The Truth About Why You Gain Weight When You Quit Smoking And What To Do


It's not what you want to hear, but the truth is that if you smoke a pack a day or more, you will definitely gain weight when you quit. That said, don't let that stop you. If you are sick of smoking, now is the time to stop.

It won't get any easier later on and you'll still gain weight. Besides, there are many ways to minimize the weight gain and on top of that I guarantee that you will feel so much better both mentally and physically that a few extra pounds are not going to bother you.

I have a few credentials in this department, by the way. I was a heavy smoker for more than 30 years and I've been smoke free ( albeit a bit heavier) for more than a decade. You can read my tips for giving up cigarettes here .

Now, in this hub, I'm going to give you an explanation of why you gain weight when you quit smoking and what you can do to counteract or minimize your weight gain. Mostly, I want you not to use the probability of weight gain as an excuse not to quit. You can get a new wardrobe. You can't get a new pair of lungs and with determination and a little patience you can quit smoking and either not gain much weight or lose what you do gain in good time.

Smoking and Weight Gain

A vintage cigarette ad recommends smoking as a way to lose weight
A vintage cigarette ad recommends smoking as a way to lose weight

Why You Gain Weight

Nicotine, which is what causes you to become addicted to cigarettes, is a central nervous system stimulant. It is a powerful drug that speeds up your metabolism, constricts your blood vessels and makes your heart beat faster. Thus, when you quit smoking, the absence of nicotine slows down your metabolism to the tune of about 250 calories a day. That means even if you don't eat any more than you did when you smoked, you will gain some weight unless you eat at least 250 calories less. The actual calorie count varies from person to person, but in general that is the drill.

Add to this the fact that nicotine dulls the appetite as well as the taste buds and that when you quit smoking you are suddenly hungrier and food tastes better and you'll begin to get an idea of what you are up against. Do you remember losing a few pounds when you first started smoking? I know I do. Well, when you quit it is payback time. That's all.

Actually, back in the day, when half the adult American population smoked and nobody knew about the dangers of smoking, Doctors recommended smoking as an aid to digestion and as a way to lose weight. Can you believe it?Nobody thought about the health consequences because nobody knew there were any, and the tobacco companies were raking it in hand over fist, so who cared? It was only in the 1970s, after the connection between lung cancer and smoking was firmly established, that anyone even hinted at the fact that smoking was truly an addiction. Before that time it was billed as merely a " bad habit"which left the truly addicted feeling pretty rotten about their inability to just stop cold turkey.

You can expect to gain five to ten pounds in the first few months after you stop smoking. Some lucky people gain no weight at all and there are others who gain a good deal more. It depends on your gender, age, activity level, food intake, and genetic predisposition. Don't worry about it. Most people will shed the extra weight as the body adjusts to life without nicotine. For others a real effort at weight loss will be required. For a few the weight gain is permanent. But as one doctor told me, " you would have to gain 100 pounds to equal the health risk of continuing to smoke"

Why You Gain Weight When You Quit Smoking

How to Minimize Your Weight Gain and Stay off Cigarettes

1. Concentrate on one thing at a time For the first three months or so you will have enough to do to just concentrate on not picking up the first cigarette. There will be physical cravings as your blood sugar goes up and down and your body gets used to being without nicotine. This is a very tough addiction to crack, so do not worry about whether or not you are gaining weight. Don't think about it and do not, under any circumstances weigh yourself. If your clothes feel tight, buy new clothes. Trying to focus on losing weight while in the early stages of smoking cessation is a good way to fail at both things. Keep your mind on not smoking. However, if you can, I would suggest at least one half hour of aerobic exercise every day-- anything from a brisk walk to running a marathon or swimming laps will do, depending on your level of fitness and what is available. Walking is available to everyone and requires no special clothing or equipment and best of all, almost everyone knows how to do it. At the very least take half hour walk once or twice a day. Exercise will not only help with the cravings, it will help you use up those extra 250 calories and help to rev up your metabolism.

2. Eat regular meals Food is going to taste good and you are going to be hungry. Do not, under any circumstances, skip meals--especially if you used to do it routinely when you smoked. This is a real no no. You need to keep your blood sugar as even as possible and skipping meals will just make you hungrier. Do not deny yourself, but do be mindful and try to concentrate on whole grains, fruits and veggies rather than processed snack foods. Stay away from the french fries and cheese doodles, not to mention M&Ms and banana splits. You want to avoid sweets because they cause a spike in blood sugar and a corresponding dip afterwards. The blood sugar roller coaster increases cravings.

