I've lost my appetite. What do I eat?

One of the lovely side effects of Taxol (two treatments down, two to go) is loss of appetite. I literally do not feel like eating. I reached my goal weight on Sept 7, but since then I’ve lost another three pounds, and I don’t think that’s a good thing at all.

I’m trying to heavy up on the protein, and I had a Boost drink for breakfast (yuck) and a hamburger for dinner last night, but when I’m achy from the Neulasta and the Taxol (another side effect, joint pain, so I’m getting a double dose there) the thought of food just doesn’t appeal to me. For lunch today I had some tomato soup, crackers, a mixed fruit snack, and a V-8.

I am taking a multi-vitamin as well as some other vitamins (B-6, E, Magnesium, Calcium + D, and evening primrose oil) but I need something simple to make that will back a nutritious punch. I know beans are good, so maybe some refried beans with cheese and sour cream?

One stipulation…no eggs.

Thanks, guys!

Toast. Toast is always appropriate and always good.


Yes, I’ve done the toast with peanut butter and will continue. I track my nutrition over at sparkpeople.com, and I gotta tell you…there were days last week where I didn’t even eat 1000 calories. Which, among other things, cannot be good for my energy level.

smoke a J?

Funny…Ivylad asked the nurse about that. My chemo doc is from India, so he’s totally okay with medical marijuana. But they prescribe a drug called Maranol instead. I’m sure if I keep losing weight that might be on the table.

Make a pot of chili (or soup, if the spice isn’t good) with beans, tomatoes and chicken (my recipe is on the boards multiple times). You get a big bang for a small portion; lots of fiber, protein and vitamins. It’s filling, will stay with you, and will keep you regular.

Would protein rich energy/meal replacement bars do the trick? When I don’t feel like eating I also don’t feel like cooking. They’re not overly tasty, but similarly when I have no appetite it all tastes like sawdust anyway.

How about a healthy snack? When my husband was sick and had no appetite, the nurse suggested gorp. Lots of calories and the nutrition is there too. Our gorp had raisins, nuts, coconut, and chocolate chips. When he didn’t feel like a meal, he grabbed a handful of gorp.

We ate more desserts too – fruit cobblers, and bars made with chocolate, rolled oats, and peanut butter. We put whipped cream on everything. Sometimes when I don’t feel like eating but know that I should, I eat dessert.

Or instead of a sandwich, I skip the bread and just eat meat and cheese and maybe a pickle. There’s not much nutrition in bread anyway and all that extra chewing can tire you out.

How about cream soups you can more or less drink out of a mug? Clam chowder, cream of just-about-anything.

I’d second the happy leaf, if you have access.

Take these cream soups, put them in a bowl, and eat them using bread instead of a spoon. Delicious, loaded with calories, and really easy to get down.

Whenever I don’t feel like eating I have some soup or oatmeal. Or I eat whatever and just have really tiny portions.

No fun. I had a similar thing just from pain meds. I was losing close to a pound a day.

I tried to find calorie-dense foods. My reasoning was/is: I had to force myself to eat, so the more calories that I could take in, in one sitting, the more likely I would consume enough calories in a day. I’m not sure whether a qualified medical expert would agree with me though… Anyway, I still have a bunch of ice cream in the freezer.

I wish you luck and am so happy to hear you only have two treatments left! Sending healing thoughts your way.

Big thick slice of white bread, toasted, well slathered with butter, spread with strawberry jam, accompanied with a big glass of whole milk.

It sure makes me gain weight, anyway. But then, I probably gained half a pound just by typing that.

ETA: Nutella is another high-calorie spread for white toast. It’s about like eating frosting.

Mix protein drinks (Mix is the brand name) are mostly made of fruit juice, and they’re easy to put down without an appetite. They taste just like fruit smoothies to me, though I like the taste of protein drinks, so maybe I’m missing something.

Also, when my mom was undergoing chemo she often could eat ice cream even when other foods put her off.

I wish you the best!

Thanks, guys. I’ll be sure to check these out. It’s just very tiring to realize nope, you’re full, but you’ve barely eaten enough to fuel a coffee maker.

I get that way without drugs often. I suggest, if at all possible, eat with someone. It makes it so much less tiresome.

How about roast beef, gravy, and toast? Refried beans, cheese, and tortillas are good too.

Eating takes energy. I read somewhere that some foods take more energy than others but now I can’t find it. I think it was starches – bread and potatoes especially.

Something else that might help is smaller portions. Sitting down to a full plate of food – or even a bowl of soup – is discouraging when you don’t have an appetite. And then there’s our mindset – clean your plate, don’t waste food. How do you fight that?

If you make a sandwich, cut it in half and then half again. Eat part of it now and save the rest for later. Make a cup of soup rather than a bowl. Snack on little things – Goldfish crackers instead of Doritos chips. Fill an ice cube tray with Jello or fruit juice and eat a cube at a time. Cut an apple into quarters. Smaller portions might help you feel like eating more often.

And there’s always Haagen Dazs. :smiley:

ETA: Have stuff ready so that when you do feel like eating, you don’t have to waste energy preparing it.

Try some milkshakes? With premium, full-fat ice cream and whole milk. I make milkshakes without a blender: just drop some good ice cream in a tall glass, add milk, and stir to combine. More or less milk, depending on how thick you like them. You can sip them and even pop it back in the freezer if you can’t get it all down. Lots of calories, and some nutrients too.

Yeah, that’s why I recommended the soups you can drink out of a mug. I’m not a big eater, and when I’ve needed lots of nutrition and calories, I’ve found it’s easier to drink them than eat them.

One of these can turn lots of things into a shake or a soup you can quickly drink.

Milkshakes? Bread, butter and jam? Fat, carbs and free sugars are not good recommendations. They provide no nutrition and only serve to elevate levels of insulin and other nasty things in your system.