Most of the time we hear about people who are trying to lose weight or find ways to decrease their appetite but there are also a large number of people who struggle daily with the inability to increase their appetite. People, who have medical conditions such as overactive thyroid glands or other such disorders, can live with a battle when it comes to gaining weight or keeping weight on. There are also a number of other disturbances that can influence a person’s appetite. For this reason it is important for people, living with any of these issues, to learn ways of increasing their appetite. The following suggestions may be helpful to anyone who has been struggling with the inability to gain weight or develop a healthy appetite.
Avoid Fluid Intake Before Meals
Because drinking water or other fluids can cause you to feel full, it is a very bad idea to consume them prior to eating. Studies have shown that people who drank 2-8 ounce glasses of water before each meal lost an additional 5 pounds in comparison to people who did not. Obviously, if you’re looking to increase your appetite, you are certainly not looking to lose weight. Make sure you keep this in mind and that you avoid drinking unnecessary liquids before eating. If you feel thirsty, you may take a few sips of water during your meal but save the bulk of it for when you have finished eating. This will help you consume larger meals as your stomach will not become full quite as easily. You will also want to avoid sugary beverages such as sodas or concentrated fruit punches as these will automatically decrease your appetite and cause you to feel full. Beverages containing caffeine, which is a known appetite suppressant, should be avoided at all costs.
Exercise Stimulates Appetite
Any exercise that increases your heart rate burns calories. When you are burning calories, you are stimulating your appetite and increasing your desire to eat. Keep in mind that you will want to eat a higher caloric intake prior to exercising, to ensure that you do not burn off everything you have eaten. Your doctor will be able to suggest foods that are designed specifically for people who are trying to gain weight and would like to increase their appetite through exercise. Typically, foods that are high in carbohydrates are excellent choices, in addition to high-protein foods. Even if you do not feel hungry, which may be the case if you are already suffering from a poor appetite, make sure you force yourself to eat a high calorie snack before doing any sort of physical exercise.
Vitamin B Supplement
A major study that was conducted at the University of Chicago noted a significant caloric increase in children who were ingesting vitamin B supplements. There are a number of vitamin B supplements that are available on the market. Make sure you read the label on whatever supplement you purchase as you will want to be sure you are taking at least 100 mg or more per day in order to help realize an increase in your appetite. In addition, vitamin B plays a major role in increasing your energy level, thereby inspiring you to be a bit more active if you are on an exercise program. Vitamin B has also been known to help improve mood which may be effective in people who are suffering from an appetite loss due to mental depression.
The Truth About Zinc
There have been many studies conducted on zinc and the effect it may have on a person’s appetite. These studies have found that people suffering from a zinc deficiency may find that food tastes differently to them, as a result these people may experience a decrease in appetite. Because of this, many doctors suggest that anyone, who is trying to increase their appetite and gain weight, take a zinc supplement. Zinc deficiency has also been linked with other issues such as bad breath and overall foul taste in the mouth. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms or food does not taste right to you, there is a very good chance you could be suffering from a zinc deficiency. Clear any and all vitamin or mineral supplements with your doctor to be sure they are safe and recommended for someone with whatever condition you may be suffering from.
Herbal Appetite Stimulants
There are also a number of herbal remedies that have been known to help people who have a poor appetite. Caraway seeds, when used in tea, or eaten will help stimulate the appetite. In addition, the following herbs have been associated with appetite stimulation: French Sorrel, Goldenseal, Hops, Ground Ivy, Black Currant Chickory, Dandelion, Ginseng, Mugwort, Horseradish, Tarragon, Wood Sorrell, Yarrow, Watercress, Safflower, Parsley and Oatstraw. Any of these listed here, when made into tea will help increase the appetite. These herbs can usually be found in natural food stores or health food shops. Some of these herbs can even be found on the shelves at your local grocery store.
*In some people, certain herbs can actually diminish appetite so be sure to discontinue any herbal supplement that seems to be making your condition worse.
Overcoming a poor appetite and gaining weight is possible but it will take work, and it will not happen overnight. By using some of the above-mentioned suggestions, you may be able to stimulate your appetite and realize weight gain. Before using any sort of herbal remedy is always a good idea to check with your physician to be sure that there are no counter indications with any of the medications you may be on. The most important thing to understand, when following any sort of medical treatment plan, is that there will always be a trial and error period involved in the process. If you find that one thing you have tried is not working, try something new. Continue in this way until you find a method that helps to increase your appetite.