Sometimes people with cancer find it difficult to keep their weight stable or have lost weight without trying. 

There are lots of different reasons why you may have lost weight including symptoms such as feeling sick which can affect your appetite or anxiety regarding your diagnosis or upcoming treatment.  

If you have lost weight it is important to try and stop any further weight loss or slow down the rate of weight loss before your treatment begins. The advice below may help minimise any further weight loss. 

Eat little and often

Try to go no longer than 2-3 hours in between meals/snacks/nourishing drinks. 

Think protein and energy

Aim to have meals that are high in protein and energy. Food fortification is a simple way to try and improve the protein and energy content of your diet such as adding butter or cream to sauces/soups or adding beans/lentils to meals. 

Use nourishing drinks

For example full cream milk or opt to make your own nourishing drinkssome good recipes can be found here. You could also buy shop bought milkshakes/smoothies. These can be a good source of protein and calories. 

Be conscious of your symptoms

Monitor your symptoms as these can affect your appetite e.g. if you are feeling sick and discuss this with your nurse specialist. 

Some good resources can be found under below.

Food first resources

Food first - making every mouthful count

Store bought drinks

The building up diet 

Eating problems and cancer 

If you experience ongoing weight loss or symptoms that are affecting your appetite, you may require specialist advice from the dietitian. Please speak with your specialist nurse who can refer you to the dietitian.