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Mystery weight gain?

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Circe

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I am irked! Back in August, I decided to get healthier, so I quit smoking, went off the Pill ... and was rewarded with a net gain of 5-10 pounds! I realize that these things affected my metabolism, but ... waaaaaaaaaaaah! Not fair! I miss smoking, damnit - not to mention, feeling trim!

Any tips on getting my metabolism back into whack, short of working out twice as much? As much as I would love to, I just don''t have time to rock-climb or roller-blade like I''d like to, much less take up yoga or belly-dancing ... so if y''all have any quick-tip shortcuts or diets that you''d recommend for not gaining weight while living a fairly fit life, I (and my waist-bands!) would appreciate it ....
 

JulieN

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I don't think you can really increase your metabolism without working out...unless you want to start drinking caffeine.

How about parking your car far away?
 

Circe

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Heh - I do, on both counts. And still the gain.
 

Po10472

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Hiya

Don''t fret, first things first, review what you currently eat on a daily basis, when you eat, what your portion size is and what types of food you eat.

To lose 1lb of fat you need to burn off 3500 calories, so if you reduced your normal calorie intake by 250 calories and increased your exercise by 250 then you would essentially lose 1lb a week. However, that''s easier said that done, don''t I know.

A good way to get your metabolism back on track is to eat 3 meals and 3 snacks a day, each made up of a protein 50%, carb 25%, veg/fruit 25% and include 20 mins of exercise, per day.

As you feel leaner you increase your exercise. A recent report said that short bursts of intense exercise actually boost your metabolism so if you did 2 mins on an exercise bike at full speed then stop have a break and do it again until you reach 20mins total you actually burn more and force your body to react.

The real trick is to stablise your blood sugar levels and eating every 3/4 hours does this and always balancing a protein with a carbohydrate means your sugar levels don''t spike, so if you have a few pistachio nuts, have it with a yogurt for the protein etc. Don''t have a carbohydrate meal on its own cos your body will be looking for a protein.

I have spent the last 3 years learning how to manage my food to stop from putting on weight, what foods I can and can''t eat and what affect stress has on my body. When I''m stressed I gain lots of weight, because I must release lots of sugar which makes me bloat and retain fluids and the only way to stablise this is the 3 meals/3 snacks combination foods rule.

When I say to people that I can just look at cheesecake and put on 7lbs, I can.....it happens........and it sux!!
 

Phoenix

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Date: 2/27/2009 3:17:49 AM
Author: Po10472
Hiya

Don't fret, first things first, review what you currently eat on a daily basis, when you eat, what your portion size is and what types of food you eat.

To lose 1lb of fat you need to burn off 3500 calories, so if you reduced your normal calorie intake by 250 calories and increased your exercise by 250 then you would essentially lose 1lb a week. However, that's easier said that done, don't I know.

A good way to get your metabolism back on track is to eat 3 meals and 3 snacks a day, each made up of a protein 50%, carb 25%, veg/fruit 25% and include 20 mins of exercise, per day.

As you feel leaner you increase your exercise. A recent report said that short bursts of intense exercise actually boost your metabolism so if you did 2 mins on an exercise bike at full speed then stop have a break and do it again until you reach 20mins total you actually burn more and force your body to react.

The real trick is to stablise your blood sugar levels and eating every 3/4 hours does this and always balancing a protein with a carbohydrate means your sugar levels don't spike, so if you have a few pistachio nuts, have it with a yogurt for the protein etc. Don't have a carbohydrate meal on its own cos your body will be looking for a protein.

I have spent the last 3 years learning how to manage my food to stop from putting on weight, what foods I can and can't eat and what affect stress has on my body. When I'm stressed I gain lots of weight, because I must release lots of sugar which makes me bloat and retain fluids and the only way to stablise this is the 3 meals/3 snacks combination foods rule.

When I say to people that I can just look at cheesecake and put on 7lbs, I can.....it happens........and it sux!!
I LOVE this advice and am going to try and follow it myself. However, I imagine it is quite difficult to try to each such a balanced and precise diet if one is busy, which I think Circe says she is. But great advice though, really.

