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After a total hysterectomy, in which the ovaries and removed along with the uterus, the body is forced into menopause as estrogen levels fall suddenly. This dramatic shift in hormone levels accounts for weight gain mostly around the waist, difficulty sleeping and mood changes. Although it is more difficult for women to lose weight after menopause because of a sluggish metabolism, patience and determination will go a long way toward achieving a slimmer waist.
Develop Healthy Eating Habits
Measure portions. Be aware of how much you eat for each serving.
Drink water. You tend to retain more water after a hysterectomy than previously. Drinking 8 to 10 glasses of water every day will keep your body hydrated and less likely to retain water and become bloated.
Select fresh fruits and vegetables and whole grains. These are good sources of fiber, which will help you feel full and help your colon health.
Eat protein, but make sure to choose lean cuts, skinless chicken and fish.
Limit your intake of saturated and trans fats, which are found in butter, margarine, shortening and deep-fried foods. Choose healthier alternatives, such as olive oil or canola oil.
Boost the amount of dairy in your diet. Low-fat milk, cheese and yogurt are important sources of calcium. Calcium is important for healthy bones. As estrogen levels fall, bones lose calcium faster.
Get Into the Exercise Habit
Exercise regularly. Aerobic exercise burns calories, conditions your heart and improves your stamina. Experiment until you find a regimen that suits you. Try jogging, walking or a dance class. Aerobic exercise has the added benefit of helping improve your bone health and prevent osteoporosis.
Add strength training to your routine. Weight lifting won't result in dramatic weight loss, but it will help tone muscle and increase your strength.
Take up yoga or Pilates to improve your flexibility, balance and body strength.
Your doctor may recommend hormone replacement therapy (HRT) to reduce the effects of the sudden loss of estrogen after your hysterectomy. HRT has the benefit of reducing menopausal symptoms, such as hot flashes and mood swings and may help prevent heart disease. However, it may also increase the risk of breast cancer in some women if used long term. HRT have not been shown to have any effect on weight gain following hysterectomy.