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TOPIC: I Quit Smoking - Now I can't lose weight!

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February 21, 2013 10:24 AM
I quit smoking December 8th. I started working out 4-5 times a week and eating between 1200-1300 calories a day in January.

I lost 4lbs week one. Since then? NOTHING. It's driving me insane. I saw my doctor today about it, hoping to get on phentermine to boost it. He was not into giving me that because of the possible side effects. I am not happy.

He said that since I quit smoking, I should have GAINED about 20 lbs. However, since I've been eating healthy and working out, that didn't happen and that I should be happy about that. However, I'm not happy because I cannot lose weight now.

Any suggestions as to what I can do to help? I am getting so discouraged, it seems like my hard work hasn't helped me at all. One month and no results. What's the point? That's how it feels...

Any suppliments to boost my metabolism?
February 21, 2013 11:47 AM
There's a very slim chance there's a connection since you've been smoke free for almost 3 months.

I quit smoking a month ago (two weeks before re-committing to lose weight/get fit) and I while I suspect I did gain a bit, it was no more than 5lbs and I lost weight last week (weigh in day tomorrow).

People usually gain weight when they quit smoking because they switch out cigarettes with food and tend to eat more apart from that because cigarettes also suppress hunger.
On top of that, smoking makes your heart beat a bit faster so you actually burn some calories there.

However, I would recommend you to go through your plan to see if there's something you need to change. Maybe up your calories?

Good luck!
Edited by Xelace On February 21, 2013 11:48 AM
February 21, 2013 11:59 AM
The point is, you are strengthening your heart and lungs thus reversing all the damage you did while smoking :) Don't give up! Your body needs this from you. Losing weight is awesome, but it's a feeling of vanity that pushes us to do it most of the time. You are getting healthier, even if you don't feel like it. Have you taken your measurements? How are your clothes fitting? Perhaps you are putting on some muscle at the same rate you are losing fat? That is probable, especially if you are new to exercise. (Check out my profile pic. Same weight in both pictures, I kid you not. That's why I mentioned this.) Also, maybe you aren't correctly estimating your calorie intake. Those are just a couple of ideas. I know it sucks to not see that number budge but try not to get discouraged.
Edited by imtrinat On February 21, 2013 12:01 PM
February 21, 2013 12:04 PM
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Your body is still adjusting, and it will take a while....give it some time (and lots, and lots of water). Congratulations on quitting , and even though its frustrating, don't stress over the scale for a while. Instead, try focusing on your improved lung function and how much easier it is to get a good workout in!
February 21, 2013 12:06 PM
QUOTE:

I quit smoking December 8th. I started working out 4-5 times a week and eating between 1200-1300 calories a day in January.

I lost 4lbs week one. Since then? NOTHING. It's driving me insane. I saw my doctor today about it, hoping to get on phentermine to boost it. He was not into giving me that because of the possible side effects. I am not happy.

He said that since I quit smoking, I should have GAINED about 20 lbs. However, since I've been eating healthy and working out, that didn't happen and that I should be happy about that. However, I'm not happy because I cannot lose weight now.

Any suggestions as to what I can do to help? I am getting so discouraged, it seems like my hard work hasn't helped me at all. One month and no results. What's the point? That's how it feels...

Any suppliments to boost my metabolism?

I have heard that Green tea is a natural fat burner. I don't know first-hand, but it's worth a try. Maybe just keep at it? Try lowering your carbs and uping your protein? Good luck.
  23079067
February 21, 2013 12:06 PM
Congrats on quitting smoking! I know its wicked hard. As far as weight loss goes, I'm gonna say I hate the scale and love the tape measure. Don't be stuck on the numbers and take into account how you feel, breathe. Big kudos to you for quitting!!
February 21, 2013 12:06 PM
As a former smoker, that's a myth. What causes us to gain weight when we smoke is we substitute it for food. The first week was probably water weight. If you started a new workout, you can actually gain temporarily as your muscles swell. Another thing? Too few calories.
  11287974
February 21, 2013 12:07 PM
I'm no expert here, so take this with a grain of salt.

