Shed Pounds with Morning Sunshine and Pepper? See How New Research Changes the Game

Over 80 million Americans are considered obese with a body mass index (BMI) above 30. Obesity is a growing public health crisis, raising the risk of cancer, cardiovascular diseases, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, arthritis, and a long list of other conditions. Many people struggle with losing weight and keeping it off due to a multitude of factors, from an evolutionary perspective, the problem lies in storing energy.

When you lose 5% or 10% of your weight, your body views this as unhealthy and attempts to halt the loss. The body interprets the reduction in food as an emergency, producing hormones that encourage you to eat more and store fat. Losing weight becomes even more difficult when levels of these fat-promoting hormones can persist for at least a year after weight loss.

Attaining Satisfaction

Achieving satiety is essential for staying on track with long-term weight loss, particularly when the body is re-adjusting. Nutrient-dense meals can fuel the body, help us feel satisfied, reduce cravings, and limit extra fat storage. First, consume foods with a low glycemic index which measures how rapidly the body digests and processes glucose from food. Low-index foods are lower in starch and sugars and are absorbed by the body more slowly, providing energy over a few hours.

Vegetables like greens, broccoli, cauliflower, celery, and cucumber are ideal low glycemic foods. Sprouted whole grains, raw nuts, seeds, and other sources of high-quality protein are also helpful in minimizing glucose spikes.

Countering Stress Hormones

Spikes in blood sugar generate stress hormones like cortisol, epinephrine, and glucagon, which trigger inflammation, impair immunity, and tell the body to store fat. Increase your healthy stress-relief practices like meditation, social support, and spending time in nature. Getting adequate sleep is also a crucial part of the equation.

Exercise helps control weight and stress, boosting metabolism and balancing cortisol. Yoga, tai chi, and qi gong can lower stress levels, balance hormones, and counter weight gain.

Importance of Early Morning Light

Exposure to early morning light can help maintain a healthy BMI. Researchers at Northwestern found that early morning light exposure is associated with lower BMI. Light exposure between 8 a.m. and noon can affect BMI and is a significant factor that influences circadian rhythms, regulating various processes in the body, particularly hormone function.

Herbs and Supplements

Black pepper is a secret weapon in weight loss; piperine, its spicy active ingredient, tells the body not to produce fat cells. Green tea is another excellent supplement to a weight-control program since it stimulates metabolism.

Boost the health of your gastrointestinal system with probiotics. Fermented foods like organic low-fat yogurt, kefir, kimchi, and sauerkraut are rich in probiotic bacteria. Various botanicals are known to support digestion and help with weight control. Ginger reduces acid reflux and inflammation; pomegranate seed strengthens digestion by boosting enzyme production; and tangerine fruit helps with nutrient absorption, controlling bloating and stimulating lymph flow.

Even when faced with an entire army of hormones working against your weight loss efforts, by carefully choosing a diet, leading a healthy lifestyle, and using supplements, you can achieve balance and satisfaction.