Be patient with weight control efforts. Quitting smoking is harder than losing weight, initially. But weight control is a harder process in the long term. For once you quit smoking, not smoking eventually becomes a habit. And the battle line for successfully not smoking is clear and simple to understand. You are fighting a puff. You can't administer any nicotine. There is no gray area here.
Eating is more complicated. You will have to eat the rest of your life. When are you eating a little more than you should? A little more is a difficult concept. If you eat a little more once, it is no big deal. If you eat a little more every day, there is a problem. An example, let's say as a "reward" for not smoking, you have one extra cookie, say about 100 calories. Weight yourself at the end of that day and nothing would have happened. Now lets say you do this every day for a week. Weigh yourself at the end of the week and you probably still won't notice any difference. You would have consumed 700 calories, but basically it's not noticeable. If you do it for a month, you may have increased the scale weight by almost a pound. Now you would have consumed about 3,000 calories, and 3,500 calories is about a pound of fat. But think about this too, if you step on a scale one-month to the next and had altered a pound, that would be no grounds for panic. A pound, that can be scale error. Heck, you can step on a scale a couple of times a day and seem to vary a pound. So the pattern of the extra cookie still seems unimportant.
Now the catch. If you continue this pattern of one seemingly harmless cookie for a year, 10.4 pounds of fat will be the result and if you don't catch on after that and do it for 10 years, 104 pounds of fat is the outcome! 104 pounds from the addition of one cookie a day!
Here is where substituting food becomes treacherous. You do it with the idea that it is only for the early days of quitting but it often is extended to it's own pattern. One cookie or 100 calories is probably minimal compared to the number of actual calories substituted by many people.
If you eat a little more, you can exercise to offset the difference. But you must be realistic about how much exercise is needed to offset caloric intake. You have to exercise quite a bit to burn off a relatively small amount of food.
An example, let's say you sit down at a feast. You start out with a drink before dinner. Next you have a dinner roll or two with a little butter. Followed by a salad, with croutons and a teaspoon of salad dressing. Now the main course, meats, potatoes, vegetable with cheese sauces, another helping of meat to top it off. You're pretty full now, better stop. Oh, but wait, dessert is being served. You have a pie ala mode. Boy you are stuffed now. Almost sick to your stomach in fact. You know what you decide to do? You are going out for a walk. You actually drag yourself outside and walk for 20 minutes. Your hope may be to burn off the meal. In fact, you will burn off the teaspoon salad dressing. You won't touch the calories of the appetizers, drinks, main course or dessert. You will burn the equivalent of the salad dressing. I am not saying don't go for the walk. I am saying don't eat food with a shovel, go for a short walk and expect to rectify the meal.
OK, now what's the upside here. Basically, making a little change can cause a significant weight alteration. But this process works in reverse too. If you "deprive" yourself of a cookie daily, and go for a walk, weigh your self at the end of a week and see no change, you get discouraged. If you are patient and weigh yourself at the end of the month and lose a couple of pounds, you can be furious. A couple of pounds after all that deprivation and work, what's the point? Again, even a couple of pounds could be scale error. But if you stick with it even though it seems initially futile, over the year you could lose 20 pounds and likely keep it off. Again, a little change adds up to a big difference over a lifetime. Patience is crucial. You are not starving yourself or working yourself to exhaustion, just not taking one food item and a simple 20-minute walk. Slow, but constant. By making a small modification to daily eating patterns and sticking with it over the long term, you can lose significant weight.
Take simple steps here to alter the daily patterns. A little less food, a little more activity. The reward is not immediately obvious but will be with time. Improved health, self-esteem, just overall feeling of well being. You can do this as an ex-smoker, but you must prove it to yourself. But again be patient. Quitting smoking had great benefits that are often immediately felt. Weight control efforts are a little harder to see and feel initially, but the rewards will be forth coming with time. So start today off right, watch what you eat and Never Take Another Puff!