If you’ve had weight loss surgery, or are considering it, then you know when you leave the hospital the hard work begins. You must stick with a healthy diet and an active lifestyle to see optimal results. A new study shows that another factor might affect your body mass index (BMI).
Researchers from Northwestern University followed 54 volunteers closely to see what factors might affect BMI. They wore specialized wrist monitors that recorded their sleep patterns and light exposure. They also kept track of other behaviors such as exercise, eating, and drinking.
After compiling the results, researchers found that the one factor that seemed to play a part in a lower BMI involves exposure to bright light early in the morning. The researchers said the key was to bask in light of at least 500 lux, and that such light was most valuable when the exposure came early in the day.
Light throughout the day was helpful, but there was something unique about early morning light. They’re not sure what it is, but one possibility is the fact that morning light contains more wavelengths in the blue portion of the spectrum, which tends to affect the circadian system. When light exposure was delayed, the corresponding BMI rose with every hour that went by.
The 500 lux is not difficult to achieve. Most offices provide that much, and bright sunlight will offer 10,000 lux. Further study is needed to prove any type of causation, but for now there does seem to be some correlation between exposure to bright morning light and a lower BMI.
If you’re working on weight loss after surgery, this is something to keep in mind. A healthy diet, an active lifestyle, and now a dose of early morning light may help in lowering your BMI.
For more information about bariatric surgery, contact us.