One of the major side-effects of cancer treatment is weight fluctuations. Severe weight changes in patients lead to difficulty in undergoing treatment, recovery and other health issues. Weight loss can happen due to a change in the diet, mouth sores, difficulty in swallowing and chewing food and other after effects of the treatment. On the other hand, weight gain occurs due to steroids which causes increase in appetite and forms fatty issue. Chemotherapy also causes the body to hold excess fluid, which increases the weight gain even further.
If you are suffering from a rapid decrease in weight, here are a few points that can help you-
Simple ways to gain weight
- Making changes in your diet is imperative but don’t decide to stop eating certain foods
It’s necessary to tune your eating habits into eating every few hours, drinking liquids in between your meals, keeping natural protein smoothies and nuts to compensate the calories, if you can’t have a full meal. Find out healthy dishes and right cooking methods before your treatment starts, so that you can concentrate on increasing your strength and managing your side effects from the beginning of the treatment.
Don’t decide to stop eating certain foods, instead consult a nutritionist who will chart out a specialised meal plan that meets your personal health requirements.
- Drink plenty of liquids
Drinking plenty of water will help you deal with the side effects of the treatment effectively. On the other hand it adds calories, if you alternate it with fresh vegetable and fruit juices and healthy nut based smoothies.
If you don’t know where to start- (CARER Program provides you with healthy cooking resources and anti-cancer recipes, nutrition education, tips and advice, dietary theories and whole foods. Along with all this you will get a personalised nutritionist for six weeks).
- Stay hygienic
Chemotherapy will reduce your immunity due to which you are at higher risk of infection. Infection will give way to nausea and fever which can drastically reduces your appetite making you weak. Washing your hands, wearing a mask in polluted environments and staying away from people who are already sick, are some precautions that can be taken.
- Reduce alcohol intake
Most chemotherapy agents are metabolized through the liver, just like alcohol. This will interfere in treatment and cause drug interactions leading to nausea and decrease in appetite which will eventually lead to weight loss.
- Garnish your food
After prolonged treatment, the food you eat doesn’t taste the same, it either tastes too sweet or bland. In such a case, try adding flavours needed to increase your taste. Alternate your food with other foods, like if meat doesn’t taste right, replace it with another protein such as beans, tofu, nut butters, yogurt, fish, or poultry.
Now if you are suffering from a rapid increase in weight, here are a few points that can help you-
Simple ways to loose weight
- Staying active
Fatigue is one of the most common side effects of the treatment, which decreases your mobility, however the best way to fight fatigue is movement. Exercise releases endorphins which increases energy levels and exercising helps in maintaining lean muscle mass.
We hear- (Research proves that the prognosis decreases for patients who lose muscle mass).
Exercising will increase physical strength, manage fat levels, decrease nausea, anxiety and depression. Long term immobility decreases muscle mass and weakens your bones.
Keep a track on weight changes so that you are aware of the reason why you are gaining weight. Is it your food intake? Is it the lack of movement? Are you stressed? Are you unsure about what do to reduce weight?
To help you with exercise, CARER Program has brought onboard Yoga therapists and personalised meditative therapists. To know more about CARER, visit CARER Program.
- Track what you consume
Download apps that keeps a track on the calories you consume, food you eat and your activity levels. By doing this you can alter it when required.
- Be patient
It’s necessary to be patient with your body. Weight gain is very normal and common when going through cancer, especially post the treatment. There are many things you can do to start making changes to your weight and it might take longer than expected but doing it the right way, will help the weight stay off presently. Understand what your body and mind has been through and respect it to respond being patient.
These are the simplest way by which you can manage your weight fluctuations. Be prepared to c tweak your eating habits and lifestyle to maintain a healthy weight. CARER Program gives you access to specialists who will help you deal with these weight changes in the most effective manner. Want to know more about CARER Program, go to CARER Program.