Is it possible to lose weight on Tamoxifen?

Has anyone had success with weight loss while taking Tamoxifen? I put on about 2 stone during my 15 months of treatment and I’ve been taking Tamoxifen since August. I joined weight watchers a few weeks ago and lost 4 pounds in the first week but nothing since, despite trying realy hard and going swimming twice a week. I’m beginning to wonder if I’m fighting a losing battle and should give it a few more months before I try again.
Any advice?

Hi Debs

Dont loose heart it can be done and well done for the first 4lbs.
Ive been on Tamoxifen since Dec 09, though didnt have chemo/rads thankfully. I lost nearly 2 stone in around 6 months by using curves and scottish slimmers.
It was hard work though and its easy to feel demoralized but I had the goal of getting fitter for my recon ( and being picked as a model for the BCC fashion show!!!)so it gave me a real target to aim for.
Mind you, Ive piled it on since my surgery in June so have definately missed not going to the gym.
Can you go along with a friend or try some brisk walking?
Some GP’s can give you a presciption for exercise classes.

Maybe think about starting again after Christmas when all the temptations are finished !!so really good luck

Thanks Cathie
I’ve just come back from my weight watchers meeting and I’ve managed to shift another pound this week so maybe it’s just going to be a slow process but I’ll try and stick with it. I do go with my friend so I have some moral support and as for the walking I do that every day with the dog. My goal is also to lose weight before my recon which will hopefully be about March next year.
Well done for being a model! How does your recon feel now? I can’t wait for mine!
Debs x

Hi Debs

Well done -Next week, youll be at half a stone!!!
What kind of op are you hoping to have?

I had a TRAM done at end of June and Im so pleased with results. The recon one is quite a bit bigger so Im getting lipo to reduce in the new year. Tummy scar is doing fine-again just a wee bit of tidying up lipo on my ‘dog ear’
I definately benefited from the weight loss before the op.

Hope you continue to drop those pounds!
Cathie x

I’m glad you’re pleased with your recon. I’ve chosen to have recon using tissue from my back. I have a tissue expander in at the moment which is really uncomfortable since my radiotherapy but apparently thats normal. All I can say is “Roll on March!”

Not on Tamoxifen, but I’ve met plenty of ladies who had weight problems on it. My own problems with lack of weight loss stem from being post menopausal now. I go to the gym etc but nothing happens, this has been going on for a year now. A word about WW - I did the ProPoints online system for 13 weeks in the summer and by week 10 I had gained nearly half a stone. There seems to be a lot of complaints about this on their message boards and they didn’t really offer any guidance. Some people say you have to eat all the food on it including the extra weekly points they give you, or else it doesn’t work. I couldn’t consume that amount of food in a week, it was too much for me, so I didn’t use the extra points.

It does seem like you can eat an awful lot of food on the pro points diet. I have lost a couple of stone on WW diet a few years ago before they brought the pro points in so maybe I might go back to following the old plan instead and see if that works any better.

Hi Debs
I lost 2.5 stone on Rosemary Conely while on tamoxifen. I liked it because I enjoyed the excersise class that goes with the chat and the weighing. At the moment the class is a Zumba session which is great fun.
Good luck

Buzzy, when I was doing ProPoints there were lots of people on the forums saying they had previously done the old system and had decided to go back to it as PP wasn’t working for them. I’ve also read it gets very good results for people who have an awful lot to lose, but it’s not great if you only wand to get 1 or 2 stones off.

Hi Buzzy
I managed to lose 1 1/2 stone whilst on Tamoxifen by the novel approach of eating less and exercising more! Now I wonder if I can patent that and sell it as a high tech diet and make my fortune?

this may seem like a daft question, but did Tamoxifen make you any of you put weight on or was it the treatment you have had previous to this?. Reason I am asking is because I haven’t had chemo,(I realise how lucky I am not to have had that), due to have RADS very soon then Tamoxifen, so would like to know whether I need to prepare for a weight gain. thanks

Hi Debs,
I put on 4 stone during my 9mths of treatment and when I started taking Tamoxifen all my joints hurt so much that it was virtually impossible to do any form of exercise.

I was very active b4 being diagnosed with BC. Went to the gym 3 times a week, rode my bike twice a week and played squash.