Circe, it sucks to put on the weight after you quit smoking. First of, congratulations for quitting, I know so many people who have tried to quit and haven't been able to. I know someone who chain-smokes deliberately so that she could stay thin. Talk about stupid! I myself put on so much weight the last few years, not from quitting smoking but from my medical condition. My metabolism has gone waaaaay down. I used to eat like a horse and still stayed slim, with little exercise. I struggled - *a lot* - to lose the extra 20lbs or so with little success (well, I yo-yo'ed, lost a bunch and always put it back). Most recently though, I've lost some weight the healthy way and it seems to have stayed off. What is the difference between last few times and now is that now I eat smaller meals and I have breakfast (which I didn't do for almost my whole adult life). It is imperative that you do not starve yourself but to eat frequently (3-5 times a day) and in smaller portions. If you miss breakfast or skip a meal in the hope you'll miss out those calories, your metabolism slows down that so the next time that you do get round to eating, your body will burn off the food much slower and hence the extra calories remain as the dreaded extra weight. Also, when you're really hungry, you'll tend to over-eat or compensate in other ways like snacking or eating a bar of chocolate.

I know you're busy, Circe, but try to get in a little exercise at least 5 times a week, even if it is a 20 minutes walk each time. It really does help to boost your metabolism. And if you do manage to get to the gym, I'd recommend doing some weights/ resistance-training, which boosts your metabolism to no end, not to mention making you a lot more healthy.

Oh also, cut down on your salt intake, if you haven't already and cut down on the booze too. Both of these have really helped me - a lot. I also find cutting down on carbs in the evenings, after 6pm really really helps. I wouldn't recommend cutting it out from your daily diet altogether. Your body needs carbs. You'll just need to cut back on it. And do not eat anything at all and again no booze for about 2-3 hours before you go to bed.

I'd also recommend looking at yourself, everyday, in a full-length mirror in proper lighting. It always does the trick seeing how the weight builds up on your body and how fed up you are with it! Knowing you've put on weight and seeing it on the scale is entirely different from actually seeing a reflection of yourself with the added weight, IMO! It's certainly worked for me!


Good luck.
 

neatfreak

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Just a question, but are you positive you haven''t been eating more since you stopped smoking? Because smoking is an appetite suppressant and something to keep your mouth busy many people who quit smoking gain weight because they are suddenly eating more. Even a handful of nuts a day extra can result in a few lbs being gained over a month...so keeping a strict food journal might be helpful to see if you replaced the cigarette break with a snack break without realizing it.
 

Po10472

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the thing about the plan - its not a diet, hate the word diet cos it makes you think your depriving yourself of food - is that it works when you are busy. I work full-time and in Uni part-time so I am run off my feet but I still make sure I have my 3 meals a day and always have a handful of nuts in my bag for a snack and the beauty of only doing 20 mins exercise is that it''s doable.

Let''s be honest, if we can sit on the puter replying to threads in pricescope for half an hour we can do half an hours exercise.

I echo what Phoenix said, well done on stopping smoking, what an achievement. Plus its healthier to have a little wait on you than to continue smoking and be thin.
 

Steel

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Date: 2/27/2009 5:31:00 AM
Author: neatfreak
Just a question, but are you positive you haven''t been eating more since you stopped smoking? Because smoking is an appetite suppressant and something to keep your mouth busy many people who quit smoking gain weight because they are suddenly eating more. Even a handful of nuts a day extra can result in a few lbs being gained over a month...so keeping a strict food journal might be helpful to see if you replaced the cigarette break with a snack break without realizing it.
Great point NF. When I quit I found myself picking at food. It was easy to stop once I noticed I was doing it, but not before a few unwelcome pounds came to visit
.

Circe: Congrats on giving up the cancer sticks!
It gets easier and you will be so happy you did. Stick with it.
 

