Weight gain post heart attack - British Heart Fou...

British Heart Foundation
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Weight gain post heart attack


Good morning everyone. Has anyone put on weight after their heart attack? Have your taste buds changed? Yes to both for me I’m afraid. Is it the meds? It can’t be lack of movement as I try to keep on the go as much as possible but I do seam to be eating some real rubbish lately (comfort eating I think). I’m taking Bisoprolol, Losartan, Ticagrelor, Aspirin, Atorvastatin. I was not on any meds before my heart attack and stent fitted in 11 weeks ago.

25 Replies

I am not aware of any drug related reason for weight gain so can only agree with your self diagnosis of "comfort eating".

Could I ask if you have attended the cardiac rehab as they do provide information and guidance on a healthy diet and some help with identifying the lifestyle changes that we should make.

I am sure that you know that we have to make changes e.g. diet, smoking, exercise, to give ourselves the best possible chance of avoiding another heart related event.

Please check with your rehab team or talk to someone who might be able to help you in this necessary change process.

Sincerely wish you all the very best in your ongoing recovery.

I had a heart bypass last October and immediately switched to the heart healthy Mediterranean diet as recommended by both the NHS and the British Heart Foundation.

But I found that "healthy eating" and "weight loss" aren't necessarily the same thing! In particular all those nuts and dried fruit were so calorific that, like you, I found I was putting on weight. And I suspect a side effect of heart medication is a general lethargy and reduction in energy levels that only adds to the weight problem.

I'm now going to a gym three times a week and achieving (just!) the NHS recommended 150 minutes of aerobic exercise per week. Much more importantly I'm now eating healthily while also restricting calories, and at last my weight is starting to edge down.

But it's HARD and I wouldn't pretend otherwise. What keeps me going is the knowledge that being overweight or obese is terribly dangerous, especially for anyone with a known heart problem,


Look around, you don't see that many fat 70 year olds, and fat 80 year olds are really rare. I guess there's a reason for that and I'd rather not become one of those statistics.

Thank you NathanBlau and Chappychap. I was already on a healthy regime ie diet exercise low cholesterol etc. I do go to cardiac rehab and have attended the dietician class. I’m at a loss what to do. I think that’s why I’m comfort eating.

Were you a smoker before? I have noticed a huge change in smell and taste, but i've put this down to the stopping smoking.

The drugs I am on are Asprin, Clopidogrel, Lansoprazole, Atorvastatin, Atenanol (Bisoprolol similar), GTN spray - i may need Eplerenon or Spironolactone if heart issues arise.

I only came out of hospital yesterday, so I've been told to wait a week before I attempt anything more than climbing stairs, and the rehab folk will be calling me next week to start my 6 weeks of workouts.

Hi MattUK. No I’m not an ex smoker. Congrats to you for stopping though. That’s a heck of an achievement.

I’ve just realised how odd that looks. By not an ex smoker I mean I have not been a smoker and don’t smoke.

I think I understand - you did not stop smoking because you did not start therefore could not be an ex smoker. More drugs please!


Hi there, although I am uncertain of many things in this life - I can positively say that the comfort eating has got to go 😊

Even a small amount of 'iffy' food sabotages all the hard work we put into exercise etc., and I found this out the hard way unfortunately. Processed, sugary foods only serve to build inflammation - the very fire we're all trying to put out...

Wishing you a great recovery and on into the future.

HiddenThis reply has been deleted
Hidden in reply to Hidden

Brother I hear ya. Took a long time for me...

Janma123 in reply to Hidden

Dark chocolate is good for you in small amounts!!!

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Ianc2 in reply to Hidden

Perhaps you are getting a bit bored on weekends. Every time you get a snack attack get moving and do something, paint the house, dig the garden, clear the garage, clean the car, cook the dinner, go for a brisk walk ( about 3 -5 miles should do), loin the ramblers, get active and so on. If you must snack eat an apple

Don’t think it will be the meds. I’ve lost weight since my stents fitted. Stress to start and then some food changes. I’m not doing anymore exercise than before - so food seems to be the critical factor with me.

I am on the same meds as you & have lost weight. I put it down to loss of appetite, stuffy nose & some loss of sense of taste, all of which I attribute to side effects. Have also stopped drinking alcohol.

Thanks all. I think I just need to stop the comfort eating.

I have put on over a stone and am now the heaviest I have ever been. I’m on similar meds and a few more. I am gutted with the weight gain. I am still off work (4 months) so I’m blaming being less active and eating more cause I am sitting around. I have also stopped smoking. I wish I could be more active but I’m soooo tired all the time.

Maisie2014 in reply to heathkir1

Are you going to cardiac rehabilitation? The exercises should help. I’ve put on half a stone. I need to stop eating chocolate and ice cream.

heathkir1 in reply to Maisie2014

I’ve not been allowed to as my BP is still too high. I’m the same with chocolate. I stopped smoking the day of my HA so I’ve been nibbling instead of smoking so that will account for some of the gain!

Get active Maisie.

Maisie2014 in reply to Ianc2

I am active cheeky 🙂

O.k. I stand corrected. Have you tried brisk walking on a flat path for 30 minutes a day? Preferably somewhere green? or a daily mile, without fail. Give yourself a reward if you do. No nibbles unless its an apple or something human.

I find walking challenging as I have arthritis and balance issues but I do enjoy it. I try to visit the local RSPB reserves when I do walk or the local shopping centres. I walk every day albeit with a stick so I don’t fall over. I used to walk very quickly but since my heart attack I’m not so quick. I go to cardiac rehab and hate it as it’s circuit but I’m determined to finish the course. I’m looking forward to swimming again and doing my Zumba classes.

Good for you. I use 2 walking poles (as in Nordic walking) which I find useful - you get the odd 'lost your ski's then' - but it balances me up nicely. Recovery always seems to take a bit longer when you are older but if you keep at it you get there eventually, as long as you make your exercise steady and gentle. Consistency is everything. Award yourself a picnic when you get back to Zumba.

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