Weight Loss Q & A with Dr. K: Hysterectomies and Weight Gain, Calorie allowances, Emotional Eating and Eating More to Lose Weight!


After weighing 9st 2 lbs (128 lb) for the last 10 years, my weight has gone up 7lbs in the last year.

Do you think it is related to having a hysterectomy and taking HRT.

I am trying to lose weight but struggling and feeling very despondent. Do you have any advice?

It is unlikely that weight gain is related to a hysterectomy or HRT.

I don’t have enough information from you to speculate on the exact causes, but it’s most probably related to getting older and your metabolism slowing, which happens to everyone. It might also be related to a few extra bits of eating or drinking that have crept in over the last year.
I know that when someone is your weight, if they even mention that they’ve gained weight to others, most of their friends will dismiss their concerns and say “you don’t need to lose weight”.

You have to ignore this sort of response, because gaining 7 pounds is significant, and you want to do something about it now, before it turns to 10 pounds gained and then 20 pounds and so on.
On the positive side, you’ve caught onto this early so you can take action now and avoid needing to lose larger amounts of weight in the future.
I don’t have enough information to say why you’re struggling, but the fact is most women struggle to lose weight.

It’s mainly because:

– they base their weight loss attempts on dieting and deprivation.

– they make changes but are not consistent enough in making those changes

– they try and figure it all out on their own and hence make critical mistakes



Can someone who eats based on emotional reasons ever really change that and lose weight for good? Do people really ever change?

Yes they can change and when motivated enough, they do.

All of these things are just habits. And habits can definitely be changed.



I’ve been using an app to control my food intake.

The app gives a calorie target, and I ended up eating dark chocolate to meet my minimum.

Is the app right?

I wrote about calorie counts and allowances in this previous Q & A that you can read here.
Basically, I wouldn’t recommend you obsess over calorie counts, and I certainly don’t think you should be eating chocolate just to make up a minimum allowance each day.

Calorie allowances make you fixate on the wrong thing. I want you to develop a natural relationship with food.

This is quote from the previous Q & A:

Like a tennis player doesn’t win games by obsessing over a scoreboard (she wins games by hitting the ball), you will lose weight when you start to make better decisions around eating.

That’s what your focus needs to be on. Making better decisions around food and drink. A calorie allowance ends up being like a bank account that people feel obliged to spend. It’s moving you further away from a natural relationship with food.



A woman who I believe to be over 40 once told me that she was looking to lose weight and consulted a dietitian who told her she was actually not eating enough.

She started eating more and over time started losing weight!

How is this possible and is it likely to be true for the vast majority?


I would always take stories like that with a hefty pinch of salt.

We don’t really have enough details of the story to know exactly what the dietician meant by “not actually eating enough” and what she did to “eat more”.

What this story might be describing is eating more of a particular type of food, like vegetables, so that you feel full, and end up eating LESS of other types of food.

But there is NO WAY that someone can have the same diet, add more food to it, and lose weight.

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