Weight Loss
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Gained 20 pounds in 2 months?


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I'm just looking for anopinion.  I'm 26 and I just quit smoking (3 months ago today).  I had been a light smoker for about 6 years.  I have always been very aware of my weight and what I consume.  I have a small frame and haven't really had to exercise to stay at a reasonable weight, however, I have gained 20 pounds since I quit smoking.  I have not been eating more, actually less/more heathy, and have slightly increased my exercise.  I've gone to my endocrinologist thinking it may be due to a thyroid condition, but everything was fine there.  My gyno gave me a clean bill of heath too.  I've always been told that a significant weight gain in a short amount of time is something to be weary of, but no one seems to be concerned.  Is it just me, or does something seem strange.  I was prepared for some weight gain when quitting, but 20 pounds seems a little excessive.  Any information or opinions on this would be appreciated. 
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#1  
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Well done on packing in the cigarettes.  Excellent, very good for you.  I packed in 3 years ago and they have been the best ever.  Don't worry bout putting on 20lb.  Your metabolism slows when you stop smoking, as the nasty nicotine increases your heart rate to an un-natural level.  Your body is adjusting, take up some exercise to increase it again and you'll be fine.  Good luck, and whatever you do - don't start the cigs again, they are much worse for you than carrying a bit of extra weight.  The single most important thing you can do to improve your health my doctor advised me.
I have no medical background, so I have no idea why if you're not eating more, you're still doing everything the same, that you're gaining 20 pounds in 2 months.  Perhaps there's some type of body / nicotine  connection?  No clue, sorry :(

Are you SURE your habits haven't changed though?  Are you still counting cals as such?  Perhaps it's something that's changed ever so slightly in the diet that may have caused?

Just tossing out suggestions, not really sure myself.
My mate gave up smoking and had exactly the same thing! So now i can tell her why!

Did you give up the smoking same time you joined?
The only thing that has changed since quitting has been my consumption of alcohol.  It's gone up a bit, but upon realizing the calories in each ounce, I've drastically cut back and compensated by burning more calories when I do drink.  Thanks for the input.  I'll keep going and hope that my metabolism decides to get it's act together and work with me, not against me. 
I ma not sure wheather you are a male or female.

but as far as i know if you are a female and your period does not come for a month or two, it maty cause an exceesive weight gain. (happen to my wife before). and it may be a normal thing to happen because of stress or whatever!!

does this help?
I am female, and I've always had irregular periods (not getting them for several months at a time) but in the last 3 months it's come and won't go away.  So, I'm thinking that's not the problem.  I wish it was that simple.  Thanks for your input though!

One other thing is that I've been increasingly exausted during the day.  So much so that it's nearly impossible to find any energy to workout in the afternoon.  Any ideas on low calorie, high energy foods that I can eat to give a boost and help me through the day?
Hi...quit smoking 3 months ago myself so I can relate.  I gained 10 IMMMEDIATELY after I quit, which I found was mostly water.  I went on a low GI diet and lost the excess weight in no time.  (Now, 3 months later, I've gained it back as fat by pigging out...have an oral fixation, I guess.)

After talking to people on other message boards, I found it's not uncommon for your body to "freak out" and retain a bunch of water after you quit.  One woman said she went to her doctor in tears and they said nothing was wrong...the excess water went away a few months later.   

Hope that helps, and stay smoke-free! :)
quit smoking four months ago, and consistently gained a pound a day, I am now going down. my mom-n-law is a nurse, she says your body definitly goes crazy, plus nicotine is an appetite supressant and smoking burns around 200 calories a day. I am only 35 years old and smoked a pack a day for 20 years. i feel so much better. just keep up the eating right and the excercising stay positive and it will end, PROMISE, my nurse says so :-). great job on the not smoking also, that's alwasys the best thing to hear. hope that helps
I have noticed that I have been retaining water a lot!  I have attributed some of the weight to that, but it may be more than I think.  I'll have to see if I can shead some of those pounds and see where I stand at that point.  I appreciate your input.  It's nice to have my suspicions validated. 
ugh...i want to quit smoking but i dont want to gain weight. i always thought people gained weight because they ate more food to keep thier mouth occupied.

if it has to do with a metabolism thing then that sucks.

i would really love to quit but id like to get my eating and working out in order first so that im prepared when i do quit. id like to get into good habits full force/stick with one vice ...and then deal with the smoking.

i know that its probably better to not smoke and get healthier with that...rather than trying to get the body i want first.. but ahhh its a tough thing =[
WOW!  CONGRATULATIONS on quitting!  That is truly a huge step.  Im a med student and we have learned that the average smoker takes 7 times b/f he/she finally quits...so that is truly an awesome step you took. 

I do agree with fonz94.  Nicotine actually causes ur heart rate and metabolism to increase.  And I'm pretty sure that when u quit, ur body wd have retained some water as well as gone into a "hey what happened to that?" mode. 

No worries please! It'll go down in due time.  Watch what ur eating...the food journals always help-sometimes u may be munching on something without realizing it, do the recomended amnt of exercise (about 30 min of aerobic exercise 5 days a week), sleep well, watch ur portion size, and chew on gum!  YES chew on gum....it helps ur mouth and lips do something for a while-so u know u wont munch on anything!  Also drinking the recomended amt of water wil probably help u....

