’m sorry for coming across as harsh, but I just personally find it a bit hard to believe that you’re going to put on tons and tons of weight if you’re doing intensive exercise and diet. So yeah, it was really just to say to people who might have been in a similar situation to me to take the plunge and quit, instead of reading this stuff and being scared, and hence maintaining your habit. Finally, just to address this: “Since you’ve been off a mere month, good luck with that.” Thanks, but I don’t need the luck. The feeling of the intense levels of energy that I had yesterday during my 12k run, then feeling great after it, is the only motivation that I need to stay away from smoking. I’ll report back in here to detail my weight loss after months 2 and 3.

  • Debbi

    I highly doubt being a 27 year old male long-distance runner who has only smoked for 4 years will ever have issues with weight or metabolism.

  • ChrisO

    I’ve only been a runner since I reduced and subsequently quit my smoking habit. Prior to that I had pretty much no exercise at all (apart from briefly quitting the last time). You may be right though, but again, I just posted in case there was anybody in the same situation as myself who was extremely put off by everything talked about in here…

  • Debbi

    Well, since 98% of us on this site are struggling with weight gain after 30+ years of smoking, I doubt anyone will want to read a post from someone who hasn’t even been alive as long.

  • ChrisO

    People of *all* ages evidently have concerns about weight gain and smoking. Maybe only older people are posting in here but it doesn’t mean that everyone who is reading it is. I found it after I considered quitting, so who’s to say that there aren’t plenty of others my age and younger who aren’t doing the same?

  • ChrisO

    Oh and btw, after reading some more of the posts in detail, I’d like to apologise for what I said about the exaggeration as I realise how insensitive that must have sounded now. But I still feel that my reason for making a post was a valid one…

  • Melanie

    First, you are a male. Second, you are 27. Third, you have only smoked for 5 years. Fourth, you smoked approx. 8-10 cigarettes per day. Absolutely no comparison whatsoever to women in their 50’s who smoked (in my case) for almost 40 of those years. None. Whatoever. At. All. Period. Anyone who may be thinking of quitting who is in your shoes and compares themselves to women in their 50’s need not worry – I seriously doubt you will have the same hormonal or other issues as we do. No single person’s experience should ever influence someone else’s behavior, especially when, as you can see by the thread, that most of the people posting here are women. We have unique physical issues, ones that 27 year old young men who smoke for sport cannot possibly relate to, nor will you ever have to deal with. I do wish you good luck with your quit.

  • Melanie

    And, I quit for 7 months when I was 28 – didn’t gain an ounce. It had no effect on my life whatsoever. I quit again when I was pregnant at 38 years old – again only gained a grand total of 30 lbs with my pregnancy and walked out of the hospital at almost 39 years old weight 122 lbs. Quit again at 44 years old for 5 months, did not gain even one ounce. So, what’s different? I’m older. That’s about it.

  • ChrisO

    OK, I’m going to stop posting now as my intention isn’t to aggravate any of you further. However, I will just say, that this thread has been going for over a year now, and the discussion definitely isn’t isolated to women in their 50s, so I wasn’t comparing myself with people of that sex and age group when I read it originally (nor when I posted my original comment). Anyway, apologies for my insensitive comments, and I realise now that this discussion is mostly more relevant to older people, so I’ll stop posting.

  • Caroline

    Hi, so ok, I’m not going to beat ChrisO up anymore as I dont think he meant any harm, but the site is not all devoted to women of a certain age but to anyone who has gained weight through stopping smoking and is struggling to get it off, ( I have a male cousin, 37 who in 4 years of being off cigs has gained over 4 stone).
    I gained 10 lbs within about six months of stopping and it’s only by diet and exercise that I have been able to avoid gaining stones more.
    I have only been able to shift 2 of the 10 lbs and I’m smoke free 20 months. Been taking spin cycle once a week and have tried to go out walking 2 – 3 times a week, that’s about as much exercise as I can fit in. I have toned up a bit but the weight wont come off. I honestly think that as you get older, man or woman, your metabolism slows down anyway and stopping smoking only makes that worse so burning fat is going to be very hard work.
    But keep it up everyone, I would hate to start smoking again though I have been tempted many’s a time because of the weight business but for now I am happy to maintain and tone up a bit – that has to be healthy if nothing else. I continue to try.

  • Dael

    Hey there all – Chris-o – melanie and all!

    Hey hey! we are all friends here dealing with a common problem…. we should not be infighting! Lecture over….

    Ok now am on NRT. Am 135 lbs. Hate smoking, but like myself the way i am at the moment. After 10 days, weight still staying off. Glad put the cigs behind. Am convinced nicotine is the key… but what is it about it…. ok i know about thyroid activity. But i am not convinced that that is all of it. weight still sliding off, although i am doing LESS exercise. Will report back in a few days to let you all know what is going on with me – DO NOT START SMOKING AGAIN ANY OF YOU! It might just be me or mind over matter…. Til I know more DON’T SMOKE!!!

    all the best to all of you and let’s all be nice to one another – we are all going through the same Sh*t!!!!


  • Debbi

    NRT will be just like smoking. Did it myself years ago and when I stopped – 30 lb. came on.

  • teresa

    hey guys… i have been watching the whole chris o disaster with a really sad sense of deja vous cause it happened to me a while back-almost quit checking this site because of that one $!%#@ … here’s the deal -it’s really frustrating n upsetting to have ppl look at you n judge-well maybe you’re lying about your food, exercize, effort. that’s what it comes down to. we’re already feeling crappy n to have someone taht really seems to not know jack make comments like that or have the ballz to judge. i think they believe that they’re being helpful, maybe self righteous/superior in their wonderous will power and drive to be not just better but better than… maybe it’s just the psych major in me…

    what evs. this is for us to talk to people that understand where we’re at and maybe give reassurance that we did the right thing to give up what we used to control our stress and pants size. we hate the weight gain. we hate being uncomfortable n not able to wear the cute stuff in a smaller size. we hate feeling like crap about ourselves. but at the end of the day -gratz to us that hang in there n don’t fall off the wagon. at the end of the day-it’s ok to those of us that do-we’re human n sometimes we’ve just got to take more time… so cyberhugz to all of you reading-good luck to those that are wanting to quit n gratz to those that stay quitted 🙂 good vibes coming your way

  • Leanne

    ive read through the recent posts and have to say that when i tell people how much weight i put on after quitting and they would say you just need to exercise, watch ur diet etc, i gave up trying to convince them that nothing worked…its been about 10 weeks since taking up the disgusting habit again and still struggling to lose the weight….i still feel as frustrated as i did as a non smoker….

  • Riley

    Kater Sue, you just admitted to smoking. And so you are LYING when you say you are NOT a smoker.

    I’ve read a lot about this subject, and as a female smoker of 14 years (I’ll be 22 on 10/19), I notice that smoking does help me over come hunger, but I’ve found it does nothing for my weight. I’m sitill overweight & I work out fairly regularly.. And for all of you who are saying you work out every day, therein is your first problem. You’re only supposed to work out every other day. Unless you’re working a different muscle group every day.. Try exercising less, you’ll destroy less muscle that way. I don’t know what is wrong with my body. I exercise the way I should and just keep gaining weight. 🙁 And I know i’m not pregnant. Anyone got any ideas?

  • Melanie

    Riley – I had to go back 18 months to find the post you are calling Kater Sue a “liar” about. She was just saying that she doesn’t want to CONSIDER herself a “smoker” (even though she had slipped and gone back to it). Jeesh. You should be able to read her desperation in the post and not respond to her so literally. Check yourself as it is not productive to call people out on this message board.

  • Debbi

    Riley….how does one purchase cigarettes at the age of 8? Please. Happy Birthday.

  • Riley

    I didn’t buy them, I took them from my neighbor. He wouldn’t smoke the whole thing, so I’d smoke what he left since he only smoked about half a cigarette.

    Not wanting to consider yourself a smoker is one thing, saying you are not a smoker – while smoking – is a totally different thing. So, yes, she is lying when she says she’s not a smoker. And I didn’t have to go back at all, it was on the page I was on & read.

    Consider me an insensitive bitch if you have to, but the truth hurts and sometimes you just have to deal with it. So, deal with it.

  • Melanie

    @Riley – The “truth” doesn’t hurt me, Riley, as I do not know you or Kater Sue. So, no, I do not have to “deal with it.” You, however, might want to grow up just a bit…she is not, as you have repeatedly said, “lying.” She clearly puts out there that she slipped and started smoking. She then exclaims (look that one up) “I AM NOT A SMOKER!!!!” That is because, for those of us who can read and understand nuance (look that one up, too) she DOES NOT WANT TO BE A SMOKER!!!!!!!!!! Pretty much like you saying “I AM NOT AN IDIOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!” You really still are, you just don’t want to be. Get it?

  • Debbi

    OMG….this forum is for people who were long-term SMOKERS, who have QUIT and GAINED WEIGHT and are having difficulty LOSING THE WEIGHT! Let’s try to concentrate on that please!

  • teresa

    hey guys. it’s been a little bit and so i figured i’d update. so 1 yr n 3 months into this non-smoker thing. i miss it alot, but don’t miss it at all. the grand total of weight gain was right around 24 lbs, i went through some testing for both thyroid and adrenal-thyroid showed hypER active [yeah i know hyper n weight gain contradict but it’s true. i actually got a 2nd opinion even both endocrinologists said the same thing]. my metabolism is still rediculously slow. my calorie intake remains as low as i can healthily get away with and activity is moderate. the weight VERY VERY VERY slowly is coming off [as in i barely see a half a lb lost over a couple weeks]. i think that pretty much no matter what i do i’m going to be a sow…. i’m angry and pretty depressed. not many positive vibes to send out to all of you-sorry for that i just don’t have any. good luck

  • Debbi

    Hey Teresa….good for you for hangin’ in there! I have too, it will be a year for me on Nobember 14th (woohoo). Can’t shed the pounds, however, I only gained 15 in total and managed to get almost 3 lb. off only in the past 2 weeks! I eat less than 1000 calories a day (which isn’t healthy) and hit the gym 4 or more times a week, plus walking on my breaks and lunch. It’s so discouraging I can’t believe I haven’t given up! I will be on vacation for 2 weeks coming up and I’m sure that will be a disaster! I’m taking sneakers & my scale!

  • Melanie

    Hi Teresa – good to hear from you…I, too, and at about 25 lbs gained in less than 10 months…no matter what I do/eat/don’t do/don’t eat now I seem to remain at the same weight. I guess all I can do now is wait for January 11, 2011 and see if it starts to come off next year. Congrats on staying off, but I too am struggling with how “worth it” this will turn out to be if I end up with high blood pressure and diabetes because I’m fat. Kind of a trade-off, wouldn’t you say?

  • Marion

    Hello all, it has been one year and 4 months since I quit, gained about 25 lbs too, lost a total of 8 so far and feel like i am gaining again.

    The point I am trying to make is that we quit because we knew it was bad for us, look how many years smoking got us where we are. Even if it takes us 3 years to lose these unwanted lbs. look at the benefits. At least now we are trying to eat right and exercise, which is not what I have ever done before. I am not happy with my weight but I am so glad that I quit smoking. I smoked for 34 years so I figure I can give it a few years of suffering to get a good balance.

    Just hope all of you stay focused and positive, please don’t start up again. Every now and then I wish I could smoke again but then I remember, how great it feels to have accomplished this. Take Care and good luck to all.


  • Debbi

    Marion – congrats on one year and 4 months! I guess the weight issue is going to be a long, slow process. I haven’t given up hope yet and I doubt I ever will. I continue to watch every morsel of food I eat and workout as hard as I can – not much more I can do. I’m REALLY glad I don’t smoke anymore also…..and I’ve saved the $$$ I spent on cigarettes since my quit day – nice little chunk-o-change I have!

  • Dael Gabriel

    hey guys and gals just to let you know,

    am down to 130lbs and feeling fit as a fiddle. have the 6 pack and abs i dreamed of and am fitter than i have ever been.. it really is odd cos i hate smoking but here i am having lost 42 lbs and loving every second of it apart from the smoking. what can i say – maybe rather die skinny and liking myself, than a fatty with some self righteous notion of how wonderful i am for not smoking… i hated myself with the extra weight, sorry but true…. i really can’t give a f***k for what anyone thinks on here but at least i can bear to look at myself in a mirror and like what i see, not loathe what i look like and try to bullshit myself into believing that i am sooooo happy cos i gave up the cigs….. but next is the NRT – lets see what happens there, and b4 anyone says it, yes i lost two of my best friends to cancer, of the spine and brain, but all i can say is like james dean , i’d rather live fast and furious, that be fat and dumb til 101, you can all choose, but in the end what do you all want?
    i do not advocate smoking !!!

    I know who i am

  • Melanie

    Hi Dael – don’t beat yourself up too much! I’ve thought of it too, as I just can’t see myself living the next how ever many years as unhappy as I’ve been these last 10 months…I was just hoping this crud would turn around…it’s becoming kind of an obsession for me, and that can’t be good….

  • Debbi

    Yup! Obsessed is a good word and I AM! It gives me something to do in my spare time! LOL!!! I’ve stopped being unhappy because I do everything humanly possible to lose weight – eventually it MUST come off! (ya think?) I keep telling myself it will anyway…..

  • teresa

    hey guys. dael i am sorry if you thought that we were/are judging you. i think that how you’re feeling has pretty much been where the rest of us have been at times-again i am sorry if you think we’re judging… mel, i’m totally with you on the whole depressed/ obsessed thing. still working on trying to be ok with it all. luck n good vibes to everyone- on or off the wagon

  • Shelly

    I dont appreciate your ranting. You sound like a self obsessed c**k. Smoking kills. End of.

  • Dael

    If you actually read my posts Shelly you’ll see that I agree with you IQ that smoking kills, and that I still hate smoking, all i was saying was that since starting I am back to slim, extremely happy with myself and image and that I could no longer fool myself that being sanctimonious smug and FAT like a lot of people on here really was just not who I wanted to be, and I could no longer kid myself that one magical day the weight would come off. I am now on NRT with no change in weight, and I feel the best I have in the 3 1/2 years I spent Depressed about my weight.
    Maybe smoking kills….so does obesity, so does severe depression, so does being an opinionated IQ challenged, redneck that doesn’t bother to look at the facts…. all lead to early deaths. I don’t care what people do, all i want to be is happy, and now i am, i wish the same to everyone whatever and however they achieve it.
    Shel – either get pretty, get intelligent, or get a life… x

  • teresa

    first off, most of you on here know i’m not about being ignorant to people. i try to be supportive to other people even if i’m down. that said i have a $H1Tstorm to f$%&ing unleash right about now. dael you are an @$$… it’s hard enough for us without someone that is supposedly going through the same degrading us for being fat and unhappy. that’s really pretty dickish. and yes i’m explicitly stating you are dickish. it was undeserved since most of us actually tried being supportive to you. even if we didn’t necessarily agree at least we tried to acknowledge the position you were in -so for the rest of us on here trying to stay the course you’re really destructive and posts like that one are unwanted. also don’t try and act like your un “sanctimonious” choice on this forum was going to neutral in effect. it could have been/might be the last temptation needed for someone to fall off-you knew that so i have to assume you were intending to take others down too. i think that if you’re so excited about your choice then you would have reacted differently. i think you’re trying to justify your choice to yourself. if you didn’t care about what anybody thought you’d never have felt a need to post on this site again-especially not the way you did- unless you were going to take us with you so you wouldn’t have to be off the wagon alone and have to face the fact that you failed. you didn’t have the balls to own your feelings and addiction and do something CONSTRUCTIVE and HEALTHY about them. Sometimes people fall –and we don’t judge for that on this forum. but at least we’re f#&*ing trying… your rant about us being fat was just plain mean and destructive. we need to keep strong in OUR decision to NOT DEPEND ON NICOTINE and a newly off the wagon smoker posting about how much better off they are is just assinine… you’re still dependent which lets you have a higher metabolism-which is what this f#&*ing frorm is all about. whatever form, nic is nic so it doesn’t even count. it’s like getting homers on steroids-it doesn’t count. so if that’s “smug” then fine. i’m smugly saying quit being mean to us because YOU PERSONALLY FAILED
    for the rest of us, i think it important to think about the people that are posting. we need to keep in mind that the tobacco companies make money if we fall off the wagon. it’s entirely possible that one of their dickface goons is trolling forums exactly like this looking for people that are hurting, depressed, and waivering. all they have to do is send one j@ck@$$ to push a few ppl over and they’re back in business. so i think we should def be supportive -and if YOU can’t be supportive then get the f@#* out of OUR forum so we can help each other.

  • Jackie

    Hi all. I was thinking of giving up smoking again and came across this site. To be honest Im having a re-think. A while back I gave up for 8 years after being a heavy smoker. I put on around 20lbs despite excercising most nights at the gym and eating either healthily or virtually starving myself. I dont think metabolism doesn kick in because in the full 8 years I lost no weight at all, yet when I started to smoke again it just fell of….

