How to increase appetite naturally so you can regain sustainable energy

How to increase appetite naturally can be achieved through a variety of ways. Not everyone will have the same methods that work for them, so it is important to explore different options to find what works best...

We all know that something as simple as a lack of appetite can signify serious health problems.

This is especially true for people undergoing chemotherapy and radiation therapy or have any cancer.

But there are also many other reasons why you might not feel like eating, such as depression, stress, an illness like the flu or food poisoning--or even just being too busy to cook healthy meals!

Whatever your reason may be for a loss in appetite, this article has some natural ways to help increase it.

In this article, I will talk about increasing appetite, some of the causes for decreased appetite, and natural ways to stimulate it.

Natural Ways To Increase Appetite Naturally

Appetite is nature's way of telling you that your body needs more energy to fuel it.

And why should you care about hunger? There are many reasons - one of them being the fact that malnutrition can be a direct factor in developing depression and anxiety disorders.

Not eating enough is also linked to lower energy levels, irritability, and fatigue.

Here are tips on how to increase appetite naturally:

1. Drink plenty of water - at least 8 glasses per day

how to increase appetite

Drink at least eight glasses of water per day, and preferably more. If you feel dehydrated due to perspiration or any other reason, try drinking a glass every hour until your thirst is quenched.

One study has shown that people who drank the most fluids had an increased appetite compared with those who did not.

If the thought of drinking many cups of water per day fills you with dread, try adding a few slices of lemon to the water.

This will increase your body’s absorption as well as flavour it nicely.

Do not drink too many fluids at one time because this can lead to bloating and indigestion.

Remember that late afternoon is an important time to not skip drinking water because our bodies have spent the day 'working'.

2. Eat breakfast, a healthy lunch, and dinner.

how to increase appetite

What you eat also affects how hungry you feel.

Protein and carbohydrates are important to help your appetite remain high, so try eating meals rich in these two nutrients at regular intervals throughout the day.

To increase your appetite, try eating a healthy breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Eating breakfast will make you less hungry later in the day.

Eating lunch keeps your energy level high throughout the workday so you can focus on getting things done rather than worrying about food all afternoon.

Dinner is when most people start to feel hungry again because their bodies have been through a long day and are preparing for the next.

3. Cook in bulk on the weekends so you don't have to cook during the week.

how to increase appetite

Cooking in bulk is the simplest and most cost-effective way to increase your appetite. If you are short on time, try cooking large quantities of healthy foods at once - It will save you a lot of money, and it's much easier than planning out what to cook each night when you're exhausted from work or school. Plus, cooking in bulk encourages you to cook healthy foods that you might not be inclined to eat regularly.

Make dishes with lots of flavours: When cooking in bulk, it's important to make sure your recipes are flavorful and include ingredients with the right balance of sweetness and saltiness (i.e., tomatoes, garlic, paprika). You don't want to cook a bland recipe in bulk and then be stuck eating it for weeks.

Skipping meals is not an effective way to increase your appetite because it can cause irritability, increased hunger and cravings for junk food later on in the day.

By cooking in bulk, you give yourself options to pick from rather than be stuck with the same old foods. Your appetite increases this way because you are giving your taste buds a chance to try new flavours.

4. Cut down on salt and sugar intake.

how to increase appetite

One other thing to note on how to increase appetite is sodium intake, and sugar consumption can lower your appetite.

It makes sense that eating too much salt will decrease the taste of food, which is a sign for you to stop eating it.

This doesn't mean cutting out all foods with sodium in them—be careful not to consume too much at once or throughout the day.

Sugar intake is also a factor.

A lot of sugar has been shown to decrease the appetite by altering hunger hormones and how your body regulates energy levels.

This is why you might feel full or more satisfied, even if you don't have much in your stomach.

It's important to keep track of what foods contain these ingredients so they can be avoided when trying to increase your appetite.

If you're not sure how much sodium is in the foods you eat, talk to a doctor or dietitian about it.

