If you can keep active and avoid comfort eating (definitely harder for me during the pandemic) you can definitely lose weight on tamoxifen. The recommended 150 minutes a week of moderate exercise (or 75 minutes of more intense exercise) definitely helps. That's a couple of walks or online cardio / Zumba / HIIT classes a week.
Yes it is possible - I had been on tamoxifen and due to weight increase, I went to a nutritionist who helped me with eating plan - I lost 21lbs.
I changed to letrozole - during lockdown, I have put 7 lbs back on but I am aware of the mistakes I am making with food and wine - going to enjoy weekend and get back to healthy eating next week.
Exercise been limited to walking due to joint pain but will increase walking
Hi Littlez. I know your post was a couple of years ago, but I'm interested to know how you went with your research. I read a similar thing about soy products and read a book by Dr Kristi Funk (Angelina Jolie's breast surgeon). Very interesting. I'm about to start Tamoxifen and trying not to let all the doom and gloom predictions get me down. Everyone reacts differently I know. It is hard not to 'believe' all the bad things they throw at you.
Hi Buzzy....I’ve been having the same problem.. I joined SW lost 4lb in the first week then 2.5 lbs the following week, then a 1lb or 2 here and there the months that followed .. I started there at 12st 7.5lbs after putting on 2st.7.5lbs ...I’ve not gone to SW now since February, but to be fair even though I am not watching what I eat now , I don’t seem to have put the 7.5 lbs back on again.. That I list whilst going there... taking Tamoxifen I really do believe prevent you from losing weight it’s so frustrating... Good lk & best wishes, Andeezegirl...x
I was also told to avoid anything that would mimic oestrogen as it might have the same effect on the estrogen receptive cancer cells but the article I have just read actually says that firstly, the term "phytoestrogens" is misleading and natural soy will not encourage cancer cells to develop in the way that human oestrogen does - the article is Very clear that all of the studies it refers to are about natural soy and that there are currently no studies regarding the safety or otherwise of soy supplements!
Secondly, it seems that soy works beneficially alongside Tamoxifen. It doesn't do what Tamoxifen is doing - stopping the estrogen-receptors from binding to the estrogen. What soy seems to do is to interfere with the cancer cells' ability to replicate.
I'd recommend leaving the Herbalife and stick to getting your protein and your soy in their most natural forms in your food - it's difficult when you feel like every mouthful makes you put weight on but carefully planned dietary changes will give you a much better chance. Insist that your doctor refers you to a nutritionist and a dietician. They all know the seriousness of weight-gain on the body but they can be very slow to support people's need for professional advice when they ask for help to lose weight. This is especially true of women. Some doctors assume that when a woman wants to lose weight then it must be a vanity thing but when men want to lose weight then they must be taking sensible steps to look after their health. It's just old-fashioned sexism but it is surprising how many really nice doctors still make the same assumptions.
Very best of luck to you
I've actually just been reading a very interesting article about soy and tamoxifen.
It seems to be a common misconception that "phytoestrogens" are the same as oestrogen and will behave in the same way in the body. However, studies have shown that soy actually works in tandem with the tamoxifen in reducing the rate at which cancer tumour cells replicate and multiply. Soy does Not work the same way as human estrogen (or oestrogen) does in terms of the estrogen responsive types of breast cancer and all research looking at Japanese women shows that soy has a clear benefit in protecting women from cancer. Similar studies in Korean and American women who eat high soy diets reflect the same benefit.
I've just been put on Tamoxifen so now I'm online hunting down articles in every medical journal because I want to know my oncologist hasn't missed any information!
I have to say, I'm 100% with you about avoiding Herbalife!!! Awful!
I have put on 2-stone - 6 years of tamoxifen - going to speak to GP to rule out other causes of weight gain and considering going to a nutrionist
Hi Ladies, A lot of us taking tamoxifen would argue that it's the cause of our weight gain, I certainly did but after coming off them last October due to developing osteoarthritis I hoped the weight would fall off but sadly it didn't! I am currently on a mission to lose 2 stone via slimming world, I'm having to work hard at shifting it including walking 4 miles a day with my dog which is more a plod with arthritic knees but it's working and after 5 weeks I am a stone down 💪 1 more to go by August for my sons wedding is the goal!
