Appetite, Health and Body Weight


When was the last time you had a healthy appetite? I’m talking about feeling really happily hungry; i.e. when you want to eat as your tummy rumbles and feels quite empty.


This sensation is relatively uncommon today as most people eat so frequently and portions tend to be larger than needed. When your body is constantly topped up with food and sweet drinks, a healthy appetite simply does not occur. The digestive system never gets a chance to rest and prepare for the next meal. As a result your digestion may be poor, your energy is likely to be low and you are likely to gain weight. In New Zealand the stimulus to eat is rarely true hunger or the desire for nutrients. Most people now eat for comfort, to be social, to relive boredom, or because the food looks or smells appealing. 


A healthy appetite should occur before each meal. Years ago people made sure they had some physical activity, say a brisk walk to “work up an appetite”.  Eating between meals was a concern as it might spoil the appetite.

Weight loss programs frequently promise “you will never feel hungry”. Certainly you should not feel faint with hunger, but some hunger in the form of a healthy appetite is a good thing. It is essential to be comfortable with this feeling for long term weight loss and overall good health. You may find it a bit alarming at first, although in a short time you will find you like the sensation as you will appreciate it signals your body is working well, and as a result you will enjoy your next nutritious meal, being content with smaller portions. 


Contact Bay Health Clinic today to find out more or to book a consultation with one of our Naturopaths; if needed they will also prepare tailored herbal medicines and recommend supplements to help you feel your best.  Call 07 571 3226 or email us:


Jaine Kirtley Reg. Naturopath, Reg. Nurse