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Has anyone ever LOST weight while taking Arimidex?

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I've been taking Arimidex for a little over two months and I was wondering if anyone has ever lost weight while taking Arimidex. I admit that my weight wasn't what it should've been when I started Arimidex ( I was on Tamoxifen for 2 years prior to switching to Arimidex after a hysterectomy). I am 44. It feels like I've gained a ton of weight in the two months since I've started (it's actually closer to 5 pounds but I can't afford to gain any). I am just starting an exercise regime now but I wanted to hear from those who have had success losing weight on this drug. Thanks for any help you can provide!Happy

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Comments

  • ruthbru
    ruthbru Member Posts: 46,929
    edited February 2017
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    I lost some weight on Arimidex by doing the usual things; decreased the calories & increased (by quite a bit) the exercise. If you want some exercise buddies, check on the Lets Post Our Daily Exercise thread on the Fitness Forum, a great group of ladies in all stages of treatment & beyond and at all fitness levels too.

  • trying2staypositive7
    trying2staypositive7 Member Posts: 27
    edited February 2017
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    Thanks! I'm going to head over there now. I really appreciate the adviceHug

  • muska
    muska Member Posts: 224
    edited February 2017
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    I have been on arimidex for three years and haven't noticed any impact on weight. I am and have always been close to the upper limit of normal weight and haven't noticed any difference in how I gain or lose weight since starting arimidex. In my case, it's all about how much I eat. I lost 3-4 pounds over the past several months by just being careful about portion size.

  • annoyingboob
    annoyingboob Member Posts: 459
    edited February 2017
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    hi tryin2bepositive - curious if you had weight fluctuations on tamoxifen - im about to start in a few weeks after I finish xrt. nervous!!

  • trying2staypositive7
    trying2staypositive7 Member Posts: 27
    edited February 2017
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    Hey!

    I didn't really mind tamoxifen. I didn't gain any weight on tamoxifen. I did have a ton of hot flashes though!! Don't be nervous. Not everyone has side effects. Let me know if you need anything!

  • trying2staypositive7
    trying2staypositive7 Member Posts: 27
    edited February 2017
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    Muska, Thank you so much for your reply. I haven't really been faithful/serious about my diet. I'm going to try that out now that I see that it can be done! lol!! THANK YOU TO ALL THAT REPLIED!


    Have a great day!

    Heart

  • claireinaz
    claireinaz Member Posts: 679
    edited February 2017
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    Thought I would weigh in. I've taken tamox, arimidex, now aromasin. I don't eat a lot, haven't in a long time. And I didn't lose weight on any of those drugs; arimidex actually seemed to increase my bloating and weight around the back of my hips. I have now lost about 2.5 lbs (over a month or more) by counting calories using an app called My Fitness Pal. Based on my height, weight and what I want to lose--5 to 7 lbs--and my activity level--I can eat up to 1420 cals a day. I don't even put in my activity daily, since it gives me more calories to eat! The weight is coming off, but slowly, like mountains growing. Very slowly. Much more slowly than before I started taking these drugs.


  • specialk
    specialk Member Posts: 9,221
    edited February 2017
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    I have been on both Arimidex (anastrazole) and Femara (letrozole) over the six years since diagnosis. My MO would like for me to continue taking anti-hormonal medication due to a BCI test result that predicts continuing high risk of recurrence for me personally. I gained about 15 lbs. during chemo - not from overeating but from reaction to the medications, both steroids and Taxotere, plus 5 lbs. more initially after starting letrozole. I had difficulty losing weight using methods that had worked for me in the past - walking 5 very fast miles a day and limiting calories to 1500 daily comprised of healthy foods. I used MyFitnessPal also over the course of several months and put in both food consumed and exercise and the prediction it gave for weight loss did not materialize at all. I literally lost nothing. I am not someone who can practice the "everything in moderation" type of eating, even if I am exercising daily. I ended up adopting an anti-inflammatory/food elimination diet and this worked like a champ - I lost 22 lbs over 6 months with no exercise as I was recovering from 3 back-to-back surgeries during that same 6 month period. I will add that this type of diet is difficult because of what you no longer eat, but I found that it was the only thing that worked for me.

  • trying2staypositive7
    trying2staypositive7 Member Posts: 27
    edited February 2017
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    Thanks Claire & Special K! I'm definitely going to incorporate all of the help I've been given. I have to admit I had to google the whole elimination diet thing. Looks like it's pretty difficult but I'm willing to try anything to stop this runaway train of weigh gain! LOL!! I will keep you guys posted. No time like the present to start. Have a great rest of your weekend!