I was 46 at diagnosis and am 2 weeks off my 50th now and wonder how much of the weight gain is due to age also I know with hindsight I was eating far more than I'd like to admit 🙈 I don't think there is any magic answer but will never give up trying to look my best! 💅🏼💄
I was refused a hysterectomy when I asked as we make oestrogen in our fat too so removing our ovaries wouldn't eliminate it, another reason for reducing our waistlines!
Good luck ladies Xx Jo
I managed to lose weight. I was separating my food, applying creams for losing weight (Nivele and others). I also, tried to be physically active instead of sitting in one place.
Oh thank goodness! I thought it was just me! I was thinking the plus side to chemo (hahaha!!) was that Iwas going to shed a bit of weight, nope, so far I've put 2 stone on! Talk about kick you when you're down.
I've had a lumpectomy, chemo & radiotherapy, I'm now on tamoxifen daily & 3 weekly herceptin injections. My joints ache, I can't shift weight despite all my efforts. I'm exercising as much as I can, which is mostly walking and yoga.
I've been a weight watcher memeber for years and have been really sucessful with them, but it doesn't seem to make any difference now!
Thank very Annie's for your big hug and positive words of encouragement. It's feels good that someone knows and understand the efforts that goes in to losing the weight.
Also, have changed my dietary habits, eat smaller portions, eating much less carbs, eating more protein and veg. Didn't totally cut dairy..... maybe once or twice in a month, I do take a little butter and half slice cheese.
Have also started Yoga classes, feels exhausted but good!! Learning how to breath properly, which in a way helps to calm my anxiety.
Trying my best to lose another 1 half / 2 stones by end of this year. Fingers and toes crossed that I could do this!!
BIG hugs back to you and wishing you well.
Take care, Annie ❤️
Penash, Yes, it is true . The nutritionist at Maggies advised me to avoid all foods containing oestrogen , including soya. Its amazing what has oestrogen in, from milk, butter to meat and poultry. Don't get me started on yoghurts! X
Hi Jbelle, I really sympathise with you re weight. I'm not on Tamoxifen but on Letrozole and am shocked at how hungry I get. Im determined to keep the weight off ( lost 17lbs) so have gone the clean eating route. Lots of vegetables, smaller amounts of clean protein and some carbs. Mainly Quinoa, and other super seeds and pulses. I'm enjoying the new experiences but I have had to re stock the larder! The cook books I'm using are Leon. I think going pescatarian has also helped. I sending you a big hug and hope you continue the good work. You've done marvellous losing so much weight. X
Hello Ladies, I have been on Tamoxifen for 4 years and have put on 3+ stones. Previously was wearing tops at size 12 and bottoms size 10 and was active in exercises. My sizes went to 18 and 16. Also stopped exercising because of my joints were hurting and didn't have any mood to do anything as I was feeling tired most times.
This year, my doctor sternly told me to lose some weight as this will also bring my glucose and cholesterol levels down. So I started eating more healthier...... try to cut of carbs and half the normal portions. Also, started taking daily walks.
Till date, have lost about 1 half stones and it does feel a lot better
Wishing everyone good luck in weight control. Best wishes xxx
I'm due to stop tamox next month after 5 years on it. I am so looking forward to stopping and hope that it will mean my body will get back to normal e.g. I can bend without pain, my knees won't keep giving way on me, and are painful at times and hopefully I will just be able to move prior to starting tamox in 2012. I have also gained weight, especially around the tummy area and I think this can be a common problem.
