Discussion created by Giulia Champion on Nov 22, 2009





    * Posted by Ben on January 22, 2009 at 7:19pm in RELAPSE TRAPS

Im trying to quit smoking by using the patch and shear determination. Ive noticed today that im extremely hungry. I cant wait till I can taste and smell again. One of my biggest smoking triggers is hunger. When I was hungry I used to light up and the hunger pangs would subside. I lost over fifty pounds when I started smoking. My body weight leveled out at 180 pounds and has been the same for the last 4 years. Im not worried about gaining a few pounds. It feals good to eat again. Does anyone know why cigarettes suppress a persons appettite or is it the whole hand to mouth habit that makes former smokers gain weight?


Replies to This Discussion

Giulia Permalink Reply by Giulia on January 22, 2009 at 9:51pm
    1. My doctor told me that cigarettes do not change your metabolism in a significant way. Not enough to make you gain weight when you quit.

    2. My husband stopped and gained not an ounce.

    For me, I found that cigarettes did suppress my appetite. Probably due to the fact that it numbed my taste buds and dulled my sense of smell. And ingesting that amount of various poisons would, I might surmise, create a lack of appetite.

    If you're not worried about gaining weight, I find it odd you would ask this particular question.

    Food for me was a trigger. Not hunger, per se, but food. Any food. Eat a piece of toast, I'd want a cigarette, eat a carrot, ditto. I always wanted to smoke after I ate ANYTHING. It was like a dessert after every meal, that cigarette. No matter how small the meal. Almost the same response that smoking marijuana had in making us all have the munchies (way back when). Except with cigarettes the craving wasn't just after eating. It was first thing in the morning when I got up, with my several cups of coffee, after breakfast, half an hour later, half an hour after that, fifteen minutes later, outside when I took that break, driving in my car, before watching a movie, before going to a non-smoking friend's house....etc., etc.

    I know. I'm going onto other subjects. Sorry. But no, I'm not. Because the title of your post "Hunger" isn't just for food. It's for cigarettes too.

    Know that when you can taste and smell again, your enjoyment and probably desire for food will increase. Just like you manage your quit, you must then manage the consequences of it.


Ben Permalink Reply by Ben on January 23, 2009 at 6:24pm
    I asked the question because yesterday after work I was eating every thing in sight and was still hungry. I would have to agree that the poisons in the cigarette smoke probably is the cause of a persons appetite to go down. Before I quit smoking I was eating like a bird. As soon as I would wake up in the morning I would have a cigarette in my mouth even before I got out of bed. I found every excuse you can think of to smoke a cigarette. If I was awake I had a cigarette in my hand. I had all the classic triggers ie driving, stress, boredom, drinking, eating, work, watching tv, etc.
    Today is my second day not smoking. I caught myself feeling my pockets this morning walking out the door for work making sure I had my cigarettes and lighter with me. Of course I came up empty handed. Through out the day today I caught myself pausing or reaching for a cigarette that I didnt have. Overall the Day went good. I had some cravings but didnt cheat myself out of breathing clean air. I havent been stuffing my face as much today either .


Giulia Permalink Reply by Giulia on January 23, 2009 at 8:07pm
    Ya know - this is a learning process. For all of us. And it's an on-going learning process. I never stop learning about how to remain smoke free - even after three months shy of a three year quit. That's one of the reasons I stay connected to this support group. I was with a another support group that dwindled down to nothing before this. And if this one died tomorrow, I'd find another. Because I don't trust myself to do this on my own. I need constant reminders. Because I'm a cigarette addict. Not a nicotine addict, a cigarette addict. And all THAT implies. And all that implies - is - the psychological addiction to it. Nicotine addiction? Are you kidding me. That's not what this is about. It's about belief. And believing that it relieves stress, believing that it keeps us from gaining weight, believing we need it for whatever darn reason we believe it cures us of, stress, anger, believing it tastes good.... All lies. But all truths too. For in smoking and inhabiting that world for as long as we have, it HAS become true for us. Belief creates matter. Belief creates what IS for us. That is why, I think, it is so hard for some of us to relieve ourselves of this addiction. Because we have turned it into a belief system of sorts. That and the fact that it DOES create a "high." It does alter our brains. FACT. And that high feels good. And we, obviously, want it again and again and again. And when we don't get it, we feel deprived.

