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How to Try to Lose Weight After Chemotherapy

By Sarah Davis ; Updated July 18, 2017

Chemotherapy causes side effects such as nausea, constipation and weight gain. The website BreastCancer.org states that the medicines used in chemotherapy as well as the hormonal fluctuations it causes can lead to weight gain.

  1. Change your diet so that you are eating fewer calories and less fat than you did before you went through chemotherapy. Your treatment may have affected your metabolism. If you eat a diet rich in fruits and vegetables and low in processed foods like chips and candy, you will be able to lose weight. BreastCancer.com also recommends choosing low fat dairy products like 1 percent milk and reduced fat cheese instead of whole milk and regular cheese.

  2. Exercise four to five hours per week. The website BreastCancer.org states that women who exercise four or five hours each week have lower breast cancer recurrence rates, and exercise will help you lose weight by burning calories. The American Cancer Society states that exercising three to five days per week can also boost your immune system, which is essential after chemotherapy. Find an exercise that you enjoy doing, whether it is dancing, swimming or an aerobics DVD.

  3. Join a weight-loss support group. The American Cancer Society recommends using weight-loss support groups, such as Weight Watchers, to lose weight after chemotherapy. Weight loss support groups can give you motivation to eat right and to exercise.

  4. Think positive and be patient. One of the benefits of losing weight is that it decreases the risk of recurrence for some cancers, according to the website BreastCancer.com. Instead of focusing on how hard it is to lose weight, remember that the process takes time. The more positive your outlook is about your weight loss goals, the more attainable they will be.

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