When you have cancer, you lose weight. A lot of weight. Packing on the pounds as you fight the disease is common, and it can be really hard to keep off. Now that you’re in remission, you may be wondering how much weight you’ll be able to get back. Is it possible to regain the weight lost during treatment? How much will it take? Is there a limit to how much weight you can gain? These questions and more can be found on our blog – check out the latest articles here!
The Biggest Loser
While there’s no question that cancer causes you to lose weight, it doesn’t hurt to be reminded that the biggest loser in the fight against cancer is you. The more you eat, the more you weigh. Simple as that. When you’re first diagnosed, your body is in survival mode, and it’s struggling to get enough energy to fight the disease. As a result, it makes sense that you’d lose weight – particularly if you’re also undergoing treatment. If the thought of losing a few pounds doesn’t bother you, then great. Keep eating what you want and enjoying your pre-existing lifestyle. If it does bother you, then there are options. You can try a weight-loss program, which could help you shed those extra pounds and feel better about yourself. It’s also important to note here that if you are overweight or obese, it greatly increases your risk of recurrence – even if you have cancer that is in remission. Getting down to a healthy weight lowers that risk significantly. Finally, if you’re concerned about how much you’ll lose, there’s always the option of trying to eat less. Smaller meals more frequently could help. It’s a common misconception that you can’t lose weight while fighting cancer. If anything, it’s just the opposite. You’re fighting a lot of things at once, and it’s important to make sure you have enough energy to do so. That means eating healthy and avoiding sugary and fatty foods, which could lead to weight gain. Your body needs the nutrients it gets from food to stay strong while it battles the disease.
How Does Treatment Affect Your Body Composition?
Just like when you’re diagnosed with cancer, your treatment will affect your body composition. How much change is up to you, but there are definitely changes that are out of your control. One of the things that will change is the way your body uses and stores energy. Even now, as you go through treatment, your body is still trying to figure out how to deal with the stress and trauma that it’s been through. While you’re busy getting better, your body is changing, and that means there are certain behaviors and habits that you need to adjust to. Let’s take a quick look at some of the changes that occur as a result of your treatment:
Cancer causes your body to produce biochemicals at an increased rate, which in turn leads to more calories being burned. Not only that, but because your body is now constantly producing more energy, you’ll have more available to give off as heat. Studies have shown that people with cancer have increased metabolic rates, which makes sense considering all the stress that they’re under. While your increased metabolism is a good thing, it also means you have to watch what you eat. It’s easy for a food or activity to be desirable, but if you’re not used to spending a lot of time in the kitchen, it can be hard to adjust to eating healthy. Just because your body is working hard to fight the disease doesn’t mean it has to be unhealthy. There are plenty of ways for you to eat well while still having fun with your friends and family. For instance, you could join a gym and start working out. That’ll help increase your metabolism and get your body used to spending more energy – even when you’re not battling the disease. If going to the gym is too tedious a process for you, then you could always join a gym buddy’s plan and get some one-on-one help from a personal trainer. A workout partner can also help hold you accountable and make sure you don’t backslide on your treatment plan. Just keep in mind that your body needs fuel to stay strong, and this is why it’s important to eat healthy while trying to lose weight.
When you have cancer, your body begins to break down muscle tissue. This is most noticeable in those who have undergone radiation treatment, as they’re unable to gain weight due to the side effects of the radiation. This can cause them to become weak and weary easily, which can lead to more health problems. While losing weight is obviously beneficial, it’s also important to keep in mind that losing muscle can make you feel worse. It’s therefore important to work on trying to regain as much of this as you can while you’re still able to. For some people, this can be easier said than done, especially since it’s hard to know how much weight you’ve actually lost until you’ve tried to put it back on. Even if you’ve only lost a few pounds, it may still be difficult for you to get back up to your pre-diagnosis weight. If this is the case, you may need to adjust your diet and try to eat more healthily to make up for it. Even if you can’t put on all the weight you’ve lost, it’s still important to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Regular exercise and a well-balanced diet can help prevent future weight gain, so it’s never a bad idea to continue following these guidelines.
After you’ve finished treatment, you’ll have to rebuild your body. This is where things can get tricky, particularly if you’ve had more than one relapse. To make matters worse, your body is now prone to storing extra fat, which can lead to more health problems. While you’re trying to get back on your feet and live your life, it can be hard to stay healthy and lean. This is why it’s important to work on trying to maintain what you’ve been able to gain while you were fighting the disease. Even now, as you go through treatment, these are things you need to keep in mind. As you struggle to get back on your feet, it’s important to take care of your body the right way. Make sure you get plenty of rest, eat healthy, and exercise regularly – all things that could help you maintain a healthy weight. Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you’re struggling. A reliable friend or family member could help point you in the right direction and remind you of what you’ve been through. Just keep in mind that while you’re trying to get back in shape, it’s not always easy. There are certainly days when you feel like giving up, but you must push on. Little by little, you’re getting there.