Body Mass Index, or BMI, is a body fat scaling system based on your height and weight. This makes BMI an effective tool for measuring your general physical fitness, and Healthline reported on a recent study about a small part of your day that could be greatly affecting your BMI. While it is obvious that healthy diet and exercise can reduce the amount of fat you’re carrying around, you may be surprised to learn one simple tip that can make a big difference.

weight loss measurement around waist

If you’re wondering what the secret is, it’s simple… go soak up the morning sun! A recent study at Northwestern University found that those who are exposed to bright morning sunlight have lower BMIs than those who are not. Dr. Phyllis C. Zee, director of the Circadian Rhythms and Sleep Research Program at Northwestern’s Feinberg School of Medicine, suggests at least 20-30 minutes of sun exposure between the hours of 8 am and noon for best results.

Why does this tip work? According to research, light exposure is necessary to maintain your internal clock, thereby controlling and even increasing your metabolism. The “internal clock” refers to circadian rhythms, which are internal physical and mental cycles over the span of a day. These rhythms are critical in your sleep-wake schedule, meaning abnormal rhythms may play into obesity.

happy woman in nature during sunset

Conducting your day within these rhythms will help you to not only sleep better at night, it may also boost your metabolism, both which may help you reach your BMI goals. These rhythms can also make waking up in the morning easier, which may just get you motivated for an early morning workout. Long story short, morning light jumpstarts your body and helps it run more efficiently throughout the entire day.

If soaking up the morning sun isn’t shrinking your BMI as quickly as you would like it to, remember there are foods and exercises to melt the fat away. To read Healthline’s full article, click here.