    But then I go back to this thinking: before I started smoking, before I became addicted to it, before it altered my brain chemistry - I never wanted, nor needed, nor craved, nor felt denied, nor couldn't handle stress any better, nor was I a slave. I could take a break and not think about a cigarette, I could finish a meal and give a cigarette not a thought in the world. I could have an argument and didn't know a cigarette might make it feel better. I could be on the phone and not have a cigarette in my hand nor even contemplate the fact of such. I lived my life without the thought of smoking in it. Wow. And wasn't that a beautiful time. I was a child, and free. I didn't need to feel proud that I didn't smoke. I simply didn't WANT one. I had tried them when I was five, stole a pack from my mother and thought they tasted really BAD.

    So what happened? Life happens. And we need to prove ourselves, or become like the "in crowd," or we need to experiment and try all there is to try. The trouble is, when you try this, when you've not gotten your "high" the first time, you try again. Because there must be SOMETHING you're missing, because everyone else is enjoying it. So, you try again. And each time you try again, it gets easier to inhale all those poisons. And every additional time you inhale those poisons, they finally get ya. Because they've literally altered your brain.

    They got ME. For many, many years. Too many. But I'm one of the lucky ones. Thus far. I don't have a picture of myself as an avatar with oxygen tubes connected to my nose, as one brave lady I know put up for all to see. Because someone loved me enough to continuously badger me until I finally gave up and tried to quit - for him (wanting to KILL him every time he badgered me) - I am heading into a three year quit. This quit of mine is every fragile. Why? Because I know I could start again in a heartbeat. Why? Because the "idea" of smoking, the remembrance of the pleasure it gave me is every present. This is my truth. I tell it. Because I know there are others like me out there. And it may help. If this truth frightens a newbie, I'm sorry. If it helps an oldbie, like me, I'm glad.

    I'm not out there in the world gloating about my quit. Not one of those who goes to a movie and thinks about how grateful I am to not be one of those who are huddled outside prior to the movie, smoking their last. That thought really doesn't occur to me any more. I wish I COULD smoke without consequences. I enjoyed it. I really did. That chemical concoction inhaled after dinner meals was really pleasant. It was not pleasant at the end of the day after smoking too many before bed, however. Dry mouth, unpleasant taste. Phlegm the morning after. But I did it anyway. Just like you did or do.

    I'm grateful that I don't smoke any more. But I still want one. But I won't have one. Because I'm grateful I don't smoke any more. And if you understand that, you'll understand my particular quit.


Chris Hollis Permalink Reply by Chris Hollis on January 25, 2009 at 9:15am
    I totally and completely relate to what you've said here. I quit for six freaking years and started again because I did ENJOY certain aspects of smoking. It obviously had nothing to do with the nicotine addiction at that point and everything to do with cigarette addiction.

    Anyway, I'm determined to make smoking a thing of the past. I've not gotten involved with the site after signing up and that was a mistake!

    Thanks for a great post.


Giulia Permalink Reply by Giulia on January 25, 2009 at 8:02pm
    Then you stay plugged into us, Chris. There are so many people on here just waiting to help you beat this thing once again.


Ben Permalink Reply by Ben on January 25, 2009 at 7:10pm
    Great post!


kitty g Permalink Reply by kitty g on April 17, 2009 at 1:31pm
    I can relate also to this. I don't know what it is about a cigarette that is soooo hard to break, either the nicotine or the cigarette itself, but i haven't smoked for over 8 wks, and still crave them. Really bad at times. I hate to admit this, but I smoked crack for 3 yrs, and I can honestly say that quitting cigarettes is alot harder than quitting crack. From day one i quit that, I never had another problem with it and it has been almost 4 yrs. Praying I am sure got me threw it. But cigarettes, not so easy. Eveyday I yell I want a frigging cigarette!1 but before i quit I was yelling " I wish I could frigging breathe!! I just keep telling myself everyday that there is nothing good about a cigarette. I don't miss the nasty ashtrays, the smell or the nasty nicotine in my hair or clothes. But i still crave them. i sure hope the urge goes away but I smoked for over 38 yrs so I'm sure it's going to take some time. But the key is never go back to it as with any drug


