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What Should I Eat When I Have No Appetite?

Hunger is a natural phenomenon and it is the signal that your body gives when it lacks energy and needs fuel to work. Your body is working constantly and energy is required for every process of the body. However, at times due to various reasons, you might have no appetite or lack of appetite and might not feel hungry. However, your body still would be demanding the fuel that it requires for its functioning. So, you should add some of the foods that can help you when you have no appetite. Read further to know about those foods.

What Should I Eat When I Have No Appetite?

What To Eat When You Have No Appetite?

When you have no appetite you might not feel hungry and might not feel like eating. However, your body needs food. So, in such a case you should try to eat foods that are packed with protein, high in calories, and also excites you to eat. Below are some good choices of food for you when you have lost your appetite.

White Rice

White rice is a superfood that can help you when you have no appetite, as it is rich in nutrients like Vitamin B, iron, magnesium, and manganese. Moreover, people suffering from stomach discomfort or diarrhea are also recommended to eat white rice since it is easily digestible. So, add this food to your diet if you have no appetite. It will help you with the energy that your body requires when you have lost your appetite.

To make this tasty that would excite you to eat when you have no appetite, you can prepare tomato rice, fried rice, lemon rice, or curd rice.


Bananas are low-fiber-containing fruits and will assist your body get enough essential nutrients without causing any feeling of nausea. Moreover, the fruit also contains magnesium and potassium, which are essential to replace electrolytes that might have been lacking because of no appetite or not eating enough.


These are one of the yummiest foods that are packed with calories but have no nutritional value. So, when you eat these doughnuts with almost zero nutritional value, you will start feeling hungry in no time. Thus, these are the best foods for you when you have no appetite.

Hard Boiled Eggs

Hard-boiled eggs should also be consumed when you do not have an appetite. They are rich in protein and thus easy for your body to digest and also provide enough energy to your body that it requires.

Sweet Potatoes

If you do not have an appetite and suffering from an upset stomach or other such issues then you can add sweet potatoes to your diet. You will get the fuel that your body requires for working and you will also keep your stomach full in a tastier way, as sweet potatoes are yummy to eat when cooked/boiled well.

Broth Soups

If you have lost your appetite because of a cold and flu, then you should try having broth soups. These are best for people with colds and they can be easily digested and also help fight inflammation and make you feel better.

Smoothies and Shakes

When you have no appetite and do not feel like eating anything, you can try to take liquid or semi-solid nutritious foods, such as smoothies and shakes. These are packed with calories and proteins and can provide you with the required amount of nutrients that your body requires. Moreover, liquids quickly move through the stomach to your intestines, when nutrients are absorbed. So, you get enough energy to work.

Herbs and Spices

Some foods can delay digestion and cause gas issues, which might also reduce your appetite. However, a type of seasoning, known as Carminative herbs and spices might help in reducing bloating and flatulence and also improve your appetite. These herbs and spices can even stimulate bile juice production to facilitate the digestion of fats.(1)

Black pepper, fennel, coriander, peppermint, ginger, mint and cinnamon are some examples of carminative herbs and spices.(1)

Apart from helping in reducing gastric issues, these herbs and spices also make your meals more appealing. Thus, when your food has a pleasant taste and smell, your appetite can be increased.(2)

Bitters tonics are a type of herb preparation that help in increasing appetite. Examples of bitters tonics are gentian, centaur, and blessed thistle.(3) 

You can add these herbs and spices to your foods while cooking them or can consume them as teas.

Your Favorite Foods

Research shows that if you choose what you love to eat, you will tend to eat more and also more often than if you have to eat food that you do not like.(4)

So, to ensure you consume more foods, try to choose your favorite foods so that you can increase your appetite.

Desserts Made of Fortified Milk

Fortified milk is good when you have no appetite. Make desserts from fortified milk and serve them with toppings that excite you to eat more. You can add yogurt with fresh or dried fruits, take muesli cereal with honeyice cream with fruits and nuts, puddings, custard with fruits and dry fruits, and so on.

High Energy, High Protein Meal Ideas That Also Excites Your Taste Buds When You Have No Appetite

Below is a list of some high-energy, high-protein meal ideas that are quite tastier and help you increase your appetite:

  • Pancakes with butter, or French toast
  • Omelet with cheese and vegetables
  • Cottage cheese and fruits
  • Muffin with butter and jam
  • Cream soup made using milk
  • Sandwiches with your favorite fillings with mayonnaise and extra butter.
  • Soft taco with sour cream, meat, beans, and cheese
  • Macaroni or pasta with cheese and vegetables
  • Grilled cheese sandwich
  • Toast and baked beans

Some Tips That Would Help You When You Have No Appetite

  • Eat the foods that you love to eat.
  • Eat small meals at frequent intervals.
  • Prepare foods that taste, smell, and look good. This would excite you to eat more.
  • Do not eat fried and greasy foods, as these foods make you feel gassy and feel full.
  • Try to eat with family and friends. When you eat together, you can eat more.
  • Add variety to your diet. Eat different and new food. This would help you increase your appetite.
  • If you are not feeling to eat, try to eat soft foods or liquid foods.
  • Do not skip breakfast. If you want to increase your appetite, you should consume your breakfast regularly.

A review study has shown that skipping breakfast could make you eat less throughout the day.(5) Moreover, breakfast aids in increasing the thermogenesis effect of your body, thus making you burn more calories throughout the day, which would increase your appetite.(6)

Try to trick your brain by using a bigger plate while eating, that would make your brain think that you are eating less food.

Exercise regularly. This could help in increasing your appetite.

Final Words

You should understand that even if you do not feel like eating, your body needs food to perform various functions. So, you should try everything that could be possible to meet your nutritional needs. If you have no appetite, try to add the foods we talked about above and also try to follow the tips that could help you increase your appetite or help you eat more. We would also suggest that if you have any serious issues with appetite then reach out for help to a healthcare professional or dietician.


Sheetal DeCaria, M.D.
Sheetal DeCaria, M.D.
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Sheetal DeCaria, M.D. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:November 11, 2022

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