Are you tired of losing appetite for food or you seem not to want to eat even when you are hungry, then you really need this? A loss of appetite occurs when you have a low desire to eat. Different factors can cause poor appetite, including mental and physical illness.
If your lack of appetite lasts for more than a couple of days, it can cause weight loss or malnutrition.
Not having an appetite can be frustrating for anyone, especially people who are underweight and trying to gain weight or build mass.
This article lists 16 easy ways to increase your appetite.
1. Eat Small Meals More Frequently
Eating three full meals might seem like a challenging task when you don't have a healthy appetite.
A more motivating way to eat is to divide your three main meals into five or six smaller meals.
As your appetite improves, you can start increasing the portions of these meals, or adding more ingredients to consume more calories throughout the day.
For example, if you're eating a tuna sandwich, incorporate some veggies and cheese to add more calories and nutrients.
SUMMARY: Have five or six smaller meals per day instead of three large ones. As your appetite improves, you can start increasing portions and adding more ingredients.
2. Eat Nutrient-Rich Foods
People with poor appetites tend to eat empty calories like candy, chips, ice cream and baked goods to gain weight.
Even though these kinds of foods might seem more appetizing and contain high amounts of calories, they’re a bad idea since they provide very few nutrients.
Instead, concentrate on foods that provide you with calories and a wide array of nutrients like protein and healthy fats.
For example, instead of ice cream for dessert, you can eat 1 cup of plain Greek yogurt. Add some berries and cinnamon for sweetness.
Similarly, if you feel like eating pizza, you can make your own and add extra veggies and some protein for extra nutrients.
SUMMARY:Decrease your intake of empty calories. Instead, make easy substitutions to focus on more nutritious foods that contain protein, healthy fats and whole grains.
3. Add More Calories to Your Meals
Another way to increase your appetite and ensure you’re eating enough during the day is to add more calories to your meals.
One way to do this is to cook your foods with calorie-dense ingredients like butter, nut butters, olive oil or whole milk.
Add 45 calories: Cook your eggs with butter.
Add 80 calories: Cook your oatmeal with whole milk instead of water.
Add 80 calories: Add some olive oil and avocados to your salads.
Add 100 calories: Spread some peanut butter on apple slices for a snack.
Simple additions like these can pack more healthy calories into your meals and increase your total calorie intake.
SUMMARY:Add calorie-rich ingredients as you’re preparing your meals to consume more calories throughout the day.
4. Make Mealtime an Enjoyable Social Activity
Cooking and eating a meal with others may help stimulate your appetite more than eating alone.
To make foods more pleasant to eat, you can invite friends and family over for meals. If they cannot come over to keep you company, try eating while watching TV.
These strategies can help by turning your attention away from the food. In fact, a study showed that eating with friends can increase food intake by 18%, and eating while watching TV could increase it by 14%.
Turning meals into occasions for socialization and entertainment may help you enjoy your food more and could increase your appetite.
SUMMARY:Having meals with friends and family, or eating them in front of the TV, can distract you from the food you are eating and lead you to eat more.
5. Trick Your Brain With Different Plate Sizes
If you have a poor appetite, seeing big portions of food can be overwhelming and discouraging.
A way to avoid feeling overwhelmed is to trick your brain into thinking you are still eating small portions. You can do this by serving your food on a big plate instead of a small plate.
Some studies have shown that increases in plate size can make you serve larger food portions. This is true even when you do not like the food all that much (2, 3).
In other words, you could eat more food if you serve it in a larger dish. This could increase your daily calorie intake, especially if you eat high-calorie foods.
SUMMARY:Serving your food on larger plates could help you serve yourself larger portions and eat more.
6. Schedule Meal Times
Hunger usually cues people to eat. However, if you do not get hungry, you might not be able to rely on your appetite to remind you when to eat.
If this is the case, try scheduling your meals and setting a reminder at each mealtime to make sure you’re eating regularly.
Additionally, having a regular meal schedule is important for stimulating appetite, helping you consume enough calories and nutrients every day.
SUMMARY:Scheduling and setting reminders for meals can help you promote appetite and keep track of your food intake.
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