If you are looking for an effective way to boost your appetite, a food appetite stimulant can be a good option for you. With a lost appetite, there is a low desire to eat. As a result, you may end up losing weight in an unhealthy way.
Numerous factors contribute to appetite loss including psychological illness and chronic diseases. Some other factors include;
- Gastrointestinal disorders like ulcers
- Medications such as laxatives
- Slowed metabolism and increased age
- Stress and depression
- Hormonal changes
However, factors that contribute to loss of appetite in infants and toddlers differ from those that cause appetite loss in adults. Such factors include food allergies, excessive feeding, and genetic predisposition. Familial stress, eating alone, and feeding difficulties may also cause loss of appetite in infants.
How to Increase Your Appetite
There are several ways of increasing appetite including changing of feeding lifestyle and use of appetite stimulants. An appetite enhancer or stimulant is either medication or supplement that can boost your appetite.
Supplements to Boost Your Appetite
Appetite stimulants such as vitamins and minerals can boost your appetite significantly. Besides that, regular intake of these nutrients can also treat mineral and vitamin deficiency that often cause appetite loss.
Now, let’s take a look at some of the supplements that may be helpful when it comes to stimulating your appetite.
Thiamine (Vitamin B-1)
A deficiency of vitamin B-1 is one of the primary causes of decreased appetite. Intake of inadequate thiamine may also increase the rate at which your body burns calories while resting, leading to loss of weight. As a natural appetite stimulant, a thiamine supplement is suitable for boosting appetite in adults.
Lack of enough zinc in your diet may cause changes in appetite and taste. To boost your desire to eat, you should take zinc supplements or multivitamin drugs that contain zinc. If you don’t understand how this supplement works, you should consult your physician, especially when giving it to young children.
Another natural appetite stimulant that can boost your appetite is fish oil. It can also promote your digestion by reducing bloating or the feeling of fullness that hinders you from eating enough food. The oil is generally safe and healthy for adults who are not allergic to fish. However, one should consult a doctor before giving it to an infant.
Medications to Boost Your Appetite
The U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved three essential types of drug therapies to be used as appetite stimulants. The medications include;
Megestrol (synthetic progestin) doesn’t only stimulate appetite but can also treat diseases such as cachexia, extreme loss of weight due to chronic conditions. It is suitable for both adults and children. However, it may have side effects on your hormonal balance.
Marinol is a cannabinoid therapy because it acts on the cannabinoid receptors found in the brain. Besides stimulating appetite, it also reduces nausea in patients. In many cases, it is used to boost appetite in people who have lost appetite due to chemotherapy.
Oxandrin is a testosterone derivative (synthetic) that can whet the appetite and encourage weight gain, especially in people who have experienced severe trauma and infections. One of its drawbacks is that it may cause changes in the structure of cholesterol and possibly cause atherosclerosis.
10 Lifestyle Changes that can Boost Your Appetite
Besides consuming supplements and drugs, there are several ways of increasing your appetite. Here are some of the lifestyle changes to raise your appetite.
Eating Small Meals Frequently
With a reduced appetite, eating full breakfast, lunch, and dinner in a day may be a tedious task. Alternatively, you can split the three meals into about five smaller meals to motivate you. When your appetite begins to rise, you should increase the amount of these meals. You may also add more nutritious ingredients with more calories.
Eating Foods Rich in Nutrients
While people with low appetite tend to eat little amounts of food, it is vital to consume nutrient-rich foods to maximize the absorption of essential nutrients into the body. Some individuals may also eat low-calorie foods such as chips, candy, and ice cream instead of more nutritious and healthy foods.
Performing Regular Physical Exercise
During a strenuous physical exercise, your body muscles’ glycogen stores and proteins get depleted. As a result, your body will need nutrients such as carbohydrates and protein to restore the lost nutrients. That will increase the feeling of hunger, making you crave for more food.
Making Your Mealtime Enjoyable
Feeding lifestyles such as eating alone may be annoying and eventually lead to loss of appetite. To avoid that, you should eat together with family members and friends. You can also watch your favorite TV show during mealtime to make your meal more lively and enjoyable.
Customizing Your Menu
When you don’t feel like eating, you should tailor your menu by replacing your worst foods with your favorite ones. The new foods you incorporate in your diet should contain essential nutrients and enough calories that your body needs.
Eating Less Fiber
Foods that are rich in fiber tend to slow the rate of digestion, making you feel full for longer. As a result, your appetite gets lowered. To avoid that, you should eat meals that contain little amount of fiber to keep you from feeling full for longer.
Taking High-Calorie Drinks
Chewing solid foods may be challenging when one has a reduced appetite. Drinking calorie-rich beverages is an excellent way of taking enough calories when you don’t feel like eating solid foods. Some of these foods include fruit smoothies, juices, and a milkshake.
Including Healthy Snacks in Your Diet
When experiencing a reduced appetite, eating the mains may be challenging, whereas snacks may be more convenient because they are easy to digest. However, the snacks should not substitute the main meals but should complement them by boosting your appetite.
Some of the healthiest snacks that can raise your appetite include:
- Greek yogurt and fruits such as banana and apples
- Fruits, veggies, and nut butter
- Granola or protein bars
- Crackers and nut butter
Incorporating Herbs and Spices in Your Diet
Foods that take a longer time to digest may end up producing a lot of gas, making the stomach “heavy” while reducing your appetite. Natural appetite stimulants such as herbs and spices can significantly raise your appetite by reducing flatulence and bloating.
Most herbs and spices stimulate the production of bile salts to facilitate the digestion of fats. Some examples of herbs and spices that can boost your appetite include ginger, coriander, cinnamon, black pepper, mint, and fennel. Their pleasant scent can trigger a lost appetite.
Limiting Drinks before Meals
Drinking beverages before or during meals may make you eat little food by lowering your appetite. Consumption of much water before meals can reduce your calorie intake. It is an effective method of losing weight. To increase your appetite, you should avoid drinking fluids at least 30 minutes before meals.
While numerous factors can affect your appetite, you can always boost it by taking appetite stimulants such as supplements and medications, or changing your feeding lifestyle. The type of treatments depends on the cause of reduced appetite.
You don’t have to suppress your appetite to lose body weight. At ActivEats, we offer foods that are tailored to whet your appetite while helping you to lose weight healthily. Our weight loss meal delivery is affordable and takes care of all your nutritional needs.