- Question from Mary Ann: I am 42 years old and just went through seven rounds of chemo—first AC, then Taxol. I have gained around 10 lbs. throughout. I want to lose it, but in a healthy way. Please help.
- Answers - Melinda Irwin I would say not to do anything too extreme, but make a lifestyle change. But make lifestyle changes that you can incorporate into your daily routine: adding in physical activity throughout your day, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, walking to errands instead of driving when you can. Make those conscious decisions. Purchase a pedometer so you can monitor your daily walking. 2000 steps is about 1 mile, so if you add in 500 steps a day, which is very easy to do, all of a sudden it becomes easy and you don't feel like you've made changes. If you want to get involved in a more structured form of exercise, depending on what you've been doing, you can start with walking 30 minutes 5 days per week. If you're already doing that, you can focus on increasing the intensity of your activity to burn more calories. So rather than 30 minutes of walking and burning 200 calories in that 30 minutes, say you have a treadmill and can walk on a grade, then you may burn 300 calories rather than 200. Aside from the structured workout, you've also increased your daily activities, with the end result being more calories expended throughout the day and week, which will hopefully lead to weight loss and weight maintenance. And, of course diet.
- Cyndi Thomson, Ph.D., R.D. Congratulations—you only gained 10 pounds during a stressful time. In all likelihood by doing this activity and watching portion sizes, the weight may come off.
The Ask-the-Expert Online Conference called Weight Management During and After Breast Cancer Treatment featured Cyndi Thomson, Ph.D., R.D. and Melinda Irwin Ph.D., M.P.H. answering your questions on managing weight during and after breast cancer treatment.
Editor's Note: This conference took place in April 2007.
The materials presented in these conferences do not necessarily reflect the views of Breastcancer.org. A qualified healthcare professional should be consulted before using any therapeutic product or regimen discussed. All readers should verify all information and data before employing any therapies described here.
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