Get a FREE
ENU Intro Pack*
Most people know how difficult it can be to manage your weight and control your eating, but – the majority of the time – the issue tends to revolve around trying not to eat too much. However, as a person ages, the true challenge is often figuring out what they can do if they have no appetite. This crucial impulse is responsible for telling us when and how much to eat, so when it’s gone or not working properly, the damage to a person’s health can be extensive, especially if the problem is not addressed quickly. If this is the case for you or someone you know, you might find yourself wondering, “How can I increase my appetite as I age?” To find out, keep reading as the people at ENU, makers of meal replacement shakes and protein shakes for seniors, discuss this problem and provide some solutions that could work for you.
Why Does My Appetite Decrease as I Age?
As we get older, our bodies undergo a number of changes, a process that continues for the entirety of our lives. While some of these changes are drastic or obvious, such as a loss of hair or change in physique, others are less so; for instance, many people lose their appetite as they age, and while this may not seem like much of a problem in a society obsessed with staying thin, the consequences can be dire for an elderly person who doesn’t eat enough. In some cases, a person’s ability to slow or mitigate their decline in appetite can depend on the source of the issue, so let’s take a look at some of the reasons why appetite can diminish with age.
For many people, the biological shifts that cause a loss of appetite as they age are internal; these could be due to changes in levels of one or more hormones, the development of an underlying disease or chronic pain, or alterations to the digestive system (which could include changes to the senses of taste and smell). It is also common for shifts in mood to affect appetite, so an older person who lives and eats alone or who suffers from depression could have less of a desire to eat as a result, and the host of medications used by older people can also have side effects that are detrimental to a person’s appetite.
While these changes may be difficult or impossible to reverse, there are others that a person can of influence through simple lifestyle changes. As we reach a more advanced age, we often move around much less often, which reduces the body’s energy needs and can limit appetite. In addition, this lack of exercise tends to cause a loss of muscle mass; since muscles are a major source of calorie consumption, even while at rest, this loss can further reduce a person’s energy needs, making the cultivation of new muscles an important tool for increasing appetite as you age.
How to Increase Your Appetite as You Age
As with many of the issues people face as they get older, it might seem like there isn’t much you can do to increase your appetite as you age. However, there are a number of ways in which you can stimulate your appetite and increase your nutrient consumption despite the physical changes you’re dealing with. Below are some of the most effective ways to increase your appetite as you age:
Eat Smaller, More Frequent Meals
While conventional habits tend to involve eating two or three large meals each day, try sticking to smaller meals. This will help you avoid feeling overly full and can encourage you to eat throughout the day, effectively increasing your appetite as you age.
Get Plenty of Exercise
Just because you can’t lift weights doesn’t mean you can’t exercise. Going on regular walks, taking an exercise class for seniors at your local gym, or enjoying a bike ride around your neighborhood are all ways you can preserve your muscle mass and boost your appetite as you age.
Consume Liquid Calories
For many people with a limited appetite, liquid sources of calories can be easier to consume than solid food. For instance, an ENU meal replacement shake can provide more than 300 calories from real food ingredients in one 8.5-ounce carton, and adding some Pro3+ nutritional powder can boost the calorie count of a drink without greatly altering its taste or texture.
Eat in a Social Setting
There’s plenty of research out there indicating that eating with other people can increase appetite as you age. Whether it involves inviting a friend for dinner, visiting a family member for a meal, or sitting down with a coworker for lunch, eating in a social setting may increase your appetite.
Avoid Drinking Before Meals
Even if you’re feeling a little thirsty, keep in mind that drinking a beverage before a meal can fill up space in your stomach and reduce your appetite. While you should certainly stay hydrated, avoid drinking the bulk of your liquids before or during a meal to make it easier to eat more.
Nutritional Shakes and Powders for Maintaining or Gaining Weight as You Age
Although your body might make it harder to maintain a healthy weight as you age, remember that you have options that can make this effort easier. ENU offers several products, including meal replacement shakes and powdered nutritional supplements, that can provide the protein, fats, carbs, vitamins, and minerals your body needs in a form your system can easily tolerate. To learn more, visit ENU online or call us today at (855) 266-6733.