What's the best time to exercise to lose weight? Science might have the answer

If you are happen to be a 'morning person', we have some GREAT news for you…

best time to exercise to lose weight
(Image credit: Getty Images)

There is no silver bullet for quick weight loss but a recent research suggests that timing the exercise right might help you lose and maintain weight loss on the long run. Should you workout early morning, late morning, in the afternoon or in the evening? One thing is for sure: regular exercise and consistency will help both weight loss and getting healthier too.

The research is called "Relationship of Consistency in Timing of Exercise Performance and Exercise Levels Among Successful Weight Loss Maintainers" and it was published in July 2019, concluding that "among temporally consistent exercisers, 47.8% were early-morning exercisers". What this means is that people who were exercising early-morning were most likely to keep on exercising and therefore losing belly fat on the long run.

Evening exercisers came in second place (25.1%), followed by late-morning people (15.6%) and finally, those who exercised in the afternoon (11.4%).

Withings Body Cardio Wi-Fi Body Composition Smart Scale | Buy it for £129.95 at Amazon UK
The Withings Body Cardio is not just any smart bathroom scale, it can estimate your cardiovascular health via pulse wave velocity and deliver precise weight (+/- 0.1kg / 0.2 lbs), body fat and body water percentages as well as muscle and bone mass readings. It supports up to eight users and syncs data automatically via WiFi or Bluetooth in the Health Mate app.View Deal

best time to exercise to lose weight

Hit the treadmill – preferably early morning

(Image credit: JTX Fitness)

What's the best time to exercise to lose weight?

Although the researchers conclude that "a large proportion of temporally consistent exercisers were early-morning exercisers, suggesting a potential benefit of early‐morning physical activity", it also says that "findings suggest that exercising at the same time of day, regardless of whether it is during the morning, afternoon, or evening, may help with achieving higher physical activity levels".

Therefore, the key takeaway here is pick a time of the day you know will be available for exercising on most days and stick to it. If you have more time early-morning, before work, put on your trail running shoes and go for a run on the nearest forest path then. If you prefer to do some work first and then hit the treadmill in the gym in the afternoon, that can also work, as long as you go frequently.