  • Dael

    1 – I hate tobacco and hate the companies even more
    2 – Nicotine is an evil thing
    3 – i really, really feel for everyone on this site cos i am you and i have been there
    4 – Any decisions i make are my own and i own them.
    5 – I do NOT in any way advocate smoking

    My choice to smoke again was put against the urge to kill myself – there it is in black and white. I was trying to get across to this forum that life is better than death. I could no longer look in the mirror nor socialise, and for me i chose to lose the weight that was killing my mind. This is a forum for people who are fighting either smoking, or the horrid weight gain that we experience when we give up. I am part of that fight. I hate myself for smoking again and i don’t need anyone else to make me feel like a villain for that. But equally how would i be a success for committing suicide for not being able to live with myself? Is a death from being overweight proof of success, am I a martyr to the no smoking cause – St Dael – he died and proved that it is better to never light up and become something he hated, but he is pure cos he didn’t smoke? I don’t want to be a saint, but nor am i a sinner – i ruined my lungs to prove that it was nicotine that is the reason that all of us on here are suffering. I am not a shill for any company, nor am i telling anyone to smoke and ruin their health. I was told in no uncertain terms that i FAILED. well if i had succeeded i would be dead. But that is me and no-one else. I encourage all of you to find your own paths. DO NOT SMOKE! but if i can tell you all that it is nicotine that boosts metabolism, then maybe when i die of cancer , a doctor somewhere will say – well there must be something in the nicotine pathway and hey can we make a drug that mimics that? I am sorry if i seemed edgy, but i have finally got back to liking myself. That is priceless. I am also sorry to shel – she probably didn’t deserve my ire, but i know what i have done…. i know what i chose and i know what the results are. Lol guys if i win the lottery i will invent a pill that gives us all the benefits of nicotine, without the nasties and we can all be cigarrette free and as slim as we all wanna be…. I am sooooo on all of your side… and i don’t want one single person to smoke – I am sorry if i was on a high from losing a lot of weight, but hey guys i can’t help that!
    As my mother said to me – if she was offered a pill that had nasty – even life threatening effects but guaranteed her to to lose all the weight she wanted – she would take it…. Am i to be forever evil for making the same choice in MY own life????

    all the best to you all and DO NOT START SMOKING!
    love to all x

  • Mike

    Hello again!… Another interesting tidbit that I thought might be of interest to some of those struggling with the metabolism issues.
    Here is a study (a little bit old, but still very good information– you can get a copy here:


    Well… to extract the relevant info… the study found that certain organs of animals effectively acted as surrogates for “thyroxine” in various animals who received goitrogenic diets as well as chemical thyroid depressants.
    Namely the organs: pancreas, spleen, stomach and duodenum effectively boosted metabolism and reduced thyroid enlargement. Other commonly eaten organs and parts, such as liver, did not show any activity.

    So… establish a “good” diet (not so easy to agree upon, unfortunately) and add to it the reasonable and correct (ha ha ha!) amount of these easily obtainable “specialty” meats… of course, only if you aren’t a vegetarian.

    It is too bad that a good diet cannot be agreed upon…

    but some more important things I think can be shared:
    … keep trying … recognize failure asap (each time); practice being a quitter at that point 😉 then start over asap… expect to have to change many times… expect necessary changes to be psychologically challenging… expect to get tired of changing, but continue to do so when necessary… expect to have to depend on yourself more and more… expect– to have to resist and escape from various dangerous “easy way” traps (google “empty nose syndrome” for a truly frightening example …. ) … work through one’s imagination on defining what you’re looking for…

    Here’s an interesting twist… when a particular “way” (diet?) proves by evidence (mirror, clothes not fitting, no improvement in objective markers… hair and nail quality, skin tone, etc.) to be failing… be ready to quit as soon as you can verify that it’s not working or is causing meaningless pain…
    Then, pick up and find the next “way”… (yes, it will get silly… the number of times one says “this is it!!! I’ve got it now” and then has to change again)
    and… so much more can be said.

    Let’s keep digging, there will be a way for every person who persists to the end.

    Thanks to Dr. Pepper for this forum.


  • V B

    Hi. I have read through this entire forum. wow. Congratulations to everyone that has quit, and has not started back, even with the weight gain! I can already see this will be me. I have been quit for a little over a month now, and I have already put on 10 pounds. A little background about my weight though, I have been overweight since I was in my teens. I have done a few fad diets and lost some weight, and put it on plus more. Last year my husband was diagnosed with high cholesterol. It wasn’t just a little high, it was extremely, dangerously high (seriously, we have never heard of anyone with numbers that high). So, we decided at that point to change our lifestyle…our eating and exercise habits changed that day. Over the past 18 months, I had lost about 70 pounds. After a round of bronchitis in September, I decided it was time to stop smoking, and thought I was ready to pack on a few pounds if that’s what it took, and hey, I have still been losing weight because I have learned how to eat right and exercise. Hahaha! So, here I am 10 pounds heavier, non-smoking, exercising about 2 times as much as I did before (now almost every day if I can). So, we shall see. I have no desire at this point to pick up a smoke because of the weight…we’ll see how the next year or more goes. Good luck to everyone out here!

  • Debbi

    Congratulations VB! November 14th was my one year anniversary of being smoke-free and I can NOT lose the 12 pounds I gained. I exercise more than I ever have in my life and keep my caloric intake to 1000/day (or less) or 18 points on Weight Watchers. Nothing works. “They say” after a year your metabolism evens out but I’m STILL WAITING! I won’t go back to smoking for 12 pounds, but it sure is discouraging to work so hard at it everyday with no results. Good luck to you!!! (PS -a lot of us on this forum are 50+ and female which makes it all the harder!)

  • Daniel

    I’m 27 years old and started smoking when I was 18. I have been around 240 pounds most of my life as I am a large built guy. I have quit smoking three times and each time would reach around 280 pounds. When I would start smoking again, I would drop to 240 again. Even tried keeping calorie intake after stopping the last two times to 2000 calories per day as recommended per my size to lose weight and still packed the weight on when I would stop smoking. Something about smoking definately speeds up my metabolism.

  • Melanie

    I hear ya, Daniel! I can eat twigs and berries all week and still don’t lose. I eat approx. 1,200 calories per day, sometimes less, and can’t seem to make it down past a certain weight, said certain weight being 20 lbs. more than my smoking weight…

  • Debbi

    That’s a fact Daniel….Melanie & I are in the same sinking boat. I have reached the “one year” magic number and I think I might be s-l-o-w-l-y taking off a bit of weight. Exercise is a must so get out there (or in there) and walk! If anything, you’ll be healthier!

  • Debbi

    Happy New Year all! I have reached 13.5 months smoke-free and have lost about 7 lb. – but really had to work for it! Haven’t been to the gym much due to my work schedule, but plan to return soon. Perhaps the magic 1 year IS the answer to weight loss and metabolism??? I sure hope so.

  • Debbi

    Happy Valentine’s Day! I’m 15 months smoke-free today and have finallly lost 10 lb. I have a trip planned to the beach in about 9 weeks and hope to lose at LEAST another 5…..keep working at it everyone – it DOES eventually come off! I’m so glad I didn’t let the weight gain send me back to cigarettes this time like it has in the past. Hope everyone is still smoke-free and would like to hear from you!

  • Shrek


  • Donna

    Congratulations Debbi!!! Keep on Truckin girl! I am almost at the 10 month mark and wish I could say that I am losing weight, but it does seem like a losing battle right about now 🙁 I have gained about 13 pounds and have been trying to turn that around.) It seems I take 3 pounds off and gain 4 back! I sure hope time will make a difference because I feel like I am going to explode some days. I must say though, that all of you have helped give me the inspiration to move forward, and continue “The Smoke Free Life.” One that I never dreamed possible in my lifetime. So, thanks everyone for all your input, sometimes you just need to know that others are feeling just as you are! And that there is light at the end of the tunnel! I guess you could call it BLOG SUPPORT,,,,LOL

  • Greg (in Tampa)

    I hope what I am about to write will be an inspiration for those who are truly serious about quitting AND losing weight. I have now been almost five months without a cigarette (the longest I have EVER lasted) and unlike every other time I tried quitting, this time I FEEL its for good. Truthfully, no temptations other than a quick subconscious glance (like noticing cleavage on a woman)!

    Every time I quit in the past, I gained at least five pounds, then lost it as soon as I started smoking again. This time I tried a different strategy overall and it has made a world of difference. Instead of making my goal “quitting smoking and holding weight”, I made my goal far more ambitious: “quitting smoking and losing weight..gaining muscle, and looking 100% better overall.”

    I am now 42. About ten years ago (while I was still smoking), before I met my wife, I lost about 20 lbs (and 12% bodyfat) in four months by simply using a bodybuilder’s type workout (3-5 set pyramid, every five days upper body and lower alternating), light-medium cardio two to three days per week, plus eating on the “Zone Diet” (40 Protein/40 Carb/20 Fat) and five time per day. The results were so dramatic and so fast that one of my teachers at college thought I was sick or on drugs.

    When I quit smoking in October, I started the same routine. At first, my goal was to hold weight only…not to gain. But now, four and a half months later, I went from 200 lbs to 184 lbs and over 29% bodyfat to under 22% bodyfat. Now that’s not nearly as dramatic as the last transformation when I was 32 and smoking, but hell, at 42 and no longer smoking I am beating the monster and looking and feeling better every day.

    Truth be told, if I was smoking and my metabolism was up, I’d probably be losing faster. But who cares, the fact is I’m clean of smokes and feeling and looking better than I did this time last year.

    This isn’t a pitch for supplements, a workout program, or any other BS. I am just saying, if you truly want to quit AND lose weight, it is possible even at 42. Just be smart about it AND totally committed. I think this time what made the big diffrence was making my mind up that I will settle for nothing less. Now, four and a half months into my quit, my goal is 170 lbs and 12% bodyfat. F#@k smoking! F$#k gaining weight! I want to breathe a full breath of air and see a six pack of abs in the mirror!

    Anyone who tells you that gaining weight is the price of quitting is lying or, more likely, just doesn’t know otherwise yet. Keep the faith!

  • cinnimin


    I think that I am having the same depressive BS that you dealt with, but it’s only been about 3.5 months. I have had some terrible thoughts and have gained 25 lb. ( This is the FIRST time I have ever been overweight).

    How are you doing with your struggle?

  • I was told by my doctor that smoking dehydrates every cell and organ in your body.
    the average person will gain about a gallon of water not matter what when they quit smoking. That is why you feel so full in the stomach area. If you watch your calories and work out a few times a week, you are not gaining fat! You are gaining water.
    Your body is fully hydrated. Every cell is healthy and your organs are thanking you.
    A gallon of water weights about 8lbs. That is why people say you will gain an average of 10 pounds no matter what.
    I have smoked for 20 years and just quit one year ago. My weight gain was 12 pounds total, and I am holding steady with that.
    I hope this helps some of you feel better about a small weight gain.

  • Ellie

    I had my last cigarette on November 18th. I am only 22 but I have been smoking for 8 years. I wanted to quit before I got very addicited. I got married in October and have gained 20 lbs since. I am only 5’2″ so at 152, i feel huge! In February our company decided to do a health incentive project in which teams of 4 people each have to loose 10 lbs in 10 weeks. (there are cash prizes for the winners so they made a pretty good incentive). I figured it would be a great time for me to loose the weight, especially because there are no unhealthy goodies at work. We are now in week 9 and I have only lost 6 pounds. I have been busting my butt trying to loose this weight. I am stuck at 146 and despite my best efforts I still cant get off those extra pounds. I wish i had known my metabolism would be so screwwed up, I wouldnt have joined. Now my team mates are telling me that i should be trying harder even though 2 of them are smokers who arent having trouble at all. They have watched me eat very small portions of bland health food for weeks now. I am just getting so upset, i feel like i cant do anything that i enjoy anymore…I am going to try the atkins diet but it wont be in time to loose those extra 4 pounds…

  • Alie

    Hey guys. I’m 20 and have been smoking regularly for 5 years. I’m down to about 10 cigs a day (from an average of 20+ and a peak of 4 packs at one point…) and I’m trying to cut down to eventually quit. I can eat anything, like a pig, and not gain anything at all, and I haven’t moved a muscle since I was 12. I am about 5’4” and weigh 104lbs. I’m extremely terrified of putting on weight after smoking, since I am already the binge eating type, and I’m not sure what my metabolism is naturally like since I can’t really take my metabolism up to 15 years old for granted being my standard one. I think my weight is perfect right now (ok, maybe I’d like to lose a couple lbs), but I’m out of shape. Smoking puts a hole in my pocket, f***s up my breathing, makes my teeth yellow and prematurely ages my skin. Those are enough reasons (not even counting in the possible death due to it) for me to quit. But I am an extremely vain person and could not bear myself being any fatter than I am. I will join a gym and watch my eating, but I’m still not convinced that I will not put on weight, judging by many of your comments. I don’t want to be healthy and thicker, if that’s what healthy means. I want to be healthy and MAXIMUM 104lbs. I’m just… not convinced this is possible.

  • kelly

    I have been quit for 2 years and 2 months and have gained 40lbs. I contribute a good 25lbs of that to completely shutting down activity, moving my job into my home, and eating terrible just to get through the quitting faze. However, in the past 6 months I have introduced a healthy diet and exercise and can only seem to lose 2-3 pounds a week. If I happen to eat a chesseburger on the weekend, those 2 lbs are back. Not fair. I can’t seem to get things moving. It like I must eat like a bird and all things healthy and working out 4 times a week to see a 1-2 pound loss. I used to be able to eat healthy and lose weight and if I exercised it was even better. Now I’m almost maitaining. I love that I quit smoking, but hate that I’m over 40 and 40lbs overweight 🙁

  • beachgalone

    Wow. Read all comments to date. I quit Jan 15, 2011 after 35 years. I’m 48 and 5’3. Female. Should be an 8 now a 12 pushing 14. haven’t changed the way i eat and do hot yoga 5 days a week and cardio 3 days. I honestly think women in my age group are at a disadvantage due to their hormones. It’s just that simple. I also think we should find a doctor that will regulate our thyroid even if it’s just a couple of points inside the bell curve.
    I feel terrible being this overweight, especially since I”m looking for a new job! I’ve decided to just stay focused and accept the gain until my hormones, thyroid and metabolism get it together.
    I’m also printing out all of these comments, making copies and shoving them into the faces of the people that tell me I’m eating too much and not exercising enough. Non smokers cannot tell us what to do unless they’ve walked in our shoes. An addict doesn’t respond to a pollyanna health nut. Just the way it is.
    Love you guys!

  • Ellie

    I just wanted to let you all know. I left a comment on April 6th about trouble with getting the weight i had gained off. I am sorry to say that i went back to smoking and i have not lost ONE SINGLE POUND! Everyone out there who is still staying strong, dont give up! Its not going to help anyways…Good luck to you all.

  • Mirn

    Ok, I started smoking Spring Break of this year (March 21 – 25), and now I am willing to stop cause of me looking into more of how smoking effects the body. So, I have this high metabolism right now, and I don’t know how it’s going to effect me when I quit.. I hope someone could tell me what’s gonna happen.

  • Lizzy

    I began smoking at age 11, I have always been thin, always. I quit in january after 33 years of smoking, mostly because I got sick, but as it turns out , it was the best thing I have ever done and I am happy about it. My Doctor said to me, quite frankly you will gain weight, your body is so used to the nicotine kicking your metabolism into gear, that your body will go into shock and that it did. She told me it will take 6 months to 1 year for it to naturally return. So Saturday will mark 6 months. i will say my eating changed but for the better, my taste buds had never tasted things the same way, and sweet is now too sweet and salt it way to salty. I have gained 40 pounds, it seems to have leveled off and Im stuck at 40. So I began walking up tp 5 miles every other day, now I am swimming, eating furit and salad many times, but truly is makes no difference what I try to do, it wont work. So I will wait until I feel the metabolism kick back in gear. My Body is in shock, I know it is, as my body doesnt seem like mine any longer, and boy does 40 pounds feel horrendous on me, I wish I ate and enjoyed what i ate to gain this, but this is mother natures way of punishing me . GL All

  • Nathan

    I have quit to gain weight so if anybody can give me some advice or
    or reassure me that I will it would be a great help

  • Ana

    Wow, this has been a big help. I quit smoking around 6months ago and have been working like a dog trying not to gain weight. What a roller coaster it has been. The mood swing’s, depression over the weight gain the cravings. Over, food and wanting to smoke again. Oiy-vey, if quitting wasn’t the hardest thing to do? A little bit about me………47yr old smoker for 30 year’s. Swore I’d never quite, “no way-no how”, end of subject! Then someone throw’s a wrench into all of this and totally turn’s my world up side down. You say, what could possible make someone so hell-bent on not ever “quitting” going there? Grandchildren!!!!!!! Must I say anymore? OK, so to catch you all up to speed since 6 month’s ago. Always told myself …Yeah I know (read 4 sentences above) If I where ever to quite, would start to exercise. Mission accomplished, 45 min, 6 day’s a week. Eating healthy has never been a problem but eating to much of it has turned into one. Nutrisystem has helped regulate the over-eating. Reading this has really helped, it’s a daily struggle but with hard work. To this date have not gained any weight. “IT IS POSSIBLE” Just don’t give up or be to hard on yourself. Best wish’s!!!!!!

  • Rhonda

    Hi everyone, congratulations on quitting. I am a 41 year old female who smoked for 26 years 1 1/2 packs per day. I quit this year 6/20/11 and have gained 15 lbs. I eat less, go to the gym now, drink more water, but still have gained. I have just decided to go back on a supplement that I used to take because more research has shown that it increases resting metabolic rate by 4% if you take 90mg. I take more, I started back on it yesterday. Its EGCG. Look it up, with metabolism. I used to take it for the antioxidant effects (trying to justify my smoking), but I read much more recently on it increasing metabolism. I will keep you updated. I want to lose the 15 lbs I put on quickly, I have stabalized but I am on quite the diet and exercise program now…Good luck everyone!!! Quitting smoking was the hardest thing I ever did.


  • Jill

    I quit 5 months ago with chantix and have gained 22pounds. I have fought suicidal thoughts and depression from the weight gain. I smoked for 22 years at least a pack or more per day. I can sympathize with all of you here. I was told that once you quit smoking, your metabolism actually goes back to normal, because when you smoke your metabolism is speeded up significantly. It really stinks! I am 50 years old and 5 feet 4 inches and weighed 118 before quitting, and now weigh 140. People notice I look different, and make comments that I look really good and healthy??? My sisters always told me I looked anorexic when I smoked. So I am miserable being fat, but have decided to just enjoy my ice cream and cookies and extra 20 pounds since I do feel so much better being a non smoker. The chantix really made me depressed and it is just now starting to get out of my system. It was the only way I could quit, but really did a number on me emotionally. Has anyone else struggled with depression and suicidal thoughts after going off chantix?