Hope that helps. 
So, consistancy and persistence are the way to go, huh?  It's so hard for me because I have always been "naturally thin" (it's bs).  Now, I'm counting calories and working out.  I guess my lifestyle change is going to be harder than I anticipated.  It's so nice to have support, even from people who don't know you.  I'm going to do what it takes to get rid of this weight, but when I do, I'll be healthier than I ever have been, smoke-free and in shape, instead of thin and hacking.  I'm going to stick to this forum during the whole journey for the guidance and support that I've received today.  Thanks everyone!
#13  
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You may want to look into PCOS (poly cystic ovarian syndrome).  Talk to your endo - that weight gain is not normal...happenned to me as well when I was 21 (non-smoker though)...PCOS suspected...
I quit smoking 6 months ago, and I put on 30lb!!! you may not think that you are eating more but you probably are?

Track your food in a diary and see what you are actually eating, I found i didnt stop eating hence why i put the weight on!

I have found as well being a non smoker the wieght is harder to shift this time, but exercise is so much easier now im not weezing!

Good luck, I am 9lb away from being back where i started and I only quit 6 months ago, besides which i feel FANTASTIC!! I feel 100 times better now at the heaviest ive ever been than i ever did as a 175lb smoker!
Hello,

I have gained 2 lbs and i know that is not much it stil bothers me.....my measurementS ARE CHEST 32

waist 26

hips 31

and i weigh 123 at 5, 3 do you think these measurements and weight are ok for someone of my height?

Also i am 31 years old trying to get pregnant again.

HAve a great day...time for my workout:)
sory, i didn't mean to post this under your topic of concern  fonz94. by the way congrats on quiting smoking.........hurray!!
I gained 15-20 lbs over the course of two months last year - but this was BEFORE I quit smoking. I didn't gain anything once I quit (but I also didn't lose anything for awhile, despite starting an exercise program and eating less).

Why did I gain that weight so rapidly, after a decade of holding steady at one weight? Like you, I went to the doctors and had all the tests run. Nobody could tell me why I had gained it. I hadn't been eating any differently than I had for a decade - I tracked my diet and brought in the records for proof. I suspected it was the nexium they put me on around the same time - although my doctor still says it wasn't that. Are you on any meds?

If it wasn't the med, then my only conclusion is that the years of not exercising simply finally caught up to me!! Here's how that works:

Let's say you reached age 18 at the peak of your lean mass. Your bones were strong and dense, and you had lots of muscle. You don't say how much you wiegh, but for simplicity let's say at age 18 you weighed 125 with 18% body fat.

If you never really exercised from age 18 until recently, you would slowly lose lean mass over time. It happens to all of us, once we reach adulthood, if we don't take active steps to prevent this slow loss. Active steps = cardio and weight training and healthy diet with no yo-yoing.

As you slowly lost lean mass, your body composition slowly changed - your body fat percentage increased while the lean mass (muscle, bone) decreased. If you weren't overeating your weight would have stayed about the same, 125, despite this changing composition.

Reach a certain point and you've lost enough lean mass that your metabolism changes. That's because muscle burns more calories than fat, even while sleeping. At a certain point, the amount you ate at 18 was too much, even at the same weight of 125. Two people of the same weight have different calorie requirements if one has higher lean mass and the other has lower. The more lean mass, the more you can eat without gaining.

So it may seem like "suddenly" at age 26 your weight ballooned. But it was actually a very long process since age 18. The scale did indeed jump dramatically when it reached the tipping point. Add in there a little more alcohol than usual, and quitting smoking, and there you go!

Also if you have ever been on a calorie-restricted diet before - if you have a history of extreme diets and yo-yoing - this will accelerate the loss of lean mass and the whole process.
Nicotine increases your BMR. (Yes, it's true. So do methamphetamine and cocaine. Doesn't mean it's a good idea though.) When you quit smoking you have to eat a little less than you did while you were smoking in order to avoid gaining. Most people can compensate by building a bit more muscle, and that will bump the BMR back up (as well as making one look smokin' hot). 

Nicotine is an anti-diuretic, so the water balance thing is a bit more complicated. However, it would make sense that it could inhibit the body's own ADH (anti-diuretic hormone) and so when it is taken away your ADH spikes back up and you retain more water. I haven't looked this up though.
Jenmcc - I think you're probably right on with your theory.  I certainly have seen my body's composition change since being at my top physical state around 20.  At that point I was technically under weight, had very little body fat and lots of muscle.  I met my fiance (happy eating) and started smoking regularly (lost energy) which resulted in an initial weight gain which I lost through a very restrictive diet.  After loosing some of the weight I was back to a managable size, but my definition was gone and so was my energy.  Since that time I've basically maintained a relatively restrictive diet with little to no exercise.  It's all catching up now.  I think it was bound to happen and when I quit smoking it all just crashed to the floor.  The balancing act I had been doing for years crumbled.  

As far as the Polycystic Ovarian Symdrome, I've had a few ultrasounds done and that's been ruled out already.   Thanks for the idea though.

I really appreciate all the input.  A light has been shed on things I have suspected but refused to believe.  Thanks guys.

Im so glad you posted this and got all these answers. I just joined today because of my smoning weight gain. I am about 12 lbs heavier and I am on day 35. It is scary to gain weight so quickly and Im glad to have faith that not all of it is how I am eating. I do believe my body is "freaking out" becuase Ive never had this happen before, esp since I am not doing anything differently. thank you so much for the post!

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