Giulia Permalink Reply by Giulia on April 17, 2009 at 3:44pm
    Some people crave cigs longer than others. I was one of those who did. Have you read the Allen Carr book? That can help a lot with the mindset. You say you still crave them - which you may, but I'll bet you don't crave them as much as you did that first three days, or the first week. The cravings should lessen with time. And one of the first signs of that abatement is when you realize you're thinking about them, but not necessarily craving one. Because believe it or not, one can think about cigarettes without craving them. I still think about cigarettes now and then. Sometimes, rarely, I have a strong urge. Most of the time though my thought process goes something like: "gee, it'd be nice to have a cigarette right now." But it's like saying, "boy, I'd love a chocolate ice cream cone." The feeling behind it isn't IF I DON'T GET AN ICE CREAM NOW I'M GONNA LOSE IT! Which is how one initially feels with quitting cigarettes.

    You keep on telling yourself the truth - which is that there IS nothing good about a cigarette. The "goodness," the "pleasure" of it is all in our minds. In reality at this point if you took a puff you'd feel dizzy as all get out. And you know it. Because cigarettes are full of poisons and they deprive our bodies of oxygen.

    Don't quit. Eight weeks is really, really good. Stand strong.

Taja Permalink Reply by Taja on March 24, 2009 at 9:06am
    I'm not sure what attempt number i'm on with quitting but this time i realise i am going to have not be aware of my health in all aspects, so i have alot of fruit on hand. Its scary because i'm not into fruit and i could put it away as if i love the stuff, last time i ate an obscene amount of goodies as compensation to what i really wanted. Now i i just want to be healthy so i go gonzo with sunflower seeds and i its scary to watch me with mints but i say soon i'll be able to relax when there is more time elapsed from the addiction. With all the attempts i've made i feel more secure ok wrong choice of words but more aware of what could be my pitfall back into it. for one i cannot just have one and i will find any excuse i don't care i will use it to explain why i need to hold onto this habit. Being aware i think is key and pushing through a fear of emotion is what i think will help me. I wish everyone great success on accomplishing all their goals not just this one.


A.D. Permalink Reply by A.D. on January 24, 2009 at 9:12pm
    Giulia, that was interesting and powerful. You should put it in a blog.


Diana Permalink Reply by Diana on January 25, 2009 at 6:35am
    I agree it could be bumped or whatever yu do... Great read.
Joanne Permalink Reply by Joanne on February 8, 2009 at 6:05pm
    I have tried to quit many times and I have noticed that in my case, during those first few horrible days, if I do not smoke that cigarette after a meal, then i just do not feel full or satisfied, even during the times when I have been smoking there are days that eat a large meal and dont notice how uncomfortably over stuffed i feel until after i smoke. i think that feeling of hunger is one of the ways the cravings hit us, our bodies just cant tell the difference between cigarette hunger and food hunger...


Giulia Permalink Reply by Giulia on February 8, 2009 at 9:09pm
    I've found green tea - not the ones with other flavors in them, but the plain old simple kind - is great not only for curbing cravings, but if you drink a large cup before or after dinner it will help you feel fuller. That's a very interesting comment, Joanne, about our bodies not being able to tell the difference between food and cigarette hunger/cravings. Do we equate the two in our minds? Do they tickle that same part of our brains? I wonder. Anybody else have any ideas on this subject?

Joanne Permalink Reply by Joanne on February 9, 2009 at 3:51am
    it could just be simple habit of smoking before and after meals that when going through nicotine withdrawl our brains will not allow us to feel like the meal is complete without that cigarette, so we then eat too much because we dont feel satisfied. thats been my experience anyway.

Ben Permalink Reply by Ben on March 10, 2009 at 8:25pm
    I founds out how nicotine act as an appetite suppressant from . Here is what I found.:
    It is not that cigarettes put sugar into your blood stream; it is more of a drug interaction of the stimulant effect of nicotine that affects the blood sugar levels. Cigarettes cause the body to release its own stores of sugar and fat by a drug type of interaction. That is how it basically operated as an appetite suppressant, affecting the satiety centers of your hypothalamus.