. You'll be more apt to exercise some sort of portion control if you eat three meals and two snacks a day. Forget skipping breakfast-- no more coffee and cigarettes in the car on the way to work in the morning.They say you should eat healthy things like carrot sticks and apples, but frankly, when I was giving up smoking they just didn't do it for me. I was more into pretzels and nuts.It is wise to stay away from sweets and junk food as much as you can,, but definitely give yourself permission do what needs to be done so you don't start smoking. Remember that most cravings don't last more than 15 minutes and try to ride them through.

3. Avoid alcohol There are two problems with alcohol for the new ex-smoker. One is that it lowers your inhibitions and make it more likely that you will give in to the urge to smoke, The second is that alcohol is full of empty calories and avoiding it is an easy way to keep from gaining weight in your early post smoking days-- not to mention that smoking and drinking just seem to go together and if you drink you are definitely going to want to smoke. I don't know why but booze and coffee are both powerful triggers that make most newly ex smokers want to light up.

One day you will be able to have a beer or a glass of wine with no accompanying desire to smoke and one day your metabolism will have adjusted to your non-smoking life, but for now, stick to mineral water OK?

4. Include some weight bearing exercise in your routine at least twice a week. Muscle burns more calories than fat, and since you want to keep your metabolism perking along, an increase in muscle tissue is in order. You can achieve this by adding hand weights at home or a workout with a trainer at the gym to your schedule. Don't tell me you can't afford it or don't have time. In a pinch, get out in the garden and lift heavy rocks or fill gallon containers with water and lift them -- you'll find lot of workouts online. NO excuses here, please. Weight bearing exercise is really important to minimize your post smoking weight gain and to minimize any cravings you may still be experiencing.

5. Drink lots of water You want to flush your system by drinking at least eight glasses of water a day. It takes at least three months to get all the toxins out of your system and being well hydrated will speed up the process. Nicotine isn't the only thing your body is getting rid of. There are something like 300 toxic substances in cigarette smoke, including carbon monoxide, lead, and formaldehyde.

6. Choose High Fiber Foods and Complex Carbohydrates Complex carbohydrates don't cause a spike in blood sugar and fiber makes you feel fuller, especially if you are following rule number 5 above. Avoid sweets as much as you can and leave the soda alone too. Sugar will cause spikes in blood sugar that will increase cigarette cravings andall those sweet goodies will pack on the pounds.

To sum up, some weight gain when you give up smoking is probably inevitable, but it need not be permanent AND you can minimize your weight gain, or perhaps eliminate it entirely, by staying hydrated, getting plenty of both aerobic and weight-bearing exercise, and choosing foods that are good for you as well as good tasting. Quitting is not easy, but millions of people have done it and you can too. It's well worth the effort. I promise.

What to Eat While You are Quitting

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Comments 92 comments

JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 6 years ago from Central Oklahoma

Good advice and great information!

stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 6 years ago from Bend, Oregon

Really wonderful hub! I'm not a smoker, but I have a friend who has been struggling for years to give it up for good. I love the point that you'd have to gain 100 pounds in order to equal the negative health impacts of continuing to smoke. Put vanity aside for a healthier, longer life! :)

robie2 profile image

robie2 6 years ago from Central New Jersey Author

HI Jama Thanks for stopping by and glad you like the hub-- Steph yup well kicking smoking really is tough believe me-- I didn't gain 100 pounds, but I tried-- I really did and while I didn't really come close, I still wear a larger dress size than I would ideally like-- however it is so worth it to not be a smoker anymore that I don't really think about it a lot.

alekhouse profile image

alekhouse 6 years ago from Louisville, Kentucky

Great hub, Robie...lots of good information. I haven't smoked since I quit at age 18...and I'm not going to tell you how long ago that was. :=) Actually I never weighed over 105 until I was 40, but maybe that's because I was so young when I quit and had only smoked 3 years.

robie2 profile image

robie2 6 years ago from Central New Jersey Author

HI Alek-- yes the length of time you have smoked and your age when you quit have a lot to do with how much weight you gain and when you are older( as i was when I quit) it is hard to know how much of the weight gain is from smoking and how much just from time marching on-- well, anyway-- glad you stopped by and glad you liked the hub

KsCharles 6 years ago

Does the fact that I NEVER inhaled count for anything--except to highlight how expensive and addictive smoking is? Think of all the money I would have saved, had I never begun smoking in the first place!

