Not eating enough due to a lack of appetite is often the driving force behind weight loss and wasting in HIV disease. Lack of appetite may arise due to illness, fatigue, depression, drug side effects or addiction. It is a very common problem and can be difficult to overcome. Dealing with persistent lack of appetite can be depressing and a source of anxiety and stress. In some cases, in spite of best efforts, it is not possible to overcome the lack of appetite , and nutritional status continues to decline.
Eating when not hungry
- Eat often; small amounts add up over the course of the day.
- Consider meal replacement drinks like Boost, Resource or Ensure. These products may be covered by your drug insurance program. Talk with your healthcare professional or insurer to find out more.
- Eat on a schedule. To remind yourself to eat, use external cues such as an alarm clock, a favourite TV show, the meal time of a partner or other family members, break times at work or school, or the time you feed the dog or cat.
- Notice when you have your best time of day and eat the most nourishing foods at that time.
- Fresh air or light activity may stimulate appetite, so try to get outside.
- Make every bite count by emphasizing wholesome, nutrient-dense foods.
- Make eating more pleasurable (e.g. share a meal with friends or family).
- Take advantage of offers of help and meal programs .
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