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For many people, sticking to a healthy diet requires managing the amount you eat as much as what foods are on your plate. While the majority of those who struggle with portion control tend to overeat, a significant minority of people have a hard time eating enough during mealtimes to satisfy their bodies’ biological needs. Although it can often seem like there’s little you can do to address this problem, the truth is that there are a number of habits and lifestyle adjustments that can help stimulate your appetite, many of which are simple and easy to implement. If you or a loved one has ever wondered, “How can I increase my appetite quickly?”, keep reading as the experts at ENU – makers of protein shakes for weight gain – discuss this widespread issue.
7 Tips for Quickly Increasing Your Appetite
If you have long struggled to keep up with your body’s caloric and nutritional needs, it may come as a surprise to you that addressing the problem may be as simple as changing when or how you eat. Below, we’ll look at some of the top tips for quickly increasing your appetite, from shaking up your eating habits to adding an exercise routine:
Share Your Meals with Family or Friends
You might not think about it on a conscious level, but making your meals into a social experience tends to make you eat more. The belief is that by drawing your attention away from your plate, you stop thinking about how much you’re eating and start to simply enjoy the meal. If your friends and family aren’t around, though, you can always turn on the TV and watch a favorite show or movie.
Aim for Small, Frequent Meals
Generally speaking, people’s eating habits tend to conform to a three-meals-a-day schedule, in which the vast majority of calories – if not all calories – come at those preplanned times. However, this model of eating encourages larger, more filling meals, which can make a person with an already limited appetite eat even less. Instead, try to split your three main meals into four or five smaller ones, such as a bowl of soup or meal replacement shake – a schedule that your system may find more agreeable.
Pick a Different Plate
Though it may sound gimmicky, simply grabbing a larger plate when serving yourself food can help increase the amount you eat. Like the first tip on this list, picking a different plate is about tricking your mind into thinking that you’re eating less than you actually are; a portion that might fill a small plate and seem slightly intimidating will appear much more manageable on a larger plate, leading to larger servings.
Limit Certain Nutrients
While healthy, certain nutrients can have the effect of suppressing your appetite – protein and fiber, in particular. By limiting the amount of these nutrients that you get each day, you can maximize your appetite and increase the amount you eat. However, don’t skimp too much; both protein and fiber are good for you, so you don’t want to cut them out of your diet entirely.
Start an Exercise Routine
Any time that you work out – whether it’s a walk around the neighborhood or a trip to the gym – you’re burning some amount of calories. Burn enough of them, and your body will need to up your appetite to restore the energy you used. Although this strategy may not work right away, maintaining a steady exercise routine can teach your body that it needs more calories and nutrients than it’s currently getting, and you’re likely to get hungrier as a result.
Serve All Your Favorites
This might seem like a no-brainer, but it’s worth saying anyway: Eating your favorite foods will make mealtimes more enjoyable, and you’re likely to eat more if it’s a dish that you truly love. It could be your mother’s lasagna or pizza from your favorite local establishment; by picking the foods that you like most, you’ll make it easier to up your calorie and nutrient intake. Just keep in mind that too much sugar or saturated fat isn’t good for you, so try not to overdo it with the sweets or greasy foods.
Save the Drinks for Later
It’s a common practice for people to serve themselves a drink at mealtimes; not only does it alleviate thirst and keep your mouth moist, but it can also serve to complement the meal. However, pouring a tall glass of your preferred beverage may limit your appetite at mealtimes by taking up space in your stomach that might otherwise be filled with food. It’s also worth noting that having a drink right before a meal can make you less hungry, so try to space out your beverages so that they’re well before or sometime after you eat a meal.
Enjoy an ENU Shake or Powder for More Calories and Nutrients Each Day
Dealing with a limited appetite can be a frustrating experience, not least because so few people talk about it. However, increasing your level of hunger and getting more calories and nutrients doesn’t have to be difficult; with lifestyle changes and nutritional supplements like ENU’s nutrition shakes for weight management, you can get more of what your body needs without forcing down extra food. If you or someone you know struggles with a reduced appetite, visit ENU online or call (855) 266-6733 to learn more about how our nutrition shakes and nutritional powders can help.