Quitting Smoking Without Binge Eating?

I could really use some advice from any former smokers. I'm trying to adapt to an overall healthier lifestyle, which absolutely includes cutting out the cigarettes. I've done wonderfully so far in a lot of areas, but I'm really struggling with this part. I'm not even having much luck at reducing the amount that I smoke now.

In the past, when I've been able to quit for long periods of time (like during pregnancy) I've done it by replacing it with other habits that aren't necessarily great for me, such as overindulging on high-calorie snacks with very little nutritional value. I really don't want to do that again, since I've made so much progress in improving the way that I eat.

One suggestion I've gotten is to work out when I'm having a craving. I usually smoke after exercising though, so that typically just intensifies the want for a cigarette. It does allow me to put it off for a little while, so it's a useful tactic in that sense, but I can't work out 24 hours a day.

I know that when it comes down to it, it's really just a question of willpower. I just have to make it through the first few days and then it gets easier. However, while my body is adapting, I get so frustrated and cranky, and start taking it out on the people around me - including my very young daughter, who could not possibly understand why Mama's so mad at her.

So really, my question is, for those of you who have managed to quit smoking without substituting other bad habits, what worked for you? How did you control the initial irritability?
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Replies

  • kuranda10
    kuranda10 Posts: 593 Member
    We used Champix and quit at the same time.
    Eating wasn't an issue because we were both nauseous from the meds for the first few weeks
    As for irritability, yeah there was no controlling that. We pretty much didn't say a word to each other for the better part of 2-3 weeks.
  • Kyrenora
    Kyrenora Posts: 133 Member
    kuranda10 wrote: »
    We used Champix and quit at the same time.
    Eating wasn't an issue because we were both nauseous from the meds for the first few weeks
    As for irritability, yeah there was no controlling that. We pretty much didn't say a word to each other for the better part of 2-3 weeks.

    My husband gets it and we're doing this together. We just need to find a way to protect our daughter from our bad moods. When we're short with her, she gets upset, and a crying/screaming little one does NOT help!
  • kuranda10
    kuranda10 Posts: 593 Member
    Can she go stay with Grandma for a week?
  • tahxirez
    tahxirez Posts: 270 Member
    Congrats on improving your life! Let me tell you quitting while trying to maintain productive diet and fitness goals is not an easy road. Remember that willpower is a finite resource. If the choice comes down to a twinkie or a cigarette I'd (as a recovering smoker) go with twinkie everytime because I know I can walk away from the twinkies no problem but those cigarettes always keep me coming back for more. All I can say is that what I've done is provide myself with low calorie food that allows me to eat and move my mouth constantly. Think celery and carrots no dip. It's not for enjoyment it's for distraction. Delay that craving 10 or 15 minutes, it will pass. As for the irritability, even though it sounds trite, take a step back, breathe. Ask yourself why you're mad or who you're frustrated with. I've found that my hot temper improves exponentially when I'm not smoking as I have to self sooth rather than lean on the promise of a cigarette break. Take this time to learn what sets you off. Above all cut yourself some slack. What you're doing is not easy but you can do this. Remember to reward yourself. Don't use food, something else, anything you enjoy.
  • Kyrenora
    Kyrenora Posts: 133 Member
    kuranda10 wrote: »
    Can she go stay with Grandma for a week?

    It's possible. My dad works from home so he'd be able to watch her during the day, but she's right in that phase where she doesn't really like anybody but Mommy and Daddy, so it may or may not turn out well.
  • owlprincess1234
    owlprincess1234 Posts: 62 Member
    Vape. I smoked for over half my life and never once tried to quit. I started vaping in the summer and reducing the nicotine content in the juice slowly over a few months. I haven't had a cigarette since I started and now I reach for my vaporizer maybe once a day or twice on a stressful day.

    It allows you to tone down the nicotine, but still lets you go through the motions of smoking.

