It is claimed that throwing open the curtains first thing in the morning and basking in the sun’s glory of morning light could help you lose weight and keep it off.
Research has shown that those people who get the most daylight exposure in the AM have significantly lower BMI’s than those who got it later on in the day.
Researchers from the Northwestern University got 54 participants for the experiment averaging age 30, they used wrist monitors and kept track on all the participants, sleep patterns, light exposure and activity levels for seven days.
They also kept a record of the clients eating patterns and food logs.
Even after all non-light exposure was taken into account, the influence of morning light on weight was staggering. It made up 20% of the subjects BMI’s, meaning those with early light exposure weighed less.
A minimum early light of 500lux was required for a lower BMI, outdoor light is equivalent to 1000lux on a cloudy day. When it is clear it can be as high as 100,000 lux, the research also shows that nighttime light exposure to tv’s smartphones etc. disrupts our circadium rhythms and contributes to obesity.
What It Means
Changing your exposure to light in regards to duration, intensity and timing could impact your waistline for the better. It isn’t known what the exact mechanism for light exposure is on the body but light could have an impact on metabolism, hunger and satiety.
The Bottom Line
Spending time in the sun will never outweigh good diet and exercise but it could still help you in regards to fighting the flab. Light is clearly a strong signal to the body , to get the most from it, aim for 20-30 mins min every morning between 8am and midday, don’t be worried about wearing sunscreen as this does not dampen the effect.
If you are not really a morning person then try these 4 simple steps to get better at getting up at a reasonable hour:
1. Let The Sun Shine – Start the day as normal but spend the first 15 mins of your day sitting or walking in the sunshine, do this everyday but get out of bed 20mins earlier each time, this will make you want to goto bed earlier but you won’t find it such a struggle to get up every morning.
2. Shut Down – Reduce how much time you spend in front of the screen each night, tv’s, tablets, smartphones and laptops emit a type of light that limits melatonin, this prevents you getting tired.
3. Strategize Daylight Hours – Save your active things like walking the dog, meeting with friends etc. for daylight hours, when the sun goes down you should be chilling out and winding down.
4. Plan For Late Nights – If you regularly stay up late because of your schedule etc. then get some blackout blinds and make sure your room is quiet and cool to get the best rest possible.
So it does seem that morning light can help weight loss along, especially when it comes to maintaining your weight as well. Please feel free to comment below.