ladyjane1 profile image

ladyjane1 6 years ago from Texas

Great advice and I feel so much better having quit smoking a few years ago. Good advice about weight gain as well. Nice job. Cheers.

robie2 profile image

robie2 6 years ago from Central New Jersey Author

ahhh Ks-- think of all the money we all could have saved not doing lots of things-- water under the bridge, but I am impressed that you never inhaled:-)

and ladyjane1, congrats on having quit. Thanks for sharing that and for reading and commenting.

lauralolita profile image

lauralolita 6 years ago from Florida

Man, I love that picture of the woman eating spaghetti! That's hilarious!

robie2 profile image

robie2 6 years ago from Central New Jersey Author

I think it's a hoot too-- sort of says it all about cravings doesn't it?

Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 6 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

Super Hub laying out the facts of weight gain post-smoking and the measures folks can take to minimize that gain, as well as the reasons they shouldn't be too concerned if they can't. Plus, the news feeds are totally on spot. Thumbs up, Robie!

robie2 profile image

robie2 6 years ago from Central New Jersey Author

Thanks for stopping by ST and for the comment-- always good to see you :-)

katiem2 profile image

katiem2 6 years ago from I'm outta here

Good and honest report and thankfully with a counter approach. Hope many quit and get fit to boot!

Dolores Monet profile image

Dolores Monet 6 years ago from East Coast, United States

robie - since cigarette smoking is an addiction, maybe quitter should get a new addiction such as jogging, fast walking, or running. They'd have a goal, burn off calories, and feel good about themselves! Thumbs up on this one for sure!

robie2 profile image

robie2 6 years ago from Central New Jersey Author

Thanks katiem2.... I'm glad you like the hub and thanks for reading and commenting.

And Dolores-- good idea in principle, and in a way that is what I do suggest, but it isn't quite that easy--It's much easier to become addicted to eating when you quit smoking than it is to become addicted to exercise-- but smoking or not smoking-- if you get used to 30 minutes of cardio every day--and do it for at least three weeks in a row-- you just may become addicted to exercise which can result in its own problems for the truly addictive personality-- but that's another hub for another day.

Tammy Lochmann profile image

Tammy Lochmann 6 years ago

Great...Thanks for posting this some people don't understand that quitting smoking does decrease your metabolism...I know I have gained at least 26 pounds I even stopped weighing myself until last week when I discovered how much I actually weigh now. Also quitting lowers seratonin which can cause depression and hence no energy and loss of interest...I went through that too but now it's time to get moving and love being smoke free...and I do.

Thanks for posting this I am going to share this one....Tammy

robie2 profile image

robie2 6 years ago from Central New Jersey Author

Thanks for sharing your personal experience too, Tammy and congratulations on quitting. You reminded me of something important-- I did get depressed and lethargic when I first quit and had no idea that for really heavy smokers, nicotine is an anti depressant.... went to my Dr. who put me on a low dosage of Zoloft which did the trick. It was amazind and seemed to cut my appetite too-- stayed on it for about a year and then went off and was just fine. Thanks for reminding me-- I should go back and put some information about that in the hub. Thanks for reminding me and thanks for sharing:-)

De Greek profile image

De Greek 6 years ago from UK

A truly helpful hub. Well done. The 250 cal difference with the explanation is new to me and very important information

Cat 6 years ago

The advice to eat whatever you want is HORRIBLE!! You can quit AND actually lose weight, by keeping a food journal, reducing your caloric intake by 250 calories a day and working out. So many people go back to smoking because they hate the way they look after they quit, so why NOT focus on overall health, not just quitting, so you never go back? Telling people to eat whatever they want and not worry about it is very bad advice...people will relapse.

robie2 profile image

robie2 6 years ago from Central New Jersey Author

Actually, it is not horrible advice. A truly addicted smoker cannot concentrate on losing weight and not smoking at the same time. Trying to do so will result in failure at both. I would say keep a food journal and lose some weight before you quit smoking if you wish, but don't try to do both at once and don't freak if after you quit you gain back the weight you lost. Clearly,Cat, you are not a smoker and don't have a clue how hard quitting really is.

You wouldn't tell an anorexic or a bulimic who also had an exercise addiction to stop going to the gym while they got a handle on eating normally would you? It would doom both efforts to failure.

