19 Apr How a Sunny Striptease Can Help Your Weight and Wellbeing
Get Your Body Clock in Sync to Optimize Your Weight Loss Results.
Turn Your Face to the Sun and the Shadows Fall Behind You.
I recently discovered a very effective weight loss method: losing appetite due to depression. I had my visa for Dubai delayed and ended up spending longer time than expected at my parents’ place in my native Sweden.
It was the usual freezing, dark Swedish winter. I was fine to start with, taking daily walks and socializing with friends, doing the usual things. But one day the darkness just hit me: I didn’t want to get out of bed, and I didn’t want to eat or do anything.
I was terrified but I kept manically repeating in my head: “This is not the real me, it’s just a natural consequence of my environment, it will pass, it’s not me, it will be ok…”
It’s not the first time that I’ve suffered from winter depression, and it’s one of the main reasons why I’ve chosen to live in sunny countries. Thankfully, I felt better as soon as I managed to get to Dubai. One month in the sun, I now feel like a completely different person.
My Swedish winter adventure was a good reminder of how important the body’s circadian rhythm is for health and wellbeing.
The circadian rhythm is the cycle telling the body when to do physical activities such as sleep, rise, and eat. This pattern is influenced by factors in the environment, like sunlight. That’s why a dark winter can disrupt the circadian rhythm and cause symptoms as in my case depression.
Circadian disruptions are not only about starvation mode in the Swedish wilderness, though. Today’s modern society offers a smörgåsbord of deviations from humans’ natural state of being and they’re so common that we might not even reflect on them. Artificial lights, ElectroMagnetic Fields (EMFs), traveling between time zones… Staying in sync is not the easiest!
The effects can be devastating. Not wanting to eat was not a fun experience for me but neither is putting on weight, which is also a possible consequence.
But we don’t have to become cavemen again to regain health. Let’s look at the simple and natural hacks that we can empower ourselves with on a daily basis, to make sure that we’re in sync for optimal weight and health!
1. Walk in the Sunshine for 20 Minutes
Research has shown that a morning walk for a minimum of 20 minutes is linked to a slimmer body since the daylight boosts the metabolism. I think it also helps psychologically to start the day off with a healthy action: it sets the tone for a wholesome day!
As a bonus, the sun gives us vitamin D. A deficiency of this vitamin can lead to both depression and weight gain – so expose as much of your skin as you can (without getting arrested or cancer)!
This tip is important even for us living in sunny countries since 90% of UAE’s population has a vitamin D deficiency. If you choose to supplement with a vitamin, make sure that you pick a high-quality brand. Here is a good supplementation guide.
2. Connect to the Earth’s Energy
Just like we get energy from the sun, we also get it from the earth. Footwear and spending a lot of time indoors has caused a disconnection to the earth, which can disturb our circadian rhythms. The solution is called earthing, which is as simple as connecting to the ground by walking barefoot on grass or the beach.
My favorite time to use earthing is when flying between different time zones, as it can eliminate jet lag! I know, it sounds too good to be true. But after trying it while flying back and forth across several continents last year without any jet lag, I’m a believer.
3. Adapt to Your Chronotype
The idea behind chronotypes is that people have different timings for their internal body clocks. Some are alert in the morning while others feel more energetic in the evenings, for example.
The excellent book The Power of When is based on extensive research and introduces us to four different chronotypes: Lion, Bear, Dolphin, and Wolf. Each chronotype has its optimal schedule for when to eat, sleep, exercise and so on. Following this schedule will result in optimized health and weight.
Take this fun and quick quiz to figure out your chronotype, and try the tips to see if they make a difference! I’m amazed by how accurate and helpful the test is. If nothing else, finding out that I’m a morning Lion has taken away my guilt for being the dork leaving events early. Instead, I’m making the most out of my early mornings.
4. Protect Yourself Against Artificial Light
The artificial light that bombards us all day long tricks our bodies into thinking that it’s morning for a lot longer. The result can be disturbed sleep, which in turn can lead to obesity and other illness.
If you have a private room at work and it’s light enough naturally, keep the lights off (that’s what I do). Install the free software f.lux, and it will simulate a sunset on your computer screen in the evening (you’ll still be able to see the screen well). If you’ve got an iPhone, turn on Night Shift for the same function.
If you don’t mind looking like a freak, get a pair of blue-blocking glasses. Anything to stay in shape, right?