For an individual to be healthy, she/he must have the desire to eat regularly. Not having the desire to eat can be disturbing especially to people who are underweight, or losing weight when they don’t want to. Loss of appetite is a condition that can be frustrating sometimes and can result in to serious health conditions. Getting adequate nutrition each day can really make a difference in how one feels.
Causes of Loss of Appetite
So many factors may be responsible for loss of appetite and may include the following:
- Some medical conditions such as hepatitis, hypothyroidism, dementia, heart failure, kidney failure and chronic liver disease.
- Poor nutrition.
- Food boredom.
- Some medications such as phentermine, diethylpropion and phendimetrazine.
Ways to Improve Appetite
There are many ways in which one can improve appetite and make eating a meal enjoyable again in as much as it is not as a result of a medical condition. Eating well keeps the body and mind strong and healthy.
Here are some ways to improve your appetite:
Mixing varieties of foods: You may lose your appetite if you have been eating the same type of meal over and over again every week and this may lead to lose of appetite. It would be advisable to try out new style of eating. When preparing your meals, spice up your meals with fresh herbs, onions, garlic and citrus juices to vegetables, meats and whole grains to perk up the flavor. The aroma from a well garnished meal is a good appetizer that can stimulate your hunger pang. Try out new dishes from cooking programs.
Eating High Calorie Foods: Eating a high volume of food that is not rich in calorie can be tiring and may make you lose appetite. Foods rich in calories are advisable as they will help to reduce voluminous eating. Cook oatmeal in whole milk instead of water; add dried milk powder and olive oil to casseroles and soups; choose hummus dip over salsa; snack on raisins and nuts rather than grapes; and drink 100 percent juice between meals instead of water. Making these few changes will go a long way in improving your appetite.
Don’t follow the old traditional eating rule: Filling up your plate with food just because you don’t want to eat bit by bit may make you lose appetite. You need to forgo the old rule of eating three times a day. If you are tiny eater, please, take your time to eat in bits. Take the little you can finish. If it means eating more than even 4 times a day, please do but choose high-calorie, nutrient-rich foods such as natural peanut butter, dried fruits, nuts and homemade smoothies containing fresh fruit, yogurt and milk. The calories you consume through grazing and snacking add up, but you never get a feeling of being unpleasantly full
. Avoid filling your tummy with Fluids: It is a common habit for some individuals to drink fluid before eating. This can cause one to become filled even before eating the food half way. Some are fond of drinking water while eating. There is nothing wrong with drinking water while eating but it is advisable to reduce its amount as it can cause one to fill satiated when one has not eaten much. It is most preferable to finish eating before drinking water because one will be able to take in the entire necessary nutrient.
Get Some Exercise: Indigestion could affect one appetite especially when one is inactive. Sometimes getting a little exercise can increase your appetite. Exercise can go a long way in helping to increase digestion.
Eat in company of friends: Eating alone may be lonely an uninteresting to some people and this can affect their appetite. Putting the effort into making a complete meal just for yourself may feel uninspiring. Combat these natural feelings by inviting friends over for meals and experimenting with new recipes. Eat meals with your family when possible and watch the magic it performs on your appetite.
If your appetite is still dampened and does not improve with these simple steps, please consult with your dietician. Your loss of appetite may be health related.
– Kathleen Zelman, MPH, RD, LD, director of nutrition at WebMD.
– Joanne Koenig Coste, former caregiver; lecturer on family caregiving; author, Learning to Speak Alzheimer’s.
– Carole Palmer, EdD, RD, professor of nutrition and oral health promotion at Tufts Dental School in Boston.
– National Institute on Aging web site, “Healthy Eating After 50.”
– Colorado State University Extension web site, “Nutrition and Aging.”