Giulia Permalink Reply by Giulia on March 10, 2009 at 9:15pm
    Nicely done research, Ben. Well, dang, so how do we satiate ourselves without it then? Is that why we always seem to feel lacking in something, unfulfilled, unreplete? It would be interesting to see the statistics (if any have been done) on how long it takes the body to return to normal blood sugar levels once we deprive it of the chemical cocktail in cigarettes. But we've also created new pathways in our brains, I believe during this whole smoking process. So the next question is, how long does it take for those pathways to disintegrate? Sense memory is a powerful thing.

    It's interesting that those who have never smoked seem to have no need for such things to suppress their appetites. They manage to maintain a proper weight ratio and aren't stuffing themselves with everything in sight. Interesting too that there are those who DO smoke and still stuff themselves with everything in sight. So I'm not sure we can blame cigarettes for it ALL.

    But we sure have messed ourselves up more than we could ever have imagined by taking that first puff. That's for sure.

A.D. Permalink Reply by A.D. on March 13, 2009 at 3:20pm
    You have a good point in the second paragraph here. I have been overweight, healthy weight, and skinny while smoking. I honestly do not believe that smoking influenced my overall food intake, but what it did was allow me to eat one HUGE meal or two really big ones late in the day, skipping breakfast and usually skipping lunch. Now I have to remember to eat a little bit when it's earlier so that I'm not starving in the middle of the afternoon and then binging.

Giulia Permalink Reply by Giulia on March 13, 2009 at 3:23pm
    Yeah, and your point is well taken too. I still tend to skip breakfast. Old habits die hard.


Anne Permalink Reply by Anne on March 16, 2009 at 8:28pm
    Whenever I worry that quitting smoking will make me fat I take a hard look around at people I see smoking. The fact is, the vast majority of people I see smoking - be they friends or just the strangers I see standing outside of businesses on smoke breaks - are overweight. Our society is so completely obsessed with weight that, if smoking were some kind of miracle diet pill, many, many more people would be doing it, regardless of the negative health and social consequences.

    One thing that cigarettes help us to do is eat when we are actually hungary (because our primary addiction is cigs, we're not as likely to use food to alleviate boredom or for relaxation), and help us to stop eating when we are full (Americans in general have lost the concept of not eating past that first full feeling).

    One thing that helps is to "graze" - eat small meals throughout the day. Eat whenever you feel a hunger pang, then IMMEDIATELY stop eating when you feel full. If that means that you eat again 2 hours later, then that's ok. And take a look at what you're eating, trying to get a lot of "bang for your buck", e.g., if you gotta have something sweet, instead of picking a traditional candy bar go for a granola bar in a flavor you really like - still high in fat & calories, but you're at least getting a lot more nutrition with that fat.

    I make bags of homemade snacks that I keep with me at all times - stuff like homemade ChexMix which is made to my taste but has a lot less fat than the commercial variety. I also significantly increased my fluid intake, it helps a lot with keeping you feeling satiated. I can't do Diet Coke anymore (MAJOR cig trigger for me), so I drink low cal V-8 fusion, water (sometimes flavored with that Crystal Lite stuff), etc.

    I learned to eat many small meals throughout the day, with a heavy helping of finger foods for the obvious oral fixation we smokers have, when I developed an ulcer. It's a much healthier way to eat, I never feel deprived, and I maintain a size 4-6 even though I'm over 40 (but don't use that as your standard - I have a petite body frame - pay as close attention to your eating and activity levels as you do to quitting smoking and you can be smoke-free at whatever weight is healthy for your body).

    Nicotine is one of the most addictive substances on this planet, both physically and psychologically; if we can conquer that then food is a...err...piece of cake!!


Giulia Permalink Reply by Giulia on March 16, 2009 at 8:46pm
    Brava! Great post.


Crystal Permalink Reply by Crystal on March 16, 2009 at 8:47pm
    I am well aware of the hand/mouth thing, so when I get a craving I am trying something new. Drinking a BIG glass of water. Nothing in ti but good ole' hydration. I have a patch also, so, when my craving got to be too muchtoday, Idrank a glass of water. pretty good so far. I thought of this because (although this is a completely different beast) I live in Louisiana, and when katrina hit, all we had was water and whatever food was there to eat. And in 6 weeks I lost 8 pounds. Which my doc was NOT happy about because I was pregnant at the time. but thinking back to that, I love to be outside in the heat of summer, so I pretend I don't have electricity and drink a whole lot of water and work outside. Hope this helps!!!


