What to Eat When Nothing Sounds Good – 50 Ideas + Why You May Feel This Way

As someone who has battled with appetite and stomach issues for years, I know what it’s like to struggle with what to eat when nothing sounds good. Your body feels weak, your mind is dizzy, and your vision is blurred, but food still sounds awful, no matter what you think of putting in your mouth. […]

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As someone who has battled with appetite and stomach issues for years, I know what it’s like to struggle with what to eat when nothing sounds good. Your body feels weak, your mind is dizzy, and your vision is blurred, but food still sounds awful, no matter what you think of putting in your mouth.

Luckily, these feelings don’t last forever, and even when you feel like you can’t take a single bite, certain foods can jumpstart your appetite, even when it feels impossible to keep anything down. 

If you’re struggling with what to eat when nothing sounds good, or are simply looking for some meal inspiration, keep reading for 50 things to eat. Plus, why you may feel this way and tips to make eating easier. 

Salad in a bowl
learnlively / Instagram

4 Reasons Why Food Might Not Sound Good

Food not sounding good these days? Here are four reasons your appetite may be blocked and food sounds unappealing. 


One of the most common symptoms of pregnancy is loss of appetite and food not sounding good. This is especially true if you’re battling morning sickness and have your head in the toilet for half of the day. 

Growing a little human can be nausea-inducing and create aversions to foods you never had issues with before, so it’s all about finding that fare your body will accept rather than reject. 

Though if you really can’t keep anything down, discuss your stomach sickness with your doctor, as this can point towards something more serious. 

Mental Health

Mental health can also seriously harm one’s appetite. Conditions like depression, anxiety, and OCD can make it seem like eating is impossible, even when your body really needs food. While mental health struggles typically start in the mind, they can translate to greater problems throughout the body and manifest in appetite loss, nausea, and inability to keep food down. 

A 2009 study out of Bridgewater University found that gastrointestinal issues can be directly linked to physiological factors such as anxiety and depression. In fact, those with heightened or more frequent states of anxiety reported greater GI issues, including nausea and recurrent abdominal pain. So if you don’t know what to eat when nothing sounds good, consider your mental health as a possible roadblock, and avoid foods that trigger anxiety like caffeine and refined sugars. 


Food might not sound good because of general illness, infection, or chronic disease. If you can’t eat all of a sudden and are experiencing other physical symptoms, this can be a sign of sickness, as your body is trying to actively fight whatever’s made its way into your system. Try to eat what you can and consult a doctor to understand what’s actually going on in your body. 

You’re Not Actually Hungry

The last reason why food may not sound good is that you aren’t actually hungry in the first place. Bored eating is a real thing and is driven by emotion (not a need to eat). If you can’t find anything that sounds good, chances are you need something to do, not something to eat. 

What to Eat When Nothing Sounds Good: 60 Meal Ideas

If you’re struggling to keep food down and are constantly asking yourself, “what do I want to eat?” I’ve compiled this list of what to eat when nothing sounds good based on real-life experience. These are my go-to meals whenever my stomach feels blocked and helps to get my eating back on track ASAP. 

overnight oats with chocolate and raspberries
eatinghealthytoday / Instagram

What to Eat for Breakfast When Nothing Sounds Good

When nothing sounds good for breakfast, try these easy meals:

  1. Scrambled eggs and dry toast
  2. Plain or vanilla yogurt with fresh fruit
  3. Fruit smoothie with yogurt and protein powder
  4. Cereal with milk
  5. Overnight oats
  6. Chia pudding with protein powder
  7. Fresh fruit salad
  8. Toast with avocado, cherry tomatoes, and flakey salt
  9. Bagel with cream cheese
  10. Mushroom omelet
  11. Simple frittata

It can be so tempting to skip breakfast when nothing sounds good to eat, but resist the urge! Your body needs fuel and the key to a good day is often a filling breakfast. Even if you don’t want to eat, find something easy to line your stomach before leaving the house (and no, coffee doesn’t count). Your midday self will say a huge thank you when you can focus on your tasks due to starting your day with good energy. 