  • beachgalone

    Hi it’s me again. Update. Still not smoking! Weight gain is tough. I mean my stomach has never been this huge. it’s killing me! I did hot yoga for 2.5 months for 5 days a week and didn’t lose 1 lb. Now I’m doing the couch to 5k running program. Will let you know how that goes.
    It’s very depressing at 5’3 to weight 174lbs. I quit 1/15/11 so I’m hoping my metabolism comes back soon.

  • Debbi

    Hi folks. I’d love to tell you it gets easier, but I quit on Nov. 14, 2009 and am still struggling with the last 10 lb. of the 20 lb. I gained when I quit. I have tried EVERYTHING. Weight Watchers says I’m not eating enough, so I recently tried ‘eating enough’ and gained 3 lb. I can’t believe I haven’t given up yet, but my old clothes remain in the closet waiting to be worn once again. Being a 50somthing woman doesn’t really help either. I don’t want to resort to drugs, but being fat is sure making me miserable. I won’t go back to smoking EVER – but something has got to give!!!! Keep the comments coming!!!

  • Melanie

    Hi, update here…20 months in from my last cigarette and still packing almost 20 lbs more…too depressing to list everything here, but suffice it to say I am resigned to this.

  • lynn

    hi all – ive now quit for nearly 2 years – i love not smoking, i love not smelling horrible and i love the way my skin looks – i hate my weight gain – after 12 months i realised it was not going to shift – i trained every day, i never ever ever eat rubbish but it would not budge. at first my tummy bloated up like nothing ive ever seen-i researched and researched why this was happening – and its not just the weight gain, it was a build up of wind due to the imbalance of good and bad bacteria in our tummies – which by this time is very confused due to lack of toxins from the smokes. i found a pre-biotic remedy called Pre-bio 7 and within the week the bloating went-ive taken it ever since and would recommend it to anyone. as for the weight gain, well, i am shamed to say i went back on the nicotine patches – just 14mg to bring my metabolism back up and this worked. i dont really know how bad it is for me but im sure its not as bad as smoking, and i would not recommend it to anyone, but i was so desperate over my weight after a lifelong battle of getting it just mentally and physically right just before i packed in smoking, it was the only answer for me.
    pp: another really good tip is acai berries and if you train and do sit ups -CLA litterally burns the fat of your tummy. good luck everyone keep up the good work xxx

  • Lizzy

    Well I posted nearly 7 weeks ago, and it went from bad to worse. I have now hit 50 pounds gained, I am 5 foot 7. I was walking every other day, now it is 6 days a week 5 days for 5 miles 1 day 8 to 9. Not one dam ounce has come off of me. The walks vary. I see now why people are hesitant to quit, however, we will all discover things about ourselves since now we smell different. Did any of us truly have our own smell. I said this to my walking partner and best Friend. Wow I get to know what I really smell like, clean is all i can say, like soap or yummy shampoo. Imagine that. I just picked up some herbal pills for boosting the metabolism I hope this works, so far, wow it feels like it is going to work. Its called Diet Pep by natural balance. I just read the comments and this is the best thing out there apparently, with no drugs just herbs

    Jill I quit cold turkey, all people I know who did chantix, felt like they would kill themselves, holy crap, I would not have tried that for anything. It takes 7 days to rid the body of nicotine, after that it is habit. I kept a pen in my hand, I took my blistex and stuck it between my lips driving. it becomes a metal battle, try a battle back at it.

    What is hellish about the weight gain is trying to sleep, with the newly formed bellies, your tossing and turning all night as your bed will not support your new frame. I have to say how unfair this has been, as I truly have to say that I have not eaten more, Ive eaten less, as the things I loved so much, no longer appeal to me as my true taste buds dislike them. Good luck all and lets try to keep this thread updated with our progress, its been a great source of inspiration to many 🙂

  • Debbi

    I won’t be going NEAR nicotine to lose weight. I’m enjoying not hearing my heart pound out of my chest when I go to bed at night. I don’t have the ‘belly fat’ problem – it’s everywhere else which isn’t flattering either. I can’t believe that no one can come up with something to help us all!

  • Debbi

    Diet Pep’s #1 ingredient – caffiene. No can do.

  • V

    I too will not go near cigarettes or patches to lose the weight, however, I feel all of you struggling. I too have gained at least 50 pounds. Luckily (or unluckily) I had just lost about 60 before I quit…so I’m about where I was 2 years ago (almost 1 year since I quit). I am very happy to be smoke free, but I feel horrible about my body. It really doesn’t seem to make a difference what I eat, how I eat, exercise, or anything. HOpefully one day this will change. My doc says the weight is not as bad for me as the smoking, and to think 2 years ago I had this weight plus the smoking! Oh well…hopefully one day soon I will see a pound come off and it will be a joyous occasion.

  • Debbi

    We’re all hoping for that V!

  • lynn h

    hi all
    i know what you mean about your heart pounding in your chest – i dont blame you but i will do anything to stay stopped. i think 99% of the people who start smoking again is because of the weight. why is there no research into it.its cut and dry – metabolism virtually ceases when you come off the nicotine – investigate or does the tobacco industry

  • lynn

    continued …………… or does the tobacco industry bring too much revenue in tax to our country that they want us to start smoking again? surely they have got to do something.
    keep up the good work everyone xxx lynn

  • Lizzy

    Debbi caffeine as a whole doesnt bother me at all, as long as I dont take ti to late, it gives me a burst of energy. Honestly when I began the quit the one thing that made me feel better was a hot cup of coffee, hotter the better, kind of mimicked the inhale in my lungs, so I was up to 9 cups a day, I am a regular 2 cup a day person, maybe 3 on weekends. I read on the ingrediants The vitamins in this product consist of Calcium, Potassium and Chromium. The herbs in Diet Pep are Ginger Root, Dandelion Root, Green Tea extract and Gurana.
    The green tea, high in caffeine and Gurana mimicks what caffeine does. After my coffee in the morning, I dont have any additional during the day. Todays day 2 on it. I just began swelling terrible with fluid I think it has something to do with the extreme walking ive been doing, so I began taking a water pill, and boy oh boy thats helping.
    I know some of the weight gain may be contributed to being over 40, but had I not been slim all these years and had to exercise and diet all this time, then this would not be as bad as it is.
    And Lynn they want us to quit but at the same time, dont, as in my state is is over $9.00 per pack, well all but $2.70 is taxes……GL All

  • Debbi

    Haven’t used caffiene in any form (except for the odd hunk of chocolate!) in probably 20 years. It just upsets my stomach and makes my heart pound something terrible. The nicotine added to that so I gave up coffee instead of smoking for all those years. Now I drink decaf and that suits me fine. Just need to lose these 10 lb. and I’ll be happy.

  • cats

    Lizzy, and all,

    I’m in the same boat also. 52 and quit smoking 6 months ago. I hiked every day for an hour and I did eat a lot of cookies the first month. Hey – I needed to do whatever I could to keep from smoking. But then switched to a diet of veggies/fruit/lean protein and eat between 1400 and (rarely)2000 calories a day. I had some injuries that slowed me down and now have increased my workouts (biking, swimming, elliptical, weights, workout videos) to about 2 hours a day – Plus am on my feet a lot more during the day.

    I weigh 25 lbs more than I did this time last year. Throughout all this working out, I have not lost any weight. I’ve lost a little bit of inches, but not enough to drop a size. I also tried ‘eating more’ to match my calories spent because I thought maybe that was the problem, but just gained weight. I plateaued for a while & didn’t gain, but did gain last week because I slacked off the workouts a little – I am TIRED! I believe if I don’t keep increasing my activities, I will continue to gain 1 or 2 lbs a week as it has been since I quit. The only thing keeping it at bay is increasing the amount of activity. I do know I have muscles in my legs I never had before, but I seriously doubt if that’s accounting for the 10 lbs I’ve gained since May. I don’t think I can eat less than 1400 cal/day and work out this much. I’m back to the dr in October & plan to discuss this mess.

    Maybe it’s menopause. Maybe it’s my lung capacity. I still dont’ feel like I can breathe as deeply as I want. I just have a feeling that the smoking did a lot of different things to my metabolism and after smoking for more than 30 yrs, my body does not know what to do with all the nutrients it is receiving now – other than make fat. I am determined though, to lose this FOOD BABY’! I could buy pregnancy pants & they would fit perfectly.
    best of luck to all.

  • Debbi

    100% the same crap here…maternity clothes would work! I keep plugging away at it – trying to lose those 10lb., but nothing seems to work. Someone recently suggested doing a cleanse. That might be my next thing to try…..

  • cats

    Debbi – I’d be real interested to see if that works for you – the cleanse. This is all just kind of laughable to me most days… being bloated up like a tick flailing on my back… ha. But there have been some depressing days and pretty much now I’m just mad as H e double L and don’t feel like taking this anymore. So after another week or two I’m going to go all out, cut calories more and add more cardio. I think my base metabolism must be at 800/day or something. Man! I try to change it up every day. I’m sort of slacking off for these last couple weeks with events.

  • Debbi

    Good luck with that! I’ve tried everything in nearly 2 years and nothing works. I will try the cleanse as a last resort – but I doubt it will do a thing except give me cramps and make for a miserable day or two, dehydrate me into thinking I’ve lost weight, only to gain it back after 2 cups of coffee!

  • Anne

    Hi Everyone – I agree with the post from Lizzy on September 6th, 2011 at 3:39 pm. Please do keep this thread going it has been so helpful!

    Tomorrow it will be my 1 year anniversary. I have very similiar stories. I am 45, smoked for over 20+ years, quit cold turkey and now am fighting the weight gain. It is soooo depressing and brings me to tears way too often. The posts out here are so helpful. Maybe it is misery loves company……or just the reassurance it isn’t just me. I read the posts over a year ago…and I am back again….I have been holding on to “it takes a year” for your metabolism to get back. I am sure tomorrow the 20 lbs will just fall off!! HA!

    I too have increased my exercises and am eating less and I am still gaining. I used to be able to increase my exercises and get results.

    I really welcome these posts and I thank you all for putting them out there. Please keep them coming.

    I will post back on how skinny I am tomorrow. 🙂

  • Debbi

    Congratulations Anne!!!! Let me know if the 20 falls off overnight! 🙂

  • V

    Congratulations on the 1 year, Anne!!! I can’t wait to hear your report back…my one year is just a few weeks away, please give me some hope! LOL. 🙂

  • I quit smoking nearly 4 years ago. Unfortunately, between menopause and quitting smoking, I gained 30 pounds! Even though I ate low calorie, nutritious foods and worked out 30-60 minutes every day, I STILL gained weight and have not been able to lose it. I have gone to medical doctors, acupuncturists, naturopaths and chiropractors without success. Currently I eat fruits, vegetables and proteins and still do not reduce the body size. I don’t mean to be discouraging, but if ANYONE has some suggestions, please let us know!!

  • Debbi

    I guess there’s no hope for any of us! It will be 2 years for me next month.

  • Elisa

    Well , thanks ladies .. after being 1 month off of ciggs and gaining 4 lbs then coming here to see that in a year i may have gained 40 … i’m pretty much sure i’ll be buying a pack. I don’t want to be fat and unhappy .. I’d rather smoke.

  • Lizzy

    Elisa, the benefits of quitting are unreal. I have my first cold since this all happened, yes I still have the weight gain, its not been a year quite yet and I have to say this cold is quite different then I have ever had, it has not settled into my lungs. The weight has leveled off and it seems i am turning the fat into muscle by walking so much. Elisa you have gotten over the nicotine in the system, you need to cut the habit of hands and grabbing, you will be fine, not all people gain 40 or 50 pounds. I have always been a size 6 and now a 12 to 14 and yes thats killing me, but it too will pass, i have never breathed so deeply in my life. i have never smelt things quite the way I smell them now, and wow food is so different too. You will gradually find out all these things. Honestly the worst thing was the weight gain, but the other benefits make up for some of that.
    it will be easier for you to go back to smoking then to remain smoke free. Think about it.

  • V

    I agree that the weight was the worst thing. As unhappy as I am about the weight, I am so very happy that I have been quit for 1 year now. With the money I have saved, I have picked up some other hobbies that I enjoy so much, that I would never be able to afford by wasting my money on cancer sticks daily. And, not to mention the health benefits, like being able to breathe, by not sucking down those stupid things. I feel so free when I watch or listen to people scramble trying to figure out how long the cigarettes they have in their pack will last because they do’nt have the money or the time to get to the store for another pack, or they can’t wait to leave a non-smoking establishment. I’m not unhappy because I’m fat, it’s just a minor set back. Maybe there are days I get upset over it, but it doesn’t cause me to be an unhappy person. I hope you can overcome your fear of whatever weight gain you may have (it is different for everyone).

  • beachgalone

    Hi! Posted earlier. An update.
    10 months on Nov 15!
    Weight has plateaued at 15lbs gained. 48 years old with perimenopause too.
    So here are my thoughts….you have to surrender to the fact you might gain some weight or even maybe alot. We’ve done years of damage to our metabolisms and it will take time to correct that. Also, surrender to the fact you might not be your size 6 or 8 anymore. So what? We don’t smoke. Nothing is more ugly than smoking. There are plenty of heavier women out there who embody beauty. Their spirit shines and they have confidence and self esteem. Smoking robs us of both. Have you ever tried dating online? NO ONE wants to date a smoker.
    Anyway, single or married, it doesn’t matter. We matter. I have never laughed so much in my life as I have in the last 2 months. Really laughed. And this while I’m unemployed, my father has cancer, my dog died, and my boyfriend and I are on the rocks. We come first. Period.

    Regarding weight…..if you have an “orange theory fitness” near you, join. It’s the cost of 1 month of smoking and will reinforce your quit. Great for us gals in our 40’s 50′ and 60’s too. They know how to get your metabolism cranking. 3 days a week. And could you be drinking a little more wine than usual? I found that I started drinking too much wine….and i don’t even like wine. So had to cut that out!

  • Debbi

    I am 55 years old and 3 days away from 2 years smoke-free and have not been able to shed the 15 lb. I gained no matter how much exercise, diet or starvation I do. I eat a healthy, low fat, low sodium, low everything diet, but nothing changes. It’s VERY frustrating and I hate the way I look. I am SO TIRED of people thinking we over eat because we quit smoking. When will someone help us with the metabolism issue? I know I abused my metaboism for 37 years of smoking but there must be an answer out there somewhere! HELP!!!!

  • cats

    I am so glad to see this thread continue. Sadly, I am relapsing and have been smoking about a month and a half – after a nice 7 month quit. (the slip/relapse was about stress – not weight gain)

    I can report that I lost 1 pound since returning back to smoking, but pretty sure it’s dehydration only that day I weighed. Otherwise still packing the same weight as I was up to during the quit. Smoking is horrible and I feel sick and am working toward a quit again.

    But just wanted to comment that I think had I quit in my 30’s I wouldn’t have had the problems with the weight quite so much. In fact I did quit when I found out I was pregnant in my 20’s and I only gained 24 lbs during that pregnancy while eating like a horse. (and delivered a 7 1/2 lb healthy baby)

    Now I think my body is doing what it can to maintain status quo. If you are over 50 – going back to smoking isn’t going to take care of the weight. I agree with other posters who say accept the weight gain, but also agree with Debbi – seems we can move in any direction and have the same problem. I went back to a normal diet during my quit (after pigging out for a month) and increased my exercise quite a bit. I STILL gained a pound or two every week. I wasn’t withholding carbs or not getting enough protein or eating too little or eating too much. So yeah, Debbi, why can’t there be some HELP for us? Theoretically just doesn’t work for over 50 women. Someone needs to do some research!

    Hope to join you all as a non smoker again soon! Cats

  • Debbi

    Cats…I hope you join the non-smoking group again too! And soon! Thanks for the support. I foolishly thought that Dr. Pepper would be doing the research on his website, but apparently not! The only 2 things I have found re: boosting your metabolism is caffiene and nicotine – neither of which are anything I would resort to. My days of having a pounding heart are over from those two addictions. It’s true…women over 50 who quit smoking are doomed!

  • cats

    Debbi — Thank you for your support also – it means a lot to me. And congratulations on 2 years!

    I guess weight will be a problem I continue to work on, since now I did slip into the “overweight” zone on the charts and really pretty uncomfortable 30 pounds over my ‘normal’ weight. I just think it is laughable that I was steadily gaining 1 to 2 lbs a week no matter what during the quit and Smoking (and eating considerably less because I’m not as hungry) has not automatically led to a 1 to 2 lb LOSS of weight during this relapse. Crazy. I can cross that one off the reasons to have a ‘slip’ in the future for sure. cats

  • Debbi

    Cats – that is good to know! I do recall quitting once in my 30s and gaining 30 lb. I got fed up and bought/smoked a carton — lost 20 lb. almost overnight. I guess those days are gone for us old folks! I’m in the same boat as you – 1 to 2 lb. a week no matter what and my clothes keep getting tighter and tighter as time goes on.

    This past week, out of sheer frustration, I have been SUPER EXTRA anal with my diet and exercise – tomorrow is “weigh in” day. I can hardly wait to be disappointed once again.

