When to Workout for Weight Loss

Morning workouts help you to kickstart your metabolism early, so you burn more calories during the day.

Morning workouts help you to kickstart your metabolism early, so you burn more calories during the day.

Are you an early riser who prefers to get in a good workout before work? Or would you rather decompress from your day by sweating it out at the gym? The timing of your workout can directly impact your weight loss success.

Getting your workout done in the morning often results in working out more overall per week. Typically, morning is the time of day when people have the least amount of obligations that may prevent them from getting their workout in. If you wait until later in the day, something might come up prohibiting you from working out or making it easier for you to bail.

Plus, morning workouts help you to kickstart your metabolism early, so you burn more calories during the day, as opposed to when you are sleeping. You’re also more likely to burn fat. Research shows when you’re fasting and exercising (ie, haven’t eaten breakfast yet) you burn fat stores instead of carbohydrates from food. But it also motivates you to be healthier. A 2012 BYU study found that after a 45-minute morning workout, women were more likely to eat less for breakfast and make healthier food choices. Moreover, they also upped their physical activity more throughout the day.

Knowing you have a morning sweat session may motivate you to hit the sack sooner, so those extra-early mornings may actually result in more sleep at night. Getting enough sleep is crucial when it comes to weight. Research has shown that people crave unhealthy food when they are sleep-deprived because levels of leptin, a hormone that tells your brain that you are full, drops by 18 percent while levels of ghrelin, which stimulates appetite, increases 28 percent. Lack of sleep also raises the stress hormone cortisol, which can lead to overeating as well.

While it may seem that morning is the best time to workout for weight loss success, there are benefits to an evening workout. Let’s face it; some of us just aren’t morning people! Nighttime workouts can help manage stress levels, which can boost your progress toward your weight loss goals. Working out helps eliminate the stress hormone, cortisol, which has been linked to an increase in belly fat. And remember, any workout is always better than no workout at all!