Integrative Nutrition Blog

Deconstructing Summer Cravings

July 16, 2018

Image via Shutterstock.

Cravings can happen for a variety of reasons – hormonal shifts, lack of sleep, and stress, to name a few. While cookies, chocolate, candy, or pizza are some of the most craved foods, here are a few things you may find yourself more drawn to during the warmer months – and why.

Cooling Foods
The heat of the summer may lead us to reach for cooling foods and beverages, like cucumber, watermelon, lettuce, and chilled drinks. Interestingly, eating or drinking something very cold may seem cooling at the time but may actually raise your body’s internal temperature slightly.

Salty Foods
Craving foods like potato chips, pickles, or French fries might indicate you’re dehydrated. Dehydration caused by high temperatures may lead to an increased drive to consume these salty foods in an attempt to replace electrolytes lost through sweating.

Foods Tied to Summer Memories
Summertime activities, like barbecues, eating ice cream, or picnics, are often tied to pleasant memories. This leads us to associate the foods we may have eaten at these events, like sundaes, burgers, strawberry shortcake, or pasta salad, with nice weather and a good time. A craving for these foods may indicate a nostalgic attempt to re-create those feel-good memories.

Lighter Meals
Filling bowls of pasta or chili might be great on a cold day, but in the heat, most people tend to opt for lighter dishes. In fact, research has found that both men and women tend to eat fewer calories in the summer than in the winter.

Hot weather and busy schedules also make spending time in the kitchen less appealing for many – so simple, easy-to-prepare dishes like salads become a summer staple.

What do you crave in the summer? Have you tried to deconstruct any of your summer cravings? If so, what have you discovered?

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