For a lot of us, the cold weather and dark mornings of the winter months equal cravings for “comfort food” and the increased desire to sleep in.
It’s bliss, really. Who doesn’t love a giant bowl of pasta and glass of red wine, and a Saturday sleep-in on a chilly morning?
On the flip side; opting for healthier options and living a more active lifestyle seems to become a lot easier when summer rolls around. In fact, most people would say they actually feel less hungry when it’s hot outside.
So why do the rich food cravings seem to subside in summer? Is it our bodies telling us we don’t need the extra calories for energy to warm up, or simply a new craving arising for fresh, vibrant meals?
I consulted two experts to find out if the seasons actually have any impact on our appetites, and what they had to say was very interesting.
Listen: The problem with saying “summer bodies are made in winter”. Post continues after audio.
Nutritionist Jennifer May said the noticeable change in appetite from winter to summer was likely due to the production of cortisol and serotonin.
Cortisol, a hormone which gives us energy, is produced with stimulation from sunlight, while serotonin makes us feel calm and is stimulated by starchy foods such as carbs, Jennifer explains.
“Cortisol is produced each morning between 5-7am in a healthy human,” she said.