Thu Apr 22 21:52:19 2010
A lot of smokers, when quitting, worry for gaining a lot of weight. Does everyone get fat when they quit or is it just a hoax?
A lot of smokers believe that if they are to quit smoking, they will inevitably gain a lot of weight. This poses a major problem, especially to women, and many find this a good enough reason to continue with their addiction. The question is, do all the smokers actually gain a lot of weight when they quit?
I think the best answer is: “sometimes”. Sometimes you would gain a lot of weight when you quit. However, the governing factor is how ignorant you are about the addiction to nicotine.
Let's back up a bit... After hundreds of attempts, I was nearly convinced that for me, personally, it was impossible to quit smoking. I was a very heavy smoker; 40 cigarettes a day was a norm, and even my smoker friends would think of me as a true chimney.
It was one of my lucky days; I had obtained a book – Easy Way To Stop Smoking – by Allen Carr. Even though, I was extremely skeptical when my friend suggested this book to me, after six hours, the 40-a-day person that I was became a non-smoker without any of the awful cravings I had during my previous attempts to quit.
The book has explained to me a reason why some people get fat when they quit. There are actually two possible reasons... First reason: substitutes.
It's a common misconception that smoking is simply a habit. We create and break hundreds of habits in our lives very often. For example, until I've recently moved, every time I left work I would make a left turn at a certain intersection near my work. Now, I would be needing to make a right turn at that intersection. There's also a shortcut that gets me to my new place of living that bypasses that intersection. During the first few days after the move, I would still go to that intersection instead of using the shortcut. This is a habit. It was absolutely painless for me to break that habit and learn to use the shortcut all the time. Any smoker will confirm that “painless” is not what they experienced last time they tried to quit.
The reality is that smoking is an addiction. Nicotine is an addictive substance. Even though, many smokers will say that this addiction is very powerful, the truth is that the physical nicotine craving manifests itself in very subtle ways. In fact, it's indistinguishable from hunger.
The proof to this is that all smokers will easily sleep 6-10 hours without even waking up, and many will even have their breakfast and make it to work before smoking the first cigarette. Yet, if you prevent them from smoking just for an hour during wake time, they'll go nuts. All of this points to a staggering truth: addiction to smoking is almost entirely mental.
I'll leave it up to Allen Carr and his magnificent book to explain all the details. For the purpose of this article, we'll just assume that the above is true – and it is – without any further proof. What do many smokers who think that smoking is a habit do when they quit? They think that to break a habit they need to find a substitute to stick in their mouth. Sucker candy often takes place of this.
Since mental addiction to cigarettes never gets broken, our poor ex-smoker now sucks on candy all day long, mistakenly believing that this candy is now responsible for them to stay off the smoke. If instead of burning 20-40 poisonous cigarettes, you are now consuming 30-50 candies; where do you think all those calories are going?
The second reason is more subtle. As I've already mentioned, the physical craving to nicotine is indistinguishable from hunger. I must also add that it lasts no more than three weeks, and often disappears even after 4-5 days – so this isn't a life-time burden as many ex-smokers would want you to believe. What this means is that for at most three weeks after you quit you will feel hungry very often. If you submit to all of these urges, you will be overeating by a lot, which would translate to serious weight gain in many individuals.
Quitting smoking is something I am extremely happy about. I live with two people who are smokers and I hear them cough their lungs out almost daily; not to mention the awful smell that fills the rooms when they smoke. We all make mistakes, and starting smoking is the mistake that a lot of people make.
If you're wishing to quit smoking, don't let the weight gain prevent you from this. Just make a simple rule. First, don't resort to substitutes. Smoking is not a habit, you don't need to “replace” it with anything. Just enjoy all the extra time you would've otherwise spent on smoke breaks. You don't need any candy or gum in order to quit.
Second, during the first one to three weeks, be cautions of your hunger pangs. Be aware that nicotine craving is indistinguishable from hunger every time you feel hungry. Most people eat about three times day. Don't eat more than that. Create a schedule. Breakfast, lunch and dinner. If you're hungry in the middle of those meals, it's likely just a nicotine craving; let it be, and in less than five minutes it will be gone.
Quitting smoking does not make you fatter. It's only a mistaken belief that you must consume a lot of candy in order to quit or a mistaken identity of hunger that the addiction to nicotine brings with it. If you understand the addiction, you'll never gain a single pound from quitting. In fact, quitting smoking will give you much more energy that you can use for exercise to even lose any extra weight, while you quit!
Wed May 15 06:15:53 2013
Smokers DO have an increased metabolic rate. This is because due to the lack of oxygen, the heart beats faster in order to maintain your body oxygenated. This, of course is TERRIBLE for your overall health, especially your heart, but it does suppress hunger and increase metabolic activity.
Anyway, I've been smoke free for ober 3 months now and I've actually LOST WEIGHT!!! It's all about making a lifestyle change. I quit smoking, i knew i was going to get cravings so i started eating and snacking healthy. I actually found it more usefull to have 5-6 small meals a day (this also helps boost your metabolism and keeps cravings away). I planned out my meals ahead of time and this worked wonders.
