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3 ways to increase calorie intake without increasing volume

butter toast
Blog

/ by Erin Peters

Written by Erin Peters, a dietetic intern at UK Markey Cancer Center.

Eating is one of the simple pleasures in life. While progressing through cancer treatment, you may experience taste changes, smell or taste aversions, or an overall decrease in appetite. All of these changes can be normal and may be temporary. But it is always important to fuel your body, even if you don’t necessarily feel like eating. 

If you or someone you know has been struggling to keep a stable weight before, during, or after treatment, “power packing” may be beneficial. Power packing is a way to add calories to the foods you’re already eating without increasing the volume. If eating has become difficult, this is a great way to pack more energy into smaller amounts of food to prevent any unintended weight loss.

Here are a few suggestions on how to power pack!

  1. Add extra cheese to your food. Cheese is a great source of calories and fat and can be added to anything from soups to eggs. And who doesn’t love a little extra cheese?
  2. Use whole-fat dairy products; milk, ice cream, yogurt, cheese, etc. Your body needs all the fat it can get so feel free to splurge on the good stuff!
  3. Incorporate butter whenever you can. Spread it on toast, drop a spoonful into your soup, or even use it to marinate chicken or other meats.  

Although these tips may be helpful to some patients, they are not suitable for everyone. If interested, talk with your doctor or dietitian before making any dietary changes.

For additional information regarding diet and nutrition for cancer patients at UK Markey Cancer Center, please call 859-323-2798 and ask to speak with a registered dietitian.