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Good Question: Why Don’t We Eat As Much When It’s Hot Out?

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(credit: CBS) Heather Brown
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – When the weather turns warm, Minnesotans love their outdoor barbeques and patios. But when it really turns warm, some of us start to lose our appetites.

“I would say my appetite is suppressed,” said Whitney Parkhill. “My focus is on the pool, on the lake.”

According to Debra Sheats, the director of Nutrition and Dietetics at St. Catherine University, the main reason is because our metabolism slows down during the summer.

“When it’s hot out, our body temperature is close to the environmental temperature, so we don’t have to burn as many calories to maintain our temperature as the metabolism slows our appetite goes down, too,” Sheats said.

We burn 10 percent fewer calories in the hot weather, she said, because we don’t have to work as hard to stay close to 98.6.

According to Greta Farley, a registered dietitian with Hy-Vee, we feel less hungry in the heat because we digest our food more slowly when it’s very hot.

Some people say they have no problem scarfing down a hamburger in 95 degrees. To that, Sheats says everyone’s metabolism is different and affected differently by the heat.

According to Eric Carrara, the general manager at Zelo, the restaurant changes its entire menu for the summer. He says there are few orders for beef stew, but plenty of demand for salads, asparagus and white wine.

“We are more likely to be thristy, because we’re sweating more when the temperatures are high, so we need to replace those fluids,” Sheats said.

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