Tacori E-ring

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First off CONGRATS on quitting smoking. You MUST feel better right? I mean, I understand you miss it, but do you miss smelling like smoke and all the gross stuff that comes a long with being a smoker? I bet you can breath better. I bet food tastes better. Come join us on the Healthier Lifestyle thread. It has been a great source of inspiration and support for me. I am sure it would help you too!
 

Lorelei

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Date: 2/27/2009 9:46:17 AM
Author: Tacori E-ring
First off CONGRATS on quitting smoking. You MUST feel better right? I mean, I understand you miss it, but do you miss smelling like smoke and all the gross stuff that comes a long with being a smoker? I bet you can breath better. I bet food tastes better. Come join us on the Healthier Lifestyle thread. It has been a great source of inspiration and support for me. I am sure it would help you too!
Definitely and there are ex smokers there like myself who have been through it and can give you tips!


CONGRATS on quitting!!!!
 

vespergirl

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The weight gain is no mystery - when I quit smoking, I gained 10 pounds practically overnight. I quit when I met my husband, because he was a non-smoker, and thought about starting up again when I gained the weight, but he assured me that he would rather have me a size bigger and healthy than smoking and super-thin. I was able to lose 5 of the pounds with jogging every day, about 3 miles a day, but those last five pounds aren''t going anywhere. Smoking really changes your metabolism, and the only thing that will really get it off is epehdra/caffeine pills & loads of exercise.

Just start exercising - as long as it''s high intensity, you only need about 30 minutes a day. Strolling won''t cut it - you really need to get your heart rate up. Good luck!
 

Phoenix

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Date: 2/27/2009 10:23:17 AM
Author: vespergirl
The weight gain is no mystery - when I quit smoking, I gained 10 pounds practically overnight. I quit when I met my husband, because he was a non-smoker, and thought about starting up again when I gained the weight, but he assured me that he would rather have me a size bigger and healthy than smoking and super-thin. I was able to lose 5 of the pounds with jogging every day, about 3 miles a day, but those last five pounds aren''t going anywhere. Smoking really changes your metabolism, and the only thing that will really get it off is epehdra/caffeine pills & loads of exercise.

Just start exercising - as long as it''s high intensity, you only need about 30 minutes a day. Strolling won''t cut it - you really need to get your heart rate up. Good luck!
You''re right, Vespergirl, about the high intensity work-outs.

I wonder though, Circe, if you''ll have time or the enery to work out, especially if you''re very busy? I hope you can squeeze some exercise into yr schedule. Any exercise is better than none, but definitely high intensity and/ or resistance-training (coupled with sensible eating - as you''ve been advised) would be very beneficial and you''d definitely see some results.
 

Haven

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Circe--I just wanted to congratulate you for quitting smoking.

I''ve gained six pounds myself in the last eight weeks. The only thing I changed was my diet--I went from eating lots of cheeses and animal fats and carbs for lunch every day to lean poultry and rice or potatoes. I have no idea why, and I definitely feel your pain.
 

MichelleCarmen

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Weight training boosts your metabolism. . .

Get 3, 5 & 8 lbs. and use the following video 4X per week (two days upper, two days lower) for about 20 minutes a session. . .(If you're new to weights, be sure to start with a light weight - the 3 lbs.)

http://www.amazon.com/Get-Ripped-Jari-Love-Slim/dp/B000FBFUEK/ref=pd_bbs_4?ie=UTF8&s=dvd&qid=1235752935&sr=8-4

*** Be sure to warm up your muscles beforehand. Get a cheap aerobic video and do the "warm up" section of that and then switch to the Jari Love Video.
 

Circe

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Date: 2/27/2009 3:17:49 AM
Author: Po10472
Hiya


Don''t fret, first things first, review what you currently eat on a daily basis, when you eat, what your portion size is and what types of food you eat.


To lose 1lb of fat you need to burn off 3500 calories, so if you reduced your normal calorie intake by 250 calories and increased your exercise by 250 then you would essentially lose 1lb a week. However, that''s easier said that done, don''t I know.


A good way to get your metabolism back on track is to eat 3 meals and 3 snacks a day, each made up of a protein 50%, carb 25%, veg/fruit 25% and include 20 mins of exercise, per day.


