While many people endeavors to suppress appetite in order to get rid of the hunger cravings resulting in weight gain, there are people who suffer from lack of appetite. Like hunger cravings, loss of appetite is also very frustrating and often leads to weight loss and lack of nutrients causing weakness, tiredness, low confidence and many other physical as well as mental illnesses.
Temporary loss of appetite is quite natural and may be caused due to various reasons such as stomach upset, heat stress, too much exhaustion & run down situations, depression and other medical issues. Such temporary kinds of lacking in hunger go as soon as the medical condition gets cured.
But when the loss in appetite persists after a few couple of days, then we have to take it seriously as it will cause a number of medical conditions. This is going to be very frustrating particularly for those people who are in the lookout for gaining weight as well as building lean mass.
This article has been contemplated to give the readers different ways of increasing the appetite and coming back to the normal course of life.
Taking meals divided into smaller fragments a number of times
For the people who lack appetite due to whatever reasons, it is a gigantic task eating three meals a day. Such people often start scaring at the very name of eating their principal meals. They will sit on with their meals for a long time often attempting to vomit and at last go away leaving the foods provided to them.
In these circumstances one motivating way of letting some food ingested is to divide the meals into a few segments or smaller meals preferably in five to six times so that the individual is relieved of the pain to take bigger meals.
Studies with many such people with less or no appetite has confirmed that by taking such a course of action it has been possible to increase their appetite. As and when the appetite returns the portion size of the meals can be slowly increased to include more nutrient rich foods.
For example the individual who has started with a simple sandwich can be offered some veggies and butter etc gradually so that the person can avail some more calories and various nutrients for the supply of required energy for the functioning of the different cells.
Taking diets that are rich in nutrients
The people with reduced or nil appetite often try to take foods with empty calories. They are mostly attracted to tasty short term foods such as chips, candy, ice cream or other fast foods. These foods do not contain any nutrients, but have high amounts of calories. In our opinion the idea is very bad as the person becomes starved of nutrients.
The correct way for the people with no appetite will be to take foods that will provide calories as well as an array of nutrients and vitamins. The example is yogurt or fruits instead of ice creams. When you think like taking some pizza add some green vegetables and salad along with it.
Taking diets that are rich in providing you calories
Your body will need calories even to carry on many jobs for the survival and growth of the internal organs and various cellular functions, not to talk of external physical needs for the calories. So it is very important for the people to intake more calories despite the fact that there is no appetite.
The need is therefore to plan calorie rich foods to be included in their diets. Such foods can be eggs, butter, whole milk, olive oils etc.
Other examples can be
- Taking eggs with some amount of butter
- Prepare the oatmeal with milk instead of simple water
- Salad with olive oil
- Apple slices with peanut butter
Taking meals in a social environment
Do not forget that man is a social animal. The very existence of the humans was possible only due to their socializing traits. So whenever you take your food along with others in a friendly environment it stimulates your sense of appetite and you start feeling like taking more food.
One way of creating such an atmosphere is to invite your friends and relatives for dinner. Even if such a thing is not possible you can make a habit of taking your meals watching TV for a feeling of company.
Studies have already been made to find the exact effect of the social company in increasing the appetite. It was found that eating in company with friends increases the appetite by 18% while eating food while watching TV increases the appetite by 14%.
In this process it is quite possible that gradually your appetite would return back to its earlier level.
Trick with your brain into thinking that the portion size is small
The brain is our supreme master and decides everything that we do including our appetite. By knowing that in some circumstances like this we may have to trick our own mind into believing something that may be suitable for the brain into taking proactive decisions and signaling.
One such thing can be fooling the brain into thinking that the meal is a small one and not very difficult to ingest. It can be done by placing the meal in a large plate so that it seems that the meal served is a small one. This point has been confirmed in various clinical studies. By increasing the size of the plate it has been possible to make the individual take big meals despite the fact that the individual does not even like the foods served.
In such a way you can make the individual with no appetite to ingest calorie rich foods and gradually lead him to take more foods as a habit.
Take your meals at a fixed time
For normal people the stomach raises the alarm when you are hungry forcing you to take some food. But such is not the case with the people with no appetite. They may not even feel like taking food for the whole day starving their body of the energy and the nutrients.
This problem can be tackled intelligently by fixing a scheduled time of taking meals. Some provisions can be made to remind the individual of the meal time so that the individual with a lacking appetite may take some foods in a regular fashion.
Secondly our body follows some biological clock. When you take the meals at some predetermined time the body responds with that when the time comes reminding the person about the taking of the meals.
This also tries to stimulate the appetite, helping the person to take sufficient food gradually.
Never skip the breakfast
We tend to break our fast after a long 12 to 14 hours after the whole night’s sleep. It is imperative for the person with no appetite to eat breakfast regularly in time. This is very important because breakfast happens to be the equivalent of a small meal. It is not difficult to consume. Gradually this habit would help you get back your appetite and gain weight.
Studies have also confirmed how important eating breakfast is. Skipping breakfast may lead you to take less food throughout the day reducing your appetite further. Breakfast also has another benefit. It helps in enhancing the body’s thermogenic property. The heat produced due to the thermogenesis helps in the burning of the fat converting them into more energy and providing the same to the cells of the body, enhancing the appetite.
Eat diet with lesser fiber
The people who are overweight or obese are advised to take fibrous foods so that a feeling of fullness of stomach comes reducing their hunger cravings. But for the people with no appetite the same would be counterproductive.
The fibers cause the feeling of a full stomach, reducing the appetite by slowing down the process of digestion.
Including healthy snacks during frequent small meals
For the people with no appetite it is convenient to take small and appetizing snacks in between. This is also a suitable alternative when on the move. The snacks must be healthy alternatives. But you have to take care to avoid taking snacks close to the meal times. This again will reduce the appetite for the meals.
Examples of healthy snacks can be
- Seasonal fruits like mango, banana, oranges, apples etc
- Fruits with yogurt or cheese
- Salty snacks such as popcorn
- Protein bars
In concluding the article one point needs to be mentioned that loss of appetite can have many reasons. The primary thing that is needed when the loss of appetite continues for a couple of days is to consult with your doctor for any underlying issues.
However the natural ways to alleviate the condition of no appetite can be very simple methods as envisaged above. In many cases the reason for the lack of appetite can be mental. Try to be cheerful, keeping yourself in the company of your friends and relatives, forgetting any differences and conflicts.
Try to be accommodative and live a meaningful life. After all, the final destination of all of us is that little dug-outs of size 10 feet X 4 feet deep within Mother Earth. Let it be in peace and fulfillment.