We all have different appetites and different tastes. Some people like savory snacks while others will have a sweet tooth. Some people enjoy Asian cuisine while others are after an all American menu. But what happens when you don’t have much of an appetite? And how to increase appetite?
What happens when you don’t really fancy eating anything at all? Your lack of appetite could be a sign of something bigger, or it could simply be that you need to increase your appetite and boost your metabolism. So here, we are going to give you 12 top tips to help you increase your appetite and get eating!
What Is Your Metabolism?
You may have heard the term “metabolism” being banded around before in conjunction with exercise, but in actual fact, your metabolism is mainly affected by the level of nutrition it is given. Your metabolism is a process that happens within your body that breaks down the molecules of food that you eat, removes the nutrients to benefit your body and disposes of the rest.
Sometimes if your metabolism isn’t working at its full capacity it won’t break down the food molecules properly and you will become malnourished. Conversely, if your metabolism is working at too fast a rate then your food will be processed too quickly and your metabolism won’t remove the nutrients appropriately, therefore leaving you malnourished. It is important that you ensure your metabolism is working to the right efficiency to ensure the correct amount of nutrition.
Why Increase Your Appetite?
Increasing your appetite means that you will be able to put more nutrient-rich foods into your body and fuel it. Simply put, your body needs energy which it gets from food. Your metabolism breaks this down, so your body gets the nutrients. If your body doesn’t get enough energy or nutrients, then it starts to break down and become ill.
How to increase appetite: 12 Natural Tips
Tip 1: Eat Little and Often
If you find the idea of a big meal too daunting, why not settle for smaller meals and space them out more frequently? Some people will call this grazing. It is a great way to get more calories into your body and to trick your mind into not feeling overwhelmed when it sees a massive plate of food.
Another good trick is to make one meal and eat half of it, go away to do an activity (like putting the kids to bed or doing a chore) and come back to eat the second half of the meal an hour afterward.
Tip 2: Focus on the Nutrients
If a large meal isn’t your kind of thing then why not focus on a nutrient-rich meal. There are plenty of ways you can do this but one example is a salad. While you have your base of vitamins and fiber from your salad base, you can then add carbs with sautéed potatoes, a protein with some meat and fat with a salad dressing.
You can get as creative as you like with your meals and remember that just because it doesn’t look like a “meal” to some people if it has the right kind of nutrients for you then it is a perfectly acceptable way to consume your daily calories.
Tip 3: Squeeze in Extra Calories
Similarly to the salad example, you can sneakily add calories into a meal without affecting the quantity of food that goes on your plate.
Cooking foods in butter, adding a dressing or using full-fat dairy products will all help to slowly increase the number of calories you have in your meal and when added up over the week will amount to quite a bit extra.
Tip 4: Stick to a Schedule
Not everyone likes to be rigid with their food but by sticking to a schedule, you will be reminded of when you need to eat and can train your mind to think that it is food time more often.
For example, if you were to schedule 5 small meals a day with snack times in between each of those (you can remind yourself by putting an alarm on your phone or by using a specific app) you will actually be consuming food 8 times a day regularly.
Before long, your mind will assume that those times in the day are food times and will want to eat something. It is up to you how long you follow this schedule, but we recommend long enough that you automatically get hungry at those scheduled times of the day.
Tip 5: Drink Your Calories
Some people find it easier to drink than to eat, especially those with busy lives. So instead of forcing yourself to sit down and eat something, why not grab a meal replacement drink and have that on the go instead?
Most meal replacement drinks are high in nutrients and well balanced so you won’t have to worry about the nutrients in your main meal as much. If you are struggling with your calorie intake, then have a meal replacement shake in between meals as a snack. That way you will be doubling your calorie intake easily.
Tip 6: Make Your Meals a Social Event
Eating in front of the TV is not good for you and can distract you from what you are doing. Instead, eat with someone and chat through your meal. It will help you to eat more intentionally and will be far more enjoyable than mindlessly eating away at whatever is in front of you.
You can even go one step further and cook together too! This will make you more inclined to create a nutrient-rich meal and appreciate what you have cooked.
Tip 7: Eat Breakfast
So many people skip breakfast and it is really bad for your metabolism. Your metabolism needs to be woken up in the morning after a good 8-12 hour rest by eating a balanced healthy meal. Where possible, try to get as many food groups into your breakfast and really boost your metabolism for the rest of the day.
Tip 8: Mix Up Your Plate Sizes
Do you eat your meal from a big plate? Do you load it up and then feel disheartened when you can’t eat it all? Why not mix it up a bit? Putting your meal on smaller plates will give a sense of achievement once you have finished it and this, in turn, will encourage you to eat more. Another trick is to use small plates and has 2 or 3 servings. This is a personal preference and depends on how you relate to your meals.
Tip 9: Snack, Snack, Snack
Snacking is a really easy way to increase your calories and therefore boost your metabolism. Eating healthy snacks is a good way to increase your amount of nutrients but really, any snacking is better than nothing.
Try to eat once or twice between meals but not too close to mealtime as you won’t feel hungry. Try setting out a bowl of snacks on your desk at work or on the side at home and try to intentionally take something from the bowl each time you pass it.
As you begin to get used to this process, it will become second nature to snack in between meals and your body will begin to crave more food.
Tip 10: Eat What You Love
If you are really fed up of eating the same thing day in and day out then why not shake it up by eating the things you love? One way to easily trick your mind into being hungry is to give it what it wants.
While we don’t advocate binge eating your favorite sugary snack every day, it will certainly help to boost your metabolism and to build your hunger by doing this for a short amount of time. If you love burgers and fries then let your cravings take over, if you like chips and dip then go for it! Enjoy your food and you will automatically want to eat more of it.
Tip 11: Reduce Your Fiber Intake
Fiber works by helping your digestive system process your food by bulking out meals. While it is good for your digestion, it doesn’t actually bring any nutritional benefits to your meal.
Because of this, try swapping fiber foods for nutrient-rich ones instead. This may have an adverse effect on your digestive tract so be mindful to reduce your fiber intake rather than replacing it altogether.
Tip 12: Work Up an Appetite
If all else fails, work up an appetite! Try exercising, going for a run before dinner or simply working up a sweat so that your body burns more food and feels hungry more quickly. If you aren’t eating a great amount, then a 10-minute workout at home should do the trick.
If you are planning on doing a long workout then why not try and carb load beforehand so that you have enough energy to get through the workout and still feel hungry for a nutrient-rich meal afterward?
We hope we have helped you to know how to increase appetite and to get more food into your diet. Remember that a loss of appetite can be a sign of a more serious condition so if your lack of appetite has come on suddenly then you should seek medical advice straight away.
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