5. Add spices like cinnamon, turmeric, ginger, nutmeg or pepper to your food 

how to increase appetite

Adding spices or pepper to your food can give you an increased appetite.

Add spices like cinnamon, turmeric, ginger or pepper to your food. You can also try adding spice combinations such as black pepper and cayenne pepper for a spicy kick! You can find these spices and many more herbs at any local grocery store or online!

When you're cooking, add spices later in the process of cooking since they can burn easily when added at the beginning.

Use a pepper mill to grind freshly ground black peppercorns on top of plenty of dishes for a spicy kick and hunger-inducing aroma.

Add ground cinnamon to your coffee or tea for a sweet, fragrant way to increase appetite! Other spices can be added in small quantities as well, such (turmeric, ginger).

6. Avoid too hot or too spicy foods.

At this point, you want to be eating healthy and nutrient-dense foods, such as lean protein, vegetables and whole grains. However, it would help if you were mindful of what you enjoy in a meal, how it tastes, and how you feel afterwards.

If the foods are too hot when eaten, they can be uncomfortable and cause your appetite to decrease.

Avoid spicy foods when eating if they make your appetite worse. Some people enjoy very spicy foods, but this is not for everyone.

A healthy way to increase your appetite is by consuming nutritious and flavorful foods (ex: avocados).

Sometimes the simpler things can be more effective at stimulating your appetite than long-winded diets or fasting plans.

A simply no pressure tip is - If you don’t like how the food tastes or how it makes you feel after eating it, avoid them to maintain a good appetite.

how to increase appetite

7. Eat slowly to enjoy your food more and feel satisfied sooner

Eating slowly will make you feel more satisfied sooner because the nutrients are absorbed by your body at a slower rate when compared to eating quickly.

Studies have also shown that people who eat slowly lost an average of twelve pounds over a ten-week period, and they felt less hungry during their meals than those who ate quickly.

Try to chew each bite thoroughly, 20 times, before swallowing.

This will also allow the stomach to release ghrelin and peptide YY, hormones that help increase your appetite as well.

8. Sit down while you eat and don't watch TV or work on the computer 

how to increase appetite

To increase your appetite, you need to focus on the food you're eating. Sitting down while you eat and turning off any screens will help your brain focus on how hungry it is, which in turn may make you hungrier for more food.

Being Mindful and present during our meal can also have a big impact on how much we eat.

Distractions at mealtime affect your appetite and how your body feels about the food afterwards. The more you eat while distracted or in a hurry, the less satisfied you feel and like what you're eating (according to research).

It's not just mindful of our surroundings that can affect how much we eat ― it might be something as simple as paying attention to what you're eating.

9. Exercise for at least 10 minutes every day

how to increase appetite

Another tip on how to increase appetite is by exercising for at least ten minutes every day.

Exercise is a great way to increase appetite and get the metabolism running smoothly!

When you exercise, your body releases endorphins which cause feelings of happiness. These feel-good hormones will make you happy in general, but they also give you an increased sense of hunger when you exercise. 

This is because the endorphins make you feel great and release chemicals in your brain that stimulate appetite.

You will be amazed at how much more hungry you will be after a good workout. 10 minutes of exercising might not feel like a lot, but you will likely be amazed by how much better it makes you feel! And it comes with benefits like losing weight, building muscle and strengthening your bones.

Exercise is also a great way to get in touch with your body! When you are exercising, it can help redirect thoughts away from things that might make you feel less than good about yourself. 

These days you dont have to give the excuse of missing the gym, you can get folding exercise bikes or threadmills for home use, be sure to have your monitors as well with you. 

10. Eat with friends and family.

increase appetite

Eating with friends and family members is a great way to increase your appetite.

It can be harder to eat when you're on your own because nobody else will notice if you don't finish what's on your plate (and they may even judge you for it). 

But eating at the dinner table surrounded by people who care about how much you are eating can help you increase appetite in an 'effortless' way.

The next time you're feeling hungry, try to eat with a friend or family member.

 You'll be surprised how much more food will go into your mouth when you are surrounded by people who care about what you're doing, and that's all they see - not just the plate of food in front of them.