Anyone who would relapse and start smoking again because they gained 10 or 15 pounds has some serious eating disorder issues and body image issues that need to be addressed under separate cover -- it is far healthier to be a bit overweight and smokeless than smoking and thin.

fucsia profile image

fucsia 6 years ago

when I stopped smoking, I lost weight! Indeed I was afraid of gaining weight and therefore I increased my sporting activity (running) .The sport has supported my fight against smoking in many way!

robie2 profile image

robie2 6 years ago from Central New Jersey Author

Wow Fucsia-- that is wonderful. You are proof that it is possible to quit smoking and not gain weight. Certainly running or even just plain walking is a ticket to health in so many ways. Congratulations and thanks for sharing your experience here.

KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

KoffeeKlatch Gals 6 years ago from Sunny Florida

I gained weight when I stopped smoking a few years ago. It was harder to take it off than it was to put it on. Great advice, well written hub.

robie2 profile image

robie2 6 years ago from Central New Jersey Author

Thanks KoffeeKlatch-- I gained weight too and also found taking it off harder than putting it on-- but then isn't that always the way it is???Thanks for stopping by

Trinity2306 6 years ago

I already run 7kms 4 or 5 times a week and teach aerobics two days...I'm terrified that I'm going to gain weight now that I've quit. What else can I do??

robie2 profile image

robie2 6 years ago from Central New Jersey Author

Well, I would say make that 4 or 5 times 5 or 6 times a week and add some weight bearing exercise-- free weights or circuit training or a gym workout. This will build muscle which will up your metabolism. Most of all, don't panic if you gain a few pounds. They will come off and most people don't gain a whole lot. In your case, you already must be in good physical shape.If you add some weight bearing exercise you will be fine-- it really is worth it to be smoke free. Don't be scared:-)

Michael Jay profile image

Michael Jay 6 years ago

Wow! This is a very good hub about how to quit smoking, robie2. I really liked the way presented all the valuable information and how you added nice images on your hub. Thank you so much for sharing this terrific hub!

robie2 profile image

robie2 6 years ago from Central New Jersey Author

and thank yoou Michael Jay, for taking the time to read and comment

ripplemaker profile image

ripplemaker 6 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

A friend of mine told me this too--gaining weight when she quit smoking. Now I am crossing my fingers that my other dear friend will quit smoking sometime soon! LOL ANd when she worries about gaining weight, I'll forward this to her. Thanks robie!

robie2 profile image

robie2 6 years ago from Central New Jersey Author

Thanks ripplemaker-- may all your friends manage to quit-- it is soooooo worth it in the long run. Thanks for stopping by and commenting. So good to see you:-)

iluvceleb 6 years ago

actually i don't smoke but I knew someone who used smoking as alternative way to keep trim figure :D

robie2 profile image

robie2 6 years ago from Central New Jersey Author

Yup-- nicotine does keep you trip, problem is it does a lot of other things too and cigarettes are a rather expensive diet plan :D

Christine Hornsby 5 years ago

Thank you I just read this and it was very helpful I have been quit a little over a month now and I have gained some weight I can feel it. I am 45 and smoked for 26 years I have done so well I am worried about the weight I am glad I read this I think I will increase my activity and not panic over my weight it's to soon. Thanks!!

talktofast 5 years ago from England


robie2 profile image

robie2 5 years ago from Central New Jersey Author

Well, talktofast-- that's quite a forceful statement for which there are many pros and cons--we tried prohibiting alcohol in the 1920's and it was a disaster and I don't think the " war on drugs" has exactly been a big success either. Thanks for adding your voice here though-- much appreciated.

talktofast 5 years ago from England

Thanks robie, have you read my hub tobacco giants stunt your growth? Governments of the world would legalise anything if they thought they could tax it and make it socially acceptable. cigarettes and alcahol are big money makers. Nicotene is more addictive than heroin.

robie2 profile image

robie2 5 years ago from Central New Jersey Author

I haven't read your hub, talktofast, but I definitely will do so and yes, you are right, nicotine is more addictive than heroin-- at least that is what an ex smoker who is also a former heroin addict told me. He said that he found it harder to kick cigarettes than heroin. I do know that the same pleasure centers of the brain are involved so it is probably true.

