questionsdid you (or how did you) lose the weight you…

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First, congratulations! I am 10 years a non-smoker as of June and I know how tough it is.

When you're trying not to put a cigarette in your mouth you end up snacking more. I gained 40 lbs and it just kinda creeped up on me while I was in denial.

Write down everything (everything!) you eat and drink for a few days, get a calorie counting book and find a calculator to determine how many calories you need to maintain vs. lose. For me it was 1500 calories a day and I lost 40 lbs. in 6 months. I've maintained this weight for 2 years now.

Exercise is obviously important but is it so much easier to eat 500 calories than to burn off 500 calories so counting calories really is the key.

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@ohcheri: That's AWESOME! Congratulations on ten years AND the weight loss / maintenance. I am going to take your advice and start counting calories. I have never done that before, this really has thrown me for a loop. I have 'stopped' smoking before, but it was always in conjunction with a pregnancy and I guess I assumed the weight gain was more pregnancy than smoking cessation. 40 lbs in 6 months. That's amazing!

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Congrats! One thing I found helpful was getting cinnamon sticks to suck on (or cinnamon toothpicks). I missed the feeling of something in my throat. I also ate or drank citrus to try to get the burn.

I quit in 1998 and what I used which was popular back then was Somersize by Suzanne Somers. Really helped me alot and I lost I think 12 lbs at least.

More recently I used Nutrisystem and lost over 10 lbs. It can be done.

For me, I have never lost the urge to smoke. Maybe it's the addictive tendencies in me. I just deal with it and realize how nasty it actually tastes.

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@mrsbeny: Congratulations to you for quitting! And to @ohcheri, too! You're both an inspiration for those who have not quit yet. :-/

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Not an expert, by any means, but I have an added thought: I'm guessing that your clothes fit differently now. Said that because, even though you've gained 12 lbs, probably a lot of that is muscle. Muscle is denser than fat. So you may even look thinner.

I suggest you weigh yourself once a week. Not every day. IOW: Focus on how you look & feel, not how much you weigh. And, as @ohcheri said, watch the calorie intake.

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@mrsbeny: Thanks! Counting calories is the basis of all the popular weight loss programs...Jenny Craig, Nutrisystem and Weight Watchers. The only difference is you have to pay those other guys to count the calories for you in the form of pre-packaged meals. Save your money and buy yourself something cute ;-)

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I agree that tracking your food - every bite - it probably going to be the key. It's strange to realize how much the body tries to mimic the smoking hand-to-mouth motion when you aren't paying attention.

Congrats and good luck!

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I didn't gain, I lost, because I immediately started to exercise. I chewed sunflower seeds to keep my mouth busy any feel like I was eating, and did push-ups/sit-ups/jumping jacks when I felt like munching. Instead of eating, I just filled that time up with something else.

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Congratulations on quitting! You could always go with the Kojak Tootsie Roll Pop method ;=]. I myself will hit six years this November 1st. I really did not experience a lot of weight gain as I was overweight already. At the time I quit I smoked 2 1/2 to 3 packs a day. I have a widow maker heart attack 4.5 months after quitting so if I apply Occams Razor quitting smoking leads to heart attacks. The good thing is that I had already quit so that was one item off the list things I needed to change.

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Remember not to get too bogged down on pounds. Muscle weighs more than fat, so the best way to measure progress is to measure your waist, weekly or biweekly. This way you don't have to even worry about those numbers on the scale :) to really gauge progress in weight management (that is, losing fat, and gaining lean muscle), its best to count inches lost

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@dmaz: Oh, dear! Muscle does NOT weigh more than fat - a pound is a pound is a pound. Just like a pound of feathers weighs the same as a pound of cement. Muscle is more dense than fat; more compact, so to speak. That's why you may weigh the same, but look thinner if you work-out & gain muscle. Agree that your actual weight is not as important as how you feel. Don't be a slave to scales & your 'actual' weight. ;-)

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Thanks everyone! My biggest disappointment is that my body shape has changed. If I may say so myself, my back arms, calves - look great - I am more fit than I have ever been in my life - I have LATS! But all of a sudden I'm amassing fat around the belly and upper legs at an alarming rate (I ACTUALLY SPLIT A BUTT SEAM IN PUBLIC!) and the only thing I can logically attribute it to is the change of quitting smoking. Pregnancy did cross my mind but that's not it.

