The Secret to Hysterectomy Weight Loss and How to Do It Right

Looking for some post-hysterectomy weight loss and diet tips? Many women cannot figure out why losing weight after a hysterectomy seems impossible.

hysterectomy weight loss

Following a hysterectomy, you might find yourself gaining weight, or you may be heavier from the beginning, and diets that used to work well appear not to help anymore.

Weight gain after hysterectomy can be especially harmful because it can contribute to getting pelvic floor weakness and a vaginal prolapse after the hysterectomy.

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Menopause hormonal changes cause weight gain

Yes, we can blame menopause weight gain on our hormones. Women entering menopause because of a hysterectomy will have dramatic hormonal changes. Estrogen and progesterone drop suddenly, and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH) rise.
However, the majority of menopausal symptoms they believe are associated with changes in the levels of estrogen. The ovaries stop producing follicles and eggs, so estradiol secreted from those follicles declines as well.

Furthermore, many women endure a notable increase in cortisol in the nightly hours due to hot flashes and night sweats. Cortisol is a stress hormone often responsible for weight gain, particularly belly fat.

Again, higher cortisol levels may be due to a more exhausting lifestyle many women have during this period in their lives. They are trying to balance raising teenage children, a full-time job and maintaining a solid and healthy relationship with their spouse.

In other words, all these hormonal imbalances are causing you to have difficulties with post-hysterectomy weight loss.

7 secrets for successful hysterectomy weight loss

I hope all this hormonal straight-talking has not disheartened you to start changing your current lifestyle to lose weight. Menopause is something we can’t alter; it happens to all of us women, but it affects some more than others.

Nevertheless, your weight loss effort should not just focus on improving your body’s appearance so you can have a beautiful figure. For clear health reasons, it is vital to keep our body fat to a minimum during menopause.

#1. Cut down on the carbohydrates.

low carb or keto diets work well for hysterectomy weight lossk

The first significant step is cutting down on useless carbohydrates like those in rice, white bread, and potatoes. These high-carb foods are quickly transformed into sugars in your body and raise insulin. When the insulin in the blood is high, your body will never tap into your body fat to use it for energy.

On the contrary, it will burn the sugar readily available in your blood and store what it doesn’t need on your butt and all the other areas you absolutely don’t want it.

Some women already see results when they start leaving out sugary drinks and baked goods loaded with added sugars. However, the lower you go on carbs, the faster you lose weight.

Low-carb diets and Keto diets work well for post-hysterectomy weight loss. They provide you with plenty of protein and more fat. Lessening the number of carbs you eat will trigger specific changes in the body, precisely what your body uses for energy. By consuming more high-protein foods like fish, meat, eggs, and cheese, you will feel more easily satisfied while eating fewer calories.

#2. Exercise for post-hysterectomy weight loss

Shortly after a hysterectomy, you will be sore and will have difficulty with high-impact exercises like running or jogging.

exercise for weight loss

As you begin to heal, you can beef up the exercise program so that you can do just about any form of exercise that suits you and that you enjoy.

Talk to your doctor about when to resume normal physical activity, and consider joining a health club or hiring a trainer. One that can help you learn how to exercise properly to lose weight and gain muscle strength without injury.

For successful post-hysterectomy weight loss, the best way is to find a type of workout or activity you enjoy doing and is right for you. Do your favorite workout for at least thirty minutes per day on most days of the week.

Some good exercises for the first months after a hysterectomy are swimming, riding a bicycle (as soon as it is not sore from sitting on a bicycle), and walking. These tend to be easier on the joints and can strengthen your body’s muscles.

Resistance training and aerobic exercises are the best exercises for women who are fully recovered from their surgery. These exercises will encourage fat loss while inhibiting muscle loss, which commonly happens to women going through menopause.

#3. Limit the times you eat

When you consume food often throughout the day, your body will not get the chance to burn stored body fat. Eating less often may help burn excess body fat and stop your body from continuously producing insulin.

limit the times you eat

More and more research proposes that how often and the time we eat is critical for weight loss. It shows that intermittent fasting can be a practical, maintainable, and effective method for losing weight. The word fasting may sound frightful, but it does not have to be. There are many different approaches to intermittent fasting, and some are very sustainable.

