Losing weight after a hysterectomy can seem almost impossible. After giving birth, your body needs to go through a process of readjustment. One of the most profound changes is that you now have fewer opportunities to go through a period of rapid weight loss via calorie-rich snacks and cocktails. For some ladies, this can mean weighing in at a heavier weight than before surgery.
If this sounds like you, then follow our top ten tips on how to lose weight after your hysterectomy and get back on track!
1. Understand Why You Need To Lose Weight
As with any other part of your body, your cervix needs to settle down after giving birth. One important aspect of this is that your body needs to reduce the amount of weight that it’s carrying around in relation to your pre-pregnancy BMI. The NHS recommends that women who’ve had a hysterectomy should aim to lose at least ten percent of their body weight. This reduces their risk of complications such as blood clots and heart disease.
If you find that this sounds like an extremely daunting proposition, then try to break it down into smaller pieces. There are many reasons why you might want to lose weight after your hysterectomy, and it’s preferable to look at these rather than focusing on the big picture.
2. Identify The Main Complications From The Surgery
Although your surgeon will have addressed this with you during your pre-surgery consultation, it’s worth bearing in mind that not all complications will appear immediately after your surgery. Some of the more common longer-term complications include urinary incontinence and vaginal dryness. It’s also possible that you might become infertile due to the injury to your ovaries during the surgery.
If you experience any of these complications, then it might be in your interest to re-evaluate whether or not you really want to go ahead with the surgery. On the other hand, some of the more minor complications, such as vaginal adhesions and low back pain, are often attributed to obesity, and so it’s in your best interests to get rid of it.
3. Seek Help From Trusted Sources
Apart from the complications discussed above, there’s also a chance that you might experience psychological problems after your surgery. The surgery itself can be a really traumatic event, especially if it’s a double or even a single-stage procedure. If you experience any flashbacks or nightmares related to this event, then it might be in your best interests to seek professional help. Talking through these issues with a psychologist or psychiatrist might help you to deal with your past and move forward with your life.
4. Get Enough Sleep
In the same way that your body needs to restore and repair itself after giving birth, your body needs plenty of time to rest after surgery. Try to get at least seven hours of sleep each night, and make sure that you get at least four hours of continuous and undisturbed sleep. Short, broken sleeps can disrupt your circadian rhythm and leave you feeling tired and grumpy the next day.
If you can, then try to reduce your sleep apnea, and if this is not possible, then consider opting for a nasal mask during your sleep. This will stop you from taking lengthy naps during the day, and so prevent further weight gain.
5. Follow Doctors’ Instructions
If you go through with the surgery, then you’ll need to take it easy for a while as your body heals. This means avoiding strenuous exercise and dehydration. It also means sticking to the nutrition plan that your surgeon provides you with, drinking plenty of water, and avoiding high-calorie, sugary food.
If you do any online research regarding losing weight after your surgery, then you’ll come across many health sites that recommend against drinking alcohol, especially if you’re taking certain medications. These include the blood thinning agent, aspirin, and the hormone therapy, Tamoxifen. If you do take any of these medications, then it’s best to avoid alcohol altogether while you’re taking them.
6. Eat What You Need
Apart from the general guidance provided in tip number five, it’s important to look at the specific foods that you need to include in your diet. If you’re breastfeeding, then you need to make sure that you eat foods rich in vitamin C, such as strawberries, kiwi fruit, and broccoli. It’s also a good idea to eat foods that are high in fat and calories, such as nuts and seeds, avocados, and chocolate. While it’s important to reduce your overall calorie intake, you should not deprive yourself of the foods that you enjoy most. If you go overboard and starve yourself, then this could lead to health complications.
7. Get Active
As discussed above, your body needs to restore and repair itself after giving birth. This means that you need to get active, and try to walk as much as you can. Even if you only walk for a short while each day, it’s still good for your health. Studies have shown that even a very short walk is beneficial, and can boost your mood. If possible, try to exercise with a group of friends, as this can encourage you to do it more frequently.
8. Get Relaxing
Nowadays, many doctors will also prescribe you with anti-anxiety and anti-depressants medication if you experience anxiety or depression after your surgery. If you go through with the surgery, then it’s important to try and get as much relaxation as you can. Whether this means taking a vacation to a quiet place or lying in bed with a good audiobook, make sure that you do whatever it takes to relax.
9. Follow Up With Your Doctor
After going through with your surgery, it’s important to follow up with your doctor at a later date. This will be to discuss your progress, make sure that you’re comfortable, and answer any questions that you might have. It’s also worth bearing in mind that as your body heals, your doctor will need to re-evaluate whether or not you’re ready for surgery again. If you go back too soon, then you risk your surgery becoming necessary in the first place.
10. Manage Your Expectations
Last but not least, it’s important to keep in mind how you’re going to react to the changes that your body is going through. Just because you’ve had a hysterectomy doesn’t mean that you’re not going to regain your previous shape. Not every woman is going to lose ten pounds, or even five pounds. This is completely normal, and it takes time for your body to get back on track.
Even if you do lose a significant amount of weight, this is still just a part of the healing process, and it’s not indicative of a permanent change in your body. As long as you follow our top ten tips, then you’re sure to lose the weight and get back on track.