    It doesn't smell, you don't have to a finish a whole cigarette, you can just take a few puffs here and there, it doesn't cost a lot, it's easy and it really does help you quit smoking. If you lower the nicotine to zero but still enjoy the motions and feeling of vaping, you can do so with 0 nicotine.

    I recommend to anyone having a hard time, me and my partner did it together and it saved us from murdering each other.
  • Tofuli
    Tofuli Posts: 87 Member
    I'm not a smoker but I get the need for a habit. I just drink lots of black, unsweetened coffee!
  • CancerSurvivor2014
    CancerSurvivor2014 Posts: 111 Member
    I don't think it really gets easier after a couple of days. Maybe after the first couple of months. But you can use "how far you have come" to help increase willpower. For example after a day, say cravings get bad: stop and think "I have already been quit a day: do I really want to start all over?" before you know it, it has been 2 days, then 2 weeks,2 months etc....then it's in the rear-view! Been quit 8 years here. Keep at it!
  • Kyrenora
    Kyrenora Posts: 133 Member
    Vape. I smoked for over half my life and never once tried to quit. I started vaping in the summer and reducing the nicotine content in the juice slowly over a few months. I haven't had a cigarette since I started and now I reach for my vaporizer maybe once a day or twice on a stressful day.

    It allows you to tone down the nicotine, but still lets you go through the motions of smoking.

    It doesn't smell, you don't have to a finish a whole cigarette, you can just take a few puffs here and there, it doesn't cost a lot, it's easy and it really does help you quit smoking. If you lower the nicotine to zero but still enjoy the motions and feeling of vaping, you can do so with 0 nicotine.

    I recommend to anyone having a hard time, me and my partner did it together and it saved us from murdering each other.

    My husband's best friend did this, and it worked for him, but I've seen so many articles come out lately about how vaping has its own health risks. Maybe I could use it just for a transitional period...
  • owlprincess1234
    owlprincess1234 Posts: 62 Member
    I've read those too, but I've also read the same amount of articles saying its 95% safer than smoking. I think it depends who is writing and sponsoring... I am using vaping as a transition, I don't see myself vaping in the long term but it has been incredible. I have a stressful job, and going cold turkey with cigarettes was just not an option.
  • Nuke_64
    Nuke_64 Posts: 406 Member
    I'd say for the first few days, do whatever you need to but set an end date. Three days to a week of binge eating with the benefit of quitting smoking is worth it. Using a nicotine patch or gum I found can help. Vaping wasn't around when I quite, but from the articles I read, the main problem with vaping is that it doesn't tend to replace smoking so people just end up doing both. So if you go that route, commit to not smoking at all.

    I found the first few days to be the worst, then the urges would be random or stress induced after that--and continued for months. Now, many years later, I still have a random urge.
  • cecsav1
    cecsav1 Posts: 714 Member
    I quit smoking too (you know, for like the sixth time... lol), and so far, I've done really well. The first thing I did was pick a quit date. I smoked normally right up until midnight the night before. BUT at midnight, I cut up the remaining cigarettes, threw out all ashstrays, (kept one lighter for candles), and Febreezed everything in the house.

    As you mentioned, I think it's important to find healthier habits to replace smoking. I made a list before I quit:
    Drink hot tea
    Meditate 10 min
    Go for a walk
    Watch a TED Talk
    Lotion on hands/arms/legs
    Paint nails
    Deep breathing
    10 min nap

    Also, I've (temporarily) removed some things from my life that remind me of smoking. Instead of coffee, I drink tea. I don't go to the gas station 5 blocks from my house now, because that's where I bought my cigarettes, and I haven't spent much time at my mom's because she's a smoker, and we used to sit around and drink coffee and smoke and chat.

