What Heat Means for Your Appetite
As the temperature rises our food choices are cooling down. Whether it’s frozen treats, chilled fruit, or cold salads, the shift seems natural. But what affect does temperature really have on our appetite?
My perception of a satisfying meal is a freshly cooked steaming plate of food accompanied by a cold beverage. But a hot plate could mean eating more according to research. A study of hospital patients showed those with isothermal trays ate more than those with conventional trays that allow food to naturally lose temperature. In terms of drinking a cold beverage, it may have an opposite effect on your appetite. A separate study found men were less hungry and ate less when drinking a cold vegetable juice beverage before a meal, strangely the temperature didn't affect women's appetites.
Have you noticed restaurants tend to be much cooler? It not only keeps you comfortable, but it helps keep you hungry. Research points to different reasons for a change of appetite in hot environments. Body heat regulation seems to be the primary reason we may eat lighter. A military report issued by the Institute of Medicine highlights how heat lowers our appetites. The research outlined also indicates inadequate food intake may induce cold.
Think adding a little spice to your food will help you cut calories. This may not be true for those who prefer spicy foods however. 25 men and women added one gram of red pepper to a single meal and researches tested how their appetites were affected. Half were spicy food users and the others were not. Those who were not used to spicy foods ate less, but the same was not true in those used to eating spicy foods. The results suggest after long, spicy food may not be as effective at lowering energy intake over time.
A hot meal may make you eat more, but what of staying full afterward? Research published in the Journal of Gastroenterology found hot food digests faster. Specifically, both liquid and solid hot meals showed increased gastric emptying. Drinking less during a meal and trying foods at different temperatures during the same meal may also help. If after a meal you still feel hungry, try eating raw vegetables or drinking a cold beverage 30 minutes afterward.
How does the warmer weather affect your appetite?