  • cats

    Debbi – I think it’s silly to use this youth phrase but – I know, right? lol
    When I quit last Feb, I exercised myself into a stress fracture from which I’m still recovering. A couple years before the quit, I quit an active job and gained back the 20 lbs that I had lost when I started there from just being on my feet all day. So when I quit smoking I was starting at that 20 lb surplus. I’m working on being able to stand all day to do my work at home and see if that helps anything – along with the exercise when I can get back to it. So far, I’m only lasting 1 1/2 hours before the soreness sets in again. It’s a long way to go to 8 or 9 hours. I was doing pushups and situps and a LOT of biking when I hurt my stress fracture again. I did gain muscle, but lost next to nothing in the way of Fat. I’ve seen people at offices with those exercise ball chairs, that might also be an option I’ll try. I started buying cheaper knit pants. I may agree that you have to accept some weight gain, but after hitting a certain size, no, I do not accept that this is just going to keep going or is acceptable. But it definitely isn’t going to work the way it used to or the way websites advise it will. It is not simple calories in/out. It seems extreme to me to be on my feet again 9 hours AND exercising but maybe that’s what it will take. ? If you hit a point where you lost a little or did not gain weight, that’s something at least. Good luck with the weigh in. I still just use my old pants as the measurement of success.

  • Debbi

    Ha! Old pants are key! I am right now in the process of giving up a part-time job where I’m on my feet for 4-6 hours a day. Just today I was diagnosed with arthritis of the lower back. My day job is a desk job so I’m ok there. One would think that even tho I didn’t have time to exercise a lot, working from 8am to 10pm would burn some calories….NOT the case! Now at least I can get back to the gym and do what I can do without further injuring my back. I guess I have a 30 year old mind and a 55 year old body….I won’t give up. I’m heading to Florida for Christmas and my bikini is ready – I hope I am!

  • JJ

    I quit smoking 2 years ago. I’m 29 yrs old and had a 1.5 pack/day habit since I was 14 yrs old. I’ve gained 26lbs and counting. I cannot lose anything, just gain. I’ve always eaten healthy and I do exercise. I thought it would level off after a year of quitting but it hasn’t. I am so unhappy and discouraged. I had to buy new clothes again for this last 5lb gain and most of the time I am in denial about my situation. My upper thigh is literally as large as my waist once was, words can’t describe how bad my weight gets me down. If anyone has any stories about being able to lose after quitting (if you were normal weight before and are normal to overweight now) I would love to hear them. Most stories I’ve read about folks losing weight after quitting had a considerable (70lbs+) to lose to begin with. Need some hope! <3 to everyone in the struggle.

  • Debbi

    Welcome aboard JJ…as I’m sure you’ve read we’re all struggling. I am now 2 years smokefree and can’t lose an ounce. We don’t seem to get much help with the issue either from any direction. I just continue to TRY – that’s all we can do. I definitely burn more than I consume everyday so what IS the answer???

  • Corryn

    Hi….38…F…quit smoking Aug 1 2011 – gained 15 lbs in a flash and then started back in Nov for a week or 2. Stopped again Nov 17th and have taken a few puffs here and there that’s it.
    I have to say that this is the most depressing time of my life…the weight has gone up to a total of 20 lbs now…the last 5 gained in the last week alone 🙁
    I have seen every doctor in the book, currently with a chiropractor and nutritionist. I worked out for 2 months until I couldn’t stand it and gained still. I ate 1000 cals a day and gained, I ate 1500 cals a day and gained. I fasted and gained. Now I am on the Atkins diet because I do know that smoking metabolizes fat between the cells and I think it best to get rid of all the sugar and get into ketosis so my body can at least get the roadway to burn fat.
    Well I have lost 3 lbs in the past few days on it but I am past the point of being excited. We will see. If this does not work I will go back to the patch. I am not going to deal with this. Period. It’s not way to live.

  • Corryn

    Also…I wanted to ask…some wrote on here about taking CLA and EGCG and I wonder if it worked for you.
    One thing I have learned about weight loss is that it is not about calories in and calories out. it is about hormones…the ultimate trump card.

  • Debbi

    Welcome aboard Corryn…I’m hangin with the 20 lb. for 2 years now and can’t budge an ounce. I would hate to do the patch at this stage of the game.

  • SweetiePie


    55 Year old female here, 200 lbs, hypothyroid smoke free for 6 months. Feeling great about being smoke free and this time its permanent and for real.

    I have quit smoking and relapsed so many times in my life. And dieting, on again and off again for 40 years. Pfffft…..This time what prompted me to go to the doctor and quit was that my heart feels heavy and hurts sometimes. Not angina yet, but scary and depressing. I’m fine, it turns out, but I definitely needed to quit smoking and still need to exercise more and lose weight . I am no expert in the weight loss department, having had limited success with that over the years. I can see from this interesting thread that I am not as weight conscious as most of you, but I still thought I’d share what my doctors told me because it may help and inspire you the way it did to me: When I tried to bring up the weight gain and the overweight with doctors heres what they said: CARDIOLOGIST told me I’d have to be about 100 lbs over my ideal weight of 145 for the weight to be as stressful and damaging on my heart and cardiovascular as SMOKING, GP #1 told me the key was, instead of focusing on an ideal weight and size, was to focus on preventing DIABETES through NONSMOKING, AND EXERCISE just as important as wholesome diet, and GP #2 (I moved and needed a new doctor for my thyroid perscription) told me, after my bloodwork tested all ok, “why don’t you just forget about losing weight for a little while and focus on quitting SMOKING? Well, I took all of that advice, and this time, it worked! I’ve really kicked the smoking habit and finally found freedom from that deadly addiction. The “permission” from doctors to stop beating myself up about my weight freed me up mentally to do what I needed to do (giving myself plenty of rewards, including food treats and being lazy treats!) in order to become smoke free and never going back! I am ready now to step up to exercise and weight loss this year with the same strategy: Increased exercise first, food modification instead of deprivation. The reason for my post is to say stick with it but your QUIT is SO IMPORTANT – don’t ever let your desire to be thinner or to get back down to an ideal outweigh your resolve to stay SMOKE FREE. SMOKING is the singlemost damaging behavior -don’t lose sight of that! Never take another puff! Oh, btw I gained about 5% while quitting and my first goal is to go back down 5%.

  • Tara

    I’m 33 years old, I was a pack a day smoker since I was 16 and am happy to say that I am finally smoke free for 4 months now. I have always had the tendency to gain 5-10 lbs here and there, but was always able to quickly lose them whenever I felt like it. This time however…. Not so much lol. I went through numerous changes all at once when I made the choice to quit. I was a competitive dance instructor for many years so I had plenty of cardio but the same week I quit smoking I decided to part ways with the dance world, along with leaving my full time 9-5 job. Now that I have hit the 4 month mark I’ve decided it’s time to try and focus on the excess weight. I have gone back to teaching dance, as of yesterday, however at a much more relaxed state then my previous years, and I’m starting to maintain my calorie and fat intake as of today. I’m hoping by this time next week I will be 2 lbs lighter :/ ( fingers crossed )

  • Lizzy

    Hi ladies, Well I am still going strong I am 6 days shy of 1 year and although the weight is driving me crazy and makes me want to shower with clothes on I know my lungs are clean, I know I smell terrific, and i know i will now live maybe 20 years longer. They came out with a study yesterday on the patch, most people who take the patch, will revert back to smoking and well you still hit your metabolism hard. So i am taking the advice of my doctor and hoping that after next monday, my body will begin its self adjustment. And come spring I can have a huge sale on designer clothes on Ebay. I still stop and say, OMG I cannot beleive I did this, How did I do this, wow.

    So ladies who have quit, do you all do that. WOW I did this. wooweeee I did this. Stop people and tell them, i smoked for 20 years and i quit, my ass is a lot bigger, but I QUIT. I have not been able to do my walking, but I have not gained anything extra either, so go figure, maybe once the walking gets back, the weight this time will drop. Keep up the great work, and dont go back, no matter what kind of stress is in your life, it simply is not worth it.

  • beachgalone

    Great Lizzy! I, too, am 4 days shy of 1 year! I saw the study about the patch and have to say it worked for me although I only used it for a few weeks. I kept forgetting to put it on!
    I also used our local Nicotine Anonymous group which saw 8 people stop this year. Everyone is different. All it takes is the commitment to do whatever it takes. And at 48 years old, I put on 20 lbs. ! It was hard to handle at first but decided not to worry about it til this year. The whole reason I quit was so I could start working out. And boy! I’m hitting the Orange Theory Fitness studio 4 times a week. All I keep thinking is that I never could do this workout if I still smoked!
    Good for us! Happy New Year!

  • Debbi

    Hell ladies and congratulations! If there’s a secret to losing the weight, please let me know! It’s been over 2 years for me – tried everything – still 20 lb. heavier!

  • Lizzy

    So today is 1 year and 1 day, and when I got out of bed this morning, I really dreamed the fat would go splash all over the floor (lol). I have been unable to walk as it is too dark when I get out of work and well the artic weathers hit new england, I am trying to do one big 10 to 15 miles walk on the weekends . I am hoping and praying that the doctor was correct when she said the shock of the metabolism is usually done by 1st year.
    So since I have not walked since I got back from vacation and trust me I walked like crazy in Vegas, I have gained 1 pound a week. wow people can eat right and still gain. uggghhhhhhhh

    Now heres one for you, my neighbros girl fried has quit inhaling I will say as she is using the patch, gum and now the electronic cigarette, shes been doing this for 6 months and has gained I would say 25 to 30 pounds. It makes no sense seeing she wears 2 patches and chews the gum and now has bought that obsurd thing. I told her she hasnt quit, she just stopped inhaling smoke. How might her metabolism have stopped seeing her nicotine hasnt or is she just gorging herself as people expect her to gain.

    Truly congrats too all that have stopped and Beach happy birthday or anniversary, one year, wooohooo you.

  • V

    Congrats everyone on making it one year! That’s really something to be proud of. I am a few months over 1 year now, and my weight has not dropped, or even slowed down I think. I am back to my pre-diet-quit-smoking weight. LOL. That was a diet I had started about a year before quitting. Lost about 60 pounds, and now I have gained it all back. I of course do not feel I changed my eating habits, but I know my exercise was lacking over the past year since quitting smoking. I am so glad, however, that I did not try really hard to lose weight while dealing with trying to quit smoking. Both are/were hard for me, so I think it best to concentrate on one at a time. I do my internet searches occasionally to see if anyone has found the magic answer. I found a study on smoking cessation and weight gain. It’s kind of interesting…basically that there is not a noticeable change in resting metabolism, but there are definitely physical changes that happen to your body. IN the study of 13 women, only 3 made it year quit smoking! Look at all that we have accomplished! Anyways, I will keep at it. At least I am back into my exercise routine now, and hopefully one day I will see the pounds stop going in the wrong direction. Here’s the link to the study –

    • Sweetie

      Just wanted to update all of you, been almost 3 years in June that I have quit a 3o year habit. Cannot believe that I have done this, so proud of myself. On the other hand I gained 30 lbs and I am officially been diagnosed with hypothyroidism. I thought ok well I will get on the medicine and I will lose the 30 lbs. Didn’t happen. In fact, I cannot lose one pound. I look in the mirror and do not recognize the person that I have become.

      Needless to say I have trying to educate myself alot about all of this and I may have stumbled upon something. Adrenaline Fatigue goes hand in hand with thyroid problems and pretty much controls all organs in the body. My sister was diagnosed officially with Adrenal Fatigue and hopefully she is on her way to getting well. I do not see the endocrynologist again until March, I intend to ask her to do blood work for my adrenaline gland. For now, I am taking an adrenal support vitamin from the health food store to see if that will help. I am so tired all the time, can’t get out of bed and I feel like not wanting to ever go anywhere or do anything. There has to be a connection with the nicotine, thyroid gland, adrenal gland. Maybe when you take the nicotine away from you body these glands don’t know how to function with out nicotine, I really don’t know but to me there has to be a connection.

      Will let all of you know after the doctor appointment in March.


  • Debbi

    @Sweetie: Keep us posted. Still trying to knock off the 20 lb. gained 2 years ago. Thyroid tests come back normal everytime. However, you are right in saying there must be a connection. I REALLY don’t want to re-introduce nicotine into my system after all this time.

  • cats

    @ Debbi – I know you all are not serious about taking up nicotine again in relation to thyroid problems! Just wanted to add something. I am in my 4th month of a relapse and close to quitting again. I had gained 25 lbs after I quit Feb 2011, had some injuries, etc. BUT have not lost 1 lb since I started smoking again, recovered from injuries – have stayed the same weight since August 2011 (since before my relapse). So it may be that nicotine messes up our thyroid, adrenal glands and other hormones, but seems like if it was some necessary component that I would have LOST some of the weight when I slipped and started smoking full time again! I am believing that menopause is making my body cling to the fat no matter what amount I eat or exercise!

    I’m glad you’re still all here and I’ve been reading the comments since last fall. I look forward to being a non smoker again. All of these comments are valuable and there has got to be some answer for the weight not budging! I appreciate everyone’s ideas.

  • Debbi

    I went thru menopause 6 years before quitting and never had an issue with weight. Cigarettes, nicotine, tar…SOMETHING is doing this to us!

  • Tara

    Hi everybody, so it has been about 3 weeks since I started focusing on my weight. I have lost 2 lbs only out of the 15 that need to go away lol, with a 3rd lb in limbo ( goes away,comes back ) . I was getting a little upset over the slow results ( slow for my history ) until I realized I’m no longer 25 for one, and secondally i wasnt really excercising more than 2 hours a week lol. I have joined a sight called only 3 days ago, but it is wonderful. It makes the calorie,fat ect. Counting so simple and easier to maintain when it’s in front of your face. It’s also motivating me to exercise more because it tells you you’re now allowed however more calories of food for the day because you burned some. Again, it’s only been 3 days on the sight, but I feel ready to find my figure again. Hopefully I’ll have better results next check in.
    Wishing everyone health and success!!!

  • Rick

    I’ve been smoking for 6 months (I’m 40) due to extreme stress/depression. Anyway, I quit cold turkey a few times and I can tell you that my appetite shot up like a rocket. I went to McDonald’s and binged on burgers and fries but 3 hours later I was hungry _yet again_ and ate a whole bag of cassava chips (960 calories). Three hours later I couldn’t resist eating yet more junk food and drinking Coca-Cola. Funny thing is that I eat healthy food when I smoke (lots of cruciferous vegetables, rice, extra virgin olive oil, green tea, vitamins and coffee), but when I _quit_ I felt like total crap and binged on junk food. I had no craving for healthy food when I quit smoking. What made me go back to smoking wasn’t the weight gain or out-of-control appetite, but rather the depression that set in after the nicotine cravings were gone. That was horrid and antidepressants don’t work for me. It was severe depression… melancholy, but yet no nicotine cravings. So, I smoked 3 to 5 cigarettes in a row and the depression lifted and the crazy appetite disappeared.

    I hope I can quit smoking again but in the meantime I’m back to eating healthy whole foods, green tea, etc.

    I’m just so terrified of the depression when quitting and what that could do to my marriage. I also don’t want to end up raiding the fridge for unhealthy junk food or McDonald’s. I know smoking is bad, but my doctor also says that McDonald’s and junk food “will kill you”. That’s exactly what he said in addition to “smoking kills”. I just can’t control the food cravings when I quit as I said before… that’s scary and I could easily gain a lot of weight at my age.

    Sorry for the long rant. I’ve really tried to quit and saw nothing but horrible results. Sure, I had more energy but that was the only good thing I noticed. Severe depression + junk food binging + massive weight gain is probably not any healthier than being smoke-free.

    Everyone dies someday anyway.

  • Lizzy

    Hi Rick, sorry you went back to smoking, how long had you smoked before you quit? Depression is a terrible thing. I sadly wasn’t attracted to eating or having a ravenous appetite, in fact I was super sick for weeks and did not eat anything, but the weight began climbing instantly. I do believe and Ive seen it, that men drop weight much faster then woman, you guys don’t have the same hormones coursing through your veins that we do. Since winter set in, i have not been able to walk outside as often as I’d like. Rick why not go over to a herbal store and talk to an herbalist and ask them if they have anything herbal that will counter act the depression with out drugging you up. i know those pills very often make you feel worse.
    I talked to my husband last night and he told me, I dont see you eating badly, just the opposite you eat better foods, you never exercised before, now your walking 10 miles a clip, yet your gaining, not losing an ounce, it has to be the cigarettes unless your binge eating in the middle of the night and I don’t hear you. We work together so we see each other all day. I’m seeing my doctor next month, lets see what she says. Lets keep smoke free, my lungs are so happy. My ass and gut just aren’t …lol

    • Debbi

      I quit smoking using laser therapy and it definitly curbed the depression. Give it a try instead of drugs. It worked for me and I’m almost 2.5 years smoke free.

  • Debbi

    @ Lizzy. Please tell me what your doctor says. I’m in the same boat as you and it’s getting ridiculous. Exercising and eating 1000 or less calories but not losing an ounce. I keep trying and failing. Some say it’s my age (56) so does that mean that ALL 56 year olds gain 20 lb. and can’t lose it? I highly doubt it.

  • Lizzy

    I shall Debbie. I have never in my life exceeded 155 pounds, was size 8 to 10 if I wanted baggy pants. I am not pre-menopausal either, everythings right as rain. I would love just 20 , im at 50 pounds over, its spare tire around my belly. They say the walking is great for the belly fat too, so far I have to say they are liars. So my neighbros girl is up i’d say 35 pounds and dam shes not even let the patch off, been 6 months, but she is still gaining, whats that about but she is also maybe 32…..I am 5’7″ too

  • Rick

    I started smoking in July (big mistake..I thought I wouldn’t become hooked) and that escalated to half a pack per day. I quit cold turkey in September but that only lasted 4 days.. I realized the addictive power of nicotine at that time. I would tense up every 30 minutes and felt like I would just implode from the barrage of tension and I actually cried in my wife’s lap (she was very supportive, but my smoking neighbors didn’t care to hear about my quit attempt.. they just shrugged me off.. probably they thought I wouldn’t make it).

    The food cravings kicked in really hard but the depression began on the 4th day… I felt so detached from everyone else.. like an empty soul and was also easy to lose my temper (I wasn’t like that before) and become frustrated over small things. Nothing was interesting to me anymore.. I couldn’t find pleasure in the things that used to make me happy.. felt like a dysphoric zombie even after the nicotine cravings were gone.