First of all, congrats on quitting smoking. My wife did that when we started dating (she knew I wasn't "in" to it) and it was really hard for her at first. (She's been smoke free for well over a decade now, btw)

Secondly, congrats on dieting. Making those two big changes at once couldn't have been easy.

I'd ask first of all if you're SURE you're not lying to yourself. Have you snuck a few cigs? Have you had a few snacks you didn't count? Hey I do it all the time, so I'm not judging. If you HAVE been true to yourself, then maybe the above advice is something worth trying - bump your calories a bit. Maybe thirteen to fourteen hundred. Give that a week or two and see what happens (contrary to popular advice, the results of such a change are usually pretty quick, especially if you've been consistent at your current rate for a few weeks/months. At least it has been in my experience...)

I would be willing to bet that your diet kept you from gaining the "quit smoking" weight - which is awesome, and again, good for you. Now you need to shock yourself again - perhaps with the increase in calories, perhaps with a few solid days of rigorous exercise (yeah I know - I hate that idea too) or hell - maybe you need a good cheat night to jump-start the metabolism.

Whatever you do, don't give up. You made these decisions for a reason - stick with 'em!

Good luck.
  29277813
February 21, 2013 12:08 PM
Go online and read about quitting smoking and metabolism and be patient. It's takes awhile for your body to adjust to not being bombarded by nicotine all day long. I quit smoking over 3 years ago and it was the best thing I ever did for myself. Don't give up. And please be patient with yourself and make your quit your number one priority. And a lot of non-smokers diet and get stalled in their weight loss too :) Don't blame it on quitting smoking. There are so many ways to measure success other than a bathroom scale. Thing of all the positive things you are doing for yourself and your health. You are doing really great!
February 21, 2013 12:10 PM
QUOTE:

As a former smoker, that's a myth. What causes us to gain weight when we smoke is we substitute it for food. The first week was probably water weight. If you started a new workout, you can actually gain temporarily as your muscles swell. Another thing? Too few calories.


Truth. I smoke to prevent eating quite often.
  25631519
February 21, 2013 12:16 PM
First off, congrats on quitting smoking...secondly, and this is going to come off as rude, but bull****! I quit smoking in September 2012...in the mean time, I've lost 25 lbs. There's something else that isn't right. You mentioned making better eating decisions and exercising...but are you at a deficit. Just because you're making better decisions in RE to what you're eating and working out doesn't necessarily mean you are at a deficit.

If you are counting calories and maintaining a caloric deficit it could be either too large or not really a deficit. It's really easy for calories to creep...little nibble here or there that doesn't get logged, etc. Also, if you aren't weighing and measuring everything, this can amount to a lot of error. Eyeballing portions is just about the biggest calorie creep there is.

Something is just not right with your calories, don't blame it on the quitting smoking. Get your calories sorted out.
February 21, 2013 12:21 PM
Woohoo for being smoke free. That said, there's no correlation. I quit smoking the day I started this lifestyle change and I'm down
35 lbs, steady loss.
  29356687
February 21, 2013 12:39 PM
There is proof that quitting smoking does cause your metabolism to slow down. I quit 6 years ago and immediately gained 35 lbs. Now I gained it because I was eating too much to make up for not smoking. But when I decided to lose the weight I had gained, it was really hard at the beginning. I was working to overcome the slowed metabolism. With lots of exercise and eating right, I have pretty much brought my metabolism back up to where it was before I quit smoking.

Hang in there! It will come, just give it a little bit of time.

http://www.smokefree.gov/pubs/ffree3.pdf
February 21, 2013 12:43 PM
QUOTE:

I quit smoking December 8th. I started working out 4-5 times a week and eating between 1200-1300 calories a day in January.

I lost 4lbs week one. Since then? NOTHING. It's driving me insane. I saw my doctor today about it, hoping to get on phentermine to boost it. He was not into giving me that because of the possible side effects. I am not happy.

He said that since I quit smoking, I should have GAINED about 20 lbs. However, since I've been eating healthy and working out, that didn't happen and that I should be happy about that. However, I'm not happy because I cannot lose weight now.

Any suggestions as to what I can do to help? I am getting so discouraged, it seems like my hard work hasn't helped me at all. One month and no results. What's the point? That's how it feels...

Any suppliments to boost my metabolism?


