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Ways to Get Someone to Eat Who Does Not Want To

Given the instinctiveness with which most of us respond to our appetites, it may come as a surprise to learn that many people struggle to eat – a problem that often comes down to a lack of interest in food. When this happens, the goal becomes helping that person get the energy (i.e., calories) and nutrients their body needs to stay healthy, even if they don’t want to eat. Naturally, you can’t simply force-feed someone in this position, but there are steps you can take to encourage eating and make the process less difficult for someone without an appetite. Below, the team at ENU – makers of healthy, high-calorie meal replacement shakes – offer some ways to get someone to eat who does not want to.

Why Might Someone Not Want to Eat?

Most of us are used to feeling hungry at various times throughout the day, but there are lots of reasons why someone may lose their interest in food and suddenly not want to eat. Illnesses are the most common reason; a wide array of common bacteria and viruses, including the common cold, can hinder a person’s appetite, as can more serious ailments like cancer or HIV.

Sometimes, these ailments are more psychological than physical. It’s not uncommon for mental illnesses like anxiety or depression to cause someone to lose their appetite, and significant amounts of stress can have the same effect; even simple boredom can make someone not want to eat.

And although they’re intended to make us healthier, medications can diminish your level of hunger as well. Some antibiotics, painkillers, and cancer treatments can all reduce a person’s appetite, so if you’re taking one of these drugs, it could be the reason for your appetite loss.

Tips to Help Get Someone to Eat Who Does Not Want To

If you or a loved one is struggling with a loss of appetite or interest in food, know that there are a number of steps you can take (in addition to visiting your doctor) that may help improve calorie and nutrient intake without causing undue stress. The following are a few of the simplest ways you can get someone to eat who does not want to:

Give Them Smaller, More Frequent Meals

Although three square meals a day may seem like the best eating schedule, the fact of the matter is that someone who does not want to eat will almost certainly struggle with consuming several large meals each day. Instead, give them small meals every few hours, which should be easier on their system and will spare them having to force down large volumes of food that they’d rather not be eating.

Sit Down with Them for Meals

Many don’t know this, but socializing during mealtimes can go a long way toward increasing a person’s food intake. Not only does this socialization make mealtimes more enjoyable overall, but they tend to make a person stop paying attention to how much they’re eating, which could essentially trick them into finishing their food without realizing it. Try sitting down for a mealtime chat with the person who doesn’t want to eat to help them get more nutrients.

Try Nutrition Shakes and Supplements

For many people with appetite issues, part of the problem is that solid food just isn’t appealing, either because it makes them feel full too quickly or because the physical act of chewing and swallowing it is uncomfortable. When this is the case, a balanced nutrition shake or powdered nutritional supplement can help them get more of the resources their body needs in a form that’s easy and quick to consume.

Serve Them Food on a Big Plate

Another way to trick someone who does not want to eat into consuming more food is to serve a normal-sized portion (or even a slightly smaller portion) on an extra-large plate. The visual of a largely empty plate can help create the illusion that there’s not much food, even if the actual volume is what the person is normally served. The result is that each meal feels less intimidating, leading to greater food intake without added stress.

Save Drinks for After Meals

It’s only natural for a person to want a glass of water, juice, or some other beverage with their meal to quench their thirst and keep their mouth moist as they eat, but someone who doesn’t have much of an appetite will likely find that drinks can negatively impact their already limited level of hunger. To maximize the free space in a person’s stomach – and, by extension, how much that person eats – save drinks for after meals, and don’t drink anything within half an hour of sitting down to eat.

Make Their Favorite Food

Everyone has a favorite dish (or several), and those foods tend to go down a lot easier than other meals. If someone generally does not want to eat, try making them foods that you know they love to encourage their appetite and help them enjoy the act of eating. Even if the menu gets repetitive, some food is better than none (though you may want to incorporate some healthy snacks throughout the day to balance their nutrient intake, if possible).

Nutritional Help for Someone Who Does Not Want to Eat Available from ENU

Getting enough of the things that keep us healthy can be difficult even under normal circumstances; when someone does not want to eat, the goal becomes even harder to reach. If you or someone you know is struggling with a lack of interest in food, consider the weight management shakes and powders from ENU. Learn more about all our offerings by visiting us online or calling (855) 266-6733 today.

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