Which Time of Day is Best for Working Out If You Want to Lose Weight?

If you’re looking to lose weight, you might be wondering when the best time of day to work out is. Here’s a look at the research on the subject.


Exercise is key when it comes to weight loss, but timing matters too. Working out at the right time can have a big impact on your results. The question is, which time of day is best for working out if you want to lose weight?

The truth is that there has been much debate around this topic. While no definitively best time of day exists, there are some advantages and disadvantages to exercising at different times that you should consider. This guide will outline the various benefits and drawbacks of exercising during the morning versus evening and give you an understanding of how to get the most out of your chosen routine.

Benefits of Working Out at Different Times of Day

Working out at any time of day can be beneficial for weight loss, depending on the person and the intensity of the workout. Different times of day may offer different benefits, so it is important to determine which time of day best meets your needs and goals. In this section, we will explore the benefits of working out at various times of day and how they can help you reach your weight loss goals.

Early Morning

Rising early for a workout can be hugely beneficial for those seeking to achieve weight loss goals. Exercising in the morning has been shown to increase cortisol levels, which helps to increase alertness and energy levels, allowing you to stay motivated and on track throughout the day. Additionally, early morning workouts can help provide a healthy balance between diet and physical activity by jump-starting both your metabolism and calorie burn, providing extra motivation to reach out weight loss goal.

Some studies have suggested that not only is early morning working out more effective at burning fat, but it may also have an effect on post-workout recovery. Sleeping after exercise is known to aid in muscle repair and reduce fatigue better than sleeping before exercising. In addition, exercising first thing in the morning can also help you stay consistent with your workouts by getting them out of the way rather than having them linger throughout the day.

Exercising in the morning allows you to take advantage of being naturally more energized than later hours when fatigue starts setting in and helps maintain regularity by simply adding a healthy routine into your everyday life without taking away from other activities. Furthermore, since morning workouts tend to be shorter due to higher levels of motivation at this time of day, it’s easy for most people even with busy lives or who are pressed for time to squeeze this important part of health into their days without feeling overdone or exhausted afterwards.


If you have the luxury of scheduling your work-outs during mid-day, this could be a great time to reap the benefits of working out. In the middle of the day, your body has been mostly awake for several hours and has had access to food for fuel. This could help you sustain longer, more intense workouts and can result in increased calorie burning and improved metabolism.

Cardiovascular exercise is one of the most efficient methods for weight loss, researchers suggest that performing a moderate-intensity cardio workout in the middle of the day is likely to yield greater fat loss than if performed at other times. So if you are looking to lose weight and burn fat, mid-day may prove a successful time slot.

Additionally, taking advantage of sunshine in the middle of your workday may also elevate mood levels which can improve motivation to stick with an exercise program during darker months. And when we’re feeling good about ourselves we tend to be motivated more so to turn up our exercise intensity and duration levels.

Late Afternoon

Late in the afternoon is a great time to work out if you’re looking to boost your metabolism and burn more calories. Working out in the late afternoon has been linked with lower levels of hunger hormones and improved coordination, power, speed and strength. Physically active individuals who worked out between 1pm and 4pm experienced increased boosts in performance in comparison to their morning counterparts.

Since the late afternoon is typically considered to be a circadian low point for both mental alertness and blood sugar levels, it’s important to consume carbohydrates before your workout so you have energy to exercise. Eating a light meal that includes complex carbohydrates such as fruits, vegetables or grains around four or five hours before exercising will help fuel your body and increase your concentration. Additionally, staying hydrated during the day will help with circulation, muscle performance and endurance.

The best option is likely an interval cardio exercise since it increases endurance without getting overly fatigued; this can range from running sprints on a track or treadmill intervals with different speeds of walking or running. Strength training should also be included at least two days per week for improved body composition although moderate endurance activities such as biking works well for fat burning too. Including different types of exercises into your routine not only creates a more balanced plan but allows you to work muscles from all angles which reduces risk of injury from overuse of one particular muscle group.


Working out in the evening can be beneficial for those who have busy morning schedules and crave the energy boost that exercise can bring. Exercise late in the evening can give you more confidence to conquer any tasks or activities that you have left for the day.

One of the major benefits of working out in the evening is that cortisol levels, which are naturally higher earlier in the day, will have had a chance to lower by evening. Cortisol is a hormone released in response to stress and it can have an inhibitory effect on weight loss efforts — so exercising later in the day may make it easier to burn more calories during your workout.

