Experts Share The Best Time Of Day To Work Out If You Want To Burn Fat Fast
Making an exercise plan while working to lose weight is no easy feat, and many often wonder if there is an optimal time of day (or night) to work out for faster fat burn. With that said, we reached out to registered nutritionists, dietitians, personal trainers and other health experts to learn more about how to burn fat and lose weight healthily, and what this might mean for your schedule.
Read on for tips, suggestions and insight from Rachel MacPherson, ACE-CPT, certified personal trainer at Garage Gym Reviews and Lisa Richards, registered nutritionist and creator of The Candida Diet.
READ MORE: 3 Best Exercise Methods To Burn Belly Fat Faster
So, Is There A 'Best Time' To Work Out For Weight Loss?
While many fitness aficionados will prefer working out in the morning or the evening, MacPherson tells us that there isn't any overwhelming evidence that proves that one time is better than the other for burning fat. To healthily (and effectively) lose weight, she stresses, it's more important that you're consistent with your workouts, no matter what time you choose to complete them every day.
"The best time of day to work out is ultimately, the one that you can stick to," she says, adding that "consistency, above everything else," is the most important factor in burning fat and losing weight. "The best thing you can do to support burning fat with your exercise is to be consistent and pick a time that you can put the most effort in," she advises. Burning fat, she notes, is done with not just regular exercise, but also a balanced diet, frequent hydration and a steady sleep schedule as well.
If you are groggy and slow in the morning and cannot do an effective workout, it's "not worth trying to force yourself to work out at this time," she emphasizes. Also, MacPherson says to keep in mind that "sleep plays a huge role in fat loss, so if you sacrifice sleep for working out, you will just be working against yourself."
Why Many Choose To Work Out In The Morning For Fat Burning
You may have heard that working out in the AM is best for fat loss. Why do some think this? Richards says that there are notable benefits that come from working out after fasting (meaning not eating for 8 hours while you sleep). "Fasted cardio takes place when the digestive system is void of food, which typically takes between 6 and 8 hours to accomplish," she explains. This, Richards says, makes the ideal fasting period, for those who subscribe to this form of exercise, to be around 6 or 8 hours prior to exercise.
"For most people, this means hitting the gym on an empty stomach first thing in the morning, after a full night's sleep," she continues. Richards says that the idea here is that "your body burns more fat because it is void of as much glycogen, carb stores, to use for energy." At this point, she stresses that "studies are showing minimal difference between exercise in a fasted versus fed state."
However, she concludes that "many note that their exercise performance and quality is improved when fasting." This, Richards notes, could be a benefit for weight loss as the body is "being pushed harder and potentially for longer periods leading to