The world glorifies the idea of weight loss through a strategy of starvation. We cut down on our appetite, strike out junk foods from our diet plans and leave no stone unturned just to shed off those extra kilos. However, in the middle of all this, we tend to forget that some people have a naturally low appetite and fight low weight.
Loss of appetite occurs when your desire to eat food is extremely low. It could be due to various mental and physical illnesses. However, if you are someone who is underweight and isn’t able to make up for nutritional deficiencies due to low appetite, it can be frustrating. If lack of appetite persists for more than a few days, you might lose weight or become malnourished. In grave cases, it is best to consult a nutritionist, but there are ways you can increase your appetite naturally to make sure that your body meets your daily nutritional needs to stay fit.
Health Shots got in touch with Dr Shuchin Bajaj, an internal medicine specialist, and founder of Ujala Cygnus Group of Hospitals, to understand how to increase your appetite naturally to gain weight.
Tips to increase your appetite
Here are certain strategies that can be tried. However, bear in mind that it’s important to consult with a doctor or a registered dietician before making significant changes to your diet or lifestyle. They can help you with personalized advice based on your health condition and needs. Here are some general tips that may help:
1. Eat small, frequent meals
“Instead of partaking three large meals, try taking smaller, frequent meals throughout the day. This can help you avoid feeling overly full and make it easier to increase your calorie intake,” suggests the expert.
We generally think that feeding ourselves with three hefty meals is the right approach when on a weight gain diet. That notion stands wrong because we are already struggling with low appetite, and putting a heavy meal in one go can make us feel bloated, leading to more loss of appetite. So, instead, eat in smaller portions so that your body stays fed all through the day.
2. Focus on nutrient-dense foods
Choose foods that are nutrient-rich and high in calories. Include foods like avocados, nuts, seeds, nut butter, olive oil, whole grains, lean protein, dairy products, and healthy fats in your diet.
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3. Include protein-rich foods
Protein is important for muscle growth and repair. Include good sources of protein in your meals such as lean meats, poultry, fish, eggs, legumes, dairy products, and plant-based protein options like tofu and tempeh, says the expert.
4. Stay hydrated
Drinking water throughout the day can help prepare your body for digestion. It is important to stay hydrated to support overall health and appetite.
5. Exercise regularly
“Keeping yourself physically engaged can help stimulate your appetite. Consider incorporating strength training exercises to build muscle mass,” says the expert.
Exercising catalyzes your digestion process and increases your appetite. Go for intensive or HIIT training that tires your body, leaving your stomach asking for more food!
6. Track your food intake
Keep a food diary to track your meals and snacks. This can help you identify patterns, ensure you’re consuming enough calories, and make necessary adjustments.