Anorexia : how to get your appetite back ?
Written by: Loris Vitry (coach and Yoga teacher)
Validated by: Cathy Maillot (Osteopath)
Caution: If you have any medical questions or concerns, please speak to your doctor. Even if the articles on this site are based on scientific studies, they do not replace professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
At the forefront of eating disorders that affect many people is anorexia.
Like bulimia or overeating, anorexia is a dangerous behavioral disorder that can have severe consequences for the health of victims.
People with anorexia often face complexes about their physical appearance.
They are afraid of gaining weight and end up developing an unreasonable phobia against any form of eating.
As a result, they submit to a severe dietary restriction as if to punish themselves.
If this eating disorder is hazardous for those who are subject to it, there are nevertheless some solutions to allow them to get out of it.
Let’s discover them!
Therapies to solve the problem
The loss of appetite associated with anorexia is not the same as a fleeting urge not to eat.
When it comes to anorexia, the problem is much deeper than that.
Anorexia arises from the impairment of one’s body that is considered disgusting.
It, therefore, begins with a state of stress, a deep discomfort, because the person does not feel good about himself and wants to transform its body, refine it, make himself thinner.
Therapeutic solutions are offered to people who are subject to this psychological disorder.
These therapies allow victims to put words and images on the emotions behind their anorexia.
They can gradually release them from stress, negative emotions, and learn to accept themselves as they are.
They are also invited to meet and chat with people who have suffered from anorexia and overcame it.
The history of these former anorexics, in addition to cognitive-behavioral therapy, may help the patient to change their eating behavior.
Relearn to love your body
The following therapy can help regain appetite after an anorexic episode.
But beyond the therapies, the patient must learn to love his body and to know it better.
Since the latter was the source of the problem, whoever wants to get his appetite back will have to make peace with his body.
It will help to eat a healthy diet without fear of excessive weight gain.
Reconciling with your physical appearance can go, for example, by doing relaxation.
Sophrology, yoga, osteopathy, etc., are disciplines that allow you to appreciate your physical appearance better.
Through their ability to bring people to focus on themselves, these disciplines are the best way to relearn to know yourself.
These disciplines will require you to respect your body and, above all, to listen to it, with a positive effect on eating behavior.
Adopt a new way of eating
It is possible to turn to a new diet to regain your appetite.
It is not a question of betting on the quantities, but instead on the quality of what we eat.
It should be taken into account that if you are anorexic, you will find it challenging to eat in large quantities.
As the microvilli in your gut are atrophied, it will take time for them to resume their function.
For breakfast, you can, for example, favor bread with protein sources.
Cheese, fried eggs, or ham will do the trick.
You can turn to a nutritionist who could suggest a menu adapted to your condition.
However, there are simple tips that can help you eat without much trouble.
Eating meat, for example, can lead you to relearn the act of chewing food.
Likewise, if you start to favor your favorite meals, it will be much easier for you to regain your appetite.
Eating with family or in a restaurant with friends will also facilitate the development of your appetite.
The moments of conviviality will transform the meal into a real pleasure, and you will no longer have any reason to feel disgusted at it.
Another tip to make you want to eat is to cook dishes that smell good.
A bad smell will make you want to eat less than a plate that smells particularly good.
Do not hesitate to bring vegetables to your plates to add color.
Besides, cinnamon and ginger are spices that help stimulate the appetite.
Consider adding them to the seasoning of your dishes.
Adopt healthy eating habits
After going through an anorexia attack, you should adopt a healthy eating routine.
First of all, avoid skipping breakfast.
Although it is the most important meal of the day, many people try to do without it.
Breakfast will give you the energy you need at the start of the day and will help stimulate your appetite.
In anorexia, your stomach becomes smaller because you have been deprived of meals to stimulate it for a long time.
During the food rehabilitation phase, try to eat in small quantities, but often enough during the day to allow your stomach to expand and, in turn, will revive your appetite.
Another important thing, try during your food rehabilitation not to consume too much fiber.
These are good for your health, but if eaten in excess, they may reduce your appetite, and that is what we want to avoid.
So do not completely ban fiber from your diet, but consume it in small quantities.
Turning to natural alternatives to stimulate your appetite
Specific natural solutions allow you to stimulate your appetite to help you eat better.
An infusion of yarrow, for example, is particularly useful in restoring appetite.
Its virtues against weak appetite have been tested and approved by many people who treated anorexia.
You can, therefore, try this treatment and continue it depending on whether it is valid or not for your body.
To make this infusion, you will simply need to add hot water to a few leaves of yarrow that you have carefully collected.
Drink two to three cups a day, and you will see that the feeling of hunger will reappear.
There is also rosemary, which is incredibly effective against lack of appetite.
You can find it in supermarkets or health food stores.
Finally, a glass of wine taken before meals will help you rediscover the pleasure of eating well.