Most women struggle with weight gain after hysterectomy, especially in the first year after the surgery. Not only that, but they also struggle with losing the weight once they’ve gained it. After surgery, while you are recovering and resting, it is easy to gain weight. Fortunately, even if you can’t exercise or burn as many calories as you normally would, there are other things you can do to prevent weight gain after hysterectomy. We’ll talk about 5 of them today.
How to Prevent Weight Gain After Hysterectomy: 5 Useful Tips
1. Eat Healthy and Create a Routine
One of the most helpful tips we can provide is related to your post-op diet. If you used to eat a lot preoperatively, you aren’t necessarily supposed to eat as much as you did before, but you should definitely eat healthier meals. The size of the portions is extremely relevant. You should eat small portions as much as possible. You can make the meals more frequent in order not to starve yourself. Eating up to 6 times a day in small portions is perfect for your diet. What you eat is also important. You should strive to eat as healthy as possible and incorporate a lot of fruit and vegetables in your diet. They will help you keep your weight in check.
In terms of foods that will help you avoid putting on weight after a hysterectomy, we recommend some that are perfect for speeding up your metabolism, like lentils, oatmeal, lean meat, chili peppers, and almonds. At the other end of the spectrum, sugary snacks, as well as sodas and fruit juices should be avoided at all costs. They contain almost no fiber, yet a lot of fructose. This means you’re basically consuming sugary calories that will later turn into fat.
The interesting thing about food is that it can also promote healing and help with post-op recovery. Completely recovering from a hysterectomy can take about 3 months until you regain all your energy. In these 3 months, you should consume foods that contain nutrients. Nutrients help repair internal wounds, which is precisely what you need. In order to help with tissue repair, eat a lot of vitamin C, iron, protein, and zinc. You can find these ingredients in fruit, salad, fish, eggs, and low fat dairy. Eating fiber is also important. Replace carbohydrates with whole-wheat flour, brown rice, vegetable soups, and pasta salads.
2. Drink Water
As you might already know, water contains no calories. Moreover, it can cause your metabolism to speed up by as much as 30 percent. Not only should you make sure you drink enough water on a regular basis, but you should also drink it on an empty stomach. This will help you keep your appetite in check and eat less than usual. Two glasses of water before you start eating are enough to keep you full and prevent you from overeating.
When it comes to your overall water intake, you should drink approximately 2 liters every day. Water should also serve as a replacement for alcohol after hysterectomy, since the latter is not recommended. If you feel like drinking something sweet every once in a while, we suggest low calorie drinks and herbal teas.
3. Exercise as Much as You Can
We know we’ve already mentioned exercising can be difficult for women who’ve just had a hysterectomy. Still, you don’t have to do any complex exercises in order to prevent weight gain after hysterectomy. All you need to do is try to be as active as possible, at least 3 hours every single day. You can go for a walk, ride a bike, go swimming, but also clean your house, and it would still count as exercising. Exercising doesn’t only help prevent weigh gain. It also helps with your emotional well-being.
One thing we urge you to remember is talking to your doctor before exercising. Ask him or her if you can do that without interfering with the post-op period. Especially since there’s a time period after surgery in which you have to rest and allow your body to heal. When the doctor says it’s fine for you to exercise, don’t hesitate to start moving around. Walking after surgery does a very good job to promote healing, help your organs function better, and help your mental well being.
In fact, your surgeon might even suggest some mild exercises that you should do post-op, such as circulation exercises, bed mobility ones, deep breathing, and so on. You should continue to do those and – following the doctor’s advice – add walking into your daily routine and, later on, perhaps even general fitness exercises. The great thing about these exercises is that you can personalize them so as to target weight loss and management.
4. Rest Properly
Rest is also important after you’ve had a hysterectomy. Sleep has a strong connection to our metabolism, and the lack of it will increase your risk of gaining weight after surgery. It is recommended you get enough sleep. Failing to do so will impact your metabolism and might cause weight gain. In fact, a study published in the International Journal of Endocrinology connects sleep and metabolism, reaching the conclusion that lack of sleep can increase the risk of diabetes and being overweight.
5. Create a Daily Routine
One of the main reasons for weight gain after hysterectomy is the boredom you feel while recovering from your surgery. In order to avoid this from happening, we advise you to come up with a routine that will help you keep your mind off overeating. Plan the order of daily activities such as showering and add activities that can be done as part of the recovery process. Some examples would be watching movies, reading, completing puzzles, or organizing things. Keep in mind that the routine should be flexible, since you might have days when you feel the need to rest more.
Summing It All Up
If you’ve recently had a hysterectomy or you’re thinking of having one, you should be informed regarding the chances of weight gain after hysterectomy. Most often than not, this weight gain comes as a result of inactivity. As long as you follow the tips above, you won’t have to worry about becoming overweight as a result of your surgery.