Dear Alice:

 I recently had a steroid injection for back pain, and suddenly my appetite is out of control! How do I handle this?


Suddenly Starved

Dear Suddenly Starved,

This is a great question, and I see this often with all sorts of medications ranging from antibiotics to antidepressants and everything in between. Starting or changing a medication can definitely affect the appetite, but it will often be a short-term issue, until your body gets used to the dosage. Knowing that you will soon adjust should help you tough it out, but here a few more tips to help you during this harder time:

Choose the most filling options. Often, we make our meal and snack choices based on what we enjoy, or what’s convenient. For the next few days or weeks, try to prioritize choosing the most filling options. For example, a pack of Melba toast with a can of tuna and vegetables is more filling than a slice of bread and an ounce or two of cheese.

Eat loads of vegetables. Grill mushrooms and peppers. Sautee some riced cauliflower. Have a few extra bowls of free vegetables soup. This will help you keep your appetite in check without adding too many extra calories.

If you do feel that you really need extra food, try to get the most “bang for your buck.” A few extra egg whites, a pack of turkey slices, or an 80-calorie yogurt will take the edge off your hunger with fewer calories and cravings than a cookie or some chocolate.

Distract yourself. Make a list of ways to distract yourself, such as reading, napping, or calling a friend.

You may need to adjust your expectations, and focus on maintaining your weight rather than losing, until you feel back to normal. Hopefully these ideas will help you until the worst of it has passed! Of course, if the problem persists, speak to your health care practitioner.



Alice Harrosh, is a nutrition counselor and manager at Nutrition by Tanya, with 10 locations plus a brand-new one in Queens. Alice knows that making healthy choices is not always easy, as she has been through the struggle herself. As an optimistic person, Alice’s favorite quote is: “It’s never too late to start eating better. If you have a bad morning, make it a better afternoon.” For more information on Nutrition by Tanya or the TAP (Tanya-approved products) food line, please visit  or call 844-Tanya-Diet (844-826-9234). For daily tips and inspiration, you may follow @nutritionbytanya on Instagram.
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