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What to Eat When You Don’t Feel Like Eating | The Michigan Dietitian


There are a number of reasons why you may not feel like eating, but nutrition is important to your health! I’ve gathered a few reasons why this may be occuring and some meals for what to eat when you don’t feel like eating!

Reasons You May Not Feel Like Eating

There could endless reasons as to why you may not feel like eating. I have a few more common ideas for you, but know this is not an exhaustive list of possibilities!


When you’re exhausted just laying in bed fighting off an illness, food isn’t always your top concern- I get it!

Burnout or Exhaustion

When you’re burnt out you feel depleted and empty physically and mentally. Or, you could have met your capacity for making decisions for the day. Having to decide what to feed yourself next may not be an option.

Lack of Time

Life happens! Some days are so jammed packed with work, exercise, events, social commitments, or anything else you have happening in your life that there’s only time for something quick and easy.

bored woman sitting at a table with food

Simply Don’t Feel Like It!

Sometimes you just don’t feel like eating. There doesn’t need to be a reason! Simply not feeling like it once in a while is a perfectly good excuse!

Deeper Issues

If you find yourself asking yourself what to eat because you never feel like eating there may be some deeper issues.

Meal Ideas For What To Eat What You Don’t Feel Like It!

Here are some different meals ideas based on the type of meal you’d like. There’s ‘put-together’ meals, go-to’s, one pot/pan, frozen, quic, comfort, high protein, ordering in, hot bar, and trending foods!

‘Put-Together’ Meals

In recent times this has been coined as ‘girl dinner’ but I see the connotation with this unavorable. Instead, I go by ‘put-together’.

By ‘put-together’ meals are ones that don’t involve actual cooking. You put together foods to make yourself a meal with minimal efforts beyond opening the fridge, upboards, and the silverware drawer!

What to eat when you don't feel like eating parfait on black plate

Some of my favorite ‘put-together’ meals are:

  • Yogurt Parfaits- you simply need to plop some yogurt into a bowl add in some fresh, frozen, or dried fruit and add something crunchy like granola, nuts, or seeds.
  • Snack Plate- This isn’t something specific, it is whatever you have on-hand. Some examples to add to your snack plate are: cheeses, crackers, deli meat or rotisserie chicken, veggies, fruits, nuts, etc.
  • Canned Soup- Soup is an often forgotten simple and delicious meal! Keep a few cans on hand for a meal in under 5 minutes. Add in a few frozen veggies to the bowl before microwaving it for some extra filling fiber! You can make this meal even better by pairing it with a slice of buttered bread! Yum!

Stick To Your Go-To’s

If you have a favorite meal that you tend to always reach for, grab it! Dietitians are huge supporters of diversifying your meals, but eating something is better than nothing!

One Pot/Pan Meals

It is honestly so easy to add a bunch of goodies to a pot of pan, cook it, and end up with a full on meal!

You can preheat your oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit, add any combination of cut-up potatoes, veggies, meat links, then cook until everything is up to heat! My favorite type of meal like this is my Fall Harvest Sheet Pan meal! It makes for a great warm meal in just about 30 minutes.

fall harvest sheet pan
Fall Harvest Sheet Pan Dinner

Frozen Meals

  • Individual Frozen Meals- You know the ones i’m talking about… They may not be the most filling- maybe have two!
  • Home Delivery- There are meal delivery services that offer frozen meals delivered to your home that are a bit more nourishing than the ones you can get in the freezer aisle of your local grocery store.
  • Stouffer’s Lasagna- These are meant for multi-person families but that doesn’t mean they can’t just be an easy meal prep! Make one and you’ve got dinner all week or some meals to share.

Quick Meals

A quick meal can be satisfying without being difficult and time consuming.

This could simply be spaghetti, ground beef, and a can of sauce. This is a comforting meal that requires minimal ingredients, is quick, and loved by most! Some other quick meals can be: a box of stuffing + rotisserie chicken + with a can of veggies or even frozen chicken tenders + french fries! Pair this with a fruit if you’re feeling up to it!

What to eat when you don't feel like eating mac and cheese

Comfort Meals

If you don’t know what to eat pick something that will provide you comfort! This could be anything from mac-and-cheese (box or homemade), chicken pot pie, or even a pb&j sandwich!

Easy High Protein Meals

You may feel out of it because you haven’t had enough protein throughout the day. Try opting for a high protein meal to see if that helps! A simple high protein lunch may be a greek yogurt cup with fruit, tuna fish with crackers, and some cheese!

Order In

The excitement of having food ordered in may be just what you need to answer the question of ‘what to eat?’. If you know you can order anything you’d like you may all of a sudden be in the mood for something specific! Funny that!

food on table prepare for hotel breakfast

Hot Bar

The hot bars at grocery stores are a forgotten treasure trove for delicious and easy meals! They have nearly everything you could ask for already ready to go. Simply, pick what you want and head to the checkout line.

Have none of these options piqued your interest? Check out TikTok, Instagram, or Pinterest using keywords to find what you’re in need of (‘easy meals’, ‘simple dinner’, ’10 minute meals’). People are insanely creative. There are always new recipes coming out, one of those may be the right fit for you!

A Word From A Registered Dietitian on What To Eat

As a dietitian it is usually difficult to give broad advice. Every person has difference circumstances, health concerns, and goals. BUT, I can say that in most cases it is best to eat something even when you don’t feel like eating.

Of course having a balanced and colorful plate is idealistic but if all you are able to manage is to consume a cookie, then that is just what it is for the night!

a rice topping of roasted salmon with sesame seeds and scrambled egg in a take out container

What to Eat When You Don’t Feel Like Eating Key Takeaways

  • There can be endless reasons why you don’t feel like eating every once in awhile, but if this is a normal occurance it would be best to check in with your health professional team.
  • There are a tons of different routes you can go down to eventually find something to eat.
  • Eating something is more important than eating nothing at all!

Craving More?

If you were able to decide What to Eat When You Don’t Feel Like Eating share a photo of your creation by tagging me on Instagram! This really supports me and allows others to know about this resource!

You may also want to try my easy recipes:

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What to eat when you don't feel like eating pinterest


Before making any medical or nutrition changes speak to your health care team about your concerns. This is not medical advice and should not be taken as so.

Speak to your healthcare professional before making any medical decisions.

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