Good luck to all those trying to lose some weight I hope we all manage to achieve it
just wondered if anyone is taking tamoxifen and drinking protein shakes in the morning as part of your weight loss journey.
i have been on tamoxifen for 4 years now and in that time i have managed to lose 3 of the 4 stone I put on during chemo etc.
i have joined a free fit club and had started drinking a Herbalife protein shake in the mornings which was working well for me.only thing is I had to stop as someone google the ingredient soy protein isolate and said it increases estrogen which counteracts the tamoxifen.
does anybody know if this is true? If anyone can help I would really appreciate it x
Mine is an old story but still relevant
I put on 2 stone after dx which was due to comfort eating and i believe Tamoxifen
In 2007 I joined WW and managed to lose a fair bit but was taking the Tamoxifen until jan 2008 when I developed blood clots in both lungs 3 weeks after an op and I was later put on Arimidex
I lost all of the weight (managed to kep it offf too) but it defintely went quicker when i stopped Tamoxifen
I guess back then I was on the old points system too with WW
So it can be done but it's hard and I'm sorry some of you have GPs who won't help
Hi I have been on Tamoxifen for 4 years now and have gained weight about 22lb . Over the time I tryed losing weight by counting calories also did the 5 2 diet all from home with no luck. I even started buying bigger clothes as I thought this is something I have just got to accept.
My sister in law goes to slimming world and Ithought I would give it a try. I can honestly say its the best thing I did I followed the diet which is very healthy and now after 14 weeks I have lost all my weight I had gained .
It has been the best thing I ever did as you can eat lots, it feels hard to believe . I am so happy now I thought if I could advice any one stuggling to give this a try. It does help if you go to a class as you get lots of suport and advice.
Dear God I thought I was going mad! Your case sounds exactly same as mine just one month apart (my op was January 15 radiotherapy in March 16)
I have also asked about stopping tamoxifen - I know that sounds ungrateful - but just wondered was there an alternative I feel like the pilsbury dough boy! Had to order size 18 blouses in work and 16 skirt/trousers always been in a 14 and a 12!
if anyone can help please share with myself and Christine
Hi there. I was diagnosed Feb 2016, had double m/s and put on Tamoxifen, been on this full time since Nov 2016. Having a bad time - joints reall ypainful, i have old injuries that are deteriorating, and i am out of breath, severly when swimming spinning, which i do all the time.
To say they want me to stay on it 10 years, i think i will have committed suicide before then, as i have a disability and can only do non impact stuff, and can't go walking. It's awful, i would rather not take it, and just get on with my llife. I am being referred for a hysterectomy as i also have bad abdominal pain, and have the risk of it spreading.
I am 45, and only work 2 days a week, thank goodness, becasue i am so tired, and yes, i think i have put weight on, as my IBS - C has gotten worse sine al this.
Hi everyone I have just discovered this site by entering in the question about weight gain on Tamoxifen. I had a lumpectomy and Radiotherapy in March 2015 and was put on Tamoxifen. I started getting my fitness back a little then lost my mum so was feeling knocked back, my GP put me on Citalopram.
In January this year I thought thats it I am going to get healthy and fit again...... so I have been eating healthy foods, maybe treat myself at the weekends, and exercise in the gym with a PT and pilates 3-4 times a week. I have lost nothing in fact I have gained!!! seeing my consultant this week to see if I can change from Tamoxifen.
does anyone have any advice words of wisdom, or something to keep me on the staight and narrow??
I can soooo relate to how you are feeling, I too was at my best fitness and health wise, before BC. I lost 6 stone and was going to 12 fitness classes a week, with a great social life too.
I had a lumpectomy January 2015 and chemo and radio therapy up untill july 2016, and been on Tamoxifen since.
I have put on over 3 stone since taking Tamoxifen and was told by the breastcare nurse it could be difficult to loss. I also now have many pains in my feet. legs and breast, and was told that it's still early days and is down to the radio therapy mostly. I am struggling with fatigue really bad and struggle to do 4 classes a week. Even walking 15 minutes a day is a struggle sometimes.
I also feel that my friends that were amazing during my treatments are now very different towards me. I AM very grateful that I have survived this but do feel very angry and frustrated with it all.
I sure it will get better in time, we just have to be patient I guess :0( xx
I went through dbl masectomy 3 years ago, though in my mid 40's, my GP would not send me for a mammogram. It took 8 appointments until I was taken seriously.
YES, I am single, no children 😞 live on my own, lost my job after telling my employer that I would need time to recover. After going through the radiotherapy and starting Tamoxifen, my life changed in an instance.
Prior to my diagnosis, I self trained as a Triathlete, I was the fittest I have ever been, so toned and ideal weight. I do suffer with Osteoarthritis (family history) and it has worsened in the last 2 years dramatically.
