Getting the Nutrition You Need with a Reduced Appetite
Two major side effects of cancer treatments are the reduction of appetite and the decrease in energy levels. Oftentimes these go hand in hand. Food is fuel; when our bodies don’t get enough foods, we lose energy. When we don’t have the energy to prepare meals, we in turn don’t get the fuels we need. The following list will offer some insightful tips to overcome these barriers:
Eat 5-6 snacks during the day instead of 3 large meals.
Keep high-calorie, high protein snacks on hand (preferably little or no prep time), and try eating some protein, fat and fiber together to keep blood sugar levels more stable. Good examples would be a handful of unsalted nuts, or fruit with cottage cheese.
Make eating a highlight of your day.
Schedule meals and snack times with people and activities that make you happy. Eat in soothing atmosphere (soft music, candles, your favorite TV show in the background, or whatever makes it a happy place for you).
Try walking an hour or so before eating.
Light exercise before eating can increase your appetite.
Is fluid a factor?
Try reducing fluid intake during meals, or try drinking your meals (nutritional supplement drinks, instant powders, fruit and veggie smoothies). Be sure to stay hydrated – more info here.
Avoid smells that can cause nausea.
You can also try eating more cold foods (cuts down on stronger smells).
Get personalized tips and one-on-one support.
Are there other barriers to healthy eating you’re struggling to overcome?
We recently partnered with Pack Health, a company that provides personalized tips and support for individuals with cancer on a one-on-one basis. Their coaches can reach you wherever you are and on your schedule - on the phone, online, or both. They can go deeper with more personalized strategies to get the nutrition you need for your fight against cancer, as well as other key topics on your road to recovery.
If you don’t yet have your own personal Health Advisor, click here to take advantage of their grant funding and get 3 months of membership with Pack Health at no cost to you.