    Stupid me, I forgot that there are electronic cigarettes available and that lots of smokers have kicked the cigarette addiction by using those.

    However, I have heard they are not FDA-approved or regulated. I even thought I read a story that you could theoretically get nicotine poisoning if the electronic cigarette is shoddy or malfunctions, giving you too much nicotine.

    Has anyone here used the electronic cigarette, and if so, do you think it is a safe option in your opinion? If it is safe, I’d rather use that than to keep poisoning my body with toxins. That would help keep the weight off and suppress the appetite without all the chemicals in tobacco I guess. More importantly, I hope it would keep depression from coming back.

    Antidepressants don’t work for me and I have heard they can cause weight gain and zap libido. (SSRIs)

  • Debbi

    My opinion is to rid your body of nicotine if you truly want to stay off cigarettes. I am positive it is what has caused my weight gain, but on the other hand, I have very few cravings. The laser therapy totally helped with the depression I was falling into. I also was at a point where I didn’t care about anything or anybody. There was nothing right with the world. It quickly passed after a few laser session. I smoked for over a pack a day for 37 years – I was a true addict.

  • Jayci

    Hi all! I quit smoking yesterday after having this habit my whole adult life. I have been smoking 20 years and don’t really know what it’s like without it. I am 34 and already overweight so the thought of gaining more disturbs me. I have finally gotten the mindset that I am just going to gain weight and eventually I will get it off. I have read through most of these comments and I hate that everyone is having such a hard time with losing weight. Rick, I am so sorry. I hear that St. John’s Wort helps with depression. I have heard a few good things about the e cigarette. Anyway, wish me luck on quitting and hope this time will be the last!

  • Lizzy

    Jayci congrats for taking step one. Now it will take 7 days to flush the nicotine, then you have to battle the habit of your hands. make sure you have something to have between your fingers while driving, drinking coffee, etc… make sure it is there during your most inportant cigarette moments.
    Now I went into the herbalist yesterday and just by chance he was actually on the floor taking care of customers. He saw me and recognized me and said how are you, I said fat thanks how are you. he says yes I see youve gained some weight, now I am not trying to insult you but whats changed. I said oh your not insulting me, you would have to be blind to see how I have changed, Anyway I told him what happened, I told him I tried the diet pep to no avail, walking for exercise and eating well didnt make a damned bit of difference, he then walks over and says, I have just the thing, an herbal thyroid booster, This is what it is
    Thyroid Energy.. made by Now

    Thyroid Energy
    NOW Thyroid Energy is a complete nutritional supplement for the support of healthy thyroid function. NOW has combined Iodine (from Kelp) and Tyrosine, the two integral constituents of thyroid hormone, with the minerals Selenium, Zinc and Copper, to assist in its production. In addition, NOW Thyroid Energy contains Guggul Extract, an Ayurvedic herb known for its ability to support a healthy metabolism.*

    Now this time I can tell it shall do something, woweeee no caffeine and I can feel my body getting a huge boost, I will post in a few weeks but 2 days on it and wow I feel completely different. he knew just what I needed to get the metabolism going. One more month til the doctors, boy I’d love to walk in thinner. Fingers crossed, i had forgotten just how much your thyroid controls things including your metabolism. wouldnt it be wonderful if this little herb woudl take care of all of us.

  • Debbi

    Good luck to you Jayci!!! It’s a battle, but it can be done. Took me 37 years but I’m finished with cigarettes. I’ll need to read up on that Now Thyroid Energy. I fear it will make my heart pound. I have to do something soon – it’s over 2 years and I can’t lose. Keep us posted on your progress Jayci and Lizzy!

  • lizzy

    Debbi, Ive been taking it a bit over 1 week, now the first time I took it, the heart for about 5 minutes beat like mad, OK so it then calmed, my belly was a little bit queasy, that too calmed in 5 minutes. they indicate using it on a empty stomach, if you get queasy try it with food, so thats what I’ve done. I take it at 7 am then at 1:30 or 2. Although I dont have weight falling off me I do see what it is doing, its cleaning me out kind of weird as i’d not think that would have happened. I have more natural pep and I took a 10 mile walk after taking it over the weekend. So if at first you think the little heart race is to much, just give it a try it goes away after a few days your body gets used to it, there is no form of caffiene in it either. I can feel my self with a higher level of metabolism, I feel more like my old self but smokeless. GL

  • Debbi

    Well, 5 minutes of pounding heart is enough for me not to even bother trying it. When things like that happen, I believe you shouldn’t be taking it. It’s just not normal. Let me know how it continues – be careful!

  • Lizzy

    I would not keep taking it if it was something that i felt harmed me, it is much better then taking the drag of a cigarette and getting my heart fluttering, thats exactly what it did. Did you know the nicotine faked you exercising by getting your heart rate pumping, this isnt even as bad as that I will say it was more a flutter, but when I ate before taking it, that didnt happen, they said if the belly sours to eat, that did it, but since I’ve also taken in on an empty one and that didnt happen. So I will continue with it then I will see if it was worth it after a month, I will not change anything else Ill keep eating well and walking as long as my nose wont freeze off, though its february and in Massachusetts we have had a very mild winter and no snow…. Hope I didnt dam myself tomorrow it will be close to 70 wow Never thought I would see that ….Debbi have all stimulants made your heart beat to fast and what happens when you work out the same thing.

  • eve

    All I can say is, Phew I am not alone.

    I am 45, smoked since I was 15 and gave up 9 weeks ago using champix.
    I eat about 1500 cals a day, do weights and running and generally have a good diet, I try to have no sugar and dont drink alcohol, dont eat much dairy but despite everything I have gained 10lbs
    The thing is, I can halt the gain by eating no sodium, but as soon as I eat the tiniest amount of sodium (200mg salt ) the weight goes up and I cannot get rid of it. I dread to think what I would weigh if I didnt restrict myself in this way. I never had a problem with salt before, not that I poured it over food.
    I went to the docs and she was not very helpful, did a blood test and it showed my sodium levels were ok, so Its all a bit of a mystery.
    I was blaming the champix but maybe its a general stopping smoking thing. I am perimenopausal and have had no relief from hot flashes at all but funny now Ive stopped smoking the hot flashes are only 1 0r 2 a day. I know smoking lowers estrogen , but I dont know if it rises when you give up ? if so then that might explain some fat gain.
    Anyway I am posting my experience incase it helps anyone, and I good luck anyone who quits the dreaded weed.

  • Debbi

    @ Eve. Wow…sodium! I never gave sodium a thought because I don’t salt many foods and really don’t pay too much attention to how much I eat in other foods. I am noticing right now that my 180 calorie bottle of Slimfast I’m about to have for breakfast has 210mg! I guess I’m screwed already!

  • maggie

    I can’t believe I read all these comments. But since I have, Debbie (and a few others who’ve mentioned similar problems), it appears that you have completely shot your metabolism with over-dieting and over-exercising, and that it has nothing to do with quitting smoking at this point (and frankly it worries me that people coming here for advice and seeing that years of trying to lose weight after quitting smoking might be their future, might be dissuaded from quitting).

    You’ve mentioned nearly starving yourself, that your WW friends say you’re not eating enough, that you exercise like crazy, that you eat 1000 calories a day, eat low fat (fat is healthy, the body needs fat just like it needs carbs and protein. It’s the type of fat that matter). None of this conducive to weight loss, and only damages your metabolism further.

    Say you’re a person who has a BMR of 2000 calories. Just lazing around all day, that’d be about 2300 calories you’d need to eat just to maintain your current weight, and about 1750 to lose 1 – 1.5 pounds a week. Now take the same person, and have them eating 1200 or less (extremely unhealthy, no woman should be eating less than 1200, and no man less 1500, and even that depends on your body type, size and activities), plus burning 400 or more through exercise. Instead of a healthy 500-600 per day caloric deficit, said person is now at an unhealthy 1500 calorie deficit, meaning your body is now only has 800 calories at it’s disposal to do all the things it needs. Now our bodies are highly adaptable machines, so since you are now starving your body by only giving it the 800 calories it has to use, rather than the 1700 or so it needs, it adapts, and your metabolism reaches a point called “starvation mode” and your weight loss plateaus or you even gain. It’s why you see people who are overweight even though they eat like birds or rarely have time to eat because of busy schedules, because their bodies have adapted to a certain level of calories, and the odd occasion they do eat like a “normal” person, the body grabs onto that overage and stores everything it can.

    I’d even wager that it’s one (of many, I’m sure) of the reasons smokers gain when they quit in the first place. While smoking they’d substitute food for a cigarette, even if it’s just a couple times a day instead of having a snack. This leads to a deficit below BMR of maybe even only 200-300 calories, but the body adapts, so when you quit those 300 calories that you’re now eating instead of replacing are now 300 over what your body has adapted to, leading to a weight gain of over half a pound a week until your metabolism eventually levels itself out again (which if you freak out and start dieting and exercising too much, it won’t do).

    Someone above mentioned I’d seek help from the forums on it or any other reputable calorie counting site about how to “re-healthy” your metabolism. You might even gain 10 more pounds in the process, but once you’ve leveled to a healthy calorie deficit, it and the 15 you can’t shake now will likely come off in no time.

  • Debbi

    @ Maggie. When did you quit smoking?

  • Debbi

    @Maggie. AND, if food was substituted for a cigarette, I would not be on this website complaining.

  • Samantha

    I’ve been reading about the Schwarzbein Principle and healing the metabolism. Here is an excerpt I found very intersting though I can’t say whether it’s valid or not.

    “For example, when people stop smoking, they may gain a lot of fat weight and feel tired and listless. They usually tell me they never should have stopped smoking because now they feel lousy and are fat besides. What they don’t realize is that the only way their bodies can heal is by raising their insulin levels higher than their adrenaline levels, so they will gain fat weight as their bodies heal from years of smoking. The damage occurred while they were smoking, not after they stopped. The only way to avoid having to heal from smoking is to never smoke in the first place. If you are a smoker, the best thing you can do for your health is to quit and begin healing from years of using up your biochemicals more than rebuilding them from nicotine use.”
    Link to more:

    (I quit 10 weeks ago and I am up 7 lbs….all of it in my waist)

    • cats

      Samantha – thanks for posting this. It is all very interesting to me. I will go read it. I do believe our bodies are trying to protect us somehow with the fat and wish there were more research that was definitive. I read a lot of stuff about weight gain and menopause a few years ago and the idea was that the more fat you have the more estrogen you have, so it’s like a replacement for what your ovaries don’t produce anymore. That’s a simplistic paraphrase but that was the gist of it.

      I got through a big event last summer at 35 + weight gain barely fitting into my dress, but I was so happy to just not be smoking I smiled the whole day long. I hope I am among the non-smokers again soon. I had to laugh at myself for saying I’m close earlier tonight- I said that 2 months ago.

  • cats

    I’m weighing in again. No joke intended. I still have not quit smoking again, but I am close and I really hate smoking. Just wanted to update my previous comments that starting smoking did not make me lose weight. WELL, new year, new life. I have cut down my smoking, had some withdrawals from that and have adjusted and am almost ready to quit again. Despite some physical ailments, I decided to try to get back on my feet as much as I can during the day and went on a 1200-1500 cal. ‘diet’. The weight is coming off 1-2 lbs a week.

    Smoking DOES mess up your metabolism, it messes with your blood sugar, it increases your heartrate and who knows what the arsenic and all the other chemicals do to your tissues(besides give you cancer). I am sure you don’t absorb some of the nutrients when you smoke. I ate WAY more smoking (especially more fatty foods) than I did before I quit and gained 20 lbs or so After I quit while eating healthy foods and exercising- at the recommended amount of calories. It contributed to my lactose intolerance I know it because when I was at 6 months quit I was able to eat foods I could not before without getting sick so it’s adding something extra to the digestive juices or whatever that upsets my stomach. My IBS virtually disappeared when I quit. Now I have it again.

    @Debbi – I’m still reading and I agree or at least understand the frustration. This is an experiment with me now and when I quit again, I’m going to keep track of what I gain or if I gain and whether or not I can drop the next 23 lbs I need. Will let you know if it works. But for now, I’m convinced that it’s partly smoking metabolism and creating this calorie deficit by standing/walking around all day. Same thing happened when I started a standing job(also while I smoked). It was a drastic change for me just moving more all day. For some reason biking and doing intervals 3 hours a day didn’t do the same thing. Go figure.

    I am not so sure this would be working if I were still not smoking – cuz like I said before I was eating well and exercising a lot and healthy and still gained 1-2 lbs a week when I quit. It was Not muscle. It was fat on my stomach, hips and thighs.

    Anyway, I’m not hurting myself right now with the ‘dieting’ – I’m counting calories and increasing my activity and I seem to have hit a level where it is actually burning off some fat and I have more energy now. The smoking is what is hurting me.

    Anyone can read all the info out there about metabolism and do these formulas and say it should work and that smokers just eat less when they smoke or just do this or that, but that’s speculation. I was on here complaining about the weight gain because the formulas of calories in/calories out just were not adding UP.

  • maggie

    I don’t smoke, Debbi (and please don’t stop reading at this point, while brushing off my comments as “pfft, how would SHE know then!!?”) However, my mom does, and the main reason she won’t quit is because she’s scared of gaining weight, as many are. I was researching weight gain and quitting smoking, and came upon this, as I’m sure she would had she searched for it. And if she had, I have no doubt in my mind that seeing people still fighting their weight gain 2 years after quitting would completely put her off even the smallest thought to quit, as I’m sure many who’ve come upon these comments have, even though it’s fairly obvious to anyone reading all your comments with any education on nutrition and calories that while quitting smoking may have caused you to gain the weight, at this point your lack of smoking is not what’s keeping the weight still on.

    Let’s observe some comments you’ve made –

    “My stomach is a trainwreck, irregularity, gas, etc. My nails break constantly; my face is breaking out; my hair sucks – nothing is right. I workout 5-6 days a week including weight lifting classes, run/walk interval training, Pilates, ice skating and also follow Weight Watchers. I have seen no weight loss in 8 weeks!!!” – all things easily related to a lack of calories and nutrients, especially when coupled with too much exersize. Anorexics/bulimics have the same problems.

    “The people at my gym asked me if I was “moving in”! Some WW friends think I’m not eating enough” – Over exerising, on top of the reduced calories, and even your WW friends say you’re not eating enough.

    “I have sucessfully lost a WHOLE 0.4lb this week just short of starving to death and exercising like a maniac!” – again, starving yourself, and over exercising.

    “I eat less than 1000 calories a day (which isn’t healthy) and hit the gym 4 or more times a week, plus walking on my breaks and lunch.” – once again, too few calories, too much exersize.

    “I exercise more than I ever have in my life and keep my caloric intake to 1000/day (or less) or 18 points on Weight Watchers.” – same ol’ same ol’.

    “Weight Watchers says I’m not eating enough, so I recently tried ‘eating enough’ and gained 3 lb.” – because you have completely screwed up your metabolism, it’s at starvation mode, and “eating enough” made you gain 3 pounds in such a little time because your body and metabolism aren’t used to being fed right, so it’s clinging on to everything it can, as I explained in my first comment that you replied to.

    You seriously need to evaluate your eating and exersize habits, maybe even consult a dietician and therapist (because at this point I’d say you have an eating disorder) and stop blaming your lack of weight loss on that you quit smoking over 2 years ago. It’s completely discouraging, harmful, and misleading to others who may want to quit smoking and see your comments and think “no way am I going through that”.

    I’d take a look at this thread for more information on what you’ve done to your body as well

    As well, you’ll find many threads on there from former smokers which might help you.

    Given your height, age, and weight that you mentioned above, your BRM alone 1s 1290 calories. Now add all the exerize you’re doing, going to the gym 5-6 times a week, etc, and your body needs at least 2000 calories a day just to maintain your current weight, and 1500 calories to put you at a healthy 500 calorie deficit to lose 1-2 pounds per week. Eating less than 1000 calories like you’re doing, that’s over a 1000 calorie deficit, and way way below your BMR. YOUR BODY IS STARVING AND HAS ADAPTED TO THIS STARVATION. It has nothing to do with not smoking anymore.

    To your last comment “AND, if food was substituted for a cigarette, I would not be on this website complaining.” Where did I say food was substituted for a cigarette? I said that as a smoker, you (not just you, but in smokers in general) often subsitute a cigarette for food, even if just a small snack. You don’t even do it consciously likely. I know mom is perfectly fine having a smoke, coffee, and piece of toast for breakfast instead a full balance breakfast. As a result (as I explained in my last post), I have no doubt that her metabolism is used to a lower amount of calories than a non-smoker of her age, weight, and height who eats healthy. So if she quits, and instead starts eating 2 pieces of toast in the morning, that alone is an extra 150 calories per day, 1050 per week, and nearly 1/3 of a pound gained (one pound is 3500 calories above your Total Daily Energy Expenditure needs) just because her metabolism is a bit lower than what it should be.

    And to end this, please know I’m not trying to be mean or a cocky non-smoker. I’m trying to help, both you and the people who may come here and be put off because of yours and others comments about both the weight gain and how hard it is to lose it. I know how much I worry about my mom’s health (also 54 years old) because of her smoking, and much better off she’d be without it, and the thought of her or anyone else coming here and being put off from bettering themselves because of misleading information is extremely heartbreaking and frustrating.

  • maggie


    I’m assuming “Anyone can read all the info out there about metabolism and do these formulas and say it should work and that smokers just eat less when they smoke or just do this or that, but that’s speculation.” is mainly directed at me, and I agree. That last part of my first post (the “I’d even wager”) is purely speculation based on what I’ve seen of the eating habits of many people who currently smoke, and I have no doubt that some smokers eat more than their non-smoker counterpart without gaining weight as well.