    You may even be able to find a group on here or FB or something with whom you can check in with when you feel the need to smoke. Hope this helps!
  • Kyrenora
    Kyrenora Posts: 133 Member
    Nuke_64 wrote: »
    I'd say for the first few days, do whatever you need to but set an end date. Three days to a week of binge eating with the benefit of quitting smoking is worth it. Using a nicotine patch or gum I found can help. Vaping wasn't around when I quite, but from the articles I read, the main problem with vaping is that it doesn't tend to replace smoking so people just end up doing both. So if you go that route, commit to not smoking at all.

    I found the first few days to be the worst, then the urges would be random or stress induced after that--and continued for months. Now, many years later, I still have a random urge.

    I've tried the patch before and Stage 1 always helps, but once I hit Stage 2 I start having really bad cravings again, and end up going back to cigarettes. I've always been skeptical about the gum, because I've known people that end up just using that forever. I've heard the same thing about it not being a replacement, but I think part of the reason I have so much trouble is that it allows me to walk away (go outside) and kind of reset, so I'm hoping that a replacement habit like that could work for me. I really want to stop the cigarettes cold turkey rather than just reducing the amount, because I've found that's not sustainable. If I have one stressful day, then I'm right back where I started.
  • kuranda10
    kuranda10 Posts: 593 Member
    I always carried almonds with me. When I got a "oral" craving I just ate those. good fats, lo-carbs enough protein and they take time to chew.
  • hmaddpear
    hmaddpear Posts: 610 Member
    Another vaper here. Managed to replace my 15-year, pack-a-day habit with a two-bottle-a-week one. I initially cut down the smoking to around 3 a day, with the vape. But had a hard time quitting last few cigs until last Christmas. I've now been tobacco-free for over a year and feel much better for it.

    Of course, vaping does carry its own (smaller) risks. I'm now looking to taper down the amount of nicotine I'm taking in, hopefully down to zero before putting down the vapes for good.
  • jhall260
    jhall260 Posts: 111 Member
    Smoke free since April 2nd, 2012. I consider it my second birthday.

    How old is your daughter? Can you sit down and talk to her about what mom and dad are doing? She may not fully understand - but kids are a lot smarter then we think. Tell her the truth about what you are going through and that you might get angry, but it's never her fault and that you love her.

    I used Chantix to quit. It worked wonders. I only used it for a month, and smoked the first week on it. The beauty of Chantix is how it works. It binds to nicotine receptors in the brain. So even if you smoke it doesn't give you the pleasurable effect that it normally wold have. The receptors are bound to the active ingredient in Chantix and don't signal the release of dopamine. Well now that my Chantix commercial is over;

    I replaced smoking with working out - like you said you can't always be working out. This is true but what I did was track my progress. I started to run. I have logged every workout since then. Seeing the improvements was awesome. Not only in weight, but my times and distance. I've even ran 4 marathons since I've quit.

    Get support - Chantix offers (at least they did when I was quitting) a support site. Use it. It may look stupid on the facade, but it is designed to work, and it does. Get support from your family and friends. Have a few of them you can call if your having an intense craving. It will pass and you will feel much better about yourself knowing that you beat the craving. You are more powerful then the addiction, not the other way around.

    One thing that worked for a co worker of mine who quit was having a picture of her son in her wallet with a phrase written on the back ab

    Best of luck! Remember if you slip up don't let it get you down. Get right back up and try again. If you ever need support please message me. I'd be happy to help in anyway I can! Even if it's just to vent your rage on a stranger =).


  • Kyrenora
    Kyrenora Posts: 133 Member
    jhall260 wrote: »
    Smoke free since April 2nd, 2012. I consider it my second birthday.

    How old is your daughter? Can you sit down and talk to her about what mom and dad are doing? She may not fully understand - but kids are a lot smarter then we think. Tell her the truth about what you are going through and that you might get angry, but it's never her fault and that you love her.

