Exercise and Weight Gain
After breast cancer treatment, many of us struggle with weight gain. It is often shocking to learn that most women gain wait through the course of treatment--quite the opposite from the imagined gaunt cancer patient image. There have been a number of studies suggesting that maintaining weight is important for health in general and, possibly, reducing risk of recurrence. The basic formula for losing weight is always "Fewer calories in, more calories out."--meaning "eat less, exercise more."
After menopause, it is definitely more difficult to lose pounds and this becomes one more unpleasant change related to diagnosis and treatment. Here is an excerpt from a short article by Wendy Kohrt, PtD. If you want to read more:
Does exercise attenuate or prevent the weight gain that occurs during peri- and postmenopause?
Commentary from Wendy M. Kohrt, PhD
The short answer is, yes, exercise can attenuate or prevent weight gain during peri- and postmenopause. The prevention of weight gain at any age requires only that energy intake not exceed energy expenditure. Thus, it is possible to maintain body weight by modifying exercise and/or eating habits. However, although simple in theory, there are physiologic changes that make it particularly challenging for middle-aged women to maintain energy balance (ie, intake = expenditure). Because the menopause transition occurs over a number of years, it is difficult to determine whether the increased propensity for weight gain at midlife is primarily a consequence of the menopause transition or of advancing age. Both involve factors that make weight maintenance a challenge.