What To Eat When You Don't Feel Like Eating On a Renal Diet

What To Eat When You Don’t Feel Like Eating on a Renal Diet

Copy of Low Sodium and Potassium Substitutions For Your Holiday Favorites 10We have all been victim to that feeling of needing to eat but just not feeling hungry. This can especially be a problem when you are trying to follow a renal diet and need to keep up your energy and appetite to feel your best. In this post, we will discuss renal-friendly foods to eat when you just don’t feel like eating, what causes this loss of appetite among those with kidney disease, and how to gain back your appetite and hunger levels.

I Am on a Renal Diet, and I’m Not Hungry! Why?

Is Fatigue From Kidney Disease Causing My Loss Of Appetite?

Loss of appetite can be caused by many things, but if you have chronic kidney disease, then the fatigue caused by your disease could be the main culprit. Many of those with CKD suffer from fatigue, weakness, loss of appetite, upset stomach, and even anemia.

All of these symptoms can be caused by the main effect of kidney disease, which is a buildup of toxins in your blood. With kidney disease, your kidneys do not filter impurities and toxins out of your blood properly, so the resulting buildup can cause many adverse effects and just generally make you feel sluggish. Many other aspects of life or mental health conditions like stress, anxiety, and depression can also cause a decrease in appetite and make you feel fatigued.

Should I Eat If I Don’t Feel Hungry?

While you should not eat if you feel full or force yourself to eat after a meal, eating enough calories and meals per day to make sure you are healthy is essential. Feeling as if you are not hungry can put you off from foods, but it is important to make sure you are following your dietitian’s renal diet, and actually eating at least small foods that can sustain you and give you the vital nutrients you need so your body feels it’s best.

What To Eat When You Don’t Feel Like Eating Anything & Have Kidney Disease


When you don’t feel like eating, soup can be a great alternative to a heartier meal that you can’t stomach right now. There are many healthy soup options for those following a renal-friendly diet, such as carrot and zucchini, chicken chili, and chicken noodles.

It is important to remember to replace any high sodium or high phosphorus ingredients with kidney-friendly alternatives to make sure these choices are the best for your health. It is also important to talk with your dietician about your fluid intake when it comes to soups if you are on a fluid-restricted diet.


Pasta is a much healthier choice than soup, but it can feel you up quickly and be very delicious without the effort of cooking a four-course meal for yourself. You have to remember to be mindful of sodium and phosphorus in the pasta types you are using as well as any toppings or sauces. A quick and cold pasta salad with chicken is a great lower protein way to eat a small meal without much cooking. The fact that you can eat the pasta salad cold is another help with the appetite as it may make it more appealing than a warm and filling pasta.

Fat-free Yogurt

Yogurt is a quick and easy snack to eat when you are not feeling like a full meal. Fat-free or low-fat yogurt can be a great way to help get some nutrients in despite a lack of appetite. You can also add plant proteins like sunflower seeds or various nuts to the yogurt so you can make sure you are getting a nice balance of all the things you need to be present in your diet and foods for the day.


Tips For Treating Loss Of Appetite on a Renal Diet

Eat Small Meals

Loss of appetite is not something that is only happening to those with CKD. It happens to a lot of people. One of the best ways dietitians have found to combat the possible side effects of appetite loss and lowered hunger signals over a period of time is to eat small meals. Small and more frequent meals seem less intimidating and will still help you get your proper food and nutrient intakes in for the day. Feeling as if you are not hungry means the thought of a large meal may seem nauseating and cause stomach upset, which is reduced by having smaller renal-friendly meals or snacks throughout your day.

Schedule Meals & Snacks

Low Potassium Substitutes For Your Holiday Favorites 21Much like eating small meals you can help your body to restart your appetite by scheduling meal and snack times. By putting your body on a regimented eating schedule, you should slowly begin to get accustomed to the meal times you have set. If this is the case, then your stomach will likely start feeling empty around those times because that is when you usually eat! This way, you can help to get your body on a schedule that you can both agree on and combat the loss of appetite for food with a schedule of your favorite foods that will meet your stomach’s demands and prevent stomach pain.

Add Nutritional Supplements

If you are still struggling with a loss of appetite and a poor relationship with food and you feel as if you are not getting the required minerals and nutrients, you should speak to your renal care dietitian or a health professional. Some medications can cause loss of appetite, but it is important to not let it keep you from eating entirely.

Suppose you have anemia or know that you are not eating enough protein or vegetables. In that case, you can add nutritional supplements to your diet to ensure your body is in great shape while discussing how to get your appetite back.

It’s not uncommon to be tired and lose your appetite on a renal diet.

Use the tips above for what to eat when you don’t feel like eating to stay as healthy as possible when this happens.

Losing your appetite can make you feel sluggish and cause stomach discomfort, just like chronic kidney disease can, but the important part is not letting this keep you down and feeling this way. Try these healthy foods and tips to get your energy, appetite, and body back on track.

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  1. Richard Roderick says:

    This is very true and helpful. I cook chicken in crock pot and add pasta for last 1/2 hour of cooking. I can then use the pasta and chicken as soup or make pasta salad for another dwy with left overs.

  2. Janet Tyrrell says:

    Thanks for this information. Have a great day. Jan