As you feel leaner you increase your exercise. A recent report said that short bursts of intense exercise actually boost your metabolism so if you did 2 mins on an exercise bike at full speed then stop have a break and do it again until you reach 20mins total you actually burn more and force your body to react.


The real trick is to stablise your blood sugar levels and eating every 3/4 hours does this and always balancing a protein with a carbohydrate means your sugar levels don''t spike, so if you have a few pistachio nuts, have it with a yogurt for the protein etc. Don''t have a carbohydrate meal on its own cos your body will be looking for a protein.


I have spent the last 3 years learning how to manage my food to stop from putting on weight, what foods I can and can''t eat and what affect stress has on my body. When I''m stressed I gain lots of weight, because I must release lots of sugar which makes me bloat and retain fluids and the only way to stablise this is the 3 meals/3 snacks combination foods rule.


When I say to people that I can just look at cheesecake and put on 7lbs, I can.....it happens........and it sux!!
Po10472, incredibly detailed advice - thank you! One of my problems is that I have a wonky schedule this year: I''m teaching two and three classes back to back, so I''m basically on my feet for 6 to 8 hours without more than a 15 minute break. It makes it tough to eat healthy: generally, I scarf down a cheese sandwich or a diet bar as I sprint from one room to the next. Maybe I''ll start packing little mixed bags of nutrients ....
 

Circe

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Date: 2/27/2009 4:18:16 AM
Author: Phoenix
Date: 2/27/2009 3:17:49 AM
Circe, it sucks to put on the weight after you quit smoking. First of, congratulations for quitting, I know so many people who have tried to quit and haven''t been able to. I know someone who chain-smokes deliberately so that she could stay thin. Talk about stupid! I myself put on so much weight the last few years, not from quitting smoking but from my medical condition. My metabolism has gone waaaaay down. I used to eat like a horse and still stayed slim, with little exercise. I struggled - *a lot* - to lose the extra 20lbs or so with little success (well, I yo-yo''ed, lost a bunch and always put it back). Most recently though, I''ve lost some weight the healthy way and it seems to have stayed off. What is the difference between last few times and now is that now I eat smaller meals and I have breakfast (which I didn''t do for almost my whole adult life). It is imperative that you do not starve yourself but to eat frequently (3-5 times a day) and in smaller portions. If you miss breakfast or skip a meal in the hope you''ll miss out those calories, your metabolism slows down that so the next time that you do get round to eating, your body will burn off the food much slower and hence the extra calories remain as the dreaded extra weight. Also, when you''re really hungry, you''ll tend to over-eat or compensate in other ways like snacking or eating a bar of chocolate.


I know you''re busy, Circe, but try to get in a little exercise at least 5 times a week, even if it is a 20 minutes walk each time. It really does help to boost your metabolism. And if you do manage to get to the gym, I''d recommend doing some weights/ resistance-training, which boosts your metabolism to no end, not to mention making you a lot more healthy.


Oh also, cut down on your salt intake, if you haven''t already and cut down on the booze too. Both of these have really helped me - a lot. I also find cutting down on carbs in the evenings, after 6pm really really helps. I wouldn''t recommend cutting it out from your daily diet altogether. Your body needs carbs. You''ll just need to cut back on it. And do not eat anything at all and again no booze for about 2-3 hours before you go to bed.


I''d also recommend looking at yourself, everyday, in a full-length mirror in proper lighting. It always does the trick seeing how the weight builds up on your body and how fed up you are with it! Knowing you''ve put on weight and seeing it on the scale is entirely different from actually seeing a reflection of yourself with the added weight, IMO! It''s certainly worked for me!



Good luck.
Phoenix, thanks for the congrats, and for the tips! Your friend with the deliberate chain-smoking reminds me of a girl I knew in college who contracted worms ... and decided to KEEP them until she lost the last few pounds that bugged her. Oy! When the "cure" is worse than the problem ....

