Which Hormone is Keeping you Fat?
How the sun helps you lose weight and feel great
You have probably heard that you should avoid too much sun because of the risk of developing skin cancer. But we have probably drifted too far the other way and are not getting enough sunlight. Sun exposure has many benefits, including helping you to control weight. Here are some of the benefits of being in the sun.
Being out in the sun, especially in the morning helps to regulate your circadian rhythm. It does this by helping your body to regulate melatonin. So your body is then better able to produce melatonin when its time for you to sleep. Lack of sleep can lead to weight gain or difficulty losing weight.
Melatonin helps to lower stress and as mentioned above sunlight helps to increase melatonin levels. Being in nature also helps to increase dopamine and endorphin levels and lowers cortisol levels. Higher cortisol levels and stress make weight loss more difficult.
You are also more likely to be active when you are outside, which can also help to reduce stress.
Maintains strong bones
Your body produces vitamin D when exposed to sunlight. Vitamin D is needed to regulate calcium levels and helps to make strong bones. How much sunlight you need depends on where you live relative to the equator, the time of year and the pigmentation of your skin.
Strong bones are one thing that allows you to continue to be active and healthy throughout your life.
Helps maintain weight
We’ve looked at a couple of indirect ways sunlight helps to maintain weight with reduced stress and better sleep, but there is a correlation between being outside in the morning and being able to lose weight.
Vitamin D is also associated with the ability to maintain weight.
Stronger immune system
The increased vitamin D from being in sunlight also helps strengthen immunity.
Sunlight also boosts serotonin levels which helps to improve mood. It helps to make you feel more calm and focused, reducing feelings of depression. Exposure to sunlight in the winter also helps to reduce seasonal affective disorder.
Getting too much sun is associated with skin cancer, but sunlight might help prevent other forms of cancer. People who live in areas that get less sunlight have higher incidence of several types of cancer including colon cancer and ovarian cancer.
Might help with skin conditions
UV exposure is used to treat skin conditions like psoriasis and eczema. Exposure to the right amount of sunlight may have similar effects.
Helps you live longer
A recent study showed that people who spend more time in the sun, live longer. This is likely a secondary effect of the benefits listed above, but it’s worth looking into something as simple and enjoyable as spending a little bit of time in the sun every day.
I can help
If you are trying to lose weight and improve your health, it can be difficult to understand the different health recommendations. If you want help figuring it all out book a free nutrition assessment.