  • The 16/8 method (16 hours fast and 8-hour eating window)
  • The 5:2 fasting diet (5 days eating normally and 2 days only 500-600 calories)
  • Eat stop eat method ( alternate fast 24 hours and two days normal eating)
  • Every other day fast (24 hours fast and 1 day normal)

Intermittent fasting may be a great weight loss tool that many women rave about, but it does not fit everyone. I recommend that if you try intermittent fasting, eat nutritious foods during the hours you can eat. Do not expect to lose weight if you overindulge in junk food.

#4. Get enough quality sleep

Did you know that something so simple as a good night’s sleep can affect your efforts at losing weight? For one, lack of sleep opens your brain up to bad decision-making. A brain deprived of sleep may find it hard to resist a delicious piece of chocolate cake.

get enough sleep

Moreover, the body’s reaction to sleep deficiency is to make more ghrelin, the hormone that increases your appetite.

Therefore, you are more likely to overeat. One study shows that insufficient sleep makes people eat larger portions and crave more high-calorie, carbohydrate-rich foods.

If surgical menopause after the hysterectomy is causing you not to get much sleep, you may like to try the following:

  1. Ensure the bedroom is dark, cool, and quiet.
  2. Create a relaxing bedtime ritual (taking a bath or doing yoga)
  3. Avoid alcohol and cigarettes before bedtime 
  4. Shut off your computer/ phone an hour before you go to bed.

#5. Increase your water intake 

drink more water

Drinking lots of water has plenty of advantages. For one, it will fill your stomach and curb your appetite. You often think you are hungry, but you may feel dehydrated. You will also eat less food if you drink water before meals.

Water has zero calories and is a much healthier alternative to sweetened beverages like energy drinks, carbonated sodas, mocha coffees, and flavored waters.

Replacing these with water is the simplest step you can take to lower your calorie intake.

#6. Low-calorie diet for post hysterectomy weight loss

The average woman should take about 2000 to 2500 calories daily to maintain her weight. This varies according to your overall metabolism and the amount you currently weigh.

low calorie diet

If you are a higher weight person, it takes more calories to maintain that weight, giving you an easier chance to lessen the number of calories you take.

To achieve post-hysterectomy weight loss, decrease your caloric intake by about 500 calories daily. Read package labeling to see how many calories are in a serving of your food.

Pay attention to the serving size listed on the labeling. Be careful, as a package often has more than one serving size.

You can’t go wrong with a diet of whole fruits, vegetables, whole grain products, and lean meats. One serving size of meat is only about 3 ounces, which is the amount you can fit into the palm of your hand. Cut off any visible fat from the meat, and don’t fry anything you eat, including meats and other foods.

If you reduce the number of calories you eat by 500 calories per day, you will lose about a pound per week and won’t feel deprived of food. If you are having trouble deciding which foods you should eat, speak to a dietician or nutritionist to set up a meal plan that provides you with good nutrition and fewer calories per day.

#7. Get the stress out of your life

For hysterectomy weight loss, you have to reduce elevated cortisol levels that are caused by stress.

stress relief and hysterectomy weight loss

Cortisol encourages weight gain but can also influence where the body puts on the weight. It stimulates the metabolism of fat and carbohydrates for fast energy.

Exercise is the best and quickest method to do so, as exercise makes your body release endorphins. Endorphins are natural mood elevators.

If you like to take the edge off your stressful life, I suggest trying yoga, pilates, or tai chi to get immediate relief. Meditation and deep breathing will fill your blood with oxygen, activate your parasympathetic nervous system, and free your mind.


Believe me, post-hysterectomy weight loss is doable. It just takes more effort than before to see results. Exercise alone may not help, and starving yourself will definitely not work. But combining some dietary adjustments, altering your eating habits, and a few lifestyle changes will help most women lose the extra pounds and maintain a healthy weight.

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  1. This article is very helpful. There could be multiple reasons women gain weight after a hysterectomy, like a hormone change mentioned in this article. There are also some exercises you could do to lose weight after the procedure, especially if your primary weight gain is in your midsection. This procedure also has effects on menopause and when you will get it based on whether you had a complete hysterectomy or not. There is more information in this article on menopause, why you may gain weight and why you may gain weight in your midsection, as well as exercises for weight loss.

  2. I am 29 yrs old had my hysterectomy at age 26 I did not notice anything at first but then within a few months I went from 130-170 it felt like it happend over night. I went off my hormone replacement 3 months ago but I’m still having trouble losing this 40 lbs. I feel like I’m not losing anything. I need advice I am intermittent fasting now.

    1. Intermittent fasting is a great way to lose weight but to get real results you should combine it with a low carb diet and a regular exercise plan.