I tried my best but only managed to lose 7lbs and was so fed up that I went to see my GP who referred me to a weight management clinic. It was brilliant!!! They put me in touch with a dietician and physiotherapist who gave me a pedometer to wear for 12wks and told me to try and increase my walking distances daily and on each visit checked out my food diary.

I have lost 3stone since Feruary and feel great. My joints hardly hurt anymore and I am now back at the gym and the hot flushes have also vanished completely.

So my answer is yes you can lose weight on Tamoxifen. If you’re struggling, go see your Gp. It worked for me

Good Luck Deb

Glad to hear you got help and it is proving a success for you. Unfortunately my GPs would only refer for something like this if a person was absolutely gargantuan. When I went recently and had thyroid tests done the GP was only concerned with whether the yoghurt I consume at breakfast is fat free! She gave no help whatsoever, it was like she wasn’t interested and of course I was asserting the link between being overweight and breast cancer when post menopausal. I have currently fallen off the diet/exercise wagon a fortnight ago, starting gym again at 7.30 am tomorrow!

Hi the achy joints get me every time, I was going to attempt spinning ? I’m 3 yrs in on tamoxifen hot flushes, feel so down, tried Pilate’s, personal trainer, walking, I work on my feet all day hairdresser, my back, shoulder, and fingers, and !!! all ache, my boob, like toothache, my underarm is tender from hot flushes, I can be so hungry , then full no inbetween x

Hi deb’s, I’m on tamoxifen and have been for 2 1/2years. I’ve struggled with my weight but have managed to lose about half a stone. It’s taken about three months and its been hard. Keep trying til you find some way that helps you. I joined slimming world, but after six weeks I left and then started losing weight!! It’s hard, but keep trying.
Jenny s

I have been on Tamoxifen for 1 year 6 months now. Finished radio in Feb 15. I have lost all the weight I put on during chemo. I have done by cutting out sugar and greatly reducing carbs, ie, no pasta, no rice, no bread, no potatoes, no fruit juice.  I have replaced these items with larger quantities of veg and salads.

There are plenty of web sites offering sample menus and advice about going low carb and lots of suggestions to change how you eat.  When you have lost the weight you can reintroduce some carbs but the trick is not to over do it when you do or you will pile all the weight back on. I have found I am eating hardly anything processed anymore and my portion sizes are smaller and if I have pasta or rice I make sure it is whole grain. 

I try to exercise at least 3 times per week but this is not vital to the weight loss but it does help. I jog for 30 to 40 minutes if the weather is nice or I do stepping for the same duration while watching music videos if I don’t want to go out. However, I go through phases of being able to work out or not being able to due to tamoxifen.  It is difficult to keep going when in the throes of a hot flush and I find that sometimes my legs feel very weak and I have to switch to walking.

It is hard work but it is possible. I feel great and I look good too. 

I have been on tamoxifen since 2011. I also have rheumatoid arthritis. I have been taking steroids for pain but this just increased my weight. I didn’t know tamoxifen caused weight gain. I can’t exercise much but try to eat more healthily but can’t shift this stone. I have always been slim and this is depressing me. I guess I will have to eat even less. But am wondering if Letrozole would work better for me. Just rambling on here.

By the way I belong to a rheumy forum and it seems that nearly all of us who developed rheumatoid arthritis did so after a trauma. Mine was breast cancer but there are many other stories of people enduring all sorts of terrible ordeals and then getting RA. Interesting.

That’s reassuring. I too finished treatment about a year ago and have put on a stone. I’ve always been a fit gym bunny but have been reduced to yoga because of fatigue and joint pain. I use to do 5-2 diet too which I found was fantastic at maintaining weight but finding very difficult to go back on it. This drug induced menopause seems to have left me craving carbs which I never ate before!

I’ve also stopped working - made redundant mid chemo and no energy to search for a new job. Being at home is full of temptation!

Hearing that it is possible had given me some hope and I’ll get back to my healthy eating plan and see how it goes.

Hello I have been on tomxifine since June 2014 I lost my chemo Wight . Then I gained it all back from 2015 to 2016 . I eat health . No carbs. Do sport . And tried loads of diet yet no change in weight. I gained 10 kg . That’s too much