Loss of appetite can be a very frustrating issue to deal with for anybody who is already underweight or currently experiencing unwanted weight loss. When you’re finding it difficult to eat because you’re simply not hungry, it can be difficult to keep weight on, resulting in a lack of nutrients in the body and unhealthy weight loss that can lead to a number of different health conditions.
When you are suffering from a lack of appetite, it’s not unusual to feel that food simply doesn’t taste good anymore, and it can be difficult to muster up the motivation to cook a meal. Appetite loss can occur for a several reasons; often it is a symptom of various physical or mental health problems and can often be a side effect of certain types of medication or treatment. However, no matter what the reason for your loss of appetite, making sure that you get the right nutrition in your body can make a huge difference to how you feel and your overall health and wellbeing.
Consuming the right amount of calories, fat, protein, carbohydrates, minerals and vitamins helps to keep your body working correctly, improves muscle health and strength, and can even help to keep your brain working at its best. So, how can you deal with appetite loss and make sure that your body is provided with the nutrients that it needs? Let’s find out.
Tip #1. Choose Nutrient-Rich Foods:
Even if you only feel well enough to eat a small amount of food at a time, getting some sustenance in your body is, of course, always better than getting none. However, the less you are able to eat, the more important it is that you choose nutrient-dense foods that will help replenish your muscles and organs and give them the fuel that they need to work properly and protect your body against illness, fatigue, and more.
Focus on foods that are rich in protein, healthy fats, vitamins and antioxidants, and whole grains. Try to do your best to limit foods that are filled with ‘empty’ calories, such as fries, chips, cakes, candy and sugary beverages – these may be appealing, but they don’t provide your body with any nutrients and will soon leave you feeling worse.
Tip #2. Take Advantage of When You’re Hungriest:
Do you often find that you are really hungry when you first wake up, but begin to gradually lose your appetite as the day goes on? Or, perhaps you find that you are rarely hungry throughout the day, but suddenly get an increase in appetite once you return home from work, for example. Understand when you are going to likely be at your hungriest and make sure that you have a good supply of nutrient-dense foods to hand to fill up on to take advantage of your temporarily increased appetite.
Adjust the sizes of your meals to suit your appetite patterns; for example, if you feel hungrier than usual when you wake up, then make sure that breakfast is the biggest meal of the day.
Tip #3. Limit Drinking with Meals:
Even if you are drinking water, limiting the amount that you drink specifically before and during mealtimes can help to improve your appetite. If you are filling up your stomach with liquids before you eat, then it’s likely that you won’t be as hungry and will find it difficult to finish your meal. So, the best thing to do is to firstly focus on your food; once you’ve finished this you can drink water, juice, tea, coffee – etc. Since liquids tend to be less nutrient-dense, filling up with food first will help your body get more of the essential nutrients that it needs.
Tip #4. Take Supplements:
If your appetite is extremely low and you are worried about not getting enough vitamins and minerals in your body, then there are a number of supplements that you can take in pill form to help with this. However, bear in mind that tablet supplements, such as multivitamins and zinc, are not designed to be a replacement for food, therefore it’s still important that you try to eat as much as you can in terms of a healthy and balanced diet.
Another supplement that you might want to consider taking is hemp oil; this can be done simply by placing a drop of the oil under your tongue and can be very effective in improving your appetite. Along with this, hemp oil is filled with a bunch of amazing nutrients for your body, and is one of the best sources of veggie protein out there.
You may even want to try vaping with CBD vape oil; research has shown this to be effective in improving appetite and is legal throughout the U.S. since it does not cause a high. If you live in a state where medical marijuana is legal, then this is well-known for causing an appetite improvement, also known as ‘getting the munchies’! If you are using medical marijuana, make sure that your snacks of choice are healthy, such as fresh fruit and vegetables, to get the vitamins and minerals that your body needs.
Tip #5. Keep Snacks Handy:
Even people who suffer from a lack of appetite will eventually feel some kind of hunger pang; especially if it has been a while since their last meal and their body is in dire need of refueling. To make sure that you get all the nutrients that you need, be sure to keep healthy snacks on hand to much on if you do begin to feel hungry. If you are not managing to eat much, then the best snacks to get are those that are high in calories, protein and other nutrients such as nuts and seeds, cottage cheese, dried fruit, cheese and crackers, or Greek yoghurt, which can be eaten plain or with fruit and honey if you find sweet tastes more appealing. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different types of snacks; your taste buds may have changed and you could find that you now enjoy foods with different tastes, flavors and textures to the types that you would have normally chosen for yourself beforehand.
Tip #6. Eat Little and Often:
When you are suffering from a loss of appetite, then the idea of eating three massive meals in a day can be enough to have you feeling a little bit sick. However, there’s no need to clear a big plate of breakfast, lunch and dinner daily – as long as your body is getting all the nutrients that it needs, you can easily break this down into smaller and more manageable portions that are easier for you to eat at once. Breaking your meals down into 5-6 smaller meals per day, or even more if you need to, can be a better way of improving your appetite and is less likely to make you feel too full after eating.
Tip #7. Make Eating a Social Occasion:
If you often eat meals alone, then this could actually be contributing to your lack of appetite. Often, our appetites can increase simply by making mealtimes a social occasion. If you live alone or tend to eat on your own most days, then it’s a good idea to try and look for more opportunities to eat with others. For example, you could invite your family and friends over to your home for a home-cooked meal, or even treat yourself to a lovely dinner at a restaurant. Or, why not find a social group where you can meet new friends who meet up to share food together?
Tip #8. Juicing and Smoothies:
If you have a very small appetite when it comes to food but find yourself drinking a lot throughout the day, then you could take advantage of your thirst by drinking your calories and nutrients instead. Smoothies are a great way to do this – you can make them with fruit, vegetables, milk, nut milks, yoghurt, seeds, and protein powders to help fuel your body with the nutrients, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that it needs to be healthy and strong.
Soups are also a great choice, if you’re looking for something light and warming – you can find many healthy vegetable soup recipes that are very easy to make. This is a great idea for anybody who is suffering from a lack of appetite due to teeth or other oral problems; if chewing is a painful problem for you, then smoothies and soups could be the solution that works.
Tip #9. Exercise More:
Exercising is good for us in a multitude of different ways. Not only does it help us to shed any extra pounds and improve our figures, it can also improve our energy levels, help us get a better night’s sleep, and even increase our appetite. When you exercise, your body will need to refuel itself, so you’ll automatically be feeling hungrier than usual after your workout. Even a simple brisk walk outdoors in the fresh air can help to stimulate hunger.
Did these tips help? We’d love to hear from you in the comments.