Stress and anxiety triggers psychological and emotional changes in your body to help you deal with pressure and can make you want to eat more or less. If you’ve noticed appetite changes, such as a decrease in your appetite recently, don’t fret. If you’re not eating as much as you usually do, that happens. Be gentle with yourself and do the best you can to stay nourished. Here are 6 ideas you can try to help you stay nourished. 

1. Eat regularly 

Getting into a regular eating pattern can help the body and brain regulate hunger cues. Even if someone can only manage a few bites at each mealtime, this will be better than nothing. Over time, they can increase the amount that they eat at each sitting.

2. Track your appetite and eat when you feel like it

Listen to your body! Is your appetite better at specific times of the day? Not sure? Track the times and eat when you feel best. Don’t stress.

3. Stay hydrated

The last thing you want to do is be hydrated from lack of eating. Babe, keep water around. Go for some juice, tea, or any refreshing beverage you love! When you feel well, eat as much nutritious food as possible in case you do not feel well later. Do not limit or restrict food intake when appetite is good.

4. Drink a smoothie or a shake

When food is not appealing and you just cannot, have a ready-to-drink liquid nutrition supplement when food is not appealing. Try milkshakes, smoothies, or protein shakes. A high-protein shake or smoothie can have as many calories as a small meal or large snack.

5. Enjoy light exercise to enhance appetite

Engaging in light exercise may help increase appetite. How about a 20-minute walk? Do what you love, and take it easy, you don’t want to exhaust yourself.

6. Keep snacks on hand

Keep small containers of fruit, dried fruit, trail mix, small bottles of juice, yogurt, cheese, whole grain crackers, cereal, granola bars, and other portable food items that are easy to eat and require little to no preparation. Always keep snacks visible and available as a reminder that it is important to eat to get the body the nutrients it needs.

One last thing, if your appetite loss persists for a long period of time, please see your doctor so that they can check for an underlying physical condition that may be causing symptoms. Also, if your loss of appetite is purely a result of stress, please see a therapist and dietitian.