PaulGoodman67 profile image

PaulGoodman67 5 years ago from Florida USA

I put on lots of weight when I quit, mainly because I ate and drank more. I still didn't regret quitting smoking though! I am losing weight though now. I was actually too thin to be healthy when I smoked as I would smoke instead of eating proper meals sometimes!

robie2 profile image

robie2 5 years ago from Central New Jersey Author

I put on weight too, but then eventually lost much of it and like you have never regretted giving up smoking. My doctor said I would have had to gain 100 lbs or more to equal the health damage that smoking was doing to my body.

khmohsin profile image

khmohsin 5 years ago from London,UK

This information is great! I've been looking for tips to Quit Smoking that may help. Thank you!

robie2 profile image

robie2 5 years ago from Central New Jersey Author

and thank you for reading and taking the time to comment, khmohsin-- good for you. Quitting is tough, but it is well worth it. I promise.

glassvisage profile image

glassvisage 5 years ago from Northern California

My mom kept eating carrots so she could have something in her mouth other than cigarettes... I think she transitioned just fine! :)

robie2 profile image

robie2 5 years ago from Central New Jersey Author

That's good to hear, glass visage-- it is possible to do but takes concentration-- kudos to your mom and nice to see you :-)

DJ Funktual profile image

DJ Funktual 5 years ago from One Nation Under a Groove

Okay, here's my truth to share. I don't smoke cigarettes but I can tell that when I quit smoking pot to save money for my wedding I blew up pretty good and fat. After the honeymoon I started smoking again and thankfully returned to normal size. Funny thing is, all my wedding pictures are of a fat me that nobody really knows. lol

robie2 profile image

robie2 5 years ago from Central New Jersey Author

Now That is interesting, DJ-- haven't smoked pot in years, but seem to remember I got famished when I smoked not the other way around-- oh well, congrats on your marriage. Maybe you should write a book called " The Marijuana Diet" :-))) with recipes of course.

Midasfx profile image

Midasfx 5 years ago

DJ , I have also been there. I quit smoking cigs and pot and I quickly gained weight, i think about 40 lbs. Brought me up to 190. That was about 2 years ago, I have been living a healthier life and got my weight back down to around 160. But quitting smoking ( and I loved to smoke ^_^ ) was one of the best decisions I have ever made.

robie2 profile image

robie2 5 years ago from Central New Jersey Author

Midasfx-- thanks for sharing that-- this is really interesting. I need to research connections between smoking pot and weight gain-- wonder if others have had this experience. I never smoked enough pot for it to make a difference, but I was a 3 pack a day smoker of cigarettes and put on 60 lbs when I quit.

liked my new healthier lifestyle and lost about half the weight eventually and just learned to live as a slightely heavier but healtheir person for the rest of it.

medwalls 5 years ago

super cool hub

very nice

robie2 profile image

robie2 5 years ago from Central New Jersey Author

Thanks medwalls, and I just checked out your blog-- very nice and filled with solid information about obesity. I'll go on over and do a bit more checking when I have more time. Thanks for stopping by

Becks 5 years ago

Hi. My name is Rebekka, im 18 and in the middle of stopping smoking. I actually stopped smoking to help gain weight because im around 45kg and im underweight for my age. Ive been smoking since i was 11, and i just wanted to know how long it will take me to put on weight?

jewbird 5 years ago

Many thanks

productwhiz profile image

productwhiz 5 years ago from Florida

Very informative hub quitting smoking can be a tough thing to do but the reward doubles its worth. i just lost over 10pounds by kicking out a lot of my bad habits

My story

lazko profile image

lazko 5 years ago from the Earth

Great and useful Hub! Thank you. I stopped to smoke in the past and did really increased my weight. It was due to the amount of food I used to eat while I was without nicotine. I think if you increase your physical activity it all will be fine and regular. That was what I did and it worked for me.

robie2 profile image

robie2 5 years ago from Central New Jersey Author

Thanks for reading and commenting, lazko-- and congratulations on your achievement.

steve 4 years ago

i am trying to pack up smoking and feel like crying what's the best way to take my mind off it.

robie2 profile image

robie2 4 years ago from Central New Jersey Author

Hey Steve-- just remember it will pass. Best thing to do with the mood swings is activity-- run, walk, swim, go work out at the gym, whatever. Drink lots of water and remember that the feeling will pass. Stick with it and good luck

diane245 4 years ago

I am about 4 or 5 days into it, quit because I couldn't taste them because of some med the dr gave me..I want one but am trying toi ride it out God I feel like I am going crazy..having weird memories but at least my brain is working,, some scared feelings is it normal Thank you

robie2 profile image

robie2 4 years ago from Central New Jersey Author

It is all about withdrawal, diane and as long as you do not smoke even one, it will pass. Hang in.

