Do you naturally gravitate to lighter fare in warmer air? The heat of the summer often steals the body’s hunger and leaves you wanting more foods like salads, smoothies and seafood. This is not a fluke. In fact, not only does eating less during the summer feel good, it’s good for you!
How is light, summer food so beneficial?
1. Your body temperature stays low
It’s already hot outside. Why make your body work harder with heavy, hearty meals? You can keep your internal temperature in check by sipping on water infused with Meyer lemon and fresh mint. Chilled meals, such as cold soups or homemade smoothies are another smart way to stay cool.
2. You’ll be well-hydrated
Fresh, raw fruits and vegetables naturally contain more water. Therefore, eating light produce in its natural form will help keep you hydrated. Try snacking on cucumber, jicama and daikon with homemade peach salsa and sliced avocado. In just five minutes, you have a healthy, hydrating snack that will make you forget all about chips and dip.
3. You’ll control weight gain
A 2007 study uncovered a staggering stat: “children gain weight three times faster during the summer months, gaining as much weight during the summer as they do during the entire school year.” The study did not closely examine the home lives of each kid. However, the researchers suspect kids are watching too much TV and playing video games, while eating prepared junk food. Set a good example for your children by getting outside or being active at least 60 minutes every day. And always have fresh-cut summer produce on hand to keep their little hands (and yours!) out of the cookie jar. Can’t persuade them to eat fresh? There are lighter, prepared options, such as organic fruit snacks and whole-food-based protein bars.
4. You’ll avoid vacation bingeing
With subdued hunger during the summer, you’ll be less inclined to overeat – even on vacation. Of course, cravings may still rear their ugly heads. It’s hard to resist diving into a tub of ice cream when you’re sweating buckets on the beach. But once you’ve committed to fresh and whole foods, you’ll start to realize how good you feel when you DON’T overdo it.
5. Your cravings will diminish
Increased exposure to sunlight can help the body synthesize that oh-so-important neurotransmitter known as serotonin, which is responsible for a balanced mood. Carbohydrates can create the same effect. That’s why you crave them more and more. But when you’re already in good spirits, your body doesn’t ask for those processed carbs and, instead, fills up on light sun and light foods.