Additionally, exercising late in the day may help you sleep better due to increased body temperature which causes a drop as muscle cells cool during rest periods after workouts, inducing overall relaxation and better sleep patterns — this improved sleep quality has been linked with healthier body composition and improved cardiovascular health.

Finally, working out at night can provide you with extra motivation to stay fit for activities throughout the upcoming week. You’ll know that you’ve made an effort and taken proactive steps towards your fitness goals, giving you an added incentive throughout your daily life.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Time

Working out is an important part of a weight loss plan, but the right time of day to exercise can be confusing. Different factors must be taken into account such as our internal body clock and the amount of energy we have in the morning versus the evening. Let’s explore the different factors that we should consider when deciding what time of day to work out if we want to lose weight.

Your Work Schedule

Your work schedule can play an important role in determining the most suitable time of day to exercise for weight loss. If you are a shift worker or have an irregular work schedule that changes from day-to-day, then carving out a specific exercise time can be tricky. However, if possible, it may be beneficial to plan your work shifts around yourchoice of preferred time of day to exercise.

For those who have a regular 9-5 job, finding a consistent time for regular physical activity is easier. If you’re able to leave the office before 5 PM and make it to the gym during the weekdays, then do so — this gives you plenty of time afterwardsto shower up and eat dinner in preparation for the next day’s activities.

For those who have kids and/or family obligations in addition to their job, findingspace within your schedule – even if it means waking up earlier or staying up later—can be more difficult but still manageable with some slight adjustmentsand with proper planning. When considering your work schedule as a factor when choosing an ideal workout time for weight loss purposes, aim for consistency and try not to miss any days unless absolutely necessary.

Your Sleep Schedule

When considering the best time for working out to lose weight, it is essential to consider your sleep schedule. Working out after a restful night of sleep when your body is well-rested may yield better results than if you workout at the end of a long day. If you are able to get a good night’s rest and wake up feeling energized and refreshed, morning workouts may be beneficial in helping you reach your weight loss goals. However, if mornings don’t work for you or if you have trouble falling asleep due to late workouts, other times during the day may be better suited for your lifestyle. It’s important to find a workout time that fits best into your daily routine.

Your Eating Habits

Your eating habits are an important factor to consider when selecting a time of day for exercising. Eating the right types of foods and the proper quantities at the proper times can create a greater fat-burning effect, which is key to losing weight. Eating lightly or not at all before exercise minimizes disruption of digestion and maximizes fat burning. If your exercise occurs close to breakfast or lunch, one hour before is ideal, but certain types of workouts can still be done up to two hours after a meal.

After your workout, it’s important that you replenish your body with healthy complex carbohydrates like quinoa, oatmeal, whole grains, and fruits and vegetables which are more slowly digested than simple carbohydrates like processed cereals or refined sugars found in candy and pastries. If you eat animal proteins like poultry and fish shortly after exercise, your muscles will recover due to the higher levels of amino acids found in those proteins. And finally hydrate properly with plenty of water before you begin exercising and throughout the day for optimal fat burning results.

Your Current Fitness Level

Your current fitness level impacts the type of workout and time of day that is best for you. Start by assessing your fitness level and any health conditions. If you’re a beginner to exercise and just starting off, you should aim to work out at a low intensity and gradually increase the intensity over time. Working out at a low intensity requires lesser oxygen intake and is less stressful on the body; therefore, it can be done anytime during the day as long as it does not interfere with your daily activities or sleep schedule.

For those who are more advanced in their fitness routine, it may be beneficial to work out in the morning hours when you have peak levels of energy. Engaging in high-intensity interval training (HIIT), such as running/jogging, cycling or circuit training during this time can increase metabolism, allowing your body to burn calories at a higher rate throughout the day while also sustaining longer-term fat loss efforts.

On days when you need extra motivation or can’t get away early in the morning to workout, aim for an afternoon or evening workout session instead. Aiming for an after-work block ensures that fatigue doesn’t become a barrier throughout your workout session and allows you to keep up with your regular exercise routine without disruption.


In conclusion, the best time of day to work out if you want to lose weight is early in the morning. Working out in the morning gives your body a jumpstart and elevates your metabolism so that you can burn calories more quickly throughout the day. Additionally, during this time of day, there are usually fewer distractions and more energy available for an effective workout. Depending on your individual preferences, you may find other times of the day preferable for working out, but research has shown that early morning workouts are generally more successful in aiding individuals with their weight loss goals.

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