Making changes to your diet
It’s not always easy to make major changes to our lives. It can be even more challenging when you have to cope with cancer, and perhaps cancer treatment too.
Some people turn to food when life is stressful, which is known as comfort eating. For others, being busy means we don’t have time to look at healthier options when we’re food shopping. It can sometimes be easier to choose ready meals. For some people, the cost of food is an issue. So you may want to change the way you eat, but thinking of how to do it may feel too hard.
It may help to make healthy changes to your diet gradually, at a comfortable pace, at a budget you can afford, and when you feel ready. You could start by writing down what you normally eat for a few weeks. Compare this with information on healthy eating. Then set yourself some small, realistic goals, and decide how you will achieve them. For example, if you’ve never had fruit with breakfast; try adding fresh or stewed fruit, or a glass of fruit juice. For snacks, you could try swapping chocolate with a small portion of dried fruit and nuts.
Gradually increase your goals over time. Keep track of your progress and how you feel physically and emotionally. Making changes can be enjoyable, as you may discover new foods that you haven’t tried before.
If you’re not sure how to go about changing your diet, ask your GP or specialist nurse. A dietitian can help you make these changes, and also advise you about any other dietary problems during or after your cancer treatment.
Whether you want to make small or big changes to your diet, it may take time to find healthy foods that you like, or a diet that works for you. It can help to try different foods. This can stop you getting bored and may help motivate you to continue a healthy diet in the long-term.