If you don’t have time or can’t be bothered with cooking in the morning, prep easy breakfasts like muffin cup frittatas or overnight oats beforehand. Total lifesaving game changer. 

What to Eat for Lunch When Nothing Sounds Good

Lunchtime hits, but everything sounds gross… Here’s what to eat:

  1. Grilled chicken salad with veggies, grains, and seeds
  2. Grilled chicken bowl with rice and steamed veggies
  3. Pasta with pesto or tomato sauce
  4. Rotisserie chicken on a bun with coleslaw (revolutionary)
  5. Miso soup with a side of white rice and edamame
  6. Chicken quesadilla with sour cream
  7. Peanut butter sandwich with carrot sticks
  8. Deli turkey wrap with lettuce and cheese
  9. Orzo salad with chickpeas and fresh veggies
  10. Mediterranean plate with hummus, pita, veggies, olives, and feta
  11. Falafel wrap
  12. Grilled cheese and tomato soup
  13. Caprese salad

If you don’t feel like cooking lunch, many of these items can be found premade at the store. Trader Joe’s and other grocery stores have awesome pregrilled chicken to save you the work (and dishes) and lots of ready-made meals if you just want to grab and go. It’s generally double the price but a fraction of the effort, which is really worth it when your body simply needs fuel. 

eatinghealthytoday / Instagram

What to Eat for Dinner When Nothing Sounds Good

Easy, quick, and nourishing for a body in need, instead of asking yourself, “what sounds good for dinner?” cook these: 

  1. Chicken noodle soup (aka Jewish penicillin) 
  2. Toaster oven nachos with ground beef and guacamole
  3. Box mac n cheese with spinach (Annie’s white cheddar shells are supreme)
  4. Trader Joe’s frozen dumplings
  5. Pasta with olive oil and salt
  6. Frozen black bean burger with toppings
  7. Pre-made chicken nuggets
  8. Microwave loaded baked potato
  9. Grain bowl with quinoa, chicken, and veggies
  10. Ground beef tacos
  11. Veggie and egg fried rice
  12. Frozen pizza (no shame)
  13. Chicken lettuce wraps
  14. Vietnamese beef pho (the ultimate cure-all)
  15. Sheet pan chicken and veg
  16. Udon stirfry or soup with thinly sliced beef
  17. Meat skewers with mashed potatoes
  18. Slow cooker lentil curry
  19. Sheppards pie

My personal go-to is chicken noodle soup, which I could easily eat every meal for the rest of my life. It’s soft on the stomach with lots of protein, carbs, and veggies. But for more substance, grain bowls never miss, especially when they’re brimming with chicken or beef and lots of crunchy stuff! 

That said, there’s no shame in heating up something from the frozen section. Whether it’s pizza, quick Chinese, or Trader Joe’s finest, follow your heart… uh, I mean stomach. 

And remember, the slow cooker is your best friend. Throw something on before heading to work in the morning, and you’ll have a hearty meal waiting for you when you get home, which takes the guesswork out of putting together dinner. 

bright smoothie bowl
veganiina / Instagram

What to Snack on When Nothing Sounds Good

Low effort while packing a huge punch… now that’s a snack I can get behind. Here are some healthy snack ideas to eat when nothing sounds good but your body needs a pick-me-up in between meals. 

  1. Rice cake with chicken salad
  2. Celery and peanut butter
  3. Fresh veggies with ranch dressing
  4. Homemade pizza bagel
  5. Pretzels with hummus
  6. Instant noodles
  7. Popcorn
  8. Charcuterie board with your favorite meats and cheese
  9. Snickers bar
  10. Apple and peanut butter
  11. Bruchetta on toast
  12. Nuts like pistachios, almonds, or cashews
  13. Chips with guac and homemade pico de gallo (so easy!)
  14. Granola or protein bars
  15. Frozen fruit
  16. Onigiri (Japanese rice balls)
  17. Homemade trail or Chex mix with all your favorites 

The trick with snacks when you have a low appetite is to pick something small but mighty. Foods with a heavy fat or protein content are great for getting you through those mid-day lulls without making you feel sluggish or gross. 

