Question: How do you transition to a healthy lifestyle after cancer treatment?
After cancer treatment, it is normal to want to start new and make healthy changes in both diet and exercise. However, with all of the information available out there, it can be confusing knowing which foods to eat, which foods to avoid, and what exercises to do.
For cancer survivors, it is recommended to follow an overall plant-based diet that focuses on fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and healthy fats. Aim to include proteins, carbohydrates and fats at each meal into order to feel full and satisfied. Doing this, paired with frequent meals throughout the day, can also help you improve your energy levels, which in turn can help you increase your physical activity.
This way of eating can also help you achieve and maintain a healthy weight. Furthermore, focusing on adding fruits and vegetables – as well as variety of different foods – will give you the most nutritional benefit, antioxidants, and anti- inflammatory foods, which may help to reduce your risk of reoccurrence.
Finding balance after treatment is essential. If you are having difficulty finding balance with your overall eating pattern and meals, it can help to start by making 1-2 weekly goals for yourself that focus on behavioral changes. For instance, a good goal would be to consume one serving of vegetables for lunch and dinner. Another goal could be trying a balanced snack containing a protein and carbohydrate every week night.
Side effects from cancer and cancer treatment, such as fatigue or difficulty sleeping, can keep you from being active. If you have been inactive for a long time, start with 10 minutes of walking a day and build up. Add exercise to your everyday activities and chores by walking to the store, taking the stairs, or parking farther away from an entrance.
Exercise while doing other activities, such as watching television or listening to music. Find an exercise partner or group that provides friendly support. If you are experiencing fatigue, exercise when you have the most energy. Remember every little bit of activity counts!
If you have questions consider joining us for the next Healthy Eating and Activity for Living class. Contact Registered Dietitian Melanie Logue at 805-346-3403 or Cancer Exercise Trainer John Malinowski at 805-346-3413 to be added to the class list.
If you have questions consider joining us for the next Healthy Eating and Activity for Living class on Sept. 14. The class seating is limited; please register at 805-219-HOPE (4673).
HAVE A QUESTION? This weekly column produced by Marian Cancer Care invites you to submit your questions to “Your Cancer Answers” at the following email address: [email protected]