There are lots of online message boards and forums where you can find fellow sufferers and get information. Here's a link that may help

vickey 4 years ago

I quit smoking 3 months ago.. 13 weeks and 2 days to be exact. Ive gained little weight, but ive also been real sick for about 10 weeks, on antibiotics and medication.. i smoked for ten years.. im 22 and started when i was 12 what made me really want to quit was having a dream i had lung cancer, the next morning i woke up and quit cold turkey.. im getting a little better.. just need to do something to control the stress.. i ended up with a total of 10 infections since i quit, and possibly my 11th now.. ill find out more tomorrow.. but nice post, i was just reading it for the hell of it, basically bc i wanted to know more information. Bc everytime i go to the doctors im a pound or two more heavier.. my normal weight is 108 and today i was weighed at 118 with sneakers on.. but u cant really see it, plus i have a 2 year old.. and i also plan on starting yoga soon. Congrats to all you ex-smokers, i had it easy i guess bc i became sick, so i didn't really crave one.

robie2 profile image

robie2 4 years ago from Central New Jersey Author

Congrats to you too, Vickey and I hope number 11 is the last infection you have. Good luck to you and thanks for taking the time to read and comment.

John 4 years ago

Hey Robie, this is a great hub, thank you for the information. I have a question to ask, I just recently quit smoking (Thank god) and I'm actually severely underweight (Male, 6ft, 140 pounds) so I was wondering if there's a way that I could leverage my cessation into about 30 pounds of weight without being unhealthy? Thank you.

robie2 profile image

robie2 4 years ago from Central New Jersey Author

Well, John, that's the first time I've heard that one-- but I imagine you will put on a few pounds just in the normal course of quitting and having a better appetite along with a slower metabolism. If you don't gain weight just from having quit, you might want to consult a nutritionist or nutritionally oriented physician. In any case, gain or lose--- congratulations on having quit. It's a big step.

hardtoquit 4 years ago

Ive been smoking for 14 years Im 26. I actually dont smoke that much i smoke less then a half pack a day but its still so hard to put it down in even talking about it it makes me want one. Im scared though because three people in my family are all ill from smoking cigeretes i want so bad to quite. is quiting cold turkey really possible? and what would you say is an ideal quite day? should i quite on a day when i have no work or would working help me to make it threw the days with out wanting it? at the beginging you were saying that if you smoke over a pack a day you'll gain wait but what about people who smoke less is there no garrentte that you wont gain weight?

robie2 profile image

robie2 4 years ago from Central New Jersey Author

Hi hardtoquit-- wow you started young so no wonder quitting seems daunting. I would absolutely urge to you quit. Cold turkey is hard but possible and some people say it is the best way to go. I was never able to do it though I tried many times. There is no ideal quit day, but I would urge you to prepare for quitting by scouting various sites and support groups online( there are tons of them) and by setting a specific date. Get all cigarettes and smoking paraphanalia out of your house and don't be around smokers for the first few days--you can choose to go to work or stay home for the first couple of days, depends on you--either way it is important to not have even one puff. As for weight-- everyone is different. Most people do gain at least a few pounds but a few do not. Generally speaking heavy smokers tend to gain more, but like you say, there are no guarantees. Here's a link to another hub I wrote with some tips for quitting based on my own experience. Hope it helps a bit and good luck. Let me know how it's going. I have my fingers crossed for you

Abdu 4 years ago

hello , i want to thank you for this beautiful article its one of the best i have read .. but i have a very big problem :( i am a student pilot 22yo (5y smoker) and had a surgery on my left hand(tendon repair) 2 weeks ago and had to stop smoking (cig and pot) to increase the healing process as i have limited time or else i will lose my job :(( the problm is i already gained 4kg(9Ibs) in 10 days cuz i spend most of my sitting in front of the laptop eating sweets (finished a jar of nutella in 4 days :D and i cant do sport or even walking until i remove the cast .. so what can i do to prevent turning into a BIG FAT bear????? :( i bought many fruits and zero fat yougrt as you said but what else .. thanks for your time

Abdu 4 years ago

i forgot to mention that i am very happy with quitting i feel like Iam FREE again .. i just want to keep my sexy body :D because it took me so long to get in shape .. thanx again

robie2 profile image

robie2 4 years ago from Central New Jersey Author

Oh Abdu-- you have got a real challenge there and I relate to scarfing down the Nutella. My main advice would be to not use this as an excuse to start smoking again because it will pass and if you start to smoke, you'll only have to quit all over again later.

The weight will come off.It really will but right now your body is adjusting bigtime. I'd say drink lots of water and get the nutella out of the house and try chewing sugarless gum, but don't be surprised at your weight gain. Just buy some new clothes and get ready to walk, swim, go to the gym or do whatever it takes once the cast is off and you are healed.