The role relationships play in managing stress and increasing one's appetite is often overlooked.

Friendships can be a great way to get through difficult times and learn how to deal with the challenges life throws at you in healthy ways that lead to increased appetite when it's needed most.

11. Get enough Sleep

 increase appetite

You might be wondering what the connection between sleep and appetite is.

Sleep regulates the release of hormones that regulate hunger in your body, like ghrelin and leptin.

When you're not getting enough sleep or you are sleeping at inconsistent times, these hormones can go haywire, affecting how hungry you feel throughout the day.

You may be feeling hungrier than normal regularly, or you might be craving more sugar at night.

Therefore, it's important to make sure that you're getting enough sleep so that your body can regulate how hungry it feels naturally and without any outside interference from hormones gone haywire.

Importance of Feeding our Hunger

 increase appetite

It's important to feed our hunger because it allows us to restore energy, nutrients, and other needs that were not met in previous meals or snacks.

We also need food for blood sugar levels maintenance. 

Feeding your hunger doesn't mean you should throw a five-course meal down your throat, but rather that you should eat enough of the nutrients it needs to maintain those levels.

As discussed earlier, there are many ways to increase our hunger while also taking care of ourselves: by eating a healthy diet and avoiding being emotional overeaters or people who tend to binge on food when they are feeling bad about themselves. (emotional eating is a topic for another day)

For people with diabetes, it is important to carefully monitor what you eat and how much you are eating for the body's insulin levels not to fluctuate too dramatically or become unbalanced.

The more we feed ourselves when our hunger comes on - even if that means just snacking on some carrot sticks, the more we'll feel satisfied and have a better chance of feeling our hunger for the next meal.

How to increase appetite: Understanding Your Hunger Cues

how to increase appetite

Understanding how to use the body's natural cues for appetite can help you know when to increase or decrease your food intake.

This knowledge will allow one to understand better their own eating habits and an awareness of what works best for them to feel satisfied enough.

Below are hunger cues that many people experience:

  • Hunger pains
  • Heavy feeling in the stomach
  • Queasy or sick feelings
  • "Lighter" feeling in the stomach, though not hungry. 
  • This is often experienced by those who are dieting and have just eaten something but still feel "empty."
  • Heartburn, throat irritation or acid reflux
  • Thirstiness
  • Yawning or sleepiness

Please take note of the hunger cue you experience and how it feels. Some people feel a stomach ache, and others may be feeling queasy or just tired.

You can also use the hunger cues to help you know when you are starting to eat too much because they will eventually subside as your body is full.

Causes for decreased appetite

how to increase appetite

Now that we have addressed how to increase appetite naturally let's address factors that can decrease appetite.

A decrease in appetite can be caused by a number of things, including any one or more of the following:

  • depression
  • medications
  • medical conditions such as diabetes and cancer

It is important that if you are experiencing this symptom, there is something either prescribed or natural for it.

While some of the causes of decreased appetite are benign, others can indicate a more serious condition that needs medical attention.

Stress also plays a major role in appetite. Research has shown that stressed-out people often experience decreased appetite, even if they have no other medical conditions.

If you are stressed and overwhelmed, you may find that the gradual increase in appetite is just what you need.

Try the tips we covered above, and bear in mind that it may be time for a change in your life.

  • Make more time to relax and rest.
  • Find ways to take care of yourself, including sleep, exercise, eating well and nurturing relationships with friends and family members who love you.

A final thought on how to increase appetite...

It’s important to keep in mind that there are many different reasons for a lack of appetite.

If you find yourself struggling with this, its good to get help, it may be worth speaking with your doctor or about other possible causes and solutions so that you can get back on track!

I hope these tips on how to increase appetite naturally have given you some ideas for how you might want to approach the problem.

What tip stood out most to you? Let's chat in the comment section below!

About the author 


Funmi is a Certified Functional Health Coach. She is passionate about helping female entrepreneurs transform from Stress and burnout so they can begin to thrive in their body and, by extension, their businesses.

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