If you're naturally skinny and have a very fast metabolism, or if you're a weight lifter or football player, your biggest problem in life may be increasing your appetite so you can eat more. There's so many people who want to lose weight, but there's also a small percentage of people that are often overlooked, those who want to gain weight. Maybe you don't even want to necessarily put on weight, but just want to get your appetite back quickly or have a normal one so you can keep yourself at a healthy looking weight balance. Well there are a few reasons why you may be having a decrease in appetite. If you noticed a major change in your appetite recently, or at any time, then you should see a doctor to make sure it's nothing that warrants medical care, like an illness or disease. But if you've always had a low appetite, or haven't noticed any major changes but just want to eat more, then read on, because there's a few things you can do about it that you might not already know about.
Eat Appetite-Stimulating Foods
The foods you eat can definitely affect your hunger. It's common knowledge that you'll most likely feel more full if you eat larger meals, or feel more hunger if you eat smaller meals. But there are also many foods and spices that can actually stimulate your appetite. Some of these foods include cinnamon, garlic, green tea, and cayenne pepper. Researchers have ran many studies regarding these particular foods and there seems to be some evidence that they can all help boost your appetite if you eat them in small amounts. Just try not to eat too much of them throughout the day, because too much of anything can't be very good for you.
Carbohydrates and Fiber
Another thing to keep in mind is the type of nutrients, vitamins, and carbohydrates you're consuming, as well as the amount you're putting into your body. Carbohydrates break down in the digestive system more easily than fats (except for a few exceptions, such as milk, yogurt, beans and a few other foods that are very high in carbs). So you should make sure you're not eating too much fatty foods and try to include high-carb foods in your diet. However, there is one carb, Fiber, that can slow your digestion. If you always feel full, you may be consuming too many foods with fiber in them. Fiber is an essential part of the human diet that helps keep people healthy, so you should never completely eliminate fiber from your diet. But take a look at what type of meals you are eating, and if you find that you're eating an abundance of fiber-rich foods, you may want to cut down on those types just a little bit. Fiber helps loosen stools and aid people who have constipation or other digestion problems. But at the same time, it can slow digestion in the stomach because it takes more time for the body to break fiber down than some other types of carbohydrates. So you may want to think about decreasing your fiber intake just a little if you think you're overdoing it.
Switch Up Your Diet
In addition to foods that increase hunger and decreasing certain carbs, you should also examine your daily eating routine, and try to make sure you're getting a full range of foods in your diet. Maybe you're not eating enough fruits and vegetables, or maybe you're eating too much sugar or starch. Another thing you should be careful of is to make sure you're introducing new foods into your diet every once in awhile. You shouldn't be too drastic with dietary changes, but make sure to add new foods every once in awhile, so your body and organs can learn to digest different types. Sometimes, if a person is just digesting one type, such as pasta, the body may become used to it and doesn't work as hard at digestion. Your digestive system can act as a muscle, and sometimes it needs to be worked out a little. But just like a muscle, you don't want to overdo it and switch it up too quickly. So each week or every few days, you should add a new type of food into your diet that you don't normally eat.
Avoid Concentrated Foods
When it comes to the specific types of food you should avoid, you should definitely steer clear of the types that are very concentrated in fat, carbs, protein etc. Just like fiber, many things like protein can be good for you and are essential for the body to function properly. But when you consume too much of something, especially in one meal or one sitting, your body has to work twice as hard to break it down and digest it, and this will obviously start slowing your digestion and decrease hunger. A few examples of concentrated foods to avoid would be junk food, protein shakes, and energy drinks.
Stretch Your Stomach
If you've ever met anybody who's had a portion of their stomach removed, then I'm sure you've noticed that they can't eat large meals, because their stomach is too small for them. The same goes for people who are overweight sometimes, and who you may notice can eat much more than other people. The size of the stomach can definitely have an effect on hunger and how much food a person can consume in one sitting. If you only eat small meals all the time, your stomach will probably remain the same size or even shrink and you will probably have difficulty eating more than what you're used to. But if you force yourself to eat more during each meal or more often, than you would normally eat, your stomach can actually stretch and you will eventually be able to eat more and will become hungry more often. So if you've been eating nothing but smaller meals lately, that may be why you are having hunger issues. Your stomach may have shrank and you may need to get back to eating more to start feeling hungry again when you're not eating. But if you do attempt to stretch your stomach, you should eat smaller, more frequent meals, rather than just eating more during each normal meal. This is because it takes longer for the body to digest large meals. Also, try to avoid long periods of not eating, because it's during these types of periods that your stomach can shrink.
