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What Is It Called When You Don’t Feel Like Eating?

You might assume that an appetite is a natural thing to have, but there are many people across the U.S. and around the world who seldom feel hunger because of some illness or issue. Those with this problem often struggle to maintain a healthy weight because they tend to consistently under-eat – a natural inclination, given the circumstances – but even when not hungry, the body is constantly burning calories and using nutrients, making it important for these people to continue to observe healthy eating habits. Unfortunately, because of the tendency in society to focus on losing weight or eating less, there are still many questions being asked about why people don’t experience hunger or what it’s called when you don’t feel like eating. To find out more on this issue and what you can do about it, keep reading as the people at ENU provide some answers and how our nutrition shakes for maintaining weight can help.

The Medical Term for When You Don’t Feel Like Eating

There are many reasons why a person might not have much of an appetite – or any appetite at all – but regardless of the cause, all of these issues technically fall under one name. The general medical term for a lack of appetite for food is “anorexia,” which is not to be confused with the name of the eating disorder (the technical name for which is “anorexia nervosa”).

Typically, someone discussing anorexia is referring to the eating disorder, in which a person consistently or obsessively avoids eating in an attempt to lose weight – so much so that a cursory Internet search of the term will almost exclusively turn up pages related to this disorder. However, this illness actually gets its name from the more general “anorexia,” which comes from the Latin “an-“ (meaning “without”) and “-orexis” (meaning “appetite”).

Common Reasons Why People Don’t Feel Like Eating

Despite the fundamental nature of the human appetite, there are many influences that could cause a person to stop feeling hunger or to feel it only rarely. Below are a few of the most reasons why a person might not feel like eating for an extended period of time.

Cancer Treatments

Though they’re intended to make people healthier in the long run, many cancer treatments have long been associated with the onset of problematic or even debilitating side effects – among them the loss of appetite. This could either be caused by a direct change to the digestive system, such as what a person might experience after radiation therapy to the stomach, or because a secondary side effect makes someone want to avoid food. For example, painful mouth sores are fairly common in those receiving chemotherapy and could explain why a cancer patient might need a liquid nutritional supplement instead of solid food, as could acute nausea, vomiting, or changes in a patient’s sense of taste.

Psychological Problems

In addition to the aforementioned anorexia nervosa, which can sometimes be helped by the use of a weight gain shake for anorexia, there are several other psychological issues that might lead to a lack of appetite. Those who experience depression often lose interest in food, for instance, and anxiety disorders could have the same effect. Intense stress can cause someone to stop eating as well, whether it’s caused by the loss of a loved one, a change in residence or job, or any other major life event.

Common Illnesses

The common cold and the flu – two of the most ubiquitous illnesses in the world – can often cause someone to lose their appetite, but they’re not the only common ailments to do so. A variety of viral and bacterial infections can take away your appetite, as can digestive issues like acid reflux or gastroenteritis, sensitivities to certain foods, or hormonal imbalances brought on by pregnancy or some other condition.


Most people know that medications tend to come with side effects, but because drugs can affect different people in very different ways, it can be tough to predict whether a certain medication might cause a particular patient to not feel like eating. Sedatives often have this effect, as do some antibiotics, but this is not the case for everyone. Recreational substances such as marijuana or cocaine might have a negative impact on a person’s appetite as well.

What to Do When You Don’t Feel Like Eating

It can be frustrating to lose your appetite, but a lack of hunger shouldn’t necessarily stop you from eating. Instead, consider adapting your eating habits to work around your condition; for instance, keeping snacks around the house or bringing them with you when you leave can provide a dose of calories and nutrients in the rare moments when you feel a pang of hunger. If you’re struggling to maintain your weight because of a lack of calories, consider cooking with oils, using lots of condiments, or creating a delicious recipe using a nutrition shake to boost your calorie intake without adding much volume to your diet.

Healthy Meal Replacement Shakes for When You Don’t Feel Like Eating

Even if your hunger dissipates, your body still needs the same nutrients it used to, so it’s important to find balanced sources of fats, protein, carbs, vitamins, and minerals that can fit into a limited diet. Meal replacement shakes from ENU offer a healthy blend of these important nutrients, making it easier to support your well-being with no meal prep or planning required. Each carton offers 20 grams of protein from whey and soy, complex carbs derived from whole grains, and heart-healthy fats drawn from coconut and sunflower oils, plus more than 20 key vitamins and minerals and 400 calories. To learn more about ENU nutritional shakes, including how they can help when you don’t feel like eating, visit us online or call (855) 266-6733 today.

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