Feeling less hungry during the summer season is a very normal occurrence. Apparently, there’s some science behind it, but in my opinion, it’s also common sense. Think about it. When the weather is hot and sunny, you’re more likely to want to get outside and do more than you would when it’s freezing cold. You might want to enjoy long morning walks on the beach, sunrise yoga classes, hiking trips and sneaky getaways. Maybe even a few parties with your friends and cocktails after work.
This summertime excitement has a way of throwing us way off track, especially in terms of our daily nutrition requirements. It’s not necessarily a bad thing either, it just means you’re living life happily and freely. Just watch out for how you keep your body fueled properly and don’t deprive it because you’re feeling less hungry.
There are a variety of reasons summer time might affect your health and fitness routine. It’s either because the weather is hot or your body doesn’t crave as much energy to keep warm. Or, because you’re just a lot busier in general. There might be some research to explain this a little more. I know that when the weather is amazing outside, the last thing on my mind is the next meal. I’m more focused on what to do next…
Feeling Less Hungry Is Okay
Bear in mind, your body is always changing. That’s why it’s crucial to foster a close relationship and connection between your mind and body. Listen to it. If you do this, you’ll know exactly when it signals to you that it’s hungry. So if you’re feeling less hungry during the summer season – don’t stress. Just be sure you are not depriving yourself of healthy nutrition.
In fact, researchers evaluated this concept quite a few years ago. Some studies go back to the ’90s. They explored a concept called, ‘thermoregulation’ or body heat regulation. They did this because they were also interested in discovering why our appetites fluctuate depending on certain environments. Feeling less hungry, or more is due to a variety of factors. However, the factor we are all certain of is that food provides our bodies with energy which we need to survive.
When you put energy into your body, you are then able to regulate your entire body temperature. There are some scientists who believe that we tend to eat more during colder seasons because our bodies are trying to create more heat. Therefore, if you’re feeling less hungry during Summer, it makes sense. Your body requires less heat to stay warm, which means less food.
Science Behind Feeling Less Hungry
Having said that, there are many different reasons why one’s appetite can change. It’s certainly not purely because of a change in temperature. There are hormones and emotional changes at play. Many of these can alter how hungry you feel, your cravings and levels of satiety.
Who else feels as if they can binge eat quite easily during cold seasons, but the thought of eating anything is a mission during very hot times? This is apparently very common. According to nutritionist and physiologist, Ritesh Bawri, there are several theories about why we feel less hungry in summers or more in winters. He says that theories believe that when there is less light our body naturally begins to crave food to store it. This is because your body thinks it’s not going to get any more. The other is that food helps to keep the body warm. That’s why during summer you crave light and fresh, hydrating meals versus the heavy and salty ones you crave in the winter.
The other side of things is that you’re probably feeling less hungry because you’re so busy with your hike or summer tennis game that food takes a backseat. It might also be because you have limited time during summer to eat so you’d rather have one big filling meal than many small ones. Or perhaps you prefer small and light snacks to graze on throughout the day. Another factor, which Refinery 29 points out, is the constant messaging from diet culture, telling you that you need to be eating lighter or less food in general over the summer. This is where food gets confusing and once again, social media makes things difficult.
Watch Out: Feeling Less Hungry Might Be Emotional
Be sure to keep a check on your mental health as well. Sometimes, drastic changes in your appetite can mean a change in your state of mind. Whilst feeling less hungry during summer is normal, it can also be a sign of a disorder like the seasonal affective disorder (SAD). This is common in the summer and you might notice a significant loss of appetite, trouble sleeping and sometimes even weight gain and anxiety.
Whatever the cause might be for you personally, the most important thing to do is listen to your body’s natural hunger cues. This is vital during the summer season because you need to get enough macroutrients to suit your needs. Lastly, it’s very important to stay hydrated which means drinking lots of water (more than you think) throughout the day. Try keeping a water bottle with you throughout the day. Not only will this keep you hydrated, but it also ensures that your body temperature is regulated and replenished with fluids that you lose from sweat. If your plan is to participate in a variety of activities during the Summer, then you need to be sure your body is adequately fueled.
Feeling Less Hungry Shows That You’re Alive
Any change in your body’s natural processes demonstrates that you are a living, breathing organism. Your body is constantly working to keep you alive. When the weather is hot, you’re going to sweat more because the water content in your body evaporates t regulate body temperature through sweat. The hypothalamus controls this process to keep you cool, and also recognizes when you are hungry or satisfied. Therefore, when you are sweating a lot, the hypothalamus tends to pay less attention to your hunger.
According to Bawri, the digestive process also generates a certain amount of heat, which is suppressed by the hypothalamus in order to control its workload. Therefore, this might also be why you start feeling less hungry during summer seasons. All the more reason to drink water!
In addition, Bawri says that it’s your body mass index (BMR) that changes between winters and summers. Your body has to work harder to keep you alive. Therefore, minor changes in your BMR requirement could appear to be a significant increase or decrease in hunger levels.
The bottom line: Everybody is designed with a system that ensures we are equipped to eat. Therefore, whenever you experience low sodium or potassium levels, you will feel compelled to eat. Feeling less hungry does not always mean you don’t need to it, but at the same time, you shouldn’t force yourself to eat either.
Establish a healthy and strong connection to better understand what you do and don’t require. It also helps to understand what calories are and what will create a balanced diet. Be mindful about the food choices you make and stay clear of food that’s not going to benefit you. It also might help to keep foods light and fresh during the hotter times of the year, to keep yourself on track!
Skye is a Holistic Lifestyle Blogger, Entrepreneur and Movement Instructor. She loves changing people's lives and believes you should always strive to be your best! Her brand, Skyezee FashionFit pty (LTD) shares the latest in well-fashion, conscious living, and daily movement. She wants to help others achieve a happy balance by sustaining a conscious, longevous lifestyle. She shares content that helps others tap into the intricacies of our bodies, environments, feelings, and minds.
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The mind, body, and soul must connect.
She specializes in mixed movement classes including her very own Jump Rope HIIT, boxing-inspired workout called Jump Fit. Moreover, she teaches a Skyezee Movement class which includes elements from yoga, martial arts, and dance.
She has a keen interest in high-quality, activewear apparel and represents different brands. Lastly, she believes that the best results are achieved by doing something you love! The point is to have fun, explore and move more, eat good food and get outside of your comfort zone.
The content in this editorial is for general information only and is not intended to provide medical or other professional advice. For more information on your medical condition and treatment options, speak to your healthcare professional.