    I used Chantix to quit. It worked wonders. I only used it for a month, and smoked the first week on it. The beauty of Chantix is how it works. It binds to nicotine receptors in the brain. So even if you smoke it doesn't give you the pleasurable effect that it normally wold have. The receptors are bound to the active ingredient in Chantix and don't signal the release of dopamine. Well now that my Chantix commercial is over;

    I replaced smoking with working out - like you said you can't always be working out. This is true but what I did was track my progress. I started to run. I have logged every workout since then. Seeing the improvements was awesome. Not only in weight, but my times and distance. I've even ran 4 marathons since I've quit.

    Get support - Chantix offers (at least they did when I was quitting) a support site. Use it. It may look stupid on the facade, but it is designed to work, and it does. Get support from your family and friends. Have a few of them you can call if your having an intense craving. It will pass and you will feel much better about yourself knowing that you beat the craving. You are more powerful then the addiction, not the other way around.

    One thing that worked for a co worker of mine who quit was having a picture of her son in her wallet with a phrase written on the back ab

    Best of luck! Remember if you slip up don't let it get you down. Get right back up and try again. If you ever need support please message me. I'd be happy to help in anyway I can! Even if it's just to vent your rage on a stranger =).


    My daughter is only six months old, so too young for a talk, but old enough to pick up on and respond to my moods.

    Chantix sounds like it might really help. I will have to talk to my doctor about that one!
  • KANGOOJUMPS
    KANGOOJUMPS Posts: 6,479 Member
    It took time for me, I ate it all, drank it all, depends how bad you want it and the willpower and strength you have.
  • samshine916
    samshine916 Posts: 4 Member
    I am a former smoker, and maybe I have some helpful insight.
    In quitting, I tried to think about it as a life-style and permanent change. I think that thinking bigger picture helps you be more forgiving of yourself when you slip up while maintaining your greater goal. I also know that smoking is habitual in that, for instance, you always light a cigarette when you get into the car, or you always take your break and have a cigarette at work. So I would advise trying to change one of these at a time. When you get in the car, consciously do not light a cigarette. When you have your break, try to stay in the building and walk around rather than go outside.

    In terms of the hunger, grab a 32 oz water bottle and drink until it's empty and repeat. Grab some fruit and vegetables, carrot sticks, etc., to help you in your hunger. You can't eat too many of these even if you tried, so just try to make these choices when you can. Sparkling water instead of soda is a good choice too.

    Feel free to reach out if you want to talk more.

  • TheChrissyT
    TheChrissyT Posts: 263 Member
    I started kicking my own butt in the gym and then thought, "WHY AM I PRETENDING TO BE HEALTHY?!" I was smoking a pack a day. My advice is this, cold turkey it... Know that you will only think about them (all day every day) for a few days, every time you think you NEED a cigarette, tell yourself that you DO NOT. That the addiction is telling you that and you are stronger than it. That you only have to make it today, and if you need to smoke tomorrow, you will. Then tell yourself the same thing the next day too. After the first few days you only think about them half the day for a week or so more, and then it will be over. During that time, do what you need to do. One thing you can do if you're usual go to is food, make yourself 100 calorie snack bags and allot for that in your plan for the day. What got me through was cleaning. Let me tell you, that week my house was the cleanest it has ever been.

    Motivators:
    Every day write down how much you spent on cigarettes normally. For me it was like 6.25 a DAY. Then every day keep a running total of how much you have saved by not smoking, and at then use that money on things you wouldn't normally buy for yourself. Maybe it's more expensive makeup, or better running shoes, a fancy hair change, whatever indulgences materialistically that you can reward yourself with.

    Remind yourself that you're not taking something away from yourself, you're giving yourself something. You're not taking away cigarettes, you're adding time to your day (it takes a lot of time to smoke a lot), you're adding years that will suck less at the end of your life, you're adding money to your wallet, you're adding opportunity for elevated fitness. You're doing it because you love yourself, not because you're punishing yourself. I LOVED smoking, I would still enjoy it... I just love myself and what I've gained more.