Trying to Lose Weight? You Need to Get Out of Bed Earlier

woman happy when she sees her weight

Rise and shine! Just like plants need light to thrive, so does your internal body clock. And there's ONE specific type that actually helps keep the pounds off, no lie: It's morning light.


Weird, right? We know it sounds too easy to be true, but it's backed by research from Northwestern University that was presented recently at the annual SLEEP conference, a joint meeting of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the Sleep Research Society.

For the study, 23 women had their exposure to light monitored for a week. They also agreed to have their body fat measured, which we suspect was a humbling experience. But hey, all in the name of science.

More from The Stir: 10 Amazing Sleep Hacks That Will Make You Feel You Better Overnight

What researchers found was that people with more exposure to light earlier in the day had a lower body mass index (BMI) AND less body fat.

The reason isn't because early risers are more likely to hit the gym. (Although that would make sense.)

"Light exposure, particularly in the morning, helps to entrain our circadian rhythms," Ivy Cheung, a doctoral candidate at Northwestern's Interdepartmental Neuroscience program and the study's co-author, told The Stir.

Circadian rhythms are your body's physical, mental, and behavioral changes that follow, more or less, a 24-hour cycle.

That a.m. light serves as a powerful "biological signal" to our bodies. If we get enough, our metabolism is stabilized and our bodies supress the hormones that lead to weight gain.

Only about 20-30 minutes of daylight -- even on a cloudy day -- may be enough to affect your weight for the better.

So what are you waiting for? Set your alarm earlier ... and you might as well go for a walk while you're at it.


Image via aslysun/shutterstock

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