Prescription medications or even over-the-counter ones can definitely cause a person to feel full all the time. If you were recently prescribed a new medication by your doctor, or if you are taking supplements or other medicines that you normally don't take, this may very well be the cause of your hunger problems. If it's not something that's necessary, such as a protein supplement you purchased at a store, then you should try cutting it out of your diet for awhile to see if you regain your hunger again. If it's something a doctor prescribed, then you should check online to see what the side effects are, as this may explain things for you. If you find out that your prescription medicine is the likely culprit, then you should talk to your doctor about switching to an alternative or to see if it would be safe to reduce the dosage. This could also help resolve the problem.
Anxiety and stress can cause slow digestion, because the body is preoccupied and doesn't function as well. This can easily lead to feelings of being constantly full or nauseated. If something stressful or traumatic recently happened in your life, this is probably the source of your digestive problems. If you can't take steps to reduce the stress in your life, you should visit a doctor. They can usually prescribe you something, such as lorazepam, xanax, or valiums to take whenever you have a panic attack or just to calm you down throughout the day. But beware, medications like these can often cause other health problems if taken for long periods of time and some people even become addicted or dependent on them.
You should get lots of sleep, for the same reasons that you should try to reduce anxiety if you have it or avoid stressful situations. A lack of sleep can result in lowered immune defenses and your body can't function as efficiently as it normally would in a person who is very healthy. An unhealthy person will usually have an unhealthy digestive system, and this can cause slow digestion and hunger or feelings of nausea. If you constantly wake up in your sleep, then you may have sleep apnea and should see a certified doctor for treatment. If you just have problems getting to sleep, some exercise during the day may help with that, or you should try cutting out caffeine and sugar from your diet.
If you suffer from chronic constipation, there's a million things that could be causing it. But if you think the causes are not serious, such as a disease or disorder, than all that may be necessary to fix it is to increase your water and fiber intake and start eating healthy on a regular basis. Constipation can cause people to feel full all the time, because it slows digestion and can often cause nausea. So if you're having trouble with your bowel movements, or they are always hard or pebble-like in texture, then all that may be standing in between you and feeling hungry is your constipation.
Ulcers can definitely cause a person to lose their appetite. If you have nausea after eating spicy or greasy foods, it's very probable that you most likely have an ulcer. However, since nausea after eating certain foods can also be caused by many other things, you should probalby visit a doctor or clinic and get yourself checked out to make sure it is indeed an ulcer. Ulcers are usually caused by a bacteria known as H. Pylori, though they are aggravated by many things like food and stress. So if you suspect you may have one, than the best thing to do would be to see a doctor and get a prescription for antibiotics, to eliminate the H. Pylori infection. After the ulcer heals and goes away, you should start to get your hunger back and feel normal again.
See a Doctor
If you think your hunger problem could be the result of an illness or disease, you should visit a doctor or clinic immediately, especially if your lack of hunger is caused by nausea. While nausea can be attributed to many things that aren't very serious, like anxiety and new medications, it can also be a symptom of a serious disorder or disease. Also, if you can't identify a cause as to why you're always feeling full, and if you've already been checked out by a doctor with no explanation, you may want to talk to them about hunger stimulants. There a few medications on the market that help stimulate hunger in people who don't have appetites. Cyproheptadine is one of them, and even though it was created for people with allergies, one of the main side effects is that it provokes people to feel hungry while taking it. For this reason, many doctors prescribe it to people who are anorexic or otherwise have eating disorders or need something to aid in their daily eating habits. A person taking this type of medication would typically take one pill in the morning, and refrain from taking any more until the next morning. While this may be very effective in helping a person feel hungry again quickly, it should not be used on a long-term basis, as this can create a dependency or other health problems.
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