A decreased appetite can be caused by a variety of things including stress, certain medications, and underlying health conditions.
If you’re looking for ways to increase your appetite, you’ve come to the right place. Read on for these tips that may help.
How to Increase Your Appetite Naturally?
1. Eat Smaller, More Frequent Meals
If you’re not used to eating several times a day, it may seem like a lot of work to try and fit in 6-8 meals. However, eating smaller meals more frequently has been shown to increase appetite and calorie intake. Plus, it can help to stave off hunger so you’re less likely to overeat at your next meal.
2. Make Sure You’re Eating Enough Protein
Protein is an important nutrient for feeling full and satisfied after a meal. If you’re not eating enough protein, you may find yourself feeling hungry more often. Aim to include protein at every meal and snack throughout the day. Good sources of protein include lean meats, fish, poultry, eggs, legumes, nuts, and seeds.
3. Avoid Skipping Meals
Skipping meals can make it harder to eat later on in the day as you’ll likely be so famished that you end up overeating or making poor food choices. To prevent this from happening, aim to eat every 3-4 hours throughout the day.
4. Drink Plenty of Fluids
Dehydration can lead to feelings of lethargy and fatigue which can dampen your appetite. Make sure you’re drinking plenty of fluids throughout the day – aim for 8-10 glasses per day. In addition to water, unsweetened tea and coffee are also good options.
5. Get Moving
Exercise is not only good for your overall health but it can also help increase your appetite. After a workout, your body releases chemicals that boost mood and energy levels which can help rev up your appetite. Just make sure not to give yourself too much of an intense workout as that can actually have the opposite effect and decrease appetite instead.
6. Add More Calories
If you’re trying to gain weight or simply want to increase your appetite, adding more calories to your diet may do the trick. Start by increasing portion sizes or adding in calorie-dense foods such as nuts, seeds, avocado, olives, cheese, dark chocolate, etc. Just make sure not to go overboard as too many calories can lead to unwanted weight gain.
7. Take Your Time
Sometimes we have a hard time finishing a meal because we eat too fast. If this is the case, try to slow down and take your time while eating. Chew each bite thoroughly and put your utensils down in between bites. This will help you to focus on your meals and be more mindful of how much you’re eating.
8. Experiment with Flavors and Textures
Spice up your meals by experimenting with different flavours and textures. This not only makes your food more enjoyable but can also stimulate your appetite. Try incorporating a variety of herbs, spices, and condiments into your dishes. The diversity of tastes and textures can awaken your senses and make eating a more pleasurable experience.
9. Listen to Your Body
Pay attention to your body’s signals and eat when you’re hungry. If you’re not particularly hungry at a designated mealtime, don’t force yourself to eat. However, try not to let yourself go too long without nourishment, as this can contribute to a decreased appetite over time.
10. Manage Stress Levels
Stress can have a negative impact on appetite. If you’re feeling stressed, try to find ways to relax and unwind. This can include things like yoga, meditation, deep breathing exercises, or spending time in nature.
What should I eat if I have no appetite?
If you’re struggling with a diminished appetite, there are specific food choices and strategies that can help you get the nutrients your body needs. It’s important to focus on easily digestible, nutrient-dense foods that can stimulate your appetite. Here are some suggestions on what to eat when you have little to no appetite:
Blend together fruits, yoghurt, milk or a milk alternative, and a scoop of protein powder to create a nutrient-packed smoothie. Smoothies are not only easy to consume but also a great way to incorporate vitamins and minerals.
Soups and Broths
Warm and comforting soups or broths are gentle on the stomach and provide essential fluids. Opt for clear broths, vegetable soups, or chicken soup. You can add small pieces of easily digestible vegetables and lean proteins.
Yogurt with Fruit
Yoghurt is a good source of probiotics and protein. Top it with fresh or canned fruit for added flavour and nutrients. The cool and creamy texture can be more appealing when you have a reduced appetite.
Oatmeal or Porridge
Cooked oats or other whole grains like quinoa or rice can be a gentle and easily digestible option. Top with a bit of honey, sliced bananas, or berries for added sweetness and nutrition.
According to Medicalnewstoday, avocados are a source of vitamins C, E, K, and B6, as well as riboflavin, niacin, folate, pantothenic acid, magnesium, and potassium. Spread mashed avocado on whole-grain toast for a nutritious and satisfying snack or meal. You can add a sprinkle of salt, pepper, or your favourite seasoning for extra flavour.
Eggs are a versatile and easy-to-digest source of protein. You can prepare them in various ways, such as scrambled, boiled, or as an omelette. Pair them with whole-grain toast or a small serving of vegetables.
Popsicles or Ice Chips
If you find it challenging to eat solid foods, try sucking on ice chips or having popsicles. This can provide hydration and a refreshing sensation, making it easier to consume something when you don’t have much of an appetite.
Small, Frequent Meals
Instead of focusing on large meals, consider having smaller, more frequent meals throughout the day. This approach can be less overwhelming and may help you get the necessary nutrients over the course of the day.
Cheese and Crackers
Cheese is a good source of protein and can be paired with whole-grain crackers for a satisfying and easy-to-assemble snack. Choose mild cheeses that are gentle on the stomach.
Hydration with Infused Water
Staying hydrated is crucial, even if you don’t feel like eating. Infuse water with slices of citrus fruits, cucumber, or mint to add a subtle flavour that might make it more appealing.