Patricia Offers Insight into Smoking and Metabolism


Patricia offers this blog about her experience with stopping smoking and weight gain. Patricia writes:

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!

From How Smoking Affects Metabolism, 2009/05/01 at 10:36 AM

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  • Tony Kingkade

    It seems to me that your calories are too low. You didn’t give your current weight, but you should be over 1200 kcal/day. Up your calories by 10% a week until at least 1400 kcal/day and you should see more fat loss. It sounds counter-intuitive, I know. But too low a calorie diet will cause your metabolism to shut down…especially with the amount of exercise you are doing.

    One of the biggest problems the contestants on the TV show “The Biggest Loser” have is that they try to drop their calories too low when they go home and they stop seeing weight loss. The trainers up their calories and the fat loss picks up.

  • Harvey Shipley

    I have been searching Google and Yahoo and kept seeing coming across your quit smoking site so I thought I would drop by and check your site out. Thanks for the useful and informative stuff you have here… I’ll be back!

  • Louise Kelly

    I agree with Tony I do the same-run for 30-mins 5 times a week,push weights,skip etc,etc,watch my calorie intake and hey ho cannot lose a pound- so maybe try upping your calorie intake , it makes sense I am going to give it a go. Who knows I might even give up smoking.

  • Laural Kinnan

    I am in the same boat! I quit 5 months ago, and have had the same discouragement. I have had my thyroid tested. I count calories and make sure that I am within 10 calories of my nutritionist-suggested amount. It HAS to be metabolism!! There is NO WAY it should be this hard to lose weight. I have worked out my ENTIRE life and I know what I am doing. I also know that it isn’t enough because I am not shedding the pounds. I am now incorporating 3-5 cups of Green Tea a day, in addition to the modification I already made a year ago to incorporate “super-foods”. METABOLISM. It’ll gitcha!! Good luck to you and thank you for sharing your struggle.

  • Jools Hunt

    Thank you! I have been searching for some info as to why I cannot shift the pounds. I hardly exercised at all before quitting the cigs and was already 7lbs overweight at the time of quitting, so thought I would get to the gym, which I have done, and eat sensibly. All well and good, but nothing is shifting!! I have always found it reasonably easy to lose weight so am depressed that nothing works. Can only think that what my doctor said: “it takes a year for the body to get back to normal” is, in fact, true! I am gaining muscle as well, from hard workouts and am not gaining even more weight – so, it’s just gonna take time!

  • Today you can still enjoy in nicotine but healthier way(electronic cigarette) and for me this far more acceptable than regular cigarette-at least i’m not poisoning anyone around me!Don’t get me wrong -i’m completely for killing any bad habbit down-but here is one joke:Man comes to a doctor and tells him that he feels awful and he thinks that he’s going to die soon-Doctor asks him:Do you Smoke? Man;No Dr:do you drink? Man:No! ,Dr:Do you chase ladies? Man:NO! Dr:Then why the f…. you want to feel better and live more?
    (BTW-Thanks for great post!)

  • pat

    So glad I read this…it fits me to a T. I smoked for years…didn’t smoke for about 15 years than went back about a year ago…usually only a couple a day.
    Holy crap…I gained 10 pounds and even with intense weight training 3x a week and pretty tough cardio, I have only been able to lose 4 pounds. (I quit in September.)
    I will never go back…but sheesh…this just doesn’t seem fair! LOL>

  • Tobi

    Thank you,thank you. I was begining to think that I had lost my mind. I am working out six days a week, trying to stay at 1500 calories and have nothing but GAIN ten pounds since quitting two months ago. The doctors say a year?

  • deloris

    Patricia is full of it. 15 minutes of cardio burns at most 25 calories and it takes most people ten minutes just to warm up. Most people combine weight training with cardio. This burns say 300/ hour, so to burn 700 calories a day, she must have been doing 2-3 hours a day? Plus she says she was burning 700 and only eating 1200? At a net intake of only 500 calories, she would have been loosing at least 3# per week with a diet like that for three years, thats 150 pounds each year. I say bullshit!.

  • Trisha

    Oh this is exactly what has me so worried about quitting!!! I have my date set and have been weening my self off last few days…go longer between cigarettes. Am already over weight (post partum weight) I have the will and even desire to be a healthy non-smoker!!! I just dread the weight gain!!! 🙁

  • Corryn

    If I had known I was going to gain this much weight and be this depressed I would have started smoking twice as much. Screw this.