As people age they experience a number of losses in their life – sometimes the loss of a partner, loss of mobility, loss of hearing or eyesight, loss of memory, and a number of other losses. One loss that many experience is the loss of appetite. There are several reasons why we may lose our appetite as age:
- We lose our sense of taste therefore we no longer get any enjoyment from eating.
- We may lose our appetite due to the medications we are taking
- Dental problems may cause us pain when we try to chew our food.
Unfortunately, when we lose our appetite we also lose our ability to get adequate nutrition. How many of us really feel like eating when we don’t feel well? Here are a few ideas that may help you increase your appetite:
Enjoy your favorite foods. Now is the time to indulge in all those foods you could not eat when you were dieting. Give yourself the go-ahead to basically eat anything you want. The goal is to get food into your body. Eating your favorite foods will do just that.
Eat your meals with others. If you live alone, try to get out with friends and family as often as possible, or invite them to your house. If you are in a nursing home, try to eat your meals in the community room designated for that purpose. One way eating with others helps is that you are paying more attention to the conversation than whether you are hungry or not and you will tend to eat more.
Experiment with new foods and flavors. Try food you have never tried before, especially if you were staying away from them because you were watching your diet. Now is the time to indulge. Try those foods you have always wanted to try. You may find a new favorite!
Eat snacks throughout the day. This is the time to do all those things you were told not to do when you were young. Go ahead and indulge.
Drink plenty of liquids. Keep yourself hydrated so that you don’t get weak to the point that you can’t get around. Drink plenty of water and other fluids to help keep you feeling strong and vibrant.
Hopefully these suggestions will help you maintain your weight if you have a problem with excessive weight loss. Getting older is not much fun for most of us. Knowing that you now have permission to eat and drink anything you want to keep yourself healthy sounds like a pretty good deal after years of trying to lose weight. Take advantage of this time to enjoy your favorite foods while you can.