Traditionally, obesity or being overweight has always been linked with eating fatty or junk food and having a sedentary / physically inactive lifestyle. However, only now, scientists have come up with, perhaps, the weirdest cause of one’s inability to shed those extra fatty pounds. A group of researchers from Aberdeen University, for the first time, has provided evidence for the concept of “winter weight gain”. These researchers believe that bad weather, such as a lack of sun light, makes it harder for obese people to shed those heavy pounds. However, based on the same study, they are also hopeful that it could now be possible for many to achieve the much-desired winter weight loss.
Based on several surveys and studies, researchers have suggested that weather does play a big role in determining our eating and dietary habits, controlling the way our body metabolism works and fixing the duration we sleep and perform our daily life activities for.
The vital role of vitamin D
Interestingly enough, researchers have found a close link between being overweight and the quantity of vitamin D present in our blood. It has been found that obese or overweight people tend to have lower levels of vitamin D in their blood than those who have normal body weight. The possible explanation if this is that vitamin D is made in our body when our skin is directly exposed to the sun light and in the winter months, we naturally tend to have less or minimum exposure to the sunlight.
Now, how the content of this vitamin D affects our body weight is even more interesting. It has been found that the content of vitamin D in our blood affects the working of an “obesity related” hormone known as leptin. It is this hormone, leptin, that lets our mind (brain) know that our stomach is full and we should stop eating.
Scientists and nutritionists have estimated that those who are obese or have abnormally high weight produce a tenth less vitamin D than those of normal body weight. You might ask then why obese people don’t always “actively lose weight” during the period of summer?
The answer to this logical question is even simpler.
If you are obese or over weight and are already being exposed to a sunny weather, the excess body fat on your massive body already absorbs vitamin D and stops it from getting into the blood. In other words, while your skin does “receive” sufficient sun light needed to make vitamin D, the thick layer of your body fat stops it from getting into the blood where it could be ultimately converted into the vitamin D.
Weight loss experts, therefore, highly recommend that overweight people in countries with less sunlight, e.g. Scotland or Norway, should go outside more often to get the much needed quantities of vitamin D. It should be remembered that more than a fifth of adults (both men & women) in Scotland are obese or have abnormally high weight.
Last but not least, the seasonal weather does affect our body weight in an indirect way as we are not getting enough sunlight or we do not go out much and, this eventually leads to the so called winter weight gain. Alternatively, it could also be possible because our vitamin D is locked into fat stores before it could go into our blood streams. Therefore, while practicing other methods to lose weight such as dieting, exercising and choosing the most safe and natural weight loss supplement, it is also important to have sufficient exposure to sunlight whenever and wherever possible to achieve the best results for winter weight loss.