Timing of Exercise Might Influence Weight Loss

A recent study suggests that the time of day one chooses to exercise might play a role in weight loss.

For years, there’s been ongoing debate about the optimal time for workouts. Various research and studies have provided mixed answers. Dr. Sue Decotiis, a medical weight loss physician, shared her perspective, stating,

“What I tell my patients is work out when you can. If it’s easier and more convenient for you to get to the gym in the morning, then go ahead and do that. If you can’t get there until the afternoon, then do that.”

Morning Workouts: The Key to Weight Loss?

The study utilized a pre-existing National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, which polled over 5,000 individuals from 2003 to 2006.

It aimed to determine when participants engaged in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity and if they experienced weight loss.

Researchers noted a “strong linear association” between morning workouts and reduced obesity. Morning exercisers also had the lowest body mass index (BMI) and the smallest waist circumference.

Morning group participants had an average BMI of 25.9 and a waist circumference of 91.5 centimeters. Afternoon exercisers averaged a 27.6 BMI and a 95.8-centimeter waist circumference. In contrast, evening exercisers had an average BMI of 27.2 and a 95-centimeter waist circumference.

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Interestingly, the morning group had a higher percentage of female participants. Although they were older on average, the BMI and waist circumference data were adjusted for these factors. Self-reported dietary information revealed that morning exercisers consumed fewer calories on average.

However, Decotiis expressed caution, stating, “I don’t necessarily think that the evidence shows that you’re going to burn more calories in the morning. Your ability to burn fat and to lose weight with exercise really depends on how well your insulin’s working and how all your other hormones are working.”

She suggested that those struggling with weight loss might want to discuss their hormone levels with their physicians, as these can influence the effectiveness of exercise and diet.

The study’s authors also emphasized the need for further research, concluding, “The promising role of morning (moderate-to-vigorous physical activity) for weight management warrants further investigation.”

With information from CBS News

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