    Sending all of you love and hugs!Hug

  • specialk
    specialk Member Posts: 9,221
    edited February 2017
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    trying - I did the Virgin Diet, and I had slow and steady weight loss - a pound a week for 6 straight months, without exercise, before I plateaued to my natural weight. If you exercise it is entirely possible that you will lose at a more rapid pace. Not gonna lie - this is a hard diet to follow, especially initially. I found that once I identified food, brands, etc. that fit the diet, it got easier. If you need my list of go-to stuff I would be happy to supply it. Here is the condensed version of the diet, I bought the book, but if I had it to do over I would buy the recipe book only - it gives the diet premise clearly enough and has good recipes that are tasty and easy. You could probably just read this link and not buy any books too!

    http://www.chewfo.com/diets/the-virgin-diet-by-jj-virgin-2012-what-to-eat-and-foods-to-avoid-food-list/

    One other benefit of this diet was less inflammation - my lymphedema and joint pain both improved, as did my energy level and digestion. It helped me identify what foods caused problems for me, and I was able to add eggs back in, but have stayed away from the other six things for the most part.

  • trying2staypositive7
    trying2staypositive7 Member Posts: 27
    edited February 2017
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    Thanks Special K! I just printed this article out and I will be following it to a tee (hopefully).

  • specialk
    specialk Member Posts: 9,221
    edited February 2017
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    trying - I make my shakes with either Vega or Plantfusion (I prefer it over Vega and use the Vanilla Bean flavor) protein powder, almond milk, frozen strawberries and chia seeds. I found it more palatable to grind the chia in a coffee grinder first. I also eat almost no processed foods, opting instead for food in its most whole form. I do use coconut aminos, and a very few salad dressings (Drew brand roasted garlic, and Follow Your Heart Vegan Ranch, which is non-dairy), Just Mayo for mayonnaise, Stubbs Original BBQ sauce is pretty low in sugar, but J J Virgin also has a BBQ sauce recipe that I can send you, as well as a ketchup one. Most commercial salsas are ok, but watch for the sugar content. Figuring out what you can eat, and what brands of the few processed things you eat is the hardest part of this - as well as initially going through sugar withdrawal. If you need to eat away from home (lunch at work, eating in restaurants, etc.) requires some adjustment. I found that salad dressed with oil and vinegar and a steak were sure bets in restaurants, and a naked sweet potato if they have them! Greek village salad without feta is also good, especially with grilled chicken. Once you get past the first couple of weeks it gets a lot easier. I don't know a single person who has tried this way of eating and not lost some weight, but it is a slow and steady rate. Be prepared for that, although some people lose pretty rapidly initially if this a real departure from how they had been previously eating. I had already cut out soy and a lot of dairy, but I did not realize just how much soy and corn are hidden in processed foods. Please PM me anytime if you have any questions - good luck!

  • trying2staypositive7
    trying2staypositive7 Member Posts: 27
    edited February 2017
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    Thanks! I'm off to go pick up the necessary supplies now. Thanks for sharing your expertise with me. I really need the help to jump start my weight loss because what I'm doing (or not doing) isn't working!HappyYou are an angel

  • aug242007
    aug242007 Member Posts: 186
    edited February 2017
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    Yes, I was on Arimidex for 9 years and was never hungry. I also walked every day.

  • sueinfl
    sueinfl Member Posts: 105
    edited February 2017
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    SpecialK, thanks for your suggesting the Virgin Diet. I have been reading through her books (thanks, local library!), but am stuck on the "fiber blend" part of the protein shake. Can you tell me what the fiber blend is?

    Sue

  • bevin
    bevin Member Posts: 519
    edited February 2017
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    I lost about 15 lbs. it was good for me except the hot flashes and the foot aches

  • trying2staypositive7
    trying2staypositive7 Member Posts: 27
    edited February 2017
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    Thanks bevin!

    I can relate with the body aches (mine aches in the knees). LOL

  • specialk
    specialk Member Posts: 9,221
    edited February 2017
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    sueinfl - hi neighbor! Sorry, this is not ringing a bell - are you talking about her own brand of shakes, fiber added to the shake you make yourself, or using protein powder? I just googled to see if it would bring anything up and it does show that she has a proprietary "fiber" additive that she sells, but I have never used it. I do my shakes with Plantfusion protein powder, frozen berries, ice, and unsweetened almond or coconut milk - and I sometimes use chia seeds.