I am doing my best to stay positive, even though there is something niggling at the back of my mind. I can only say, I haven't accepted whats happened but just deal with it.
I don't feel femine anymore and put up my guard if any men strike up a conversation with me. I gained over 2 stone since three years ago and comfort eating. My friends tell me I've lost my personality and now I am wondering if there is light at the end of the tunnel.
Is this normal? Anyone who can relate to this, please let me know.
I have been taking tamoxifen for nearly 2 years and during that time have more or less maintained my target weight (within half a stone anyway) after losing 1.5 stone at Slimming World 3 years ago. My weight is up and down a bit but generally still at a healthy level but I have to work at it! Xx
I've been on tamoxifen since May & my weight has remained stable, however, I did not have chemo to recover from as well. I have made a conscious effort to increase my activity levels & feel better for it, as well as watching what I eat & curtailing the 'wine o'clock' habit!
It's also recommended that I'm on it for 10 years, so at least this experience has been a wake-up call in making some lifestyle adjustments & I feel fitter than before diagnosis.
Hi I am still taking tamoxifen and during that time gained two stone. I always blamed the tablets and didn't know what to do. I was also suffering from fatigue which was a nightmare with work and life in general. I decided to join weight watchers Feb last year with the hope something would happen. Well, the first 3 weeks I was really good and didn't lose anything which was upsetting but I carried on and then started to lose 2lb a week. What I also noticed by changing my diet my fatigue was getting better and suddenly had lots more energy. So ten months later I have now reached my goal and a bit more and feel great. If you are looking to lose weight give it a go. I know it doesn't work for everyone but even if it helps with your fatigue it will be worth it. Hope this helps. Good luck..xx
it is slow to lose weight. I think we get a distorted idea of how quickly you can lose weight from all those miracle images we see on the web "I lost 230lbs in 5 weeks" things. Those are the exceptions. As long as its going down, that's worth celebrating.
I've been keeping a blog about my efforts to lose weight on the dreaded T. Its at https://girlvstamoxifen.wordpress.com/
In three months I've lost 2.6kg, but I'm pretty pleased with that.
Remember to think about the other health consequences of diet and exercise and don't just concentrate on the weight loss, and remember that even a small decrease in BMI reduces your chance of recurrence.
You can do it!
Hello I have put 3 stone on since taking tomaxifin from March 2015 I've tried lots of diets and excercise but nothing is working it's very depressing so 2 weeks ago I started to take Acai berry bought from Holland and Barrett and it takes the hunger of me I've now lost 4llb and I'm over the moon long may it continue x
I finished all my treatment in September last year, which included, chemo, surgery and then radio. I have been on tamoxifen since September 2015 and will be on it for 10 years. I am so depressed at the moment as over the last year have put on a stone. I weighed myself this morning because i felt slightly slimmer and I have put on 41bs?? I have a healthy diet and exercise regulary. Before diagnosis I was on 5-2 diet but just not in the right place to start that again yet. After 10 years at this rate ill be the size of a house!
Good to know it is possible, been on Tamoxifen since Nov 13 and have really struggled to lose since then. I didnt like the leader at SW so have been going to WW for 3 weeks now and have only lost 4lb, was getting incredibly fed up and thinking of leaving so thank you! I'll stick with it and see what happens
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.
Hi ,EThomas. Having exactly the same problems. Finished radiotherapy 12 months ago, so tamoxifen one year. Just trying on summer clothes from last year... Can't get into a lot of them! Had very sore knees... sore to kneel down and especially at the end of the day. Weight gain affecting another health problem. Been able to lose weight before but finding it very hard on tamoxifen. Usually active, cycling, swimming. Any handy hints anyone?
I had my surgery 6 months ago. I did not have chemotherapy thankfully, but i have put on so much weight since being on the tamoxifen. I cant even fit into the clothes i wore to hospital on the day of my surgery. In 6 months i have put on at least 2 stone and cannot seem to shift it. Its making me so depressed. I've always been an active person, i walk my dog twice a day. I eat healthly. I'm just at a loss as to what to do.