Weight Loss

(Information extracted from Julie C.  (2009). Eating well: A practical guide for people
living with leukaemias, lymphomas, myeloma and related blood disorders
.  Lilian D, Ed.). Australia: Leukaemia Foundation.)

Many people lose some weight during their treatment. This may be due to the side-effects of treatment and the body’s need for extra energy and nutrients at a time when many people are not eating what they normally would. If you are trying to gain weight or keep
your weight stable you may need to increase the amount of calories/kilojoules you are eating, particularly in the form of protein. This means eating more high-protein / high-energy food and less high-fibre / low-fat ones.

You may also find the following suggestions helpful if you are trying to gain weight or keep your weight stable:

  • Eat small, nutritious meals frequently (every two hours)
  • Choose nutritious snacks, for example: nuts, bananas, dried and fresh fruit, wholegrain bread, muffins and raisin toasts, cakes such as banana, carrot and fruit cake, biscuits with
    cheese, hummus and other healthy dips
  • Choose full fat milk, yoghurt and other dairy products
  • Add milk and other protein powder to food such as soup, casseroles, muesli and cereals
  • Add grated cheese to soup, pasta dishes and egg dishes
  • Eat lean meat, chicken or fish with cooked vegetables and gravy
  • Supplement meals with high-protein / high-energy drinks if recommended (speak to your dietitian about suitable recipes / commercial supplements)
  • Enrich food using unsaturated oil such as olive oil.

Weight gain may result from the use of steroids. These drugs can increase your appetite and over time might cause your body to hold on to too much fluid. These effects are usually temporary. Please see your doctor to discuss this type of weight gain if it
happens to you.

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