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The breast cancer patient’s management game plan for weight loss

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**A continuation of our series on breast cancer and nutrition.

If weight loss is among your side effects during breast cancer treatment, you can use good nutrition principles to create a plan to manage your weight loss, says Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center nutritionist Mary Eve Brown.  Weight loss can occur due to the tumor itself, from side effects, and because your body is burning more calories and needs more protein to replace what you’re losing during treatment, she notes.

Beverages can be an important way to add calories if you drink nourishing liquids instead of just water, Brown says. It’s important to stay hydrated, but when weight loss is an issue, make sure you are preferring fruit or vegetable juice, instant breakfast or protein drinks, yogurt-based smoothies and even milkshakes. An easy way to boost nourishment from liquids is to fortify liquid milk by mixing ¼ cup dry milk into 1 cup of liquid milk. You can drink the fortified milk and use it in your cooking and smoothies as well.

Snacks, chosen wisely, also can help you maintain a healthy weight if weight loss is one of your side effects. Snack between meals and at night, and choose nuts, dried fruit, cheese, nut butters, fruit muffins or bread. Try mixing nuts and dried fruits together for a nutritionally dense trail mix.

Healthy oils also are a smart way to add calories when you are combating weight loss. Think about olive oil when you’re cooking or add some to your next smoothie—you’ll gain 100 calories per tablespoon. Avocado oil is also a healthy way to add calories.

You can find out more about nutrition and your breast cancer journey in Brown’s recent free webinar, What’s Food Got to Do With It? Eating Well Before, During and After Treatment.

Videos from Mary Eve Brown:
Colon Cancer and Nutrition

Pancreatic Cancer and Nutrition