I am definitely going to count calories. South Beach worked for me in the past to lose baby weight but I think y'all are right; I need to be more calorie conscious this time. (cont.)

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Congratulations to everyone else that quit, mostly for much longer than I have. I still crave smokes a couple times a day. It will continue to be hard, I know, but I love smelling like soap and fabric softener, waking up without coughing and most importantly the fact that I am following through on a promise I made to my daughter (waxing cheesy for a moment there). I kept putting it off one more day, one more day, I'll quit on Monday but turns out that it won’t be any easier tomorrow or next Monday so I ran my pack under a faucet of water and then twisted it and twisted it (to destroy the cigarettes) and haven’t smoked again. Best hardest thing I've ever done!

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Big big congrats to all in this thread who stopped smoking!

To the original poster: one way to speed up your metabolism is to eat every two hours. I agree with the poster who said to write down what you eat. It may also help you to consult a nutritionist after you've done this to see how you can tweak your diet.

Good luck!

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@mrsbeny: Congrats on day 76! I have survived(so far) day 27. I am on my own here now(no chantix/nicorette/etc.) and the weekends with time on my hands are tough. @ohcheri: 10 years is awesome...40 pounds in 6 months is also awesome...congrats! As for the OP, I haven't started exercising yet but I can see daily walking in my near future. I am still trying to find what will quieten that "urge" to smoke. I have gained around 5 lbs. so far but I am gaining insight everyday as to how I can defeat this. Counting calories seems to be a huge part of it along with exercise. Stay true!

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@jsimsace: Time is what quiets the urges. It's like losing weight, you know the cravings will be there and you have to ride the wave. It really does get easier every day. Acknowledge the craving, even talk it out...I will resist, I will succeed. And you will! You're already well on your way.

Staying busy is very helpful, especially anything that keeps your hands occupied like sewing.

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Congratulations! Good for you! That's such a hard habit to quit! Have you noticed your taste buds coming back? My mom smoked for pushing 25 years and swore after she quit food tasted sooo much better.

Go paleo for 3 months to see if dropping all the refined crap from your diet helps. It's not that hard to do and you might find you're back in form by the holidays. You don't have to go hard core, but make sure you cut out the corn, soy & wheat flours. Stick with meats, fresh vegetables and fruit. Once you get the hang of it, you'll realize you can go to just about any decent restaurant & eat very well & healthfully. Hand to heart, I promise you'll feel amazingly better in under 2 weeks if you stick with it.

You know what holiday eating does to some of us. Get started soon so you don't have to add an extra hole to your belt at New Year's ;)

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Quit smoking cold turkey over 40 years ago and developed a much larger appetite, especially for all things carbs. Still carrying that extra 20

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try the myfitnesspal app to track diet and workouts

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Congrats !!!! Do not start back up !!!

I quit when I was 40. Took me 10 years to quit before I actually could do it. I'm 50 now and weigh 30 pounds more than before I quit smoking (I was always rail thin for my height). Middle age male spread? Probably. Eating too much? Well, yes and no. I find it easy to add weight when I eat the wrong types of food and drink the wrong types of drink. When I stick to lots of veggies, low fat meats, whole grain carbs, then I remain around 185 without having to exercise at all. When I eat lots of sugar and processed carbs (breads and pastries) then I bounce up 20 more pounds to 205 in no time. Soda pop is my nemesis. I drank a couple beers a day up until 5 years ago. When I quit, I still craved a carbonated drink. My weight ballooned as soon as I started drinking coke.

Bottom line is eat as much as you want if it's low calorie food and complex carbs. If it's high calorie then you better make sure you are active enough to burn those extra calories off.

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oh yeah, one other thing. If you have a smart phone there are tons of apps out there designed to help you count calories. Check into it and find the right app for you. It will surprise you which foods can quickly turn from good to bad, just by adding a couple spoonfuls of a saucy condiment of dressing to them.