All of us have been there before, the feeling where you are hungry but you don’t want to eat. There are both physical and mental reasons you may find yourself feeling this way, and some may be a cause for concern. If you don't have the mood of eating for a long period of time, be sure to seek medical help.
I Don't Want to Eat, Why?
There are various reasons why you may not want to eat, such as when your metabolism slows down as your muscle mass decreases with age. Other reasons why you don't feel like eating include:
Lack of Nutrition
- Nutrition that is poor overall can shake a person’s normally healthy appetite.
- Older people often experience zinc deficiencies which can make taste buds dead.
- There are some antibiotics that can change your taste buds. They can make food passing through the intestines take longer, which also makes you feel full longer after a meal.
- Some chemo drugs will affect how foods taste, and cause loss of appetite and nausea.
- There are some pain relievers and medications for arthritis that will upset the stomach. This makes people nauseous and appetite-free.
- There are diuretics and heart medications that decrease the appetite.
However, don’t stop meds without consulting your doc.
- There are some cancers, lung diseases and heart problems that can leave you feeling like, "I don't want to eat." People who are in a lot of pain will also experience a loss of appetite.
- Loneliness and depression can also make a person be less interested in eating.
How to Get Yourself to Eat Something
If you have the feeling you are forcing yourself to eat all the time, then you should speak with professionals to see if there is something that they can do. Depending on what they discover, the following may also be helpful:
1. Change Your Eating Habits
Get used to frequent, smaller meals instead of the traditional three big meals. But think about nutrition as well. Some good options are veggie or bean soup, cheese and whole-grain crackers, fruit smoothies, yogurt and granola, whole grain cereal, etc.
2. Take Vitamins
If you start with a multivitamin daily, you may experience an increase in your appetite. Your nutrition will receive a boost from the extra nutrients. Zinc deficiency has also been linked to a poor appetite. Your doctor may recommend a zinc supplement.
3. Check Up on Your Medications
Make sure to check with your doctor to see if your medicine could be the root cause. If this is the case, ask to be changed.
If you are having appetite problems because you are sick, ask your doctor for some medication.
4. Stay Hydrated
I don't want to eat. What can I do? Make sure you are getting enough water unless you are on a restricted fluid intake from your doctor. Dehydration may make you lose your appetite. Ideally, you should be getting 8, 8-ounce glasses of water daily.
5. Eat Socially
Living alone may not be good for your appetite. You should consider having a friend over or organizing a potluck once in a while. Group meal plans are another way to help you feel enthused about meals again.
6. Boost the Flavor in Your Foods
One way to help you enjoy food again, especially if your taste buds are deadened, is to add more flavor. There are several ways you can do this; some include:
- Herbs and spices
- Extra virgin olive oil
7. Change Things Up
Boredom is quick to suck up your appetite. If you think this could be a problem, then make sure to change things up a bit. You can try new recipes or kitchen gadgets. Consider swapping recipes with your neighbors to see if that helps you.
8. Seek Help for Depression
Unfortunately, sometimes the feeling "I don't want to eat" indicates an early sign of depression. If you see changes in your eating habits with symptoms such as guilt, sadness, lack of interest in your favorite things, sleep pattern changes, and digestion trouble such as nausea or constipation, you should visit your doctor.