The most frequently asked question by hard-gainers is How to increase appetite? How to force my body to eat more?.
The question is valid because the main reason for them not gaining weight is lack of appetite. Even people who assure that they eat a lot but do not gain weight are eating less than required. Compare your diet with a person who is healthy, you will come to know that the total calories you eat throughout the day is too less as compared to people who are healthy.
There may be medical reasons why your appetite is low or you feel full after eating even small meals. My advise is to first consult a doctor who can better assist you on this.
In in this post I will answer about How to increase appetite as increased appetite is the most important factor that can lead to weight gain. If you feel full after eating small meals, or if you do not feel like eating at a particular time then you need to keep following points in mind. If you do not have a good appetite that you’re surely not going to see any gains in near future. To gain weight you need to eat double or at least 500-800 more calories than what your body burns and you are going to need a solid and good appetite for that. Your appetite will not increase in a day or week, but you will have to force your body to eat more as you’re body is not used to it.
How to Increase Appetite
- Eat a high-calorie breakfast: Having a high-calorie breakfast is crucial as it will help you maintain energy throughout the day. Meal timings affect the body’s circadian rhythm, and body digests and burns more calories in morning than in evening and night. Hence start your day with a breakfast loaded with proteins and carbs. Do not let your body crave for food, instead eat withing 30 minutes after waking up. Try to start your breakfast with protein. Breakfast is the second most important meal after post workout meal, so you should be focusing on a high calorie and nutrient rich breakfast.
An example for a high calorie breakfast can be:
1 glass milk and 1 cup oats
4 slices of brown bread
4 eggs (2whole, 2 whites)
10 soaked almonds
- Eat small and frequent meals throughout the day: Eating frequent meals (like every 2 hours) helps the body in maintaining an anabolic state that is muscle building state. This is also a good way to increase appetite as small meals are less filling than large sized meals. This will keep your appetite high for the next meal. Do not eat large meals thinking that more calories will lead to weight gain. Eat in small amounts and frequently to maintain a healthy appetite. You will not be able to eat large meals all of a sudden, so start with adding 50-100 calories in every meal. Hence eat small meals at every 2-3 hours. For a list of quality foods see Top 12 Foods to Weight Gain.
- Drink plenty of water: Water not only removes toxins out of the body, but also indirectly leads to increased appetite. Drinking adequate is advisable in both gaining and losing weight. Water is the most under rated part of any diet plan. It is advised to drink a glass of water 1 hour before and after a meal as it helps in better digestion.
Try to drink at least 3 liters of water a day. If you feel that you forget to drink water at regular intervals, try keeping a reminder every half an hour or so that will remind you to drink as per your schedule.
- Try to eat healthy: If you wish to increase your appetite and gain weight in a healthy way , try to eat as much healthy foods as possible. Eating junk food for weight gain may lead to unhealthy fat gain and other heart risks. It is easy to consume 3000 calories a day by eating pizza’s, burgers and coke but these calories are like waste to us and will only lead to fat gain. Hence it is always suggested to gain weight in a healthy manner by eating more of healthy food like oats, whole wheat breads, eggs etc and less of pizzas, burgers etc.
- Eat fiber in moderation: Fiber rich foods are no doubt healthy and help in better digestion, but our body takes more time in processing fiber than in other types of food. Hence eating more of fiber rich foods can be filling and can lead to decrease in appetite.
Hence my advice is to eat foods like fruits , grains, oats etc in moderation.
- Exercise at least 3 days in a week: There is no compulsion , but exercising can lead to increased appetite as our body is designed to crave for energy after burning calories. Hence you will always feel hungry after exercising. This is the time when you should eat good amounts of protein and carbohydrates as the body is in need of nutrients. Do not focus on isolation movements like bicep curls or dumbbell fly’s but work on compound movements that involve more than single muscle like deadlift, chest press, squats, pullsups etc. These exercises will make sure that you get big in no time if you eat a high nutrition healthy diet.
Hence these were the 6 ways on How to increase appetite. Do not over eat if your body is not willing to. Follow these guidelines and I’m sure you will be benefited. Do leave your precious comments about this topic in the comment box below.