HAVE you ever found when you go somewhere hot and sunny, you’re thinking about food less?
Meanwhile, when it’s cold and miserable in the UK, you seem to put on weight more easily?
Well, it might not actually be your fault.
Because our appetites do change according to the season.
It’s all down to something called “thermoregulation” – which is our body’s way of regulating its temperature.
Think of your body as a house for a moment.
During the cold, winter months, you need to use more energy to heat your home.
But when it gets water, you need less lecci. In fact, you start to open the windows to let heat out.
We need less energy
Well, our energy is food.
When it’s cold, we need more food to fuel us and keep us warm.
In the summer, we’re more likely to overheat – so we sweat, which is our equivalent of opening all the windows.
And very often, we’ll feel more satisfied with what we’ve eaten because we don’t need as much energy.
But the weather isn’t the only reason you might lose your appetite.
How hot you feel depends on your body’s own ability to generate heat and the very process has thermogenic effects – so confusingly, not only does heat affect appetite, but appetite may affect heat.
Stress can make you hotter
Stress also plays a massive role in body temperature.
For example, boxers have a much higher body temperature just before a fight than they do in routine practice.
Stress elevates the point at which our body starts the heating process.
A 1992 study found that normal eater automatically ate less when they were stressed.
Interestingly the opposite was found in dieters who ate more in times of distress.
Appetite depends on loads of factors, from sleep quality to hormones and sunlight.
Refinery29 says that you might crave lighter, more hydrating foods over saltier ones in the summer because they’re more refreshing.
And as you’re more likely to hang outside or simply do more things when it’s nice weather, chances are that you won’t be back home in time for a heavy meal every night.
Not always a good sign
It is worth saying that a lack of appetite isn’t always necessarily a positive thing.
People who have seasonable affective disorder may find that they’ve got less of an appetite, as well as feeling anxious and having insomnia.
Heatstroke can also put the thought of food far out of your mind.
If you’re spending long periods of time outdoors or you’re exercising outside, bear in mind that you could be at risk of heat stroke.
It’s not usually serious if you can cool down within 30 minutes but if you keep going, it can make you feel extremely ill.
Symptoms of heat stroke
The signs of heat exhaustion include:
- dizziness and confusion
- loss of appetite and feeling sick
- excessive sweating and pale, clammy skin
- cramps in the arms, legs and stomach
- fast breathing or pulse
- temperature of 38C or above
- being very thirsty
To cool down quickly:
- move to a cool place
- lie down with your feet raised slightly
- drink plenty of water or sports drinks
- cool your skin with water or a wet flannel – ice packs around the armpit and neck are good too
If you’re still feeling ill after 30 minutes or if your temperature goes above 40’C, then ring 999.
MORE ON WEIGHT LOSS
So if you are looking to get healthier, you might find that the summer is the best time to do it in.
You’re naturally going to crave refreshing fruits and salads – and (hopefully) the weather is good enough to be active outdoors.
Just don’t overdo it in the sun in the name of dieting.
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