    I also believe you when you say that after quitting regular calories in/calories out isn’t an exact science for weight loss as well, nor do I fully believe it is for anyone else (I say this as someone who has struggled with weight loss all their life). But surely you can’t see what Debbie has posted about starving herself and the amount of exercise on top of that and think that quitting smoking and not basic metabolism problems is still the cause of her inability to lose weight at this point?

    I can’t stress enough that what she’s doing is extremely unhealthy, and shouldn’t be what potential quitters who come here seeking help base their opinions on.

    • cats

      Yes, in part it was directed at you – but other people have also commented/speculated that it must be somehow the smoker’s doing that they are gaining weight and gone through all these formulas for metabolism. We know differently – they do not add up when you quit smoking. Things do go haywire for SOME people.

      I think you should re-focus on to more positive helpful things rather than insisting that Debbi’s habits are harmful or that it has nothing to do with quitting. It has everything to do with quitting and our age. We are all in the same boat with the weight gain and it is helpful and supportive to people who have similar problems to come here and talk about it. If you want to help your Mom quit smoking, tell her you will be there for her. Get her information about forums or local groups to help her quit. That’s about all you can do. Quitting smoking is supposedly harder than quitting heroin, it is hard work for a lot of people and weight is part of the package.

      And no, I do not agree with you that what Debbi is doing is unhealthy or that she is in some diet death spiral. Debbi has been quit for 2 YEARS. That is huge and largely HEALTHY. Eating healthy, exercise and going to WW to help herself with the weight is healthy. Trying to get rid of the weight is healthy. Complaining about it is absolutely NORMAL. Especially when you follow formulas laid out for metabolism and weight loss.

  • cats

    It’s obvious that you are very worried about your mother smoking. I have a son who is probably about your age and he feels the same. However, I did not quit because he was upset about it. I quit when I was ready. You aren’t going to be able to clear the path for her or control the rest of the world and get us all to stop talking about this so it will be easier for her. I would suggest a quit forum for her though – it is a great aid to have buddies quitting.

    We are all here because the weight gain and retention is a real issue that does NOT get solved calories in/ calories out formulas for women in our age group. Sometimes Hormones or thyroid or other things are what is in control of a woman’s weight regardless of calories. You are speculating about comments made by a person(s) about whose life you have no details.

    If your mother wants to quit smoking she will do it. She has to want it for herself. Withdrawal, weight gain, cravings – all these things are excuses to keep the habit. If your mother cannot accept that she may gain some weight in the process of quitting, she is holding onto an excuse to keep smoking – a back door, a way out of dealing with the real problem of quitting. This is not misinformation and it is out there everywhere for her to read how much the average person gains when they quit.

    I hope you’ll continue to tell your mother how you feel, but it really is up to her to do the work of quitting. Part of that is letting go of excuses and accepting things like the possibility that she might gain weight, or have horrible cravings OR, have a relapse like me and have to start all over – all while remembering that not Everyone has all that happen and some people quit easy as pie and are happy forever and gain No weight. Good luck to your mom.

  • maggie


    Believe me, I learned at a very young age that no amount of my worrying, talking, or caring would stop my mom from smoking, and that she wouldn’t on her own until she was good and ready. Same with every othe smoker. I haven’t discussed anything at all about her quitting in years, nor am I about to unless she brings it up first. That said, she talks to me, and I know the main reason she won’t quit is the weight gain, hence my research so that if she does bring up something, I can at least provide her with some useful information.

    Yes, everyone is different, and thyroid/hormone problems are a valid reason for weight loss and gain, or the inability to do so. However, Debbi I believe mentioned that her thyroid, sodium, everything else levels are fine. Even if they weren’t, eating under 1000 calories while hitting up the gym 5-6 times a week is NOT HEALTHY OR CONDUSIVE TO WEIGHT LOSS. You don’t need to know a person’s entire medical history to know that, and no thyroid/hormone diet in the world would require a caloric deficit that high, and I have absolutely no doubt in my mind that it’s the main cause of her inability to lose weight.

    Valid point on my mom using weight gain as an excuse or way out of quitting, and I agree. But the way I see it any little thing she sees is either going to help her or further dissuade her from reaching that point of being past excuses in the first place.

    I know for a fact that if she ever read this, she’d go “ugh, this woman quit, eats less a 1000 calories a day and goes to the gym all the time and STILL can’t lose weight! How the hell am I going to do it!” And if she does, hopefully she (or anyone like her) will see my posts explaining the reasons behind why she can’t lose weight and that it’s UNHEALTHY so that she doesn’t go down the same route.

    And yes, congrats to Debbi for quitting in the first place, especially knowing the weight gain that would likely come with it, and still sticking with it for 2 years. Kudos to her and anyone else who has done is, even if you tried and failed, because you at least tried in the first place, and that’s a start.

    However, you say “Eating healthy, exercise and going to WW to help herself with the weight is healthy” which I’d agree with if it was obvious she was doing any of these things in a healthy manner. UNDER 1000 CALORIES IS NOT HEALTHY. I don’t care what your age, your weight, pre/post menapausal, your medical history, if you use to smoke, do smack, or drink. It’s NOT HEALTHY. Yes, she’s doing WW (you don’t have to go to WW to do WW by the way, it’s counting points, basically calorie counting made simple, and you can still starve yourself doing it) and even her WW friends say she’s not eating enough. Exercise is amazing, and great for your body. Can’t knock exercise either, even if it’s 6 times a week at the gym and loads in between. Exercise at that level while eating less than 1000 calories? UNHEALTHY.

    And you say “Complaining about it is absolutely NORMAL. Especially when you follow formulas laid out for metabolism and weight loss.” SHE’s NOT FOLLOWING THEM. She’s following something similar to a pro-ana diet that can be found on any desperate teenage girls’ Tumblr. I don’t see at all how you can argue this is healthy (quitting smoking aside, which yes, is super healthy) I can guarantee if she told any doctor who isn’t a quack (and I say this not knowing if she’s even told any doctor) that she’s eating less 1000 calories a day, the doctor would be alarmed before she even told him about all the exercise on top of it. It’s insanely unhealthy, FOR ANYONE, there is no way to argue against that. If your teenage daughter or son was overweight, and went on a similar diet would you say “well at least it’s healthy that they’re trying to lose weight in the first place” and not question their diet which has the potential to kill them (and yes, a low cal diet can kill you, you don’t have to have complete anorexia for that to happen)?

    And if my posts and links make Debbi think even for a second “well shit, maybe I am doing it wrong and not eating enough at all, and maybe that’s why I can’t shake these 15 pounds, and going about it this way isn’t healthy at all”, then great. If not, too bad for her, she can carry on starving herself, and hopefully it can help someone else who might see this who is in the same situation and doing the same unhealthy diet or thinking of doing it.

    And it may seem like I’m targeting her, but yes, others here mentioned similar diets. However, she has the most posts and is the most visible, she’s been here the longest, and when you come to the site, the first “recommended for you” box that pops up is one directing you to a comment of hers, so I imagine like myself, most would be drawn to her comments the most.

  • Debbi

    @Cats – Thank you. @Maggie – WHATEVER. Not that I need to justify my actions to ANYONE, but I have had a tendency to gain weight since I was about 15 years old but have always been able to lose and/or maintain my weight in a healthy manner. I guess it’s just a BIZARRE coincidence that I quit smoking, gained weight and can’t lose it now. Silly me. Don’t judge unless you’ve been there.

  • maggie

    I never said it was bizarre that you quit smoking, gained, and can’t lose. And it isn’t bizarre at all. You’re post-menopausal, and you quit smoking, you’re obviously not going to lose weight the same way you did when you were in your 20s. What I said is what you started doing is unhealthy, and very clearly the reason you’re not losing NOW. Quitting smoking and age is not an excuse to STARVE YOURSELF in an attempt to lose weight. See a doctor or dietician (a real one, not a WW salesperson) and tell him/her what you’re doing to yourself and get the help you need so you’re not here in another 2 years going “I eat <800 calories now, work out 7 days a week, and I still haven't lost those 15 pounds!"

  • Debbi

    Maggie – you do not know me. You do not know that I have seen my doctor about my weight gain. You do not know that I have been working for the Public Health Department for over 34 years and know all about healthy eating and exercise. You do not know that I am not stupid enough to literally be STARVING myself – it’s an expression and I should not even have to explain this. A group of us are on this website for support and understanding. Losing weight should not be this difficult at any age for normal, active women like us. The bottom line is this….
    Jane gains 20 lbs. Jane is at an unhealthy weight.
    What should Jane do?
    a) Eat more calories and workout less.
    b) Eat less calories and continue her normal workout regime.
    c) Do nothing.
    I think you know the answer. It’s not working for us since we quit smoking and are trying to understand why. Doctor’s and nutrition experts do not know the answers and neither do you.

  • Lizzy

    Wow Maggie for someone that has never smoked and has only read things, your sure talking smack. Now since I saw my Doctor, yes Doctor last week, BTW are you one. I am 45, never starved my self, got healthy exercise and was 155 when I quit. I am 5 foot 8 and very healthy with a body that quite evenly proportioned. Now my doctor and I sat for over 1 hour talking and she said quote. You have literally shocked your body. The nicotine as it will acted as if you were shocking your heart with paddles, the nicotine naturally will make your heart beat significantly faster then if you had none. Seeing you smoke for 33 years, your fooling yourself into thinking, it would heal after 1 year, or even 2. I have no signs in my lungs that I smoked. she tested everything, I am not pre-menopausal, or Peri-menopausal. My body’s quite normal with no surprises. Hormones tested perfect, as did my thyroid, as did my 120/80 blood pressure. All cholesterol’s were perfect as was sugar. Dam other that this frigging tire around my waste and the fact I have gained 60 pounds, there is not explanation for it then the shock to my system. She did not come down on me. she indicated that it would in its own time begin to come off. And I am not starving myself I am eating well, as one thing you don’t realize Maggie, it that your taste buds change entirely. It does not seem to matter what I do, it will not come off. Let your mother see this forum and let her join it, for the most part we are a bunch of people all over the world that share one thing, our struggle with the effects of a life time of smoking, and how to deal with them, excuse our bitching, but it is our right to do it, you need not read it.

  • maggie

    Debbi, as I explained above, I don’t need to know you to know that EATING LESS THAN 1000 CALORIES A DAY WHILE GOING TO THE GYM 5-6 DAYS A WEEK PLUS ADDING EVEN MORE EXERCISE IS UNHEALTHY. End of. There is NO arguing that for anyone in any condition, age, health, whatever. I also have no doubt that you’ve never told your doctor what you’re doing, at least not completely (“i swear doc, I’m going to the gym all the time, and eating healthy, but I just can’t lose it” – I’ve seen the “eating healthy” lie dozens of times from girls and women who are on extremely low-cal diets), because no doctor worth their degree would ever let that continue.

    And working for Public Health doesn’t mean shit, because if you did know those things, you’d have never cut yourself down to less than 1000 calories in the first place. You wouldn’t be sucking back a Slimfast for breakfast either (sugar, fat, and cheap vitamins thrown in, real healthy).

    Jane gains 20, and needs to lose it, she should cut her calories TO A HEALTHY AND SUSTAINABLE LEVEL. If that doesn’t work, Jane needs to either wait it out, or see a dietician, before she freaks out that she’s not losing, cuts even more, and develops an eating disorder.

    Tell me Debbi, you haven’t lost that 15 in 2 years now. You’ve cut more and more, and increases exercise, and it hasn’t worked. So are you going to go with option B now as well, and cut to less than 800 or maybe even less than 700? According to you, it’s the only logical thing a person can do in that situation. (and actually, considering what you’ve done to your metabolism, at this point cutting to less than 700 calories is probably the only way you will lose weight, because no doubt the thought of you eating healthy at this point and gaining another 10 pounds even just temporarily because your metabolism isn’t used to it scares the living daylights out of you, so you won’t even attempt. Proven above when you ate “enough” and gained 3 pounds immediately and went right back to the extreme cutting). And you may not be literally starving yourself, but you’ve mentioned countless times that you eat less than 1000 calories, which even without the exercise is NOT HEALTHY (again, at any age, weight, health, former addiction), is a form of starvation, and will result in malnutrition (and obviously already has).

    A Lizzie, good for you on quitting. I truly mean that. But you’re missing the point. “She did not come down on me. she indicated that it would in its own time begin to come off. And I am not starving myself I am eating well, as one thing you don’t realize Maggie, it that your taste buds change entirely.”

    She didn’t come down on you, because you likely told her what you were eating, and she deemed that healthy, and told you that IN IT’S OWN TIME it will come off and to keep up what you’re doing. Now, if you freaked out because you weren’t losing it right away, and started eating less and less until you were under 1000 calories a day, do you think your doctor would be as understanding about your “healthy diet” and tell you to keep it up? Do you yourself think that would be a “healthy diet”?

    Other than me not being a smoker (oh no, burn the witch!!!), I don’t see why you’re all getting so defensive. Age combined with stubbornness? Whatever it is, I can’t at all see how any of you can argue that a 1000 calorie deficit (especially when you’re not obese) that has you eating less than 1000 calories a day is at all HEALTHY AND SUSTAINABLE. Throw up your defenses, your “you don’t know me!!’s, your “you’re not a smoker, you don’t understand!”s, and “WHATEVER”s like a teenager on Montel Williams all you want, THAT DOESN’T MAKE IT HEALTHY FOR ANYONE.

    And if you want, but you probably won’t “because I’m a former smoker, so none of that applies to me!!”, here’s a great article on starvation mode

  • Caroline

    Hi all, I quit 3 years ago and gained about 14lbs, and only by watching what I ate and trying numerous diets have I not gained 3 times that much. I have tried everything, WW, Atkins, Slimming World, Slim Fast, Fat Binders, Fat Burners, every colour of tea under the sun and nothing worked, so yes there is an issue with the stopping of smoking and metabolism. I spoke briefly to a hypnotherapist recently and she told me (much like Cat’s Doctor said) that the body gets a great shock at quitting and when we try to cut calories to try to loose weight the body will go into storage as it fears another great deprivation. The therapist explained it better but this is the crux of what she meant. She recommended emotional freedom techniques for weight loss. EFT can be done for anything that bothers you and it is a good tool (there are some good youtube videos for it) google EFT for weight loss and you will find some examples, it’s very interesting. Aside from this technique, I have joined as recommended by someone else on here and I find it a great help, the advice and the success stories are really inspirational from people from all walks of life. I have been dedicated to it for 6 weeks now and between sticking to the calorie count of (1200-1400) per day and workout 3 times a week I am slowly getting some off 5lbs in 6 weeks – slow I admit but if I thought it would keep moving at this rate I would be happy to continue as I dont really be hungry or feel deprived and I have started to enjoy the spinning and zumba that I am doing. Anyway that’s enough about me, just thought I would share and wish you all luck.
    I also don’t think people on here should develop such strong opinions on what some people are doing or not doing as the case me be.

  • lynn

    i quit 2 and a half years ago – i love not smoking but like all you people i hate the extra weight – im not a doctor but i really really believe that when we quit our metabolism must nearly half, our hearts arent beating as fast therefore we are not burning up as many calories. i did a little experiment for a few months of going back on the nicotine patches, and guess what, yes, i lost weight, came off the patches, and yes, guess what, put it back on. im very fit and eat extremely healthy and am not obsessed with food, im just obsessed with finding the cure to our problem. why has there not been real research into this? is it because the government will loose to much money if too many people quit smoking? why do an awful lot of people return to the habit? because they put on weight. dont let our spare tyres beat us, im gonna take a look at the website caroline was talking about and see if i can give it a go. keep up the good work everyone x

  • Debbi

    Maggie – I think you should take up smoking. Lynn & Caroline: is a great site for tracking your food & workouts. Normally, I use it too – they recommend 1200 calories/day for me + more on workout days. Due to unforseen family issues, I haven’t been eating as healthy as usual and have not been to the gym for one month now and there is no change in my weight. I’m nervous that it’s going to creep up on me. I’m seeing my doctor once again on Thursday to discuss options, but he doesn’t think 20 lb. is a big deal. He’s a MAN!

  • Lizzy

    Yes Maggie, after 33 years of me killing my body what do you think my metabolism is going to do. Have you researched what each drag of a cigarette does to your heart. I bet you don’t believe that either. I have never been a huge eater, but I’ve also not been shy about eating what I want. If a big old Hershey bar calls my name I shall eat it. Now seeing Ive always been on the thin side and being 5’8″ I am tall and when i gained the stupid 10 pounds in the winter, the second I got outside gardening a day or two it was gone, all the while smoking my heart out. So whats changed. I was sick as a dog for weeks and did not eat and one thing changed, I quit smoking I gained 10 pounds. How did I gain if I wasn’t eating. So wow, sugar was too sweet and salt was to salty. So fruits and veggies became appealing to me. I live in New England fresh fish is abundant, I eat lots of that and steamed veggies, but I in no means starve myself and eat only 1200 calories per day. I have never had to work out so when I started my body immediately should have responded to it, that’s a fact. It didn’t, that also is a fact. My body is not storing useless fat to live on, I give it plenty of fuel. I also graze all day, a special k fruit crisp, then perhaps a clementine, maybe a rice cake, high fiber items full of great stuff to keep my body going. I have 2 coffees regular, not diet, regular is cream and 2 sugars, yep I eat sugar, as Sucralose is the devil and is so bad for you I cannot even explain it.

