Loosing weight on Tamoxifen

Hi, I am new to this. Found this site by researching methods of lossing weight post breast cancer. I was diognosed in August 2010, had mysectomy and then chemo, been on Tamoxifen on and off for the last year. The reason behind me not taking Tamoxifen lately ( without notifing my onkologist) is that i can not cope with the weight gain and not being able to loose it. When i discovered my lumps i was on Cambridge diet, lost some weight on it, which in a way helped me to find the lumps in time. My partner view is that the diet itself contribiuted to the cancer, but i am so despreate now to loose the weight that i gained while on chemo and tamoxifen that i am considering going on the diet again. I am finding that being my size and having 3 young children is impossible for me to cope with. I have tried healthy eating but the weight is just not shifting, any advice,please. Me self esteem has vanished completely, i went from being happy, healthy, slimm woman to depressed, grosly overweight shell of a woman in a space of a year.

Hi Yvonne,

I have no words of wisdom for you as I’m at the start of my treatment.

I was a weight management consultant, with rosemary Conley and would only say be cautious about quick fixes etc… Be healthy. I have no idea how the tablets mess your metabolism or increase your appetite so couldn’t be specific.

The weight and not being yourself I can relate to and it it sucks.

There is another similar thread on here that may have ideas, if not I’m sure someone will come along soon and have helpful input. So at the very least I’ve bumped this up.

Eleanor. Xx

Hi Yvonne K 71

As well as the support you receive from the other users you might find it helpful to give the BCC helpline a call and talk this through with one of our trained members of staff. Here you can ask any questions you may have and share your concerns with someone who will offer you a listening ear as well as emotional support and practical information. The number is 0808 800 6000 and the lines are open today until 2pm and Monday to Friday 9 to 5pm,

Best wishes Sam, BCC Facilitator

Hi Yvonne,

I know how you feel my treatment ended Ootober 2010 and to be honest I looked terrible, I was as heavy as I had ever been bald etc.over the years I have tried every diet known with mixed success. I am only 42 and decided I would give up diets and just consider what I put in my mouth!! If I fancy an Indian I have one, however mostly I just stick to three meals a day and watch my portion size. Add in I upped my walking (nothing dramatic) 18 months later I have lost 3 and a half stone. I am still bald however I now look better than I have in 20 years, just need some hair and I will be PERFECT!!!

Good luck, it takes time I really only lost half a pound a week (some weeks none) but this feels like it will stay off. I take tamoxifen but if you look at it like a long term thing it really is possible, if I can do it any one can.

One more thing, I read somewhere if you overeat by 100 calories a day over a year that can be a much as a 12lb weight gain I don’t count calories aas such but I do consider them when dsay picking what sandwich to have for lunch.

Hi Yvvonne,

Sorry to hear you are feeling so down and I really understand it. I put on loads of weight after my MX and being on tamoxifen. But there is hope. I was put on list for a reconstruction which also co-incided with me being chosen as a BCC model. On came the vanity, especially when I saw the professional pics for promoting the show.Ugh!
Then and there I decided to work hard to get the pounds off. It was very hard, but I did it with a mix of carefull eating, swimming and at least 3 sesions at the curves gym circuit.

(Ok, Ive put it back on since my op!!!)
But dont loose heart and I know having young children doesn’t make it easy to get out to exercise, but call in a few favours for babysiting and go for it.
Best Wishes
Cathie xx


I have struggled with my weight all my adult life and was really p***ed off when my oncologist said the best thing I could do to stop a recurrence was to loose weight. My treatment finished the middle of January and I joined Weight Watchers - Im not sure if I thought it would be any different to before but, it has been. It has been really hard work and some weeks I do all the right things and stay the same but thankfully I haven’t had a week when I have put on weight. I have now lost 23lbs and weigh much less than I did at diagnosis, actually I weigh less than I did at 40 and I’m nearly 46.

I try so hard to think about the positives of Tamoxifen but some days that is difficult.

I am trying to change my attitude to food and hopefully will be able to maintain a more reasonable weight long term.

