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Weight Gain After Hysterectomy

By Dietitian, Juliette Kellow BSc RD

Q: I’ve lost just over a stone in 11 weeks but am soon going to have a hysterectomy, which will severely restrict my activity levels and leave me off work for three months. How can I best protect the progress I’ve already made and maintain my weight loss in these circumstances?

A: Congratulations on losing weight and I hope your operation goes well. It’s difficult to answer this question as you really don’t know how you’re going to feel. Some people find they lose their appetite in the days following surgery while others get back to normal really quite quickly. Nevertheless, within a few weeks you should be feeling on form again.

As you won’t be able to exercise, it’s important that you concentrate on eating a healthy diet to avoid weight gain. This will not only help to control your weight, but will also help your recovery. Both zinc and vitamin C are great foods for boosting immunity, helping to heal wounds and preventing infection so you’d be wise to include plenty of foods rich in these nutrients in your diet. Good sources of zinc include lean meat, fish, poultry, eggs, reduced-fat dairy products, bread, wholegrain cereals, beans and lentils. Vitamin C is found in citrus fruits and their juices, blackcurrants, berries, kiwi fruit, peppers and tomatoes. Fortunately, all these foods fit in with a healthy, balanced diet and are low in fat, too.

As you will be at home for three months, it’s also important that you don’t turn to food to help you relieve boredom or stress. Snacking continuously throughout the day on biscuits, cakes, toast and jam, crisps and sugary drinks is the surest way to put those pounds back on. Always make the effort to have a sensible breakfast and lunch and drink tea, coffee or water between meals. Meanwhile, if someone else is shopping for you, you could still write the list so you can be sure they buy the normal healthy options you choose. And when it comes to cooking, you could still plan meals and quietly supervise the chef to ensure meals are healthy and not loaded with oil, cream, cheese or fatty meats.

Overall though, the key is not to worry too much. Once you’re fully recovered, you’ll be able to get back on track and watch those pounds start to come off again.

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