The good news; managing your weight after a cancer diagnosis is possible.

Updated: Mar 9


Survivingbreastcancer.org had the pleasure of meeting Janine Gilarde during breast cancer awareness month last October at one of our Survivors, Thrivers, and Friends event. It was one of our first events in MA and it was a packed house. We know that diet and nutrition are an essential component of managing a cancer diagnosis and preventing recurrence. Our event focused on diet, nutrition, plant based meal plans, meditation, yoga, pilates, and overall health and wellness. It was a natural fit that Survivingbreastcancer.org and Janine crossed paths and we are thrilled to partner with her as a guest blogger for our community!

By Janine Gilarde, RN & Healthy Living Coach

Originally published on here 4/14/2019.


Weight gain, especially during or after cancer treatment, can be unexpected and distressing, but it’s not uncommon. Cancer itself — along with side effects from treatments such as chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery — can significantly impact your weight.




It’s never too late to take steps to improve your health.

Whether you were overweight or obese before cancer, or gained weight during or after treatment —  managing your weight after a cancer diagnosis is possible.


Common Beliefs about Losing Weight

Before being diagnosed with cancer, you may have already tried several ways to lose weight or increase physical activity and found the results discouraging.

Here are some common beliefs that may prevent people with cancer from pursuing a healthier lifestyle.


“I’VE TRIED EVERYTHING AND JUST CAN’T LOSE WEIGHT.” Losing weight is challenging.  You may feel you have “failed” because previous attempts to lose weight have not worked. The truth is that you just haven’t found what works for you yet. 


Many people find it easier to to lose weight when they have a structured program that offers accountability and support.



“THE HARM HAS ALREADY BEEN DONE.” It is never too late to improve your health.  Many studies have shown that people who choose healthy foods and exercise regularly are at lower risk of having the cancer return or of developing a new cancer.


In addition, changing to a healthier lifestyle reduces the risk of other medical problems, such as diabetes and heart disease.



“I ENJOY EATING AND DON’T WANT TO CHANGE MY DIET.” You can still enjoy the foods you love, but with more balance.

Focus on eating foods that are nourishing, while reducing non-nutritional foods that are high in calories and unhealthy fats. Even small reductions or changes to what you eat and drink can help you lose weight slowly over time.



Healthy Diet – Healthy Weight – Healthy Lifestyle

Nutrition

Nutrition is not just about calories – where you get your calories matters. If you want to improve your health, focus on foods that are nutritionally dense.

There are some studies that suggest eating this way can help prevent and reverse many chronic diseases, including cancer.



Physical Activity

Aerobic and strength training exercise can improve your quality of life, help reduce fatigue, lessen muscle loss, and prevent the gain of body fat.  Physical activity is also important for weight management.


Behavior Change Support

For many, being overweight or obese is more complex than simply eating too much and exercising too little. It’s important to get support when you are trying to lose weight.


There are many studies showing that working with a weight loss specialist/wellness coach can help you make healthy lifestyle changes and stick with them over time.


More information about Janine and her healthy tips can be found on her website.



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