27 July, 2017
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At Healthfully, we strive to deliver objective content that is accurate and up-to-date. Our team periodically reviews articles in order to ensure content quality. The sources cited below consist of evidence from peer-reviewed journals, prominent medical organizations, academic associations, and government data.
- MayoClinic.com: Belly Fat
- MayoClinic.com: Menopause Weight Gain
- MayoClinic.org: Hysterectomy Options
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How to Get Rid of Belly Fat After a Hysterectomy
If your ovaries are removed when you have a hysterectomy, this immediately throws you into menopause. One of the unpleasant side effects of menopause is that women tend to gain weight in their bellies. Fat accumulation in this area is not good because it ups your risks for diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular disease. Getting rid of post-hysterectomy and/or post-menopausal belly fat is a challenge because hormonal changes alter the way your body breaks down and stores fat, which leads to fat accumulation in our stomach area. Check with your doctor before beginning any exercise program.
Do abdominal hollowing exercises. Get down on your hands and knees and allow your stomach to hang down. Breathe in and when you exhale, pull your belly button inward as well as upward toward your spine. The more you do this exercise, the quicker you'll see results. Start out slowly and do five repetitions and then rest. For a week, do one stomach hollowing exercise set a day. The second week, if you are feeling stronger, do the exercises once a day but increase your reps to 10.
Do pelvic lifts. Lying on your back, bend your right knee and then your left knee. Your feet are planted on the floor and your arms are down to the sides. Lift your buttocks off the floor and as you do, tighten your buttocks and feel the pull on your abdominal area. You are supporting yourself with your hands and upper back and your feet. Hold and then lower to the starting position. Once again, start out slowly. Do five pelvic lifts once a day for a week. If you are feeling strong, increase the reps to 10 the following week and so on.
Do pelvic tilts. Lying on your back, bend your knees with your feet planted on the floor. Pushing your back against the floor requires that you tighten your abdominal muscles and tilt your pelvis upward. This is a good work-out for the belly. Hold this position for as long as you can -- 10 seconds is recommended -- and then release. Do five pelvic tilts the first week, once a day. The next week increase the reps by five. You will be able to do more as you get stronger.
Work out with hand weights, a form of strength training. You don’t have to use heavy barbells -- 3- to 5-pound hand weights are more than adequate. Carry hand weights while you are walking to intensify your workout. You also can do curls and overhead lifts using hand weights while you are watching television. Anytime you incorporate weights into your exercise regime, you will work your body harder. Start slowly, using 3-pound weights for five reps. When that is no longer challenging, move up to 5-pounds weights. If using the weights tugs uncomfortably on your belly, back off and give your hysterectomy incision more time to heal.
Eating the right foods helps eliminate belly fat. Limit your consumption of refined pasta and simple carbohydrates, while eating more complex carbs, including fruits and vegetables.
After a hysterectomy, some women experience swollen bellies, which are referred to as "swelly bellies," according to Hystersisters.com. Trauma to the stomach area during surgery as well as trapped gasses and excess fluid can contribute to a swollen belly. This condition is not caused by accumulated fat. This belly bloating eventually goes away on its own, but exercising and eating right certainly help.
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