Giulia Permalink Reply by Giulia on March 16, 2009 at 8:59pm
    Sure does help. Imagination is a great asset in one's quit. Thanks, Crystal.

Wil Permalink Reply by Wil on March 18, 2009 at 11:36am
    My understanding is it's blood sugar and blood fat . Nicotine elevates your blood sugar very fast tricking, you into thinking that you have eaten more than you actually have. It takes food about 20 minutes to increase your blood sugar. I might have this wrong, I got it from Joel Spitzer's book Never take another puff over at why quit dot com page 185. Though I think there are more than likely several reasons, this one stood out to me for some reason. I am on day 59 and have gained 15 lbs and holding steady there. All the best to you and your QUIT.


Charmed Permalink Reply by Charmed on March 18, 2009 at 11:44am
    I personally think some of it is because I'm not in such a hurry to finish my meal and smoke....Kind of like before when I was smoking I wouldn't eat as much because I wanted to quit eating and go out to smoke. So I find myself now lingering longer over meals, and taking extra helpings of things, when I wouldn't do that before because I was so busy running outside to smoke.
    Just an observation I've made :)


Replies to This Discussion

barbara Permalink Reply by barbara on March 18, 2009 at 12:07pm
    i agree with you charmed, we tend to linger over a meal because we do not have to make time to smoke


Ben Permalink Reply by Ben on April 20, 2009 at 3:42pm
    Update at 90 days. Im 25 pounds heavier and not very happy about it at all. I should of paid more attention to my wieght and started a diet and excercise regime when i quit smoking.


Giulia Permalink Reply by Giulia on April 20, 2009 at 8:55pm
    Yeah, well I'm 15 pounds heavier and not happy about it either. But I'm happy I quit smoking and that's more important as far as I'm concerned. If I spent as much time and energy on losing weight as I did with quitting, there's not a doubt in my mind I'd go back to my previous weight. But there's this little voice in my head - still - that says, "you've given up one major thing - why should you have to alter your lifestyle again. Nya nya nya! You're denying yourself something you want, you should at least be able to have SOME fun in life." Etc., etc. Maybe I should re-read Carr's book. Because I'm still in the junkie mindset of feeling "deprived," like I've "given something up."

    Quitting requires a great deal of self discipline. And so does quit maintenance to a lesser degree. And self discipline ain't a whole lot of fun. The RESULTS are, but not the work it takes.

    Ben, I'd say DO start a routine NOW. Doesn't have to be a gung ho 2 hr. work out a day, but just something on a regular basis. Start out with a half hour walk. What I'm doing is one day a week I eat only fruit and vegetables, (and no cocktail before dinner.) Not hard for a vegan, but I'm a lioness of a carnivore. Major meat eater here. The other thing I do is play tennis two to three times a week and I try to work out on the other days. Sometimes my body just hurts too much so I try to take a walk after dinner or something easy.

    I'll tell ya one thing though, booze will put it on faster than anything I know.

    That three month quit of yours is very dear. When you get unhappy about all the rest of it - keep that one and the beauty and strength of what you've accomplished in the foreground of your mind.


Karen Permalink Reply by Karen on July 2, 2009 at 9:40am
    I don't know if you've ever noticed this, but when you haven't smoked for a few days, or even that first one in the morning, I feel extremely nauseated. It occured to me that while smoking I was keeping myself slightly nauseated all the time, but has grown so used to it I didn't notice anymore. I was killing my own appetite. Also, I learned from that every time we take a drag we pull stored fats and sugars into our blood and get an instant boost for the fight or flight response that's triggered in our brains. So we are sort of "feeding" ourselves with the chemicals. When we stop smoking it takes a while before our system readjusts and feeds itself again, so it's recommended to sip SIP on a little fruit juice like Cranberry for the first few days to keep from eating ourselves silly. When did you quit? Taste will come back within the first week. Did for me, anyway. Hang in there, Ben, you can do it!
Karen Permalink Reply by Karen on July 2, 2009 at 9:44am
    Oops, I replied before I read all of the discussion. Oh well, it's never too late. I'm on my third week and starting to really hit the gym. I feel great now that I can breathe. Motivation is in the doing. (That's a Susan Powterism, remember her?) Check out her site for wellness and weightloss


