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 (opens in new tab)" 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 (opens in new tab) 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%).

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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 (opens in new tab) and go for a run on the nearest forest path then. If you prefer to do some work first and then hit the treadmill (opens in new tab) in the gym in the afternoon, that can also work, as long as you go frequently.

Matt Kollat
Fitness Editor

Matt is T3's Fitness Editor and covers everything from smart fitness tech to running and workout shoes, home gym equipment, exercise how-tos, nutrition, cycling, and more. His byline appears in several publications, including Techradar (opens in new tab) and Fit&Well (opens in new tab), and he collaborated with other content creators in the past, such as Garage Gym Reviews (opens in new tab). When he isn't working out, he loves roaming the countryside and trying out new podcasting and content creation equipment, including microphones, cameras and more.