Heat satisfies hunger? Expert answer

In the summer, you always take on a few extra pounds. The reason it’s happening This is not because we are hungrier than the rest of the year, but because of other factors such as more alcohol, ice cream, sweets, less exercise, and snacking between meals.. The truth is, if we could control all this, we could lose weight in the summer And this is because of the heat: at high temperatures, food releases even more heat, which reduces appetite, as well as digestive activity and metabolic rate.

“Heat does not directly eliminate hunger because it is biologically regulated, however heat can affect our appetiteexplains Isabelle Sánchez, dietitian at bluaU de Sanitas, CuídatePlus, although she says “it always varies from one person to another.”

True, with the advent of heat and high temperatures, “the body no longer needs energy to regulate body temperature and therefore tends to have lower energy requirements” reports. When it’s very hot, he explains to CuídatePlus, Guadalupe Blay, Head of the Endocrinology and Nutrition Group of the Spanish Society of General and Family Physicians, “The body needs less energy to regulate body temperature, we sweat more and regulate temperature differently to achieve a constant core temperature of 37 degrees.”. As a result, according to Sanchez, “Possibly decreased appetite.”

This is influenced by many factors, such as the fact that “sweating more, we drink more, which causes the stomach to stop signaling hunger through ghrelin (a stomach hormone that regulates appetite and nutritional homeostasis), which reduces our desire to eat,” Blay says.

“This fluid loss due to sweating also affects electrolyte balance and causes dehydration, which affects appetite and reduces hunger,” Sanchez adds.

Another reason for loss of appetite it tastes good. As nutritionist Sanitas points out, “Heat affects our perception of food”. During the summer, “the majority of the population prefers lighter and cooler food rather than hot and heavy food.”

In any case, it’s important to listen to your body and stay adequately hydrated during heatwaves because, as Sanchez warns, “dehydration can negatively impact appetite and overall health.”

Who suffered more?

Loss of appetite in the summer can affect everyone, but it’s true that the elderly and children “are the most affected by temperature swings,” Blay says. Also, adds Sanchez“People who live in areas with very hot climates or who experience extreme heat“. To these groups, Blay also added people with hypothyroidism, “who are less tolerant of heat and generally find it difficult to eat.”

People who are physically active in hot weather “may also experience temporary loss of appetite due to the combination of heat and exercise.”

Appetite Restoration Tips (If You Want)

If you’re worried about this sudden loss of appetite due to the heat, the tips to restore it are very simple. As Sanchez recommends, “In these cases, it is recommended to eat refreshing and light foods such as fruits and vegetables, salads, cold soups and smoothies.“. These foods “provide essential nutrients and water to help keep you hydrated.”

Also recommended “eating small, frequent mealsbecause they are easier to tolerate when you don’t have much of an appetite,” says the nutritionist.

It’s also important to “avoid hot and heavy foods as they can increase feelings of discomfort and further suppress appetite, and to have a meal plan and prepare it ahead of time to ensure good nutrition.”

If we do not want to eat, but we want to drink, what can we recommend?

If we are not hungry but thirsty, a good option is to choose drinks such as “decaffeinated herbal teas such as mint or chamomile, or water with lemon wedges or mint leaves“, says Sanchez.

In extreme heat conditions, “isotonic drinks can be helpful in replenishing electrolytes lost through sweat,” he says. If we choose this type of liquids, “It’s important to read labels and avoid options that are high in sugar or additives.”he warns.

Fruit smoothies “are also a good way to get nutrients and fluids.” They can be combined with “different fruits and vegetables such as spinach or cucumber for an extra dose of nutrients, as well as adding milk or dairy products,” he suggests.

Broths or cold soups such as gazpacho “are a refreshing and nutritious option; and provide fluids, electrolytes, and some essential nutrients.”

But is it okay to drink only foods like gazpacho, cold soups or juices all day long?

According to both experts, it is not recommended to depend on drinks all day long. “If we only drink liquids such as gazpachos, cold soups or juices for several days, it is likely that we are not getting all the nutrients we need. maintain a balanced diet,” Sanchez points out. This, he warns, “can lead to a calorie deficit and lead to fatigue, weakness and loss of muscle mass.”

While foods such as gazpachos, cold soups, or juices may indeed contain certain nutrients and fluids, “they cannot be considered a complete substitute for a balanced diet.”

That’s why, “these foods may be a temporary option to get fluids and some nutrients, especially in situations where appetite is reduced. However, Sanchez notes:They should be supplemented with a variety of solid foods. ensure adequate intake of essential proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals.”

It’s important to note that “cold soups, gazpachos, and juices typically lack dietary fiber, which is a key component of a balanced diet,” Blay says. Fiber “is key to maintaining healthy and regular digestive function, as well as feeling full. Therefore, dependence solely on these products in the long term can lead to nutritional deficiencies and health problems,” he warns.

Best food for summer

Throughout the year, fruits and vegetables are important foods in the diet, but summer becomes the perfect season to eat them.

Except“Salads are a good option for summeras they are refreshing and nutritious, but they can also be used for cold dishes such as gazpacho, tabouleh, ceviche or fresh vegetable rolls.”

According to Sanchez, it is important “Include lean proteins like chicken, turkey, fish, eggs, and legumes in your diet.”. These options are “light and easy to digest”.

It is also recommended to “include healthy fats in the diet by consuming avocado, nuts and seeds. You always have to find a balance.”

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