I couldn''t agree with you more on the full length mirror thing - my mom told me about this when I was a teen, and it really helps to keep things in perspective! Right now, it''s sort of working in the opposite direction for me: instead of making me guilty and furious with my body for misbehaving (though, I''ll admit, there''s a touch of that, just because it feels unfair that I''m following the same pattern, but with different results), it''s kind of comforting that I still feel like I look decent. The salt and booze elimination are definitely now on my list of things-to-do ... I guess now I just have to find a kind of exercise I can squeeze into my day. Hm ....
 

Circe

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Date: 2/27/2009 5:31:00 AM
Author: neatfreak
Just a question, but are you positive you haven''t been eating more since you stopped smoking? Because smoking is an appetite suppressant and something to keep your mouth busy many people who quit smoking gain weight because they are suddenly eating more. Even a handful of nuts a day extra can result in a few lbs being gained over a month...so keeping a strict food journal might be helpful to see if you replaced the cigarette break with a snack break without realizing it.
That''s a *really* good question - I don''t think I have, just because I''m using an electronic cigarette to quit, and thus I still have the same patterns/habits, but these things can be subjective. I''ll start the food diary right now. Thanks for the tip!
 

Circe

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Date: 2/27/2009 9:59:10 AM
Author: Lorelei
Date: 2/27/2009 9:46:17 AM

Author: Tacori E-ring

First off CONGRATS on quitting smoking. You MUST feel better right? I mean, I understand you miss it, but do you miss smelling like smoke and all the gross stuff that comes a long with being a smoker? I bet you can breath better. I bet food tastes better. Come join us on the Healthier Lifestyle thread. It has been a great source of inspiration and support for me. I am sure it would help you too!
Definitely and there are ex smokers there like myself who have been through it and can give you tips!


Thanks, guys! You''re quite right - the net benefits of quitting are definitely worth it. I might miss it at times, but I won''t go back to it. And the Healthier Lifestyle thread was a big help to me! Now, I should go back and join one of the weight-loss threads ....


CONGRATS on quitting!!!!
 

Circe

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Date: 2/27/2009 10:23:17 AM
Author: vespergirl
The weight gain is no mystery - when I quit smoking, I gained 10 pounds practically overnight. I quit when I met my husband, because he was a non-smoker, and thought about starting up again when I gained the weight, but he assured me that he would rather have me a size bigger and healthy than smoking and super-thin. I was able to lose 5 of the pounds with jogging every day, about 3 miles a day, but those last five pounds aren''t going anywhere. Smoking really changes your metabolism, and the only thing that will really get it off is epehdra/caffeine pills & loads of exercise.


Just start exercising - as long as it''s high intensity, you only need about 30 minutes a day. Strolling won''t cut it - you really need to get your heart rate up. Good luck!
You know the line from "When Harry Met Sally" - "You''re right, you''re right, I know you''re right!" Different context, same reaction - I''m intellectually aware that there is no quick fix to get my metabolism evened out (though, I''ll admit, I kind of hoped that going off the Pill at the same time would balance it out a bit), but with my work schedule, I''m damned if I can figure out where to find the time. Less sleep? Hm ....
 

phoenixgirl

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Circe, you deserve major kudos for quitting smoking!


My friend is having the same problem. A few years ago she started working out and doing Weight Watchers and really trimmed down quickly. Then the weight slowly crept back up. She is doing WW and working out again, but this time she also quit smoking a few months ago. And the weight is just not coming off like it did before (and unfortunately for her, she got all her pants sized down with the last weight loss, so all her pants are uncomfortably tight . . . and with her husband out of work she can''t get new ones, ugh
). She thinks it''s being a little older than the last time she tried to lose weight and eating more due to increased appetite and lack of something to "do" when she''s bored.

In the long run, as long as your weight is still in the healthy range, quitting smoking will pay off with increased life and health even with the extra weight. Not that I think I''m convincing you to give up, no! I just want you to hang in there.

Often just making one small change (one more workout a week, one fewer snack a day, cut out one weakness like soda or candy) will kick your metabolism back into gear.
 
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