    So since you think me reading a body building web site when I am not a body builder and most items on there will not help me one bit other then nutrition but then again, my nutrition’s even better then it had been, but like I say I don’t starve. I am fueling myself currently with a Thomas Cinnamon raisin bagel, 260 calories 20 of them being fat. Most of us are getting pissy with your post as your taking out your uneducated ass on an item you know nothing about, as there is no way in hell you can compare regular weight loss with peoples who metabolism has seized up. It would be a lot like a male doctor telling a woman to deal with her terrible period cramps, what might he exactly know about a period other then what he read in a medical book. Same thing with you shouting off the roof tops that we are all crazy thinking that our metabolism is not doing this or our lack thereof . Its got to be your starving, you have menopause, really !!!!!!! walk a 10 minute mile with me then take my pulse. yep its not strong, its not pumping, nope my metabolism wasn’t just jump started…. Do research, real research on your claims of why we are all so freaking fat after quitting, regardless of how hard we try to get it off. sorry ladies I’m not really saying we are fat… 🙂 We are unpleasantly plump. Educate yourself on the correct topic. Thanks

  • Debbi


  • V

    I’ll second Debbi’s Amen.

  • maggie

    Hey Lizzie, there’s something called reading comprehension. You may want to gain some.

    Also, that bodybulding article has nothing to do with bodybuilding. Again with the lack of reading comprehension…or just pure ignorance and laziness.

    Anyway, I’m done (although I will returns just to read what will no doubt be a totally off-the-mark reply from Lizzie just for a good laugh, and to still see that you’re all still fat in 2 years). You can all ignore my posts, but if one person who can actually read sees my posts and knows you don’t have to be a doctor or former smoker to know that EXTREME CALORIE CUTTING IS UNHEALTHY FOR ANYONE (I suppose you have to be a doctor or former smoker to know that smoking is bad for you too, right? How else would anyone know!) and thinks “Hmm, maybe cutting my calories this low/my plan to cut my calories this low is just going to be miserable, unhealthy and counterproductive” then job done. The rest of you can enjoy being the fat, stubborn, ignorant “special snow flakes” that you are.

  • Lizzy

    And you of course can continue talking out of your ass and continue being the Bitch you are, and I have not seen one person say they are starving themselves. I’ll continue being fat and you continue being a F’n bitch, there that said, good bye.

  • maggie

    Of course you haven’t Lizzie, because you lack elementary level reading comprehension skills (I’d like to apologize if English isn’t your first language though. I should have said that above). Debbi has said it multiple times. I even quoted them all above. If you did somehow actually comprehend those post, you’re likely another who thinks eating under 1000 calories while going to the gym 6 times a week is perfectly healthy “diet”, rather than what it is – starvation (note – one does not have to literally be child-in-Africa type starving to be starving themselves).

    Also, you all keep mentioning (as did I). It is indeed a great website, I’ve used it myself, and I absolutely dare you any one of you to post my comments in the forums (filled with smokers, non-smokers, former smokers, and everything in between) and see if anyone disagrees with a single thing I’ve said.

  • Lizzy

    Wow you just cant stop can ya……I thought You were done Maggie, but nope your insulting nature needs to come back and begin with I Said, blah blah, that’s what your words began looking like so yes I stopped reading your blathering. I guess you like to say thing so you can hear your self talk. Wow powerful ……I guess it makes you feel better doesn’t it.

    What your refusing to see MAGGIE, is that when a person quits smoking it is scientifically proven that the metabolism goes to hell in a hand basket. This forum is for people who quit, to commiserate about their experiences in quitting and trying to get their bodies to burn like they did when they smoked. Naturally people are going to go to extremes to try to lose, some of us wont, but some will change their life styles. But what you fail to understand is, our bodies will not burn like yours will, no way no how. many people ASSUME, people quit and gain weight because they are gorging themselves with Bon Bons. Which the majority of us are not doing. But is it right for someone that has never smoked to evoke her opinions on how we are failing. REALLY!!! Then for you to indicate that I have no comprehension skills, REALLY !!!!!! I have no patience for blather that does not in any way shape or form relate to the discussion at hand. Other then you said you wanted your Mom to quit and didn’t want her reading this forum, then please block it from her browser and move along. Wowee your ignorance and condescending attitude make my head hurt. I do not for the record believe working out 6 days a week on 1000 calories a day is a safe or healthy thing to do, but you know what, if someone is getting wrong information as to what their bodies do after quitting smoking for 30 years, then Yes I can clearly see them doing this, I have not read each and every post in this forum, I didn’t need to, I read the most relevant posts from the last 2 years.

    I live in Massachusetts, was born here, I am a Bostonian and English is my only language, my comprehensions great, your lack of tolerance is astounding. So I drop and R, pick up an R, and I pahhhhc my caaaarrrrrrr…. Yep did you get that.

    Lets be done with this Maggie. Go work out your ass is getting fat.
    And yes I am a Bitch, there…..

  • Bobbie

    I watch this site due to having the same problem you all are having. This is my first post. Quit smoking (1 yr anniversary on 1/23) – gained a whopping 65 lbs since then! I’ve been to 2 different GP’s and an endocrinologist who have ALL told me that it’s BECAUSE I quit smoking. The endocrinologist, in fact, told me that perhaps I wasn’t cutting ENOUGH calories when I told her I was down to 1200 and still could not lose! Anyway, I digress…what I meant to say is…ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME??? Maggie, for real, you came on here, to bash people on their reading comprehension and call them fat??? I’m pretty sure that everyone on here came here desperate for answers, no one likes the weight gain (least of all those of us who probably carried a whole 120 lbs around their whole life only to balloon over a year (or less) time). Why the HELL would you find it appropriate to come here to make people feel stupid and then call names when it’s apparent we’re all low enough. Don’t give me your dietary knowledge calorie in/calorie out crap. I’VE TRIED IT, IT DOESN’T WORK. That may work for a normal dieter, but it does NOT APPLY to everyone, especially in this circumstance. And before you say it, NO, I am not starving myself because I refuse to! I think it’s high time you take your bitter, know-it-all, one size fits all attitude and get out of this forum. No one wants you here (apparently), and you’re blowing up my emails.
    That said. I’m in the same boat as you all. When you figure something out, let me know, cuz I pretty much tried it all (SHORT of starving myself or becoming bulemic).

    • Melanie

      Hi Bobbie,

      Congrats on your quit. I was 2 years on 1/11 and I, too, gained nearly 60 lbs. to top out at 180 last November. I am down to 166, but it is sloooowww coming off. I tracked my calories for 3 weeks, and I average about 1,500 – 1,800 per day, with a BMR of 2,100 cals per day. So, using just plain old math, I should be losing faster than I am, but at least I am beginning to lose. That is with the 4 gym days per week, 50 minutes each consisting of stationary bike, weights, and treadmill. I am almost 52, so I’m not in the mood to break my neck trying to look 22. It’s not going to happen. As for Debbi, she is not “starving herself” or doing anything wrong. Go DEB! I also happen to think she actually looks great (compared to me!) but she knows what she looked like before I met her and if she isn’t happy with that, she has that right. I struggle with it daily, too, because like Bobbi, I was always a trim 120 and now I have a few rolls in the front that piss me off. I get what Maggie is saying, but it would be good not to say it anymore. The point has been made, over and over, and we all get it. Calories in, calories out. This is a support forum, and support each other and the people on here or don’t post. If Maggie’s mother doesn’t know that carrying around an extra few pounds is vastly preferable to smoking, then nothing anyone can say will help her. Maggie needs to encourage and support and help and be there for her mother, and certainly not ever, ever, ever call her to task if her mother does gain 10, 20, 30 or even 50 or more lbs like some of us have. And don’t EVER call her “fat.” Whatever you do. Believe me, I call myself that enough.

      Keep up the good fight, Bobbi! Here’s to hoping that heading through my 3rd year smoke-free my body will continue to heal.

  • Lizzy

    Wow Bobbie I am sure glad you posted, you know to gain weight like we all have is crazy, the doctor said, wow I am looking at your records right now and no way in hell have you ever varied in weight like this, never . So I don’t go to the gym, nope I have never once had to so I walk. They indicate walking is great for the belly, that’s where most of it is. My legs are rock solid and a butt you can bounce a quarter off of, but the belly wow, never have I had one, there it all is. Not one of your doctors will say we are starving, our blood tests would let them know we were. Frustration reigns.

    In regards to the troll that’s what she is, I am an admin on a scam baiting web site and if anyone came on and posted like this, inciting the members, they would be banned, by me. The subjects are too important to be waylaid by crap spewed out of trolls mouths, so no I will not reply to Trolls. I love this forum, we are all so honest with whats going on with these stupid bodies of ours. I know Ive posted different trails Ive had with herbal pills, none of which worked. I keep reading and hoping, I keep walking and hoping. I sure wish my heart would race when walking, wow I would feel good. Some day ladies we will all be thin, most importantly we are smoke free. although the weight makes us feel like crap as it is harder to move around, I know some day it will be gone. I was not born to be heavy and my bone structure will just not allow it to long. lets just keep on keeping on, and have a Twinkie every now and again…. he he he

  • Debbi

    Yes Bobbie…congrats!!! Join the group that shares the ups and downs. We love hearing from each other with progress (or not). Ignore Maggie….we know she’s f’d up.

  • Debbi

    And good to hear from you Mel!!! Hope to see you in April – fat and all!

  • Bobbie

    Thanks for the warm welcome girls. Some things I neglected to mention. My weight gain is literally painful for me. I think it’s because I gained so much so fast, my body never had time to prepare for all this. I don’t go to the gym, because frankly, it hurts too much to go to the gym. Not the good kind either…..however, I must say I never let my calorie count dip below 1100 at any given time. It seems that at around this count, I’ve stabilized the gain, I just wont lose. My entire family is obese, so much so that it is a running joke in my family that I must have been the mailman’s daughter because I was the only thin one. Used to be the opposite, could never GAIN a pound. I suspect we all have our reasons for our desparation even if it’s simply because we can’t even bring ourselves to get used to it, mine is because I’m scared of obesity related diseases because I’ve seen them all around me my entire life. There are times the thought of going back to smoking actually crosses my mind just to take the weight back off, but know deep down I never would because I’m more desparate not to smoke…
    Like I said, I’ve been following this board for awhile now, it makes all of this way less stressful to know that it’s NOT just me.

  • Lizzy

    Bobbie, how much did you weigh before you quit and how much did you gain? and how tall are you.

    I was 155 wore size 6 or 8, I went to the doctor the other day and she said your 5′ 8″ I said yep, always thought i was 5′ 7″ 205 right, she said nope 218, I said OMFG are you serious. I feel it in my knees, I hear it in my ankle when it snaps as I climb stairs, that ticks me off and makes me walk weird. I now wear a 16 and try for boyfriend pants. Funny thing is I have bought XL shirts, they hang off my shoulders but I pull them around my belly. All my life when ever I gained, it was evenly disbursed.

    So as whats been tossed around that we all starve ourselves, I don’t. So is not weird that we all gained 30 to 70 pounds in 1 year, and had not so much as gained 15 in 25 years, even weirder is that I can begin exercising like a mad woman, walking 50 miles a week and what i don’t loose, but my Friend who’s a junk food junky did , and went down 2 pant sizes.
    So Bobbie there is one way you can get some exercise that wont hurt, find someone with a pool or go to a YMCA, I have a pool thought its too cold to use it, that was the best work out I could do as its easy and doesn’t hurt your bones, weightless. My junk food friends mom quit years ago, she is well over 350 pounds, she also had a quadruple bypass and cant exercise as it also hurts, but she gets in the pool and wow what a difference, she loves it, I often get home from work in the summer and shes in my pool. If you have one available to you try that and see what I mean. I hope some day soon this just all adjusts.

    Ill be walking 6 miles tonight wish my feet and knees well.

  • Bobbie

    Hey Lizzy-
    Before I quit, I was around 120-125….Right now I’m 190 at 5’5″. Used to be a size 3-5 – now I’m in a 16. Looking back, I remember laughing as I hit 130, giggling at 140, WTF at 150, and literally crying at every 10 after that. Like I said, I’ve been to 2 different GP’s and an endocrinologist…either there’s something wrong with THEM, or there’s something wrong with ME. They don’t see a problem other than diet. I think there’s a BIG problem gaining that much weight that quickly and if you ask anyone around me, they will tell you I eat better now than I ever did! I’ve had my thyroid tested (I’m going back tuesday for a FULL thyroid work up because I’m still not convinced) – been on countless diets – had abdominal ultrasounds to make sure all this belly weight didn’t come from a mass…nothing…everything is “normal” per them. And believe me when I say, 90% of all this weight gain settled in my belly, to the point that I am considering a tummy tuck, but am scared that I’ll just keep gaining and will have spent all that money for nothing.
    Like you, my knees and ankles are my worst enemy. I walk the dog 1/4 mile, I feel like both ankles are broken. I cannot kneel down to the floor without someone having to pick me back up. I’ve been through 5 wardrobes in the past year.
    What scares me is I can’t think of ONE person in my family that wasn’t diabetic. My sister just had gastric bypass in December, my other sister is pushing 250. My mom, before dying of smoking related illnesses was a good 250, and my dad isn’t far behind her. I’ve even gone so far as to try diet pills to no avail. I ask the dr’s all the time, what am I supposed to do, wait until I get sick with some incurable disease before someone fixes this? Something is WRONG. Everytime…I get the same answer…it’s because you quit smoking!
    The pool is a great idea, but like you said, too cold right now. I don’t personally have one, but my neighbor does and he lets us use it whenever we want. I never found much use for it because I can’t even stand the sight of myself in a swimsuit. But this year, I probably will.

    • Gary Pepper M.D.

      Hi Ex Smokers!!

      It is great that so many people at are benefiting from your comments, opinions and shared experiences with regard to quitting smoking, gaining weight and coping with the frustrations of trying to restart your metabolism. I thought it would be helpful to give you all your own forum for this discussion which can now be found by clicking the “Forums” button here or on the top of the homepage. This way you can continue to expand your group and people with other issues (thyroid, blood sugar, estrogen and testosterone etc) can continue to use the Comments section.

      Does that seem fair? I’m here to facilitate you so let me know!

      Best of luck to those trying to stay off cigs and lose the weight.

      Dr. G. Pepper

  • Debbi

    I clicked ‘forums’ and I guess I don’t understand what we’re supposed to be seeing or doing. I think things are fine just the way they are.

  • Debbi

    Went to the doctor today – he ordered more blood work for my thyroid because he agrees that an unexplained weight gain of 20 lb. is not normal. Wish me luck.

  • Lizzy

    Good luck Debbie I hope the good doc can explain things and why this is happening other than, YOU Quit, as this point it is the only reason I gained.
    Walked 6 miles tonight, my feet feel broken, but I did it. I want my body backkkkkkkkkkk.

  • Bobbie

    Debbi –
    When you click the “forums” tab, there is a section there that says “Smoking, your weight, your metabolism”. Click on that. I think, though, you have to create a formal account, unlike just filling in your info here and posting. Either way is fine with me. Just let me know if the convo moves over there 🙂
    You will have to let me know what your dr. says. I want to give him/her a hug really. Now I know it must be just me picking crappy dr’s. I mean, what kind of dr. says “Oh it’s ok you gained 65 lbs in a year because, well, you know, it’s JUST from not smoking”. I’m tired of switching dr’s though….so we will see what my next blood work up says. So good luck with your appt., hopefully you get some answers!

  • cats

    I had a stress fracture last year after gaining lbs and walking every day (too often) approximately 3 months after quitting. Be careful, because what feels like broken feet really could be. This is why I am on a 1200 cal diet – couldn’t walk over the winter.
    I’m swimming and biking when the weather is better. Our schools have open swims for $3.00 per time.

    Again – my comments not so pertinent right now because I haven’t quit again yet. I saw M’s little dig about ‘trying and failing’ and would like to rephrase that – I QUIT and now I am relapsing and am going to quit again. From what I understand this is ‘normal’ in this process. Good luck everyone.

  • Cherie

    Hi, I’m 36, I smoked for 18 years and quit 20 months ago.
    Perhaps my story will give some hope on the weight gain issue.
    I took the decision not to think about the weight and concentrated on quitting. I ate breakfast (never did before) and had my daily dose of a-z vitamins, I didn’t excercise (still don’t) and when I felt like it had chocolate (my other addiction). I gained 20 pounds and 1.55m (5.08 feet) tall. If you’re as short as I am = 3 full sizes on clothes! When my clothes started fitting snuggy I donated them (buying new clothes when I lose the weight will be my reward). I bought dresses which automatically have room to grow.
    I noticed a couple of months ago that I wasn’t eating as much and recently got on the scale after noticing less fat around my waist and had lost 8 pounds!
    Sadly my ass is still the same size but I’ll take the 8 pounds thank you very much!
    It has taken my body over a year and a half and it’s only now starting to return to an almost normal metabolism.
    Remember, you will eat more just after quitting and your metabolism will be sluggish which will equal weight gain. This will remedy itself, my doctor said 3 months, mine took 18 months!
    To all who quit:
    Congratulation! Be patient! Don’t be too hard on yourself!

  • Debbi

    Cherie…Congrats on your quit! Interesting how you say it took 18 months to lose, and you smoked for 18 years…maybe I need to wait 37 months because I smoked 37 years? Let’s hope! I’m nearly there!

  • Lizzy

    Yes Cherie Congrats, I am glad you posted, as my doctor said, I am healthy , but uncomfy and it took me 33 yearas to quit, it will take some time to self adjust and she said it would, no matter how hard I fail to beleive her at the monent I to think it will eventually. I am going to see the doctor again tomorrow, one last test, after I walked 45 miles this week lets see if i dropped, I know I havent, but lets see what she says. My friends dragging me to spinning class on tuesday, lets see what that does, I am dreading it, as my legs kill currently as I went 10 miles today, I’m glad springs here 6 weeks early as the flowers and nature are gorgeous to look at. So Im scoring some good deals on my favorite brand on ebay and have a new wardrobe for summer, lets hope they begin sliding off of me soon, and also Deb maybe thats the magic number 37 months, maybe I am 33 months, though thats too long. I cleaned the closet yesterday, I now have 75 pairs of jeans sitting in a pile, size 6-14. I am donating lots to the Epilepsy foudation they called looking for clothing, Cherie thanks for your post, it is encouraging.

