Tag Archives: smoking

How Greg Stopped Smoking and Overcame His Weight Gain Issues


In this emotional blog posted to metabolism.com, Greg (from Tampa) shares insights from his personal struggle to stop smoking and deal with the weight fluctuations that accompanied those efforts. Not everyone can achieve this kind of success but, according to Greg, by keeping your eye on the prize you can get through the worst of it.

Greg writes:

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!

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Dael Challenges the Conventional Wisdom about Smoking and Weight Control


Dael is taking a lonely path as a confirmed smoker. So far the benefits seem to out weigh the risks, but we all know what the end of this road will look like. I am posting Dael’s comments to see if the community at metabolism.com can make a positive impact on Dael’s rebellious attitude.

Dael writes:

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

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Update on Teresa’s Effort to Stop Smoking and Shed the Weight


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

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Debbi Reveals Her Experience with Weight Gain after Quitting Smoking


In this post Debbi gives advice to Melanie who is concerned about weight gain when stopping smoking:

Debbi writes:

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!

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!
hogan55@cogeco.ca
Debbi
1

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Marion Touts New Adkins Diet for Weight Loss for Ex-Smokers


Marion brings us up to date on her progress after stopping smoking, gaining and then losing weight. Thank you Marion for sharing your experience with metabolism.com members!

Marion writes:

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.

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Smoking, Weight Gain and Hypothyroidism; Maya Shares Her Story


Maya Sarkisyan, a consultant with metabolism.com, shares her life experiences with smoking, gaining weight and hypothyroidism. If you want to ask Maya questions about her methods please do not hesitate to make use of our forum page. Once on the forum look for the “Latest Discussions” column and then click on Topic “Add New”. Then you are ready to post questions or your own opinions and comments.

Here is what Maya writes about her own life:

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.

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Thank You for Understanding; By Gary Pepper, M.D.


Debbi and Terri:

The Comments section at metabolism.com 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, estrogen replacement, osteoporosis, adrenal disease etc.
There is a serious shortage of Endocrinologists and the situation is going to get worse before it gets better. At metabolism.com 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. But by countering some of the less insightful policies of the medical establishment I think I reach people who have been left feeling hopeless by their healthcare professionals. My next blog on the flaws in the latest Diabetes Treatment Guidelines recently released by my professional society, is probably going to make me even less popular at my next professional meeting.

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

All the best,
Gary Pepper, M.D.

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Maya Sarkisyan Offers Expert Advice on Quitting Smoking and Weight Gain


Maya has been a long standing guest expert at metabolism.com. In her recent post Maya offers her expert opinion on the debate regarding weight gain (and how to lose it) when stopping smoking.

Maya writes:

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.

Thank you Maya for your comments. You can find more of Maya Sarkisyan’s articles at http://www.metabolism.com/author/Maya-Sarkisyan/. Maya also maintains her own website at www.transentient.com

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Teresa and Marion Share Experiences with Weight Gain after Stopping Smoking


Teresa has plateaued in her effort to lose weight after smoking cessation. Marion offers her support in what is often a frustrating battle to rev the metabolism back up.

Teresa’s story is as follows:

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].

In response to Teresa’s post Marion relates her similar story:

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 energy. 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.

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Molly Offers Advice to Smokers Who Fear Weight Gain When They Quit.


Molly has seen the light as far as coping with mood and metabolism changes occurring when getting off cigarettes. Here is her story as posted to metabolism.com:

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!!!!

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