You did it. You successfully beat cancer. Now that your battle is behind you, it is time for you to get back to feeling and looking like your old self again. If only it were that simple.

Reasons for Weight Gain During Cancer Treatment

If you gained weight while undergoing chemo, you are not alone. Did you know that over 50% of women gain weight during the treatment for breast cancer? Certain types of chemotherapy can cause a variety of side effects which can lead to weight gain in patients. These side effects include:

  • Fatigue
    Chemo has been known to cause fatigue, which is commonly described as feeling tired, weak, and utterly exhausted. A side effect of fatigue is a decrease of physical activity, and as a result an increase in weight gain may occur.
  • Increased Hunger and Food Cravings
    Couldn’t get enough chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream? You were not alone. Many chemo patients experience acute food cravings, specifically for high-fat foods.
  • Early Menopause
    Hot flashes, mood swings, and night sweats. As if you didn’t already have enough on your plate, chemo has been known to cause menopause in some women, which can lead to a decrease in your body’s rate of metabolism.
  • Edema
    Swollen feet and ankles aren’t just for expecting mothers. Chemo can cause edema, a condition in which the body holds on to excess fluid in cells and tissue.

Tips For Weight Loss Post Cancer

Controllable factors like diet and exercise can decrease the risk of breast cancer recurrence. Therefore, maintaining a healthy lifestyle and weight is important for cancer survivors. If you are interested in losing weight and getting back into shape post-cancer, here are a few helpful tips:

  1. Set a Plan
    The first step is speaking with your doctor or a trained professional to determine a safe and sensible plan. This plan should be tailored to fit you and your specific needs. Don’t be discouraged if your doctor wants you to wait until you are fully recovered from past treatments or health issues prior to starting a new workout or diet regimen.
  2. Eat RIght
    Try not to get wrapped up in the latest diet fad and counting calories. The secret to losing weight is ingesting the right foods– not less of the wrong foods. Keep in mind that the hormone insulin plays a large role in how our bodies use and store fat. Research suggests that eating food such as lean meat and fish, poultry, fruits, and vegetables tend to keep insulin levels steady and can aid in maintaining a healthy weight.
  3. Exercise
    It is not a secret that staying active keeps the weight off and comes with added benefits such as more energy, an increase in strength, and a boost to your self-esteem. Be sure to start slow and work your way into your new exercise regimen. Your body is still recovering and you don’t want to overdo it. Walking is a great place to start and safe way to burn calories.

Losing weight and living healthy is not an easy task for the average person, but for a cancer survivor such as yourself, it can be even more challenging. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. You have gone from having a team of medical professionals, friends, and family at your side and you may find yourself missing the support you once had. You don’t have to battle weight loss alone.

Turn to Total HealthcareMD

If you are ready to say goodbye to your added weight once and for all, let the professionals at Total HealthcareMD help. Our team of weight loss professionals are experts in helping patients achieve their weight loss and wellness goals while lending support and encouragement. Schedule a complimentary consultant today to learn more about our unique program.