If you feel like you’re constantly snacking and looking forward to your next meal during wintertime, yet you can go hours without even thinking about food in the summer, you’re not imagining things.
Your appetite can in fact change when warmer temperatures roll around.
- Between long days spent at the beach or pool, summer road trips, amusement park adventures and other activities, you may be a bit more distracted when spending time in the sunshine.
- But that’s not the only reason you’re more likely to consume fewer calories. Studies show there are a number of factors that can affect your summertime diet.
- Including something called thermoregulation your body’s heat distribution system.
- You know that (healthy) food provides your body with energy, which is used in many different ways, including temperature regulation.
- In winter months, your body may crave more food to help create more heat to keep you warm.
- When it’s warmer outside, your body needs to make less heat, so you end up unintentionally cutting calories. Summer heat also plays a role in the change.
- When you’re hot and your body is trying to sweat it out, the hypothalamus ends up paying less attention to your hunger.
- Since the digestive process generates heat, the hypothalamus tries to suppress the appetite to reduce its overall workload.
- You’re also more likely to drink more water in the summer to help cool you down, and increased water intake can also suppress appetite.
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So, if you’re eating a little less in the summer months, there’s likely no cause for concern. It’s simply your body’s way of telling you what it needs.
Do yourself a favor and drink a lot of water to help your body stay hydrated, cool and healthy. When it comes to light and healthy summer foods, here are a few you should try:
- Sprouts — Small but mighty, sprouts are packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and enzymes that help protect against free radical damage. They’re an inherently cooling food and are perfect for adding to salads, sandwiches and smoothies.
- Watermelon — Watermelon is a staple summertime food for many, and rightly so! It’s more than 91% water, which means it offers a tasty way to help you stay hydrated in the hot temps.
- Cucumbers — Cucumbers are made up of 95% water, so they’re also a healthy choice to keep you cool and hydrated. In addition to their water content, they’re packed with antioxidants that can help reduce anxiety and fight inflammation.
- Citrus fruits — Oranges, grapefruits, lemons and limes all make great additions to your summer diet. The antioxidants they contain can help fight heart disease, cancer and other health conditions linked to inflammation. Eat them fresh or squeeze them into your water for a healthy flavor boost.
- Watercress — Watercress is one of the most nutrient dense vegetables out there, and it’s perfect to help cool you down on a hot summer day. It can be eaten as a salad green, steamed as a vegetable, added to soups and sandwiches or sprouted.
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Does your appetite change in the summer? Leave your favorite summer snack in the comments below!
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Co-editor and Creator: Akanksha S.