Enjoy your food again
Do you have no interest at all in eating right now? The side effects of anticancer treatment, e.g. chemotherapy, or the tumor itself often affect your appetite as well as on your overall well-being. Here are some tricks to overcome a loss of appetite.
Small bites count!
First of all, don’t pressure yourself about eating. Small bites also count. Many cancer patients have problems eating three big meals a day. So, don’t mind changing your eating habits from three large meals to six to nine small snacks. Adding more but smaller portions to your daily diet may feel much easier to manage.
How can I remind myself?
Outsmart yourself by placing snacks throughout your home, ready to eat and tempting. Fill your fridge with delicious items. If you need to be more structured, you can come up with a plan and set an alert to remind you. A two-hour rhythm has been shown to be effective, that is, breakfast at 8:00 AM, first snack at 10:00 AM, second snack at noon, hot meal at 2:00 PM, etc.
What can I do to enjoy meals?
Try to make food attractive for you again. We know that taste not only comes from your tongue but also from your mind and memories. Have you ever taken a look at a dish with the food very nicely arranged? You feel like you can already taste it just by looking at it. Use this effect. Make your food a feast for the eyes. Take the time for preparation.
Create a nice atmosphere, such as by decorating your table. Use a tablecloth, light some candles, listen to some background music? whatever you like to surround yourself with.
Prepare fresh, quality food you otherwise may have denied yourself. Fresh herbs stimulate your senses and take you on journeys of culinary discovery.
Avoid cooking odors
Can’t stand the smell of some foods? Take care of all your senses and try to find out what smells are still comfortable for you. You might try eating raw vegetables at first and then gradually get back to cooking your meals as your smell aversions get better.
For some patients, meal delivery services come in handy as it eliminates the smell of cooking at home. There is a wide variety of meals that can be delivered, so you can create the right variation for you.
Focus your senses
Enjoyment requires focus. Give the taste of the food your undivided attention. Looking at the newspaper, the TV, your phone or the computer takes away the opportunity to truly perceive that you’re actually eating.
Share mealtimes with your loved ones
Maybe you want to enjoy your meals with family or friends? Even when you’re not able to eat a lot, you can still share a daily event with them and talk about interesting topics in a relaxed atmosphere. But avoid people and topics that aren’t good for you. Make sure that your loved ones know the topics you want to leave out and what you want to talk about instead.