Focus on fresh, yummy foods, and don’t be afraid to keep on snacking! Your body needs fuel, and snacks are an awesome way to recharge. 

Tips for What to Do When Nothing Sounds Good to Eat

“Just eat something” is much easier said than done for someone with a blocked stomach. While our bodies may be craving sustenance, it’s easy for our minds to reject it and, in turn, make our bodies dismiss food as well. 

Here are some final tips on what to eat when nothing sounds good that will hopefully make it easier to get that much-needed meal down. 

colorful toast with veggies and fruit
veganiina / Instagram

Find Your Failproof Meal

When nothing in the world sounds good to eat, it’s extremely important to have one meal to turn to. Whether it’s something you can freeze like chicken noodle soup (that’s mine!) or a simple snack like mashed potatoes (my friend Maggie’s go-to), it’s crucial to know what to eat when you can’t get anything else down. 

Make a list of your go-to foods and keep it close. These foods can be something you whip up quickly at home or always have on hand when a lack of appetite strikes. Even if it’s your favorite meal from that pricey restaurant down the street, add it to the list, so you have somewhere to turn. 

Focus Only on Eating

When it does come time to eat, but nothing sounds good, it can really help to focus on eating and only eating. Put your phone away, close your laptop, limit distractions, and sit down at the table in front of your food. Don’t get up until you finish. You’ll find that with nothing else to do, you’ll be able to focus on your meal fully, rather than the dozens of other things going on in your life. Slowing down can make all the difference when it comes to nourishing yourself with good food. 

Eat Healthy, Filling Meals

If nothing sounds good and you’re not eating much, it’s extra important to eat healthy and filling meals when you can. Skip the crappy processed foods and opt for something high in protein, fiber, and healthy fat like chicken, avocado, and nuts. This will keep you going for longer, which is especially important if you’re eating infrequently. Plus, your body is craving good fuel, so if you can feed it plenty of vitamins you’ll reap the benefits through your energy time and time again. 

It’s also worth remembering that the more meals you skip, the harder it will be to get back on track. So try to always eat something during normal meal times, even if it’s just a few bites of something nourishing, to keep your system going. 

charcuterie board with lake and mountains in background
veganiina / Instagram

Meal Prep in Advance

One of the biggest barriers to eating (especially when you’re not hungry) is having to cook. Eliminate this barrier to mealtime by prepping in advance. Rather than spending time cooking every day, set aside a few hours on a Sunday to cook wholesome meals that can be stored and tucked into throughout the week.

Meal prep can be really easy, too. Simply fill a sheet pan with all sorts of vegetables and meats, and chuck it in to roast. Then turn it into grain bowls or salads. You can even meal prep using your slow cooker by making chilis, stews, and soups that you can refrigerate or freeze to eat at a later date. Vegetarian meal prep is even easier as you don’t have to cook any meat. 

The only issue with meal prep is it can be hard to eat the same foods over and over again. To combat this, add variety to your meal prepping routine by cooking with different proteins, veggies, and sauces, even if they’re all going over the same kind of grain. 

If you cook in advance, you’ll always have something to eat. And even when nothing sounds good, you’re unlikely to let your hard efforts go to waste by skipping mealtime. 

Remember that Food is Fuel

At the end of the day, it’s important to continually remind yourself that food is fuel. Whether it sounds good or not, food is vital to your survival as a human being, and the best thing you can do for yourself is to eat, despite not having an appetite. Every bite is a win, every meal is an accomplishment, and through it all, your body will thank you for keeping it well nourished, even when eating is the hardest thing you’ve done all day. 

Jane Elmets
Jane is an avid hiker, skier, and lover of adventure. She's passionate about comfy clothing, spending time outside, and leaving the world a better place than she found it.