Spunkie Permalink Reply by Spunkie on August 23, 2009 at 8:45am
    Looks like this conversation is coming to a close but I must add I am 90 days into my quit and have gained 10 lbs not good because I already had 40 lbs to lose. I found all the information I read GREAT.. now I just have to stop nibbing my quit away I am feeling like a non smoker instead of someone who is quitting I hope this is good
    I have noticed I do not needs as many mints and never really crave a smoke just remember how much I did enjoy them and watch for my TRAPS which then causes a big craving .. I need a web site on how to stop over eating anyone hear of one let me know thanks for all the good information

    I have been quit for 2 Months, 4 Weeks, 1 Day, 23 hours, 44 minutes and 15 seconds (90 days). I have saved $727.91 by not smoking 3,639 cigarettes. I have saved 1 Week, 5 Days, 15 hours and 15 minutes of my life. My Quit Date: 5/24/2009 12:00 PM


Giulia Permalink Reply by Giulia on August 23, 2009 at 9:54am
    Congrats on your three month quit, Spunkie! That is so great!!!.

    If you must nibble, then nibble on non fattening nuggets, say I. Get some sugar free hard candy, or chomp on carrots. And get the lead out by walking or some kind of exercise.


MLynne Permalink Reply by MLynne on August 23, 2009 at 10:06am
    Spunkie, I'm about 70 days into my quit and have gained 7 pounds (though some days it feels like 10!) I find I feel better and am less likely to snack if I'm up and doing something, whether it be housework, walking, gardening, etc. Exercise helped a lot the first week to get through the cravings, but I've also found it helps keep me from sitting and munching. Weekdays are tough for me because I sit at a computer most of the day at work and have lots of snacks on hand to replace my once-an-hour smoke break. My two best snacks right now are baby carrots and dry wheat/bran shredded wheat cereal. I don't feel one bit guilty eating as many as I want, and they have the added benefit of "aiding the digestion" (shorthand for easing constipation, which many of us have learned is a side effect of quitting/using Chantix. But I digress...) I also really like cinnamon disks for that hot blast of flavor when my mouth thinks it wants a hot blast of tobacco smoke.


Spunkie Permalink Reply by Spunkie on August 24, 2009 at 10:12am
    Thanks Giulia, and MLynne both of you have given me good advice and I was walking 30 min on treadmill
    (still gained the weight) now I broke a small bone in my left foot and it is getting better but still have a hard time walking on it I will start walking again as soon as I can I eat sun flower seeds in the shell that way it takes me time to get the seed out. ;-) and baby carrots but I have a hard time chewing them no back teeth thank God I have my front ones I thank you all for taking the time to give me more idea. Thanks and good luck on you quit I am on day 92 ..


MLynne Permalink Reply by MLynne on August 24, 2009 at 1:16pm
    Oh, Spunkie. I didn't know you'd banged up your foot! I'm sorry. Well, it's tough to do much hard-core walking that way. Hmmm....well, there are some sit-on-the-floor-and-stretch type exercises, leg lifts and such. I know those aren't going to get you the same results, but it will keep your muscles moving.

    You're at 3 months you know how awesome that is???

Spunkie Permalink Reply by Spunkie on August 24, 2009 at 1:52pm
    Thanks MLynne you have been one of my supporters that has got me to 92 days I am smoke free and loving it .. I will do as much moving as I can and nibble as little as I can right now I am sitting here wondering what I am having for supper I do not like to cook Oh well I think of something
    Hang in there everyone and thanks for the support.


Giulia Permalink Reply by Giulia on August 24, 2009 at 3:26pm
    Have some soup for dinner.

    After my achilles surgery I couldn't walk too well, but I could still to exercises with weights on a chair and on the floor, both upper and lower body. There are many exercise you can do if you can't run or walk well.

    How to Exercise with a Broken Foot or click on the following:


Spunkie Permalink Reply by Spunkie on August 25, 2009 at 6:32am
    Thanks so much for the web site they are great and for the wonderful ideas.

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