TLDR: This blog looks at how to lose weight after a hysterectomy if you are struggling with the menopause middle (if you know, you know!) We look at exercises and diet and this article is written by Becky, a qualified Personal Trainer, so there’s some great advice.
Don’t want to read this one? Let me read it out for you!
We’ve covered hysterectomy in quite a lot of depth over the blog, but in case you missed it, here’s a quick overview.
A hysterectomy is the surgical removal of the uterus. Sometimes it includes the ovaries, cervix, and fallopian tubes – depending on the circumstances. In 2019, Our Remedy founder, Rachel, had a total hysterectomy after being diagnosed with a rare type of ovarian cancer.
Other reasons people have a hysterectomy include:
- Uterine bleeding (abnormal)
Rachel has written lots more about her experience with having a hysterectomy:
- Real life experience of a hysterectomy
- Supplements after a hysterectomy
- What not to do after a hysterectomy
What Causes Weight Gain After A Hysterectomy?
Having a hysterectomy will lower your body’s estrogen levels. One study found that this can be linked to weight gain in some women. In the study those who had a hysterectomy, with both ovaries removed, weighed on average 3 lbs more than those who hadn’t had the surgery. Heavier women and those who had weight fluctuations were found to be at a greater risk of weight gain.
How to manage weight gain after a hysterectomy
I’m a qualified personal trainer and have 5 years’ experience specialising in training women. Over the years I’ve trained many menopausal, and peri- women with different goals – but often focused on weight loss or maintaining weight, I want to help you if you are wondering how to lose weight after a hysterectomy.
Of course, after your hysterectomy you need to wait 3-6 weeks and for the doctor’s sign off until you start some gentle exercise.
When you are ready to get started bodyweight and weight training is a good place to start. While weight loss might be your goal, you shouldn’t overlook the health of your bones, as studies show you can be more prone to osteoporosis after a hysterectomy and bone fracture. Resistance training can be swimming, pilates, weight training, and bodyweight exercises.
Cardio exercise is a great calorie burner too. Cardio would be activities like dancing, running, power walking, swimming, HIIT training, cycling – basically anything that gets your heart rate up.
If you need extra guidance, Becci Allen is an online PT Rachel and i have both used and thought was fantastic.
I suggest weight training 2 times a week:
- Body weight and weight training
- Resistance training
I suggest cardio 2 times a week:
- Walking more
Ever heard the phrase, you can’t out-train a bad diet? Well, it’s true. The best thing to do is a combination of diet and exercise to help if you’re wondering how to lose weight after a hysterectomy.
Centre your plate around veggies and lean proteins. Try to limit sugary snacks that aren’t going to fill you up and have very little nutritional value.
BUT, don’t starve yourself, make sure you’re getting enough calories so you’re not going to crave sugary foods – and a massive binge! Fill the fridge and cupboards with healthy snacks and a little of what you love. I’m talking mini versions of your chocolate bar so you’re not completely restricting yourself (Freddo’s and dark chocolate are great to have on stand by!)
Plan your meals too. Everything from breakfast to lunch, dinner and snacks should be planned out to avoid the temptation of takeaways and hunger induced dashes to the shop.
If you need help, get in touch with a qualified nutritionist who can give you a meal plan and bespoke advice tailored to your personal circumstances and preferences.
Takeaways – How to lose weight after a hysterectomy
- While you might be more likely to gain weight easier after a hysterectomy, you can manage it.
- A combination of good nutrition and exercise is key to maintaining a healthy weight.
- Try different types of exercise to see what you enjoy most.
Rachel’s Personal Experience Of Losing Weight After A Hysterectomy
Hi, Rachel here, Founder of Our Remedy and someone who has personally tried to lose weight after a hysterectomy! Becky has done a fantastic job at giving tips in this article but I wanted to add my personal weight lose journey after having my hysterectomy.
When I first had the surgery and for about one year after I actually lost weight. I have never been big, I am naturally quite petite, but I actually dropped quite a bit of weight.
Here I am about 7 months after my hysterectomy, I think I look very small and I did naturally lose weight after the surgery.
I had this much smaller frame for around about the next year but suddenly around 18 months after my surgery I started to notice my weight was fluctuating a lot more. Certain food could quickly cause me to be bloated and I found I needed to watch what I was eating more than I ever had done before.
It’s been 3 years since my surgery now and I do feel I am getting uncomfortable with the weight gain. I struggle a lot with feeling bloated which leads me to get a backache quite regularly. I have to make sure I am doing regular exercise and eating well, or I don’t feel right in myself.
I do know that in these two pictures below I am still small enough, but I am very uncomfortable with feeling this way.
I am trying my best to maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle but it is definitely a frustrating side effect of having a hysterectomy that I didn’t have to worry about before!
I will keep this page updated with my progress and experience and if I have any moments of wisdom about losing weight after a hysterectomy I shall be sure to add it!