Cancer and its treatment can cause your body to use energy very quickly. When your body uses large amounts of energy, you may lose weight or have difficulty gaining weight. Your oncologist or registered dietitian may suggest that you follow a high-calorie diet to help keep you at a healthy weight.
If you are struggling with eating enough calories due to the side effects of your cancer or treatment, the following tips can help you increase your calorie intake:
- Try consuming several small meals throughout the day, spaced 2-3 hours apart.
- Eat more when your appetite is best.
- Use condiments to add calories to your food, such as adding extra butter, sour cream, oils, cheese, whole milk, whipped cream, mayonnaise, salad dressing, jelly, jam, syrup, and honey.
- Avoid drinking beverages with meals. These take up room in your stomach, making you feel full faster. Save them for in-between meals.
- Avoid foods labelled “lite” or “diet”.
The sample menu below provides 3,000 calories a day. Check with your healthcare team or registered dietitian to see how many calories you need in a day.