Seven Best Ways To Increase Appetite

Seven Best Ways To Increase Appetite

Although overeating is a major problem in this country, undereating is just as problematic if you want to gain muscle mass. Often it’s not your intent to eat light. You simply don’t have an appetite. Without enough calories, you will not be able to train as hard as you’d like. What can you do to increase appetite?

Here are seven effective ways to increase appetite along with information on the best way to design a nutrition program aimed at packing on muscle.

1. Overcome A Zinc Deficiency

Lack of zinc can cause taste and appetite changes. You need zinc to make HCl, the primary substance that regulates digestion of proteins. Zinc also affects how your food tastes, therefore affecting your appetite. Zinc is required for the synthesis of a protein involved in the growth and development of taste buds. If you have low zinc, you probably won’t enjoy eating because your sense of taste is off. Protein foods are particularly disagreeable.

Lack of zinc also reduces dopamine and testosterone, leading to dull motivation and ability to focus. This can make you lethargic and unable to train at your best.

The most accurate way to verify your zinc status is to get a red blood cell (RBC) zinc test, not a serum zinc test. Strength and power athletes train most efficiently at RBC zinc levels of 1,400 to 1,500 ug/dL.

Take Away:

By getting the proper amount of zinc, you’ll increase appetite and your training drive will soar.

2. Ensure Folate (B9) & Vitamin B12 Status

Folate and vitamin B12 are critical in stimulating the appetite. Folate influences the growth of cells in the GI tract that secrete hunger hormones. Lack of vitamin B12 leads to nausea, which impairs appetite.

Deficiency in folate and vitamin B12 cause anemia, a condition that compromises energy production and leads to fatigue. A common side effect of anemia is poor appetite.

The most effective way to achieve optimal levels is with a methylated B vitamin complex. Compared to cheaper B vitamins, methylated supplements provide folate and vitamin B12 in their active form so that the body can use them right away without having to go through a process in the liver and kidneys that makes these nutrients bioavailable. Methylated folate is also protective against heart disease and other health problems linked with the MTHFR genetic mutation that affects 40 percent of the population.

Take Away:

Getting bioavailable folate and B12 will increase appetite and help you optimize energy levels.

3. Restore HCL Stomach Acid

Hydrochloric acid (HCl) is a stomach acid that stimulates appetite. It helps break down food into useable nutrients. Having low levels of HCl reduces the “I’m hungry” message to your brain. It also decreases your appetite for protein because you’re no longer able to effectively digest the amino acids in protein foods. Not only does this lower the nutrition available to your body, it stimulates the growth of pathogenic bacteria that cause health problems and may lead to nausea and low energy.

You can raise stomach acid either by supplementing with a hydrochloric acid supplement like Ultra HCL (if you do not have ulcers or anything similar), or a digestive enzyme blend such as Enzyme Full Spectrum that helps breakdown hard-to-digest foods, such as beans, grains, and fibrous vegetables.

Take Away:

Improving stomach acid is an easy way to increase appetite while skyrocketing the nutrition your body is able to derive from food.

4. Start The Day with Lime Juice Diluted in Water

Adding lime juice to water creates a slightly acidic solution that will stimulate your HCl production, revving your appetite. How does it work?

Foods can be classified as alkalizing or acidifying on a pH scale. The pH scale is measured from 0 to 14, with 0 to 7 considered acidic and 7.1 to 14 considered alkaline. The paradoxical part is that although lime juice is acidic, it helps to alkalize you, which can offset the harmful, muscle degrading effects of cortisol.

Take Away:

Water with lime is an easy ritual that will raise HCl and increase your appetite first thing in the morning.

5. Salt Your Food

Salt brings out the flavor in food, making it more appetizing, which leads people to eat more. Of course, we’re inundated with the advice to cut salt intake, which may be useful if you’re trying to rein in your appetite, but it causes problems when you want to pack on muscle. Additionally, diets that are higher in protein or fat increase your sodium needs, making the salt shaker your best friend when you want a voracious appetite.

Take Away:

Salting your food liberally, especially meat and fish, is an easy way to give your appetite a boost.

6. Drink Your Calories

Although whole foods are a staple of a healthy diet, beverages are a great way to pad your nutrition. Drinks have significantly lower satiety than whole foods, encouraging a positive energy balance. Using liquid nutrition may be most important with high-fiber fruits and vegetables or protein, both of which blunt appetite. Throwing fruit juice and leafy greens into to a protein shake is a great way to load up on energy without the hunger-killing effects of eating the same foods in whole form.

Take Away:

Incorporating liquid calories is an easy way to get extra nutrition, while having a minimal impact on hunger.

7. Eat Frequent Meals

Contrary to popular belief that frequent meals are good for weight loss, research shows frequent eating increases appetite and desire to eat. Frequent eating leads to a higher total energy intake and revs protein synthesis, helping your body spend more time in an anabolic environment.

Take Away:

While eating every 2 hours is a bad choice for fat loss, it’s just the ticket when you want to pack on muscle.

Final Words:

Most people who struggle to gain weight don’t take the most basic principle seriously: Your body will only grow if you provide it with high-quality surplus calories every day. Hopefully, these tips will stimulate your hunger so that your lack of appetite will cease to hamper your gains.

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