Did you know that spending time in the sun can help you to lose weight? Now hang on! Before you charge off to the beach on a “weight loss program”, there are a few things you need to know about how the sun can help you to lose weight.
Lose Weight with Some Early Morning Sun
We all know that doing exercise and eating right are the key to losing weight. In fact, they’re the ONLY ways to lose weight properly. Let me start this off by saying that spending time in the sun isn’t some miracle weight loss cure that will work as if by magic. What it will do, however, is HELP to make your weight loss more effective.
In a study conducted at Chicago’s Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine, over 50 male and female volunteers wore monitors that tracked the amount of time they spent in sunlight over the course of the day. The monitors also tracked sleep patterns, and the participants all kept journals detailing what exactly they ate during the day.
At the end of the study, it turned out that those who spent more time in the sun were the ones with the lowest amount of body fat (BMI). However, intriguingly enough, those who got sun time early in the morning had an even lower BMI than those who spent time in the sun later in the day.
But how could spending time in the sun help you to lose weight? According to the author of the study, Phyllis Zee, it’s all thanks to your body’s natural circadian rhythm.
Your circadian rhythm tells your body when it’s time to sleep, when it’s time to wake up, when it’s time to work, when it’s time to take a break, etc. It’s basically your internal sleep clock, and it has control over your body’s energy systems.
When you DON’T get enough time in the sun early in the day, there’s a risk that your circadian rhythm will be thrown off. This could lead to a slowing down of your metabolism, which could in turn lead to weight gain. However, spending time in the sun at the right time of day–ergo, in the AM–could kick-start your metabolism by telling your circadian rhythm “It’s time to work!”
When and What Type of Light?
When is the best time of day to get in your sunlight time? According to this Chicago university study, the prime time is between 8 AM and 12 noon. That means you’ve got a roughly 4-hour window in which to bask in the sun, and the more you get, the merrier. (Of course, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take precautions to avoid skin cancer and UV rays. Sunscreen and sunglasses are ALWAYS recommended during sun time.)
Want to know what type of light is the best for you? Sunlight, of course!
The study found that those who benefited most from the early morning sunlight were those exposed to more than 500 lux. (Lux is a unit of light measurement) To help you understand, the brightest indoor lighting only goes up to 500 lux, while dim indoor lighting can go as low as 150 lux. Sunlight STARTS at 1,000 lux, and increases as the day gets brighter.
So, now you know how to lose weight by spending more time in the sun. Give your metabolism a boost by getting some time in the sun early in the morning, and you’ll find your body will work better all day. Plus, you’ll give your skin a healthy glow that will make it look b-e-a-utiful!