1. Health
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Eating Smaller Meals

If You Don't Have An Appetite, Try Eating Smaller Meals During The Day


Updated December 28, 2012


Fruit can make a good light snack.

Photo © Antonella Falbo
People with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) often find that they have a lack of appetite. Eating light for a few days is not normally a problem for most healthy adults, but it's not always a good idea for people with IBD to skip meals. People with IBD who are already struggling to keep on weight may find that a lack of appetite, coupled with symptoms such as diarrhea, could lead to unintended weight loss. Skipping meals could also lead to other problems, such as being fatigued.

In Western culture, we tend to eat three large meals a day (except perhaps for those who skip breakfast). Most people tend not to eat snacks between meals, but snacking could be a way to combat a lack of appetite. Eating small meals several times a day could help people with IBD to take in the calories they need to maintain a healthy weight. A smaller meal may also help in avoiding bloating and discomfort that may occur after eating a larger meal.


Brown AC, Rampertab SD, Mullin GE. "Existing dietary guidelines for Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis." Expert Rev Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2011 Jun;5:411-425.

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.

We comply with the HONcode standard
for trustworthy health
information: verify here.