I also started working out A LOT! I've always worked out, but quitting just gave me SO MUCH ENERGY!!! I wake up everyday and I just can't wait to go work out! NOT KIDDING!!! Plus, exercising, really keeps you busy and keeps your mind off of cigarettes!.
Of course, I still have the daily arguments with myself about wanting to have a cigarette, but they're becoming less frequent!
Anyway, just be aware of the fact that:
Quitting will NOT make you gain weight, eating will. Just make sure you eat healthy and exercise it will even make the withdrawal easier!!
Good luck everyone!!! I know it is TOUGH! But it is worth it!!!
Sat Mar 30 12:51:39 2013
Nicolas, actually, it's pretty easy to quit. The physical nicotine craving is very similar to hunger, which is why some people get fat after quitting. Think about it, you don't smoke for the 6-10 hours while you sleep, and the craving doesn't even wake you up. The big issue is the mental addiction, which is you brainwashing yourself into thinking smoking gives you anything good. That brainwashing happens because you're not willing to admit that you're addicted so you invent reasons for smoking, like it makes food taste better, it wakes you up, it makes you sleepy before the bed, that it relaxes you, that it tastes good, or that it's a social glue. The reason you quit but then started again is because you quit through will power, but never broken those delusions. For those three years, you were justifying why you were *giving up* smoking, instead of *quitting* smoking. Why did you have that one smoke last summer? Physical addiction lasts only a couple of weeks, so it was obviously due to an unbroken mental hook.
I smoked for 8 years total, quitting for about a year after the first three years and then going back. Altogether, I tried to quit probably about 30 times and succeeded only for a few hours, rarely a couple of days. I thought just like you, that it's impossible to quit, or that you'll forever be craving cigarettes. Then my friend told me about Allen Carr's "Easy Way to Quit Smoking" book, about which I was quite skeptical and instead bought nicotine patches. I don't want to be sounding like a salesman, but that book is the reason I quit quite painlessly about 4-5 years ago and haven't had a single craving, despite having smokers as roommates. I had two nicotine patches and still craving a smoke wildly. I found the book online and started reading it. In the middle of the book, I took off the nicotine patches. By the time I finished, I didn't have cravings.
The book is not magical. All it does is talk about all the common delusion smokers have about smoking and points out why those delusions are not real, but the result of addiction to nicotine. By the end of the book, you simply realize that the only reason you want to light up a cigarette is to kill a mild craving left there from the previous cigaretteâand that craving will last only for a couple of weeks if you stop feeding it.
Allen Carr's "Easy Way to Quit Smoking" book costs on par with a pack of cigarettes, so I think you should make that investment. I would actually recommend the audio book that you can just listen to instead of reading. Get the audio book, two packs of smokes, and go to a place where you won't be disturbed for several hours. Smoke as much as you can while you're listening to that book. Before the recording ends, you'll be flushing the remaining cigarettes down the toilet.
Sat Mar 30 12:02:14 2013
Well I've been smoking for nearly 10 years around a pack a day maybe more when partying. I quit 3 years ago. And then I started back 6 month ago. I smoke again a pack a day and I feel my health is getting in the wrong direction. All I did was smoke once last summer. Within three months I was back on my cigarettes. It's a lifetime commitment to not smoke once you've been a heavy smoker. There's no in between. I will stop again, i have my marlboro red in front of me and just watched people getting amputated from smoking. I still have difficulty to resist. Nicotine is very powerful, like cocaine.
Mon Jan 28 17:01:36 2013
Rick Dennis, on what are you basing such an absolute statement? Especially the "will not get rid of" it part?
Sounds like you're just perpetuating a baseless rumour you heard from a friend of a friend, or maybe you're just outright trolling.
References or GTFO.
Mon Jan 28 15:09:53 2013
"Quitting smoking does not make you fatter." This statement is horseshit. You WILL gain weight and you will NOT get rid of it. To say otherwise is an outright LIE!. PERIOD.
Sun Jul 1 12:15:15 2012
This is the first time I ever heard of smokers having a higher metabolic rate; do you have any respectable study supporting this claim? If anything, I'd expect that rate to be lower, since all organs are continuously starved of oxygen.
Sun Jul 1 12:02:09 2012
You didn't mention that smokers have a higher metabolism. I see the point about substitutes and 'false' hunger, but quitting also causes a metabolic drop, and even eating as you regularly do without substitutes can cause weight gain. On the upside, quitting causes an increase in energy and makes workouts easier.
Fri Jan 6 11:13:21 2012
BTW, one of your problems is the way you think of it, you just said it yourself "...to give up..", when in fact there's nothing to "give up", but only to gain. Cigarettes don't give you anything but relieve the craving the previous cigarette created - it's the most pointless drug.
Fri Jan 6 11:12:20 2012
If I were you, I'd read that Easy Way To Quit Smoking by Allen Carr. I had to use it to quit three times, but only because it felt so easy to quit; the last time I understood his message in more depth, and wasn't tempted to have even a single drag for, 2-3 years now.
Fri Jan 6 07:55:46 2012
im a forty a day smoker for the last 20 years and would love to give up but find it to hard.