Strategies To Aid Appetite

There is no perfect solution for a poor appetite, one size does not fit all. As modern-day families often move apart, the older generation can sometimes find themselves isolated. Loneliness and money worries can have an impact on health and appetite and finding out what is available to combat loneliness in your local area may be helpful. From a dietary perspective, if you are not eating well and are losing weight unintentionally, you could try the following:

  • Eat little and often, three small meals and three snacks per day may be easier than two or three larger meals. Don’t wait until you feel hungry, try to establish a regular pattern of having something to eat or drink every two hours

  • Always have snacks readily available

  • If possible, avoid skipping meals. If you cannot face a meal, have a milky drink instead, such as a milky coffee or hot chocolate rather than have nothing at all. Use full cream milk (blue-top) or gold-top milk

  • Try out new recipes for delicious high calorie drinks (see my book chapter 9) and consider having at least one every day

  • Drinking just before a meal, may fill you up and prevent you from eating as much at the mealtime. Have a drink when you have finished eating

  • Fortify food and drinks. This involves adding extra nutrients to increase nutritional value without increasing volume. Food fortification is explained in my book.

  • Food is to be enjoyed, so eat whatever you fancy e.g. if all you fancy is a bar of chocolate, then eat it, as it is more beneficial to eat the chocolate than to eat nothing at all. Remember, weight loss can lead to muscle loss as well as fat loss

  • Avoid using ‘low fat’ or ‘Diet’ products

  • You may notice that your appetite is better at certain times of the day, such as at breakfast time, make the most of this window of opportunity and have more at these times

  • If you’re struggling to prepare food, use ready meals, some companies deliver frozen ready meals direct to your home and will even put it straight into the freezer. Or try meals on wheels

  • Find out about local luncheon clubs or arrange a meal with friends and family whenever possible. Sharing a meal, in a nice environment is a way of bringing pleasure to the day and is something to look forward to which may help you to eat more

  • Ensure that there are ingredients for easy to prepare meals or pre-prepared meals readily available, so that if you don’t feel up to cooking, there is something nutritious that can be popped into the microwave or oven

  • Gentle exercise such as a short walk may help to stimulate the appetite.

You can find many more detailed advice in my new book "Making Every Mouthful Count" which is available in paperback and Kindle edition on Amazon

Food Fortification Low Appetite Seniors Lost Appetite Adding Calories Extra Protein Delicious Recipes Fortified Drinks Malnutrition Reduced Appetite