  • Debbi

    Wow…that’s a lot of walking Lizzie. I used to do that too but gave up after no results. Now I just go to my weight training class 2-3 times a week, Pilates once a week and squeeze in the cardio when I can. I did spinning ONCE. Thought I would die as I haven’t ‘stood’ riding a bike since I was about 10! They don’t offer it at my gym so I don’t go out of my way for it. Interestingly enough, I haven’t been sticking to any sort of healthy diet or exercising for 5 weeks due to family matters out of town and I have lost ONE pound, which is better than what I lose when I’m trying. Go figure!

  • Cherie

    Thanks for the warm welcome.
    Debbie & Lizzy, I do think it takes a lot longer for our bodies to recover than what our doctors like to tell us in fear we’ll start smoking again. The good news is that it will, eventually. I also think the years spent smoking do have something to do with the amount of time your body takes to recover.
    Seeing that I started when I 17, this is the first time in my adult life that my metabolism and body is funtioning without ciggies. That’s a scary thought!
    As I said I made a conscious decision not to worry too much about the weight and only concentrate on quitting as my brother started smoking again after he had quit for 2 years and so did my dad.
    This I didn’t want for myself. My motivation was to imagine my 9 year old son standing next to my bed watching me die of cancer wondering if he was going to be orphaned. Over the top I know, but a hell of a motivation! Gaining the weight doesn’t seem to be as bad anymore, especially if you have a wild imagination like mine.
    My fiance enjoys the breast benefits of it and my son giggles at my very plump bum. What matters is that I’m more healthy and loved!
    Don’t get me wrong, I was a UK size 6-8 now I’m 12 and Burda pattern size 38! I do have my off days as no-one wants to gain the weight but in those times I imagine my son and the cancer. It really motives and I believe it’s all about perspective.
    Debbie and Lizzy, I admire your determination and hard work and don’t want to offend. Debbie, you make a valid point when you said you started losing weight without trying. I believed when I quit that my body was going through hell and I wasn’t going to make matters worse or put any strain on it, therefor I didn’t excercise or diet. My only goal at the time was to quit and stay quit. One thing at a time. We tend to multi-task and that’s not always a good thing.
    Now, 18 months later, that my body is starting to recover and level out it is the right time for me to start with pilates 3 times a week at home (I haven’t yeat). I take this as a sign that my body is ready. I personally believe that your body is going through such a beating in recovering from all those years of smoking that when you excercise so much, it doesn’t get the time to heal properly and therefor you may not lose the amount of weight you’d like to for the amount of excercise you do.
    Wonderful that spring has started there, our autumn has started in South Africa. I do expect to gain a couple of pounds as it’s natural during winter but hopefully not the 8 pounds I lost!
    Lizzy, I’m happy to hear you’ll be donating your clothes. It will bring someone else so much joy and you will feel better. Once I donated my clothes, I felt I had a clean slate and wasn’t reminded of the thinner me everytime I opened my closet. Instead I had pretty new dresses that I felt good in. Once again, perspective.
    Good luck with your doctor’s appointment.
    To everyone, don’t be too hard on yourself if you haven’t lost any weight, you’re a winner for quitting and staying quit!

  • Lizzy

    Ladies I had one mroe appointment and she went over all my results and told me just how remarkably healthy I was. she said well I need not see you for one year, there is not one thing I can tell you that your doing nothing wrong, as all your results are not only normal but above normal making you very healthy Dont give up the walking, keep eating like you are, and I promise you it will adjust out and the weight will just begin to fall off. I will have faith, I will hate my body and hide it with billowy tops, but one day I will wake up and boom there will be my old self back, I just hope I have something to wear… lol 🙂 My blood pressure today was 102/80 thats pretty good .

  • Debbi

    I don’t think I like the forum thingy!

  • Gaynor

    Hi everyone, I hope you don’t mind me joining you all? I am glad I found this site – I now know I am not alone!
    I quit on 31st january, almost 2 months ago and have gained 9 1bs so far…I am gutted! I am only 4fy 11″ and weighed 8st 8lbs before I quit, which was only just ok. I now weigh 9st 3lbs and can see and feel every ounce !! I feel so umcomfortable and bloated and am still gaining weight ;-(.
    I notice that most people are saying it takes 1 or 2 years to get your metabolism back to normal…I really am feeling pretty depressed at the moment. I don’t want to start smoking again, but am worried that I will because of the weight issues.
    I am hoping keeping in touch with you on here will help me to stay off the dreaded fags!!
    PS…Are most of you on here in the USA?? I’m from the UK xx

    • Pete

      I am from the UK myself….

      I thankfully quit smoking last Oct by a friend at a pub who I knew was a smoker when I offered her a rollie… she said she’d not smoked for 2 years..(She was a heavy smoker!) thus I asked how – She went through Champix programme. Wife and myself have quit with champix…. we could kiss her forever for telling us about champix!

      Now we both are non smoker for 5 months, but we feel fatso/lard ass/hippotamus!

      We would like know how fatness effects us.. We used to be skinny and feeling fit but right now we feel out of shape although we don’t eat junk food….

      So… please give us a “frame of space of time” where our hippo period will last for before we loose it?

      Thank you for reading

      Pete & Betsi

  • Debbi

    Welcome Gaynor! Congrats on quitting! I think we all did the same thing at first with the fast and furious weight gain. Hang in there – as you can see, most of us are! I live in Canada, but born in the USA and I’m not sure where most of the others are from, except for 2 that are definitely from the US. As they say, misery loves company – so glad you could join us! Keep us posted on your progress and feel free to bitch and whine at any time!

  • Lark

    Hi everyone. I have been reading everyone’s comments with interest. Although I quit smoking a long time ago (1979), I encountered the same problem with weight gain. It was exacerbated because about a week after quitting, I suffered a severe knee dislocation making any form of exercise out for about 2 months and even afterwards, anything involving lower body exercise had to be approached cautiously.

    Anyway, after a couple of months had passed, I joined Weight Watchers and started water aerobics. The weight came off, but it was slow and agonizing and very very discouraging. I had never had a weight problem and expected the weight to fall off overnight after adjusting my eating habits and increasing exercise. It just didn’t happen the way I expected. But happen it did, although it took a full year to get back to my weight when I was smoking.

    Another tip…have your doctor draw a thyroid panel. If you have undiagnosed or mild hypothyroidism, smoking cessation can make it worse due to the metabolic changes that take place after quitting.

    Good luck to everyone and hang in there. And huge congratulations to everyone for quitting. My doctor said kicking cigarettes was more difficult than kicking heroin.

  • Lizzy

    lark thanks for the encouraging words, I have the faith that it will happen eventually, I hope, I dont really like even looking in the mirror right now, so I walked 10 miles yesterday, my feet were on fire, the spinning sucked, I made it 40 minutes and quit with 5 monutes later, wow that was awful. Now thats it is spring in new England, it is cold, winter was warm, so now when it is supposed to be warm it is freakn freezn, really mother nature. So in a month I will open my pool I need a new heater but no big deal, I am going to get some water erobic equipment to see if that will work all of me. as the doc all of us will heal in different times the longer we smoked, the longer the heal, That makes sense, we all smoked it seemed to be 25+ years we cant count on being healthy and a speedy metabolism in 1 or 2 years… Keep on keeping on,

  • Debbi

    Hear, hear! I agree with the statement about the longer you smoked the longer the wait. WHY was I so stupid to smoke for 37 years??? Arrrrgh!!!

  • Lizzy

    I agree, 33 years , but you know Debbie it waas acceptable, it was not until 10 or 15 years ago we all began seeing what smoking did and the more we thought about quitting the more we smoked, it was rather counter productive, it wasnt until that one fine day we said, F YOU cigarette I’m doing this for me. I saw my sister in law last night, had not seen her in a while, she is a 20 time quiter, patches, chatix, gum, she did it all, so after talking 20 minutes she excused herself to smoke… she gives up and gives excuses, she asked how I did it, will power baby, pure will power, you have to want it, we all want it dont we… So nice to smell things….. 🙂

  • Debbi

    I agree Lizzy! I used laser therapy to quit and I still can’t believe it worked!!!

  • Tara

    Just an update on my progress, still not smoking, just hit my 7 month mark woohoo! My sister was also a smoker for approx 20 years, she has since quit over 2 years ago. She advised me that her metabolism started to regulate around her 6 month mark of not smoking. I was trying everything I could think of to drop this extra weight, and was doubtful my 6 month mark would be the same as hers because she has always been thinner than I, also never struggled as much with maintaining her weight as I. At 6 months and 2 weeks, I got on the scale and I was 3 lbs less than 2 weeks prior. I was still thinking coincidence due to the fact that I had started to watch my sugar intake. Now, another 2 weeks has past and I have dropped another 4 lbs. (I’m at a total weight loss so far of 9 lbs, with a goal to lose 15 more) I do believe my metabolism has started to finally regulate, but I also believe that it has to do with what I am eating, or rather not eating. No single body works the same so through trial and error, and boy do I mean trial and error lol, I have found what my body needs at this time. When I was a smoker it was low calorie, low fat, as of today it is low sodium, low sugar. Congrats again to everyone sticking with the quit! It’s a battle, but it’s worth it!

  • Jessica

    Hi Everyone!

    Well, its good to know I’m not alone. I am 34, and I quit smoking Jan 1st. This wasn’t exactly a new years resolution, but when I was planning my “quit date” last year, Jan 1st seemed a good a date as any. Out with the old and in with the new.. Anyway, when I quit, I didn’t even think about the weight gain.. literally. It totally blind-sided me. I should have at least thought about it, because I knew other people that gained weight after quitting, but I guess I was so focused on the quitting and not being able to breath, I literally didn’t even think about it. Well, that was a BIG mistake. I went from around 180 pounds at the time I quit in January to around 220 pounds now, just 4 months later …AND RISING. I will never regret quitting because I just couldn’t breathe anymore, and I will never go back to it.. I just can’t.. but this weight gain really bites the big one. Even though I know not smoking is healthier, I am now seriously worried about my health due to my weight gain. I wish I would have thought more about this part of it so I could have properly been prepared. I never changed the way I ate, or exercised, and am now really worried about losing it. The worst part is the fact that I tried losing some weight about a year and a half ago, while I still smoked. I weighed the 189 I mentioned above, which is the weight I was when I quit. That is about about 30 pounds overweight for me at 5’7. I went on a glycemic index senstive diet. Only good whole grains allowed. NO processed carbs.. high protien diet.. plenty of exercise. I only lost a pound!!! 1 pound!! I went on this diet because I had previous success when I was 27, and lost 28 pounds. I kept it off for about 5 years, but then gained back the 28 pounds I lost.. hence trying to lose it again on the same diet a year and a half ago..but no success… and that is when I was smoking!!!! If I couldn’t lose any weight while smoking a year and a half ago, on a diet I knew worked for me 7 years ago, how in the heck am I going to lose NOW… after quitting smoking?!! I just cannot and will not go back to smoking.. Its just not an option, but again, I’m now really worried about what this weight gain is going to do to my health.. I’m trying again to lose this weight, but if it didn’t work while I was smoking, I don’t know how its going to work now… and if I can’t, I’m thinking of taking drastic measures.. perhaps getting my stomach stapled?? I just don’t know what else to do…

  • Michelle


    I quit smoking (for the last time) about 8 weeks ago. Was a half a pack to a pack a day smoker for about 17 years. I opted to not gain weight. I quit very easily because I was dead set to quit at all cost. So to control the cravings I started lifting weights and walking/jogging on the treadmill while eating the same kind of foods. YA ok I started gaining weight pretty quickly that way!!! SO my plan B was to change the way I eat which when you just got rid of an addiction, food is such a good friend. I did some research and bought a cook book called The Everything Clean Eating Cookbook. I love it!! I lost 6 lbs since and I feel amazing. To anyone who plans on quitting or recently did, have a good back up plan because like it or not, the weight will try to creep in. Most of all congrats on quitting and the best of luck 🙂

  • Jenny Pitt

    Many people are aware of the fact that smoking can lead to weight loss especially in the aged people.

  • jenni

    after reading the comments on this page, which i found very depressing, i’ve decided to start my own personal challenge to prove to myself and to anyone else that is looking for inspiration/motivation that it is possible to quit smoking and to lose weight in a healthy manner. i hope that anyone who has commented here will not be offended, but i honestly believe that it’s not only possible for me but for everyone. if you are interested in following how this ‘experiment’ goes for me, please feel free to look at my blog and to comment. i hope it can inspire and/or challenge you to do the same.

    • Debbi

      Blog has been removed??? That’s the message I got!

  • Tara

    Since stumbling upon this forum a couple of months ago I have noticed that people have yet to once say to anyone, including myself, congratulations on the efforts and successes of losing the excess weight. So to those who are here looking for motivation, not just a pity party, all is possible, it’s not a lost cause, it’s commitment, will power, want and desire. We can all do what we truly WANT to do. Congrats Michelle on your 6 lb loss, best of luck Jenni on your program, let’s all stay focused and let others that stumble upon this like I did, that it is possible to stay healthy and nicotine free! I’m at 12 lbs weight loss, 3 lbs to go, 8 months nicotine free (cold turkey) and have never felt better!

  • Lizzy

    Wow I thought people had not posted on this is a long time. Congrats all you EX smokers, I am surprised I wasn’t getting updates, it seems lots of us haven’t, so sorry.

    So I’ve finally lost 4 pounds and kept it off in 11 days. So part of my health insurance plan, they want us healthy., so we all had to have physicals and they were sent to a nurse, so she calls and I tell her whats going on, she says your DR said your healthy and it appears you are, but need help with your metabolism. So she indicates just how normal this weight gain is, as your body depended on the constant nicotine fueling the body to keep up the heart rate, she recommended that I speak with a nutritionist, which I did. I did not however agree with everything she suggested. She wanted me to buy medifast, OK so if I had been chronically obese instead of temporarily this was, perhaps I’d try, but the one ingredient which is evil and I will not ingest is succralose and all that is loaded with it.
    She indicated I was not eating enough, she indicated that I should take 1/2 a lemon squeeze into a glass and add 8 to 12 ounces of water, drink it right down, wow this naturally flushes you and it works with your liver making additional bile to flush my system, yes indeed it works.
    Second: Eat within 30 minutes of getting up, something small, I decided to use Special k products, so I would eat a fruit crisp within 30 minutes.
    Within 2 to 3 hours, eat another small snack which is yet one more special K cereal bar, or a bowl of Special k cereal, I am lactose intolerant so I eat it dry, I hate the belly aches.
    Within an hour drink water, 2 more hours , eat lunch, low calorie, Ive been eating Greek salads with 1 tsp feta, and walking by with the dressing, you can eat a normal dinner, after lunch round 3, have one more snack. Dinner around 6 to 7 at night, and at 9 pm, eat one more, I stopped drinking soda, but have kept drinking my 2 coffee’s daily, I can eat all the fruit and veggies I want, Ive taken each of what both say and eating lean and green, and it is working. The special K’s nice too, lots of fiber, low calorie, does not strip the sugar, but you still lose, and I drink vitamin water and wow it acts like regular water. One thing I will say is I have walked only 10 miles since I began this, I wanted to see if changing the way I Live would work, and so far it is working, so I will again, begin walking alot and see if this will do it, 4 pounds is not a lot, but it is something, in 11 days, wooweeeeeeee…. Keep up the great work, all, I never though I would ever be this heavy ever.
    See I didnt give up, I only gave up cigarettes, and oh the special k is very affordable 🙂

    • Debbi

      @ Lizzy….4 lb. is GREAT and way better than what I’ve lost in 2.5 years! Funny thing…I retired in April and went on a big vacation: went off my normal regemin of watching everything I ate, drank way too much beer and didn’t’ exercise (not even walking) for over a MONTH and guess what??? My weight did not change!!! Now someone PLEASE tell me what is up with that??? @Lizzy – how much lemon water do you drink dailly?

      • Lizzy

        Debbi, So sorry all of a sudden I am not getting updates, i was just wondering why, To answer you, I take half a lemon first thing in the morning and squeeze the fluid in a glass and add it to 6 ounces water, drink it right down and let nature take its course which it does. I have not walked in 3 weeks but with the way I am eating within 30 minutes of waking up, cutting ginger ale from my diet, still drink coffee the normal way, salad for lunch and ,lean and green for dinner, 10 pounds gone. So i will begin walking and pools open now though cold, I will swim and see if that helps.
        I also just read what tara commented on and have to disagree, eveyones been congratulated on their successes, eveyones been, not sure if she read evey comment. Now i sure hope I see follow ups. Congrats people, keep at it. It is slow, but it can happen.

  • Lizzy

    Wow Seems the owner of this site blocked us all, I cannot imagine after all these years that there has been no messages. But niothign since june, Dr. gary why did you do this, we honestly were helping others and they were helping us.

    debby one mroe thing I was told to try green cofee bean extract pills, yes you feel nothing in regards tot he little caffiene thats actually in it, I know that bothers you. The Diabetes assocoation has doen a study on it, on some morbidly obese diabetics, which all weighed 300 pounds plus, no exercise, and ate over 400 calories a day and lost 17 pounds in 12 weeks. I am on week 6 and no noticable loss, but the hubby he lost 5 pounds in 7 days with no change in anything, so who knows, it is worth a try.

    • Gary Pepper M.D.


      There has been no blocking; I did suggest you use the forum at which was set up specifically for you and others with similar interests. Not sure if the message was misinterpreted.

      Best of luck with your efforts.


      • Debbi

        Hey everybody…are you still out there? I’m FINALLY LOSING! It took ironically 37 months to get results and I smoked for 37 years….GO FIGURE!!! I have 14 lb. to go – wound up gaining 27 lb. in total after quitting, but I’m still not smoking and NEVER intend to be again!

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