Does your job involve sitting inside all day (and maybe night?) Have you spent years on a weight gain-weight-loss-weight-gain roller coaster?
Could lack of sunlight be a contributing factor? My simple answer to that is “yes, most definitely”.
Without sufficient vitamin D, AKA vitamin “daylight”, your body thinks you are hibernating.
It thinks winter is coming.
So what does it instinctively do as a response?
It slows down the metabolism, encouraging you to eat more, and store lots of fat to help you to “see through the winter”.
Even when it’s not winter!
Lack of sunshine leads to weight gain.
One thing that we need to keep in mind, is that our body is always on our side. It’s always out to protect us, to help us to survive against any impending “threats” – real or perceived.
Unfortunately, however, it can’t tell the difference between a real or perceived threat.
It assumes you must be hiding out in your cave, hibernating. When in reality, you’re just sitting in front of your computer or TV.
So whenever you can, make sure you spend as much time outside as possible, and consider things like:
- Instead of spending your breaks indoors and under artificial light (and mindlessly scrolling on your mobile phone!) – allocate that time sitting outside, even if it’s cloudy as outdoor lighting has much higher illumination levels (lux) than artificial light.
- Instead of going for coffee number four, or energy drink number six – take a short walk outside to stretch, breathe in some fresh air and get some natural light exposure. Especially if your job involves sitting in front of a computer all day long.
- A daily blast of sunshine, particularly morning sun will also help to regulate your body clock, or circadian rhythm, which will give you energy during the day, and improve your sleep at night.
Mother Nature has a remarkable way of taking care of us, including helping us to acquire more energy and maintaining a healthy weight, and the best part is she doesn’t charge you for it … these strategies are completely free to implement!
P.S: It turns out that ‘Vitamin’ D is not a vitamin. It’s a steroid hormonethat is made by the skin, from cholesterol, when exposed to sunlight. It’s absolutely essential for weight loss, as it affects every cell in the body, by instructing the genes what to do.
It’s interesting how the incidence of obesity (and many other diseases) have sky-rocketed worldwide, since the 1980’s, when doctors began advising people to keep out of the sun and to use sun block. Perhaps it’s time we revisit those recommendations … in the interest of public health and workplace wellness :-).