I would go see a new doctor if yours is saying you SHOULD of gained 20lbs when you quit smoking. You don't have to gain when you quit. Last time I quit I actually LOST weight. Weight gain isn't what always happens when you lose weight. It happens because people tend to replace a cigarette with food when they quit... quitting doesn't MAKE you gain anything.

Try changing up your exercise, change how many calories you eat (1200-1300 is pretty low), make sure you are tracking correctly, make sure you aren't eating to replace a cigarette, increase the intensity of your workouts, make sure you are getting enough water, protein, fiber and fat in your diet.

You still can lose weight... you just need to find what will work for you.

The only real way to boost your metabolism is building muscle. More muscle means a higher metabolism. Make sure you are eating enough... not eating enough will cause you to lose muscle mass.
Edited by now_or_never13 On February 21, 2013 12:46 PM
February 21, 2013 12:47 PM
let me tell you a story,

in 2006 I weighed about 70 kg ( a weight I had been at for years). then I quit smoking for 3 months, I ended up weighing about 85 kg by the time I started again...

Since then it has been slowly creeping up to 112 kg (dec 2012).

since trying to loose weight I am back down to 92.
  33513935
February 21, 2013 2:11 PM
Eat more calories!
February 22, 2013 2:12 PM
He said weight gain after quitting smoking happens because 1)people substitute food for cigs (which i'm not doing) and 2) cigs speed up your metabolism, but when you quit, it drastically decreases it.

I think (2) is my problem. I just need to continue and hopefully things start working for me...ughhhh

Thank you all for your encouragement and praise on qutting smoking..it was tough, but I'm glad I did it. Now the smell makes me sick! :)
February 22, 2013 2:14 PM
Open up your food diary, maybe there is something there that someone can help you tweak!
February 22, 2013 8:12 PM
I guess I'm doing this backwards, but I am trying to lose weight, and NOW quit smoking. This ought to be interesting. :/ I think I will take out all of my aggression on my weight set. Or something.
*says to self, I can do this.. I can do this...*
  38373952
February 22, 2013 8:53 PM
Smokers burn about 200-300 calories more a day than non smokers smokin
February 27, 2013 11:47 AM
Well, I managed to lose some weight this week, despite the fact that I quit smoking. I am very happy!

Of course, I am only eating 1200 calories and last week I went to the gym 7 days in a row....but I think I can keep this up!!

Thank you all :)
August 6, 2013 10:21 AM
Hi, I quit smoking about 6 months ago and contrary to what everyone else is saying, I didn't substitute cigarettes for food and it doesn't sound like you did either. I have also been on a 1000-1200 calorie diet and I keep going up and down around 3 to 4 pounds a day but no real loss. I think it has a lot to do with metabolism but I'm not sure. Wish I had some advise for you but just keep trying, I have heard it can take up to a year for your body to get back to normal after quitting
August 6, 2013 10:24 AM
Hello. I quit smoking just over 2 months ago and gained 15 pounds! I'm going to try and lose those 15 pounds plus the other 25 that need to go! Good luck!
February 20, 2014 1:28 PM
I know exactly how your feeling--I quit smoking in Nov and i went up in weight real fast--and now been working out 6 days a week and eating around a 1400-1500 cal perday diet--for the past 8 weeks and only dropped 4 lbs. I aslo went to my Doc and he told me.......not to expect much weight loss for a YEAR!!!!!!!!!!! Aye aye aye!!! But he told me to keep at it as I can still loose it very slowly and most importanly not go any higher. Just keep going, much more important NOT to smoke than to have a few extra lbs--that's what keeps me going and trying so hard everyday. Hang in there :-)
February 20, 2014 1:36 PM
QUOTE:

Well, I managed to lose some weight this week, despite the fact that I quit smoking. I am very happy!

Of course, I am only eating 1200 calories and last week I went to the gym 7 days in a row....but I think I can keep this up!!

Thank you all :)


Are you eating back exercise calories? Do you use a food scale for solids and measuring cups for liquids? If you aren't losing on 1200 a day, there is an error in your calculations somewhere. Having said that, 1200 is not a one size fits all calorie number. Try running your numbers through this: http://scoobysworkshop.com/calorie-calculator/
  37322274

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