Ways to deal with loss of appetite

Black woman struggling to eat

Losing your appetite during hella-stressful times is more common than you might think. Here are some ways to deal if it seems like your appetite has disappeared.

Get a grip on your stress levels.

"If you're experiencing appetite loss, take comfort in knowing it's likely a temporary condition that will resolve on its own when your stress level goes down," says Offner. Then, you know, take steps to get your zen on.

Choose foods that are easy to digest.

Avoid foods high in fat, fiber, and sugar, which are more difficult for the gastrointestinal system to process and may result in discomfort, says Zahn.

Drink your calories.

"Drinking can be easier than eating when you don't have an appetite," says Offner, who recommends chugging meal replacement drinks or nutrient-dense smoothies during times of high stress.

Have a craving? Go for it.

"If certain foods do appeal to you at any point in the day, give yourself permission to run with it, even if it means eating items you wouldn't normally eat in your diet," says Offner. "There will be plenty of time to return to healthful eating and monitor your intake when your appetite returns."

Limit caffeine.

Caffeine stimulates the sympathetic nervous system and can suppress your appetite even more, says Zahn.

 Send up a flare.

If your appetite loss lasts for more than two to four weeks and/or you lose more than 10 pounds in a month, check in with your doc or therapist. "In all likelihood, this symptom indicates you could really use help managing the stress," says Offner. "Once you feel better, your appetite should return in full force."
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