I’m the type of person who will skip meals when I’m under stress, anxious (excited!), or really tired. I have a high metabolism which makes my lower food intake not so good. I lose weight easily with exercise or missing a meal a day, and I know it’s not good for me to skip meals. It’s not good for you to skip meals either – unless you are doing some type of cleanse. If loss of appetite is lasting more than a couple of days, then I recommend some easy, make every bite count eating habits until you are feeling better.
Whether you are excited or distressed, and whether you have a higher or lower metabolism – underactive or overactive thyroid – if you start losing your appetite, then you’ll want to make every single bite count.
Below are some ways you can continue to sustain your health and energy without forcing yourself to eat large “normal” amounts, and instead building your appetite back up.
#1. Eat smaller amounts, like snacks, every 1 to 2 hours. Most grocery stores carry snack packs that have nuts, cheese, and beef jerky that I easily enjoy for a quick intake. These are great for when you are super busy focused working on a project. You can easily lose track of time and skip a meal if you are in a zone of getting things done. Place the snack on a nearby work space so you can easily snack as you work.
#2. Eat small foods with higher calories, especially if you don’t want to lose weight. And, if you are laughing because nothing makes you lose weight no matter how little you eat or how low the calories are, then it’s your call if you want to eat low calorie snacks or not. Chicken salad spreads (or your favorite sandwich salad spread) that you can spoon onto small wheat wafers make an easy “one small bite” finger food. The great news is that no one can eat just one! This is a great appetite builder that won’t make you “too” full.
#3. If you are fighting fatique, then heavy meals may make you sleepier, so opt for lighter weight items during the time of day you feel the best and tend to eat a larger meal. Lighter weight foods are fresh delicious salads. Add on boiled eggs, cheese, nuts, cranberries, etc to fulfill your palette. Another light weight option is puree fruits and veggies. You can find healthy “on the go” purees in the baby food department. Sweet potato, apple and cinnamon is a wonderful healthy choice. They come in approx 4oz drinkable pouches which give you just enough to put something in your belly, and possibly leave you wanting more. The puree options are endless, and super easy for babies, children or adults to consume when they need a quick-eat fix. They even have super food purees – like kale, blueberries, and special seeds.
#4. Watermelon, cucumbers, and juicy fruits or veggies are easier for some people to consume, and they help keep you hydrated. Bananas, tomatoes and pickles are great to combat heat strokes and muscle cramps. Buy them pre-chopped or spend an hour slicing and containing your favorites for the next few days.
#5. Frozen coconut bars are great for hydration. Frozen fruit juice bars with less sugar are a great food choice, too.
The best thing you can do when you notice you’re experiencing a loss of appetite is to prepare simple foods you can eat with your fingers, then sit them out on a counter to nibble on every 1 to 2 hours throughout the day. It is better to get food into your body, regardless of what it is, than it is to starve your brain and cells.
Healthier choices will make your body feel more energized than junk foods like Little Debbie Snacks, although their nut covered brownies are my favorite on the rare occasion I purchase them.
Trust your body to tell you what you need… if it needs juicy foods instead of dry cereal bars, then listen. If it needs a grilled salmon salad, instead of a baked potato, then order yourself the salmon. If it wants to eat more in the morning, than in the evening, then eat your largest meal in the morning (or vice versa).
I tend to get sleepy after a really large, fulfilling meal, so I like to eat my dinner later in the evening so I’m relaxed and sleepy for bedtime.
What quick fix snacks do you eat when you have a loss of appetite due to stress, anxiety (or excitement!), or fatigue?