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April 4, 2011

Losing Weight While Gaining Years? Increase Your Appetite

The elderly need increase appetite and eat enough to keep them healthy.
Image by feastoffun.com via Flickr

While a remarkable part of the world tries to resist the appetite for food, getting frantic about various ways of dieting, watching calorie intake, skipping meals, avoiding certain foods and other such ways of nutritional intervention in attempts to lose weight, a tiny doddering part of the world is inadvertently losing interest in feasting on life’s sumptuous treat. This may come to a point where their dietary needs are not fully met and could lead to malnutrition. If you are part of this grey-haired minority, you must realize that you need to increase your appetite to avoid developing or aggravating existing health problems.

Appetite Fades As Age Ripens

Although dietary requirements for people past their 70’s stay the same as when they were in their 50’s and 60’s, loss of appetite among them becomes common. Going through the autumn of your life brings about certain changes that can dampen appetite such as diminished function of the sensory faculties of taste and smell, dental problems or poorly made dentures, loneliness and depression, illness, side effects of medication, diminished physical activities, among others.

Why You Need To Increase Your Appetite

Diminished appetite and involuntary weight loss can complicate into problems such as an undermined immune system, falls, hip fractures and frailty. In fact, some medical experts  say that old people who experience involuntary weight loss is exposed to an increased risk of death. For this reason, it is important for you find ways to increase your appetite.

Ways To Increase Your Appetite

Scheduled Frequent Meals. Scheduling your meals will help you to eat as planned rather than when the feeling of hunger sets in. The hands of the clock pointing to particular hours of the day are more certain and regular than you feeling hungry.

Favorite Foods. When the clock signals another meal time, start reawakening your enthusiasm for food by eating your favorite food. This may not always work, but give it try.

Appetizing Food Flavors and Smell. If the “favorite food trick” does not do the trick, make food more enticing by adding piquancy. Spicing up food with herbs, marinades, sauces and dressings will help you to appreciate food despite your diminished sense of taste and smell. You may also alter food textures to help you increase your appetite.

Less Liquids During Meals. When eating, try to avoid drinking too much liquids as this may cause you to lose appetite. Avoid liquids 30 minutes before and after a meal to increase your appetite. This has been recommended by the Mayo Clinic.

Appetite Stimulators. If these still do not work, ask your doctor if taking medications that can help stimulate your appetite is safe for you. Examples of these prescription drugs are megestrol acetate, dronabinol and oxandrolone.

If you are in the autumn of your years and experiencing a loss of appetite and involuntary weight loss, do not take it lightly; try these ways to increase your appetite to avoid complications.

See related articles.

“Low Glycemic Foods”

“Why Eating Fat is Not Fatal”

“5 Super Star Anti Aging Foods”

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Dr. Joe Jacko


Dr. Joe is board certified in internal medicine and sports medicine with additional training in hormone replacement therapy and regenerative medicine. He has trained or practiced at leading institutions including the Hughston Clinic, Cooper Clinic, Steadman-Hawkins Clinic of the Carolinas, and Cenegenics. He currently practices in Columbus, Ohio. Read more about Dr. Joe Jacko

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