Yvonne, I hope you find something that works for you


Hello Yvonne,

I was 46 when I was diagnosed and started Tamoxifen.

I always had to watch my weight but it was during treatment when it really started to go on, in fact I put on 2 stone. I can’t blame Tamoxifen because I was comfort eating during treatment and I really wasn’t using up the calories I was consuming. But certainly being on Tamoxifen stopped it from going. I tried so hard to lose the weight, watching everything I ate, and it wasn’t a lot, I couldn’t cut down anymore. I decided that I would try my best to eat as healthily as possible, get as much exercise as possible and try not to worry about things that I had no control over.

I finshed Tamoxifen 3 years ago and went on Letrozole and all the excess weight has now gone and I am back to weight before diagnosis. It has come off slowly and I haven’t had to diet.

So what I am trying to say is please don’t try an extreme diet, it ain’t good for you whether you have had cancer or not. I’m not saying accept things but like others have suggested, eat healthily, have regular exercise. If you can think about going back on Tamoxifen, it is worth it. If you eat well, drink loads of water, get fresh air it will show in how you look and even though you are carrying extra weight its not going to be forever.

Does your GP have a dietician? perhaps that might be helpful, write a diary about the foods you eat and be honest with yourself and look at what you are eating. Perhaps your portions might be too big.

I’m sure that you will get many more posts.

Take Care


Hi there,
I was diagnosed Feb 2010 - had 2 ops, chemo, rads, tamox,and basically sat on the sofa for a year…I was an OK weight for height at diagnosis and then put on 2 stone …all my adult life I’ve been on the chubby /very chubby side. Anyway my research on avoiding lymphodema says be within BMI ( if you believe in them) and my Onc said the same as yours - try to be within reasonable weight range to reduce recurrence…
so I started trying to loose weight .
at the begining of being on tamox my body just wouldn’t play ball, but everything seems to have settled now and I’ve lost only 7 pounds but still 7 pounds…
so for me once my body got used to the tamox I could do what I have alsways done in the past with weight management -
Eat less, Move more!!SO SO easier said than done eh?
all the best to all of us chubby chicks

Thank you ladies for all your comments. Is good to know that there are more of us in the same boat. I used to think that it just me, i still don’ t understand why is my body rebeling against me. Since finishing chemo i have actually gone off sugary foods, before i loved chocolate, cakes and sweets, now i don’t bother with them at all. I went to see my GP about my weight issues about 6 months ago and she suggested anti depressants. I was in a bit of a state talking to her as my 3 year old was at that time diognosed with severe spinal deformaty and was facing spinal surgery. When diognosed i was 38 and getting ill was the bigest shock, as my belive was that breast cancer is someting you get when you are older. All in all it has been very hard emmotionaly. The weight issue is adding to my upset. I turned 40, 6 months ago and i had always pictured myself looking fab at 40. One compensation is, my hair has grown back lovely and thick.

good news about your hair - I am so sad that I can’t enjoy my 50th birthday pics - we had such a laugh but I was very large and bald!!! can you believe it…
maybe one day i shall laugh
all the best

Hi Yvonne,

So sorry to hear how you have been feeling, i really do sympathise i have been on Tamoxifen for 3 and a half years now and have put on 2 and a half stone. I really hate looking at myself. i have recently tried the chemical diet, which i found quite extreme. My husband did it with me for moral support. he managed to loose nearly 8lbs in a week i myself only 4lb. this was very hard going and quite strange foods you eat together. I am going to keep on with healthy eating, i have cut out all chocolate, cakes, biscuits, fizzy drinks, all fats, milk and numerous other things, and to only loose 4lb is depressing.

But on the other side of things, tamoxifen was needed . and i am grateful that i am still here with my family, as they all keep telling me. but it is difficult to put on so much weight, and try so hard to get rid of it. it is depressing and deflating.

King regards.

tamoxphen made me moody etc so i chose to not take it. well i took it for about a year. i stopped. i made a video on my journey. please check it out:  youtu.be/d13g9Wky4us