  • sueinfl
    sueinfl Member Posts: 105
    edited February 2017
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    Thanks, K. I think I saw it in her original book. When I checked in the cookbook, it wasn't listed in the recipes.

    Do you know of any reason not to use brown rice milk every so many days? It is really easy to make and cheap to make from scratch. I am afraid using almond milk every day will lead to a sensitivity of it. I figure if I rotate between almond, water and brown rice, I will avoid building a sensitivity to either of them. Same with different protein powders.

    I started today with unsweetened almond milk, pea protein, two tbsp of chia seeds (I soaked them overnight in some almond milk), powdered stevia leaf and a 1/2 cup of organic frozen berries. Not bad, but I am used to strange concoctions having explored complementary medicine the last five years. I make the same thing for lunch. What I am going to miss most is eggs for three weeks. :-(

    I wish we were still neighbors! I have to update my profile. I moved to Columbia, MD to be closer to my kids. :-) If you can justify the splurge, please visit Frieda's Cafe for me and have the turkey cranberry panini. ;-)

    Sue

  • specialk
    specialk Member Posts: 9,221
    edited February 2017
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    sueinfl - your shake sounds very similar to mine, and I don't think alternating the milks is a problem - I do the same with almond and coconut, have not tried brown rice milk. I used both Vega and Plantfusion protein powder, but started to have some nausea with Vega, so now I just stick to Plantfusion and it seems to be working out for me. My DH adds kale and/or spinach to his shake but I can't do it - I eat both as salads or sautéed but I can't get past the taste change in the shake. I missed cheese the most initially and the lack of sugar makes a lot of people grumpy for the first week or two, lol! I also found that after 21 days I could add eggs back in, they didn't bother me (dairy and sugar are my two that bother me the most, my friend who introduced me to this diet has problems with gluten more than anything - she has arthritis and it flares if she eats it), but I only eat eggs sparingly now - I don't seem to enjoy them as much as I did before. It is funny - now you are closer to where I lived before Tampa, my DH was stationed at the Pentagon for a number of years and we lived in Northern Virginia. I will make a note of the restaurant and panini, and if I end up there I will think of you!

  • sueinfl
    sueinfl Member Posts: 105
    edited March 2017
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    K, I just wanted to check in and say thanks for sharing this food plan!

    I started just a week and half ago, was slammed on day 2 with a horrendous sore throat and cold, but kept going. I have "only" lost 5 lbs and three of those were picked the previous weeks through my usual, "I better eat this now, because it is going away," mentality. I might have lost a little more if my energy had not been zapped from the cold. It never takes my body long to shift into conservation mode and losing weight is always a slow process.

    I had hoped my belly bloat would have subsided more after a week, but will be patient. What has amazed me is that my skin has cleared up! I did not have acne so much as small red blotches. I was told they were from sun damage and precancerous, but not much could be done at this point since I don't have the funds for laser treatment. Looks like one of the eliminated food groups is the culprit. It will be interesting to find out which one.

    I am finally starting to get some energy back so an increase in treadmill time might push me to losing 2 lbs a week. The only things I am missing are the eggs and mayo and occasional bread for sandwiches. Paleo wraps are so darn expensive! I am going to find a recipe and try making my own.

    Thanks again and be glad you are out of the mess up here. It is crazy since the election. ;-)

    Sue

  • specialk
    specialk Member Posts: 9,221
    edited March 2017
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    sueinfl - you're doing great! Sorry about the cold/sore throat, but good for you keeping at it! My son is still in NOVA, am dad many friends - most of the them involved in the federal government, so I'm hoping things aren't too chaotic for them! Here's a mayo for you. It tastes pretty good and is egg and soy free. I will wager you skin clearing is connected to dairy.

    image

  • sueinfl
    sueinfl Member Posts: 105
    edited March 2017
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    Thanks, K. Just Mayo looks good, but I avoid canola oil. I will have to wait and hope that eggs are not a problem. Considering how I am longing for them, they probably are. SickTired

  • specialk
    specialk Member Posts: 9,221
    edited March 2017
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    sueinfl - here is one from JJ Virgin, hoping you are ok with macademia oil. It is weird, I test allergic (allergy panel testing) to albumen and have been advised to avoid vaccines grown in eggs, but eggs didn't bother me when I added them back in after about six months without eating them. I enjoyed eggs previously, but now don't actually crave them as much either.

    http://jjvirgin.com/recipe/sugar-impact-mayonnaise/

    I also have a gluten/wheat free tortilla recipe if you are interested - can't testify as to how they taste as I have not tried them. I am not so much of a wrap person, but my DH is - I should probably make some and see how they are.

