Research points to essential role of sunlight in lowering BMI

SunshineExerciseWith so much of the population currently overweight or obese the magical BMI number (Body Mass Index) is now receiving a lot of attention. It is even standard procedure for many doctors offices to include it in their patient forms.

And for those fixated on this important number—or those who know nothing about it, but are just trying to lose weight—some help may be just around the corner in the way of sunshine exposure.

It turns out that sunlight exposure is a big help  in lowering the BMI.

And morning sunlight is the most effective. In fact just 45 minutes of it has been shown to lower BMI in test subjects.

The problem is that morning sunlight has proven to be evasive for many people.

Increased exposure to light late in the day and less exposure to bright light in the morning is often a consequence of sleep reduction for any number of reasons—most commonly due to work or simply  choosing to stay up late watching t.v. every night.

Several studies now indicate that morning light exposure influences body fat. It also affects the level of appetite regulating hormones.

According to the scientific journal Plos One:

Recent studies suggest that manipulating sleep duration and/or light exposure in humans results in alterations in metabolic function, appetite, and body fat. Light exposure of different wavelengths in the morning for two hours immediately upon waking in sleep restricted (5 hours/night) individuals altered the levels of the satiety hormones, leptin and ghrelin.

Further support for the role of light in weight regulation comes from two intervention studies in obese women. In a study, exposure to at least 45 minutes of morning light (between 6–9 am at 1300 lux) for 3 weeks in obese women resulted in reduced body fat and appetite that was not related to differences of the subjects light exposure intervals.

Similar findings were reported in another study that combined both light and exercise compared to exercise alone in obese women and found both groups had a significant difference in BMI; however, there were greater reductions in body fat in the women in the group combining both light and exercising benefits.

So get out there and enjoy that early morning sunshine… and get an extra boost in your fat loss effort!