Healthy Bites

Posted: Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Appetite boosters

People lose their appetites for many reasons, including stress, illness or medication side effects.

If you find you are never hungry, consider these ways to healthfully stimulate your appetite:

* Add color, texture and aroma to your meals to make them more appealing. Easy additions include brightly colored crunchy vegetables.

* Dine with friends and family. Sometimes the fun of dining with others can boost your appetite.

* Fill your house with enticing smells such as fresh baked goods.

* Keep your favorite healthful foods on hand. Sometimes convenience can aid you in eating more.

* Engage in physical activity just before you eat. Even a short walk can increase your appetite.

* If stress is a problem for you, try to keep conversations during meals pleasant.

If you remain concerned about your lack of appetite, contact a registered dietitian for additional advice.

Are you speed-eating? Then hit the brakes!

Eating on the run or grabbing food from a bag are common eating methods for many Americans. But eating slowly may be better for your health.

Part of the enjoyment of eating lies in seeing what's on your plate, smelling the food and taking time to enjoy the process.

Grabbing or eating on the run deprives you of the very things that make eating fun and healthier.

By eating slowly, you may improve what and how much you eat.

Try these tips:

* Always eat from a plate

* Sit at a table

* Eat only when hungry

* Enjoy what you eat

* Eat what you like.

Focusing on what you eat makes it easier to sense when you are full and to stop eating before you overeat.

Try eating slowly for enjoyment and your health.

This tip was provided by Kelley Steen, clinical dietitian at Central Peninsula Hospital, courtesy of the American Dietetic Association's public relations team.

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