28 June 12 Does Hot Weather or Hot Food Affect Appetites?

It seems that summer and hot weather can affect more than our exercise regimen and sodium levels. Studies are showing that hot weather, and warm foods, can affect our appetites as too.

Of course, who doesn't like a wedge of ice-cold watermelon or a scoop of ice cream on a hot day? But there may be some science behind that. A report put together by the military and published by the Institute of Medicine shows that heat lowers our appetites. As our bodies attempt to keep cool, we tend to crave lighter and cooler foods. Perhaps this is why restaurants are kept so cold, as it may encourage people to eat more. The solution to eating less: choose to eat outside on the patio when you can and you may find yourself a little less hungry.

It's not only the ambient temperature that can affect our appetites. The temperature of the food itself can play an important role. One study of hospital patients showed that those who received warm food on isothermal trays ate more than those who received meals on conventional trays that allowed the food to cool more quickly.

Furthermore, a hot meal may not last you as long in terms of feeling full. A study in the Journal of Gastroenterology found that warm foods digest faster than cool ones. The effect is compounded when one drinks while eating warm foods, as the combination increases gastric emptying. A suggestion to reverse this is to drink less while eating and eat different foods at different temperatures during the same meal. If you still find yourself hungry after a warm meal, you can drink a cold beverage about 30 minutes afterwards or munch on some raw vegetables to stave off the feeling of hunger.

It might not be a bad idea to keep track of outside temp if eating outdoors, or even food temperature, occasionally in your food journal to see if it truly affects your appetite.

Ryan Newhouse

Ryan Newhouse is the Marketing Director for MyNetDiary and writes for a variety of publications. He wants you to check out MyNetDiary on Instagram!

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Disclaimer: The information provided here does not constitute medical advice. If you are seeking medical advice, please visit your healthcare provider or medical professional.

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Weight Loss/Appetite & Satiety

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