  • bevin
    bevin Member Posts: 519
    edited March 2017
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    I lost weight... now off it I have sadly gained :(

  • sueinfl
    sueinfl Member Posts: 105
    edited March 2017
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    Thanks, K. It looks delicious! And I would love a copy of the tortillas if not too much trouble.

    Bevin, I totally understand. After my initial diagnosis and treatment, I got down to fighting weight and then 15 pounds have crept up on me this last year or so. I didn't gain from eating salads, of course, but I used to get away with splurge now and then. Now, every extra bite sticks.

    Sue

  • specialk
    specialk Member Posts: 9,221
    edited March 2017
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    sueinfl - totally forgot to post the tortilla recipe - here you go!

    TORTILLAS - yield 10

    Mix 2 1/2 t. dry yeast with 1 3/4 c. lukewarm water and 2 T. sunflower oil (I think you could use any type of oil). Let stand at room temp for about 20 mins., until frothy. Sift 3 1/4 c. gluten-free, wheat-free all-purpose flour and 1 1/2 t. xanthan gum into a large bowl, make a well in the center. Add the yeast liquid slowly along with 2 T. cilantro (optional) and 1/2 t. crushed red pepper (optional) and salt and pepper to taste. You could probably use any herbs or seasonings you like. Mix well to form a sticky dough. Invert dough onto a floured surface and knead well. Divide into 8-10 small balls. Cut out an 8-inch circle of parchment paper and roll out each ball of dough underneath it, the thinner the better. Heat a non-stick skillet over med. heat and add a tortilla to the pan keeping the parchment paper underneath. After 2-3 mins. flip the tortilla over, remove the paper and cook the other side for 2-3 mins. If the paper starts to scorch, cut out a new circle. Serve hot or cold with your fave fillings. To store extra tortillas, stack with parchment between tortillas in an airtight container. Keeps for up to a week in the fridge, 1-2 months in the freezer.

  • sueinfl
    sueinfl Member Posts: 105
    edited March 2017
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    Thanks so much, K. It looks great and doable. I miss having energy for bonafide cooking. That has been one plus about two shakes a day. I take the lazy way and whip up both at the same time and split them.

    I am taking a break for a day or two. Still staying away from the eliminated items since I have a week to go with that, but having finger foods for meals. Just too tired to mess with the shakes. That is the toughest part about losing weight since starting on the letrozole. Even though energy is way down in general, any calorie shortage leaves me feeling like a wrung out rag. I was hoping the problem was due to the food intolerances, but apparently not. I force myself on the treadmill for as long as possible to keep my joints limber and to stir up the blood, but some days are so exhausting. I miss the days of hitting the floor running. Sad

    Sue

  • trying2staypositive7
    trying2staypositive7 Member Posts: 27
    edited February 2018
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    Good Evening all!!

    How many calories do you eat a day to maintain your weight on this lovely arimidex? What about for weight loss? I was trying for 1500 calories a day but that is only causing weight gain!!

    LOL! Thanks for any help that you can provide!

  • coachvicky
    coachvicky Member Posts: 984
    edited February 2018
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    trying2staypositive

    My DH and I don't count calories. We count carbs.

    I have lost 53 pounds since diagnosis and he has lost 85 pounds. My cancers probably saved our lives. We were fat.

    We eat protein (meats and eggs), fresh veggies, and fresh fruits. Dairy is confined to healthy cheeses and limited buttermilk for cooking.

    We have eliminated white carb foods such as potatoes, white rice, breads as well as gluten and wheat. There is a great book, Wheat Belly, that taught me a lot about wheat and its connection to health and disease.

    I believe that eliminating gluten has greatly helped with not having a lot of inflammation and joint pain.

    We also stopped sugar and artificial sweeteners. However, DH will still have a Diet Cook and for special occasion I bake with Splenda.

    I walk 5 days a week as well as stretch daily.

    I wish you the best and hope that this is helpful.

    Coach Vicky