Good luck and don't worry-- the weight WILL come off eventually.

Marty 4 years ago

THANK YOU!! I'm off the smokes over a year. I put on 14 pounds and it seems to have leveled off at that. Then a heinous thought of beginning smoking again to lose weight crept into my head. I happened upon this article in an attempt to see which is better, being overweight-some or a smoker. You have removed my "back to smoking idea." Many thanks... I'll live with 14 pounds extra for now.

robie2 profile image

robie2 4 years ago from Central New Jersey Author

Hi Marty-and congats on getting off cigs. Hang in, 14 lbs isn't so much and I bet you will unload it in another year or so. Smoking again is definitely a baaaaad idea :-)

waytostopsmoking profile image

waytostopsmoking 4 years ago

Excellent hub with useful advice. Good work!

robie2 profile image

robie2 4 years ago from Central New Jersey Author

Thank you waytostopsmoking-- I see by your name that you too know something about this topic-- thanks for stopping by and for the kind words as well.

diya22 4 years ago

hi im a smoker and im 22 years old i have been smoking since ivr been 12years old it have been keeping my weight down alot but i want to gain weight and quit somking can u please help me

robie2 profile image

robie2 4 years ago from Central New Jersey Author

Hi diya-- I would say concentrate on quitting smoking first and don't worry about the weight. If you are really active you may not gain much or any at all and it will come off once your body adjusts to doing without nicotine. Just tackle one thing at a time. Get off the cigarettes first. There is lots of help out there for quitting and lots of ways to do it. Just start and take it one step at a time. The best I can do for you is to wish you good luck and much success.

nicole 4 years ago

hi,Im a 36 year young female who has been smoking for about twenty years im weighing around 120lbs.and i have decided to quit for the sake of gaining weight with all these different comments im sure to get exactly what i want from this.Thanx looks like ill be just fine

Sylvia 4 years ago

Thanks so much for this info. I quit a little over 1 month ago and around the same time I had a cortisone shot in my back. Since then I have gained 13 lbs and still going. I thought it was due to the cortisone shot but the Dr. kept telling me it should not cause weight gain. So I talked to a nurse that quit and she said she gained 30 lbs in one month after she quit. I have started working out again but I seem to be hungry all the time! I can't wait till this levels out because I can't afford new clothes. I used my cigarette money to join the gym!

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robie2 4 years ago from Central New Jersey Author

Congrats on quitting Sylvia and don't stop now. It will level out. It just takes time-- I know you just want to chew on something all the time LOL. It's the blood sugar thing. All I can say is keep working out-- never never go without breakfast and try to chomp on stuff that isn't too fattening-- plain unbuttered popcorn is good if you like it. Fills you up.... just don't stop now. Whatever you do don't smoke even one cigarette and don't worry-- It will come off and you will feel better. I promise.

Foxy 4 years ago

Well I am female 57 yrs old never had a weight problem and then I quit smoking Aug 2 2011, It has been the hardest thing I ever did . I have gained 30 pounds and it sucks, I have started working out 3 times a week at the jym , I babysit a 18 month old toddler, and i am still gaining. I have learned that food taste great.. I smoked 30 or so smokes a day before and hardly ate anything , so after 8 months I am really working on losing this dam weight. Last time I tried quitting I got this far and hated the weight thing ,,, I am going to get past it this time and not SMOKE , I will get to the year this time and lose the weight ,,,, wish me luck and I do feel better , just fat

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robie2 4 years ago from Central New Jersey Author

Good luck Foxy--Don't quit now-- the hardest part is behind you and the weight WILL come off eventually. Keep going to the gym and buy some larger clothes. You smoked for many years, it is just going to take your body a little more time to re-adjust.

Don't confuse cigarette cravings with being hungry-- it's easy to do. I just wrote another hub with more tips on weight loss for ex smokers. Here's the url. Go have a look and be patient with yourself.

I was about the age you are when I quit--it takes older bodies a bit more time to adjust, but really, it is soooooo worth it. Please don't give up. I'm pulling for you.

Stacy8 4 years ago

I quit smoking 3 months ago and I've gained 8 pounds! I'm very concerned about my weight & this gain is a huge problem for me. I do & have exercised - walk 5-7 miles 5-6 times a week and try to fit Zumba in when possible. I watch my calorie intake and still can't seem to get back to my original weight. I'm doing good with the smoke free thing it's just the weight thats depressing the crap out of me!

