Skip Nav
How to Exercise For Weight Loss
Weight Loss Tips
An Expert Explains How to Exercise For Long-Term Weight Loss, and It Makes So Much Sense
Workouts
The 11 Biggest Fitness Myths Trainers Wish You Would Stop Believing
lululemon
Lululemon's New SoulCycle Collection Has Arrived, and We're All Ready to Tap It Back
Workouts
These Are the Hip Stretches Your Body Needs Stat
Weight Loss
You Will Be Floored After Seeing These Women Who've Lost 100 Pounds!

Study Finds Sunlight Shrinks Fat Cells

Winter Weight Gain Is Real — This New Study Says Lack of Sunlight Leads to Obesity

Many of us feel a little puffier in the Winter, but as it turns out, there's some unexpected science behind it. Winter weight gain might not just come from those extra Christmas cookies — it could be due to a lack of sunshine! Our bodies really do miss that Summer sun; a study came out today and showed that a little bit of sunshine is not only good for some vitamin D and a happy mood, but it may reduce fat and regulate metabolism as well.

The Jan. 10 study from the University of Alberta concluded that "lack of sufficient bodily exposure to sunlight" (read: not getting enough rays) "may contribute to long-term scWAT [subcutaneous white adipose tissue] dysfunction and the current epidemics of obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease."

If you just stopped and said, "Whoa, wait . . . wtf is subcutaneous white adipose tissue?" — it's fat. But not just any fat! "[scWAT] is the major fat depot in humans and is a central player in regulating whole body metabolism," the study said. And this particular type of fat — the one that needs the sun's light — plays a vital role in your metabolism. Gives a whole new meaning to "Summer body," doesn't it?

ADVERTISEMENT

"When the sun's blue light wavelengths — the light we can see with our eye — penetrate our skin and reach the fat cells just beneath [the skin's surface], lipid droplets reduce in size and are released out of the cell. In other words, our cells don't store as much fat," Peter Light, senior author of the study and professor of pharmacology and the director of UAlberta's Alberta Diabetes Institute told ScienceDaily. "If you flip our findings around, the insufficient sunlight exposure we get eight months of the year living in a northern climate may be promoting fat storage and contribute to the typical weight gain some of us have over winter."

Yet another reason to get outside for extra daylight, yes? Just remember to use that SPF and take care of your skin, too. Peter Light warned that "this finding is only an initial observation and that pursuing exposure to sunlight is not a safe or recommended way to lose weight," according to ScienceDaily. But while studies continue to be conducted and this topic is further explored, maybe try one of those sun-simulating indoor lights.

From Our Partners
Does Working Out in the Morning Boost Your Metabolism?
Will Eating 1 Avocado Every Day Help With Weight Loss?
What Is the Planet Diet?
Do Low-Calorie Diets Lower Metabolism?
How Many Macros Do I Need to Lose Weight?
How Many Grams of Sugar Per Day to Lose Weight
Chobani Launches Vegan Yogurt Line
Selma Blair's Instagram Post About Multiple Sclerosis
Crepini Egg White Thins
How Many Calories Should I Eat in a Day?
Spotify's Top Workout Songs 2019 Infographic
WW Chicken Recipes
From Our Partners
Latest Fitness
All the Latest From Ryan Reynolds