  3. I Just turned 45 and I am having a hysterectomy on 12/10/18.My main concern aside from having this surgery is being able to get back into the gym. I told myself I was making new life style changes with eating adopting a more plant base diet. I need to put on a healthy regiment

    1. Hi Aisha, adopting more healthy habits is more important than ever now you are having a hysterectomy. I hope you have a speedy recovery after your hysterectomy.

  4. I meant to state in my 1st post to Joanne that I am at least 50 pounds over weight, not that I weigh 50 pounds. My current weight is 225. My goal is to get my weight down to 145.

    1. I am curious how is your progress. Seeking similar results on my journey.

  5. Joanne — I feel for you. I just had a full hysterectomy where they took everything including my ovaries 5 weeks ago. I was given very little information. My follow-up was disappointing because when I asked questions … the answer was ‘that’s normal.” I didn’t care if it is normal, I wanted to know “Why.” It is for this reason I am searching for answers. I have spinal injuries in my neck and lower back as well as needing two knee replacements that won’t happen until I turn 60 according to the doctors. In addition, my shoulders are also damaged. This was caused 12 years ago do to a work injury. Therefore, I am already at least 50 pounds, so after reading your post, I am concerned about gaining more weight which will cause more problems for me physically. I have been searching for diets … no not diets… healthy ways to loose weight and maintain my goal. I will be happy to post my findings that work in the future. Please share your findings. I am 50 years of age.

  6. Unfortunately I was so discouraged by healthy diet and working out at the gym 1 1/2 hours a day and cardio an hour.. 1/2 hour weights I was gaining still that I quit the gym because nothing seems to work post hysterectomy..

    1. Check out my post how I lost a lot of weight after hysterectomy with intermittent fasting. If you can do it, I’ll guarantee it works better than any workout at the gym.

  7. Teri,

    Thank you for the motivating story. Congratulations on your weight loss.


  8. I had full hysterectomy nov 29th 2017 age 41
    Since then I’ve lost 25lbs I started excericising 2weeks post op
    Cut calories drink water n toning excercises.
    I do not take hormone replacement meds n will never take them. You ladies can achieve your goals just put your mind to it n be consistent

    1. I would love to know more about your diet and exercise. I’m having a full hysterectomy in 2 weeks and was told I wouldn’t be about to do anything for 6 weeks. It’s really got me scared. 6 weeks of no exercise at all?

    2. Hey can u tell me exactly what I did and the foods that u are plex

  9. I’m 45 now had surgery when I was 38 nothing but steady weight gain no matter what I do have anyone lost weight? Any pointers will be appreciated.

  10. I noticed while taking hormone replacement my weight did a major increase in a matter of months. Two days into taking the HRT my belly blew up like a big balloon.

  11. I had a hysterectomy 10 years ago at the age of 53. I was a little overweight before the surgery, but in the last 10 years have gained more than I would like. My lower abdomen is the spot that bothers me the most as I cannot seem to lose that fat. The only time I’ve lost it was when I was on weight watchers and lost 35 pounds. Then the pouch finally went away. I think it has to do with being overweight and the fact that that is where the weight tends to go after you have a hysterectomy. That has been my experience. Unfortunately I only kept the weight off for year and a half and now I’m back where I was before. I tend to buy long tunic top styles and at age 63, have finally accepted the fact that I am not going to look like I am 25 anymore. Having an abdominal hysterectomy really messes up your insides and everything shifts after you have the surgery. The result, for some reason, it’s a lot of fat on your lower abdomen.

    1. Thank you for sharing your history after having a hysterectomy. It has been five weeks and I am now searching what is safe for me to do. I live on a farm and raise a variety of livestock. All I was told was no lifting more than a gallon of milk and listen to my body. I have always been very active and back to my regulator activities sooner than most people. However, my husband won’t let me do much because he is concerned of me ripping my stitches or staple. Any information you can share regarding exercises and diets will be appreciated.
      I am 50 years old and had a full hysterectomy where they took my uterus and ovaries.

      Thank you

  12. Thank you for posting this information. I had a full hysterectomy at the age of 30. All my life I was thin and I didn’t have many health issues. Now, I am working on reversing the extra pounds that I never saw coming.
    I didn’t know why my hips and thighs had gotten so big. Now I do. I couldn’t understand why my gut was getting larger and larger, but now I get it.

    If you could give me a few pointers to help loose this gut, I’d greatly appreciate it.

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