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robie2 4 years ago from Central New Jersey Author

Just keep doing what you are doing Stacy8, and don't worry. If you hadn't been walking and watching calories, you would probably have gained more. It has only been three months. Your body is still getting used to being smoke free. It will give up those pounds more easily in a little time-- don't get depressed, just congratulate yourself on being smoke free and wait at least another six months-- I bet you will start to shed a few pounds by then. 8 lbs is really not bad at all.

4 years ago

That sucks for those who gain. I quit in February and have since lost 5lbs. I only have desire to smoke when I see others doing it, so I probably was never actually addicted.

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robie2 4 years ago from Central New Jersey Author

That is totally great, M and thanks for sharing. It is important for people to know that some people have an easier time quitting than others and I'd like to add that easy or hard, it's a real achievement to quit so congratulations.

Shazza 4 years ago

Shazza, hi I stopped smoking 3 Mths ago and it's getting me so p###ed of as I have put on 10 lbs. I go running 2/3 times a wk and I am eating health, but got to admit I have started snacking, really crave sweet things so joined gym this wk to try and do more exercise. If this doesn't work I'll be back to smoking again.

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robie2 2 years ago from Central New Jersey Author

Don't do it, Shazza-- you've worked so hard to kick cigarettes. Please don't light up even one. It is not the solution. Up the time you spend at the gym and go buy yourself some roomier clothes. The weight will come off eventually. Just give it time. It's hard to feel less attractive because of the extra pounds, but in the long run, you will will be more attractive without the smoker's cough and lousy teeth and smokey smelly hair and notice I am not even mentioning the " C" word. Please just give it time.

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kenyaentrepreneur 2 years ago from All Over

Holy cow! I had no idea!

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abidareacode 2 years ago from Areacode , Kerala, India

It is interesting to know that quitting from smoking increases weight. Thanks for sharing this.As an experienced person I think you should raise your voice against the companies that provide this injurious substances to people.

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robie2 2 years ago from Central New Jersey Author

thank you kenyaentrepreneur and abidareacode for reading and commenting. Every voice is heard I think, and every experience is valid. The companies that manufacture nicotine gum and lozenges know the risks. They are not going to stop manufacturing their products, nor should they, since these can be helpful in giving up cigarettes...... but that said, we all need to know what the risks are and that the power of nicotine addiction is very strong.

telatubby 18 months ago

I recently stop smoking 4 months ago I have been on steroids since January for respiratory problems with this being said I have put on 30 plus pounds I'm not smoking and my respiratory problems are healed but now I look like a Teletubby very distraught and depressed with my new body I feel trapped inside and can't make my way out I have cut downto 1600 calories a day and walk 2 miles a day r should I say waddle

Andrea Luciano 7 months ago

I've gained 30 lbs. I'm freaking out. I'm only 5'2. Ppl are wondering!!!

JaneM 6 months ago

What a fantastic read!! i,ve been searching every where for something that makes sense and finally found it here, almost 4 wks smoke free and 10 lbs heavier, avid gym member, weigh watchers member.. i guess the key is to keep doing what i,m doing and let my body adjust?

kellen 5 months ago

Everyone I know who's quit smoking has gained weight and only one has lost any of it. Their habits and diets are better, but they're still carrying an extra ten to thirty-five pounds.

My doctor told me 'eat what you like: when your body stabilizes, the weight will come right back off'. She was wrong: I may have better habits and a healthier diet, but I've still got thirty of the forty pounds, and more people snarking at me about being fat than ever complained about my smoking.

I'm giving it another month, and if it doesn't change, I'll be back to smoking. The anti-depressants haven't done a thing (three different meds at different doses), and I might as well die of cancer as an obesity-related heart attack.

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robie2 5 months ago from Central New Jersey Author

Hi Teletubby, Andrea, Jane and Kellen... sorry I haven't replied to comments here in weeks not days. My bad. Anyway, thank you all for reading and sharing your personal stories. I gained a lot of weight when I quit-- the number of pounds doesn't matter but the feeling of being FAT does. It really is discourging to eat 1600 calories and work out daily at the gym and not lose even one pound...... but listen.... if you stick with it, it will help you not gain any more and I really promise you the weight will eventually come off. It may take it may take weeks, months or even a year or more before this happens, but it will happen. And you won't feel any better about yourself if you start smoking again. I promise you that too. So relax, give yourself a pat on the back for quitting, buy some new clothes a size larger and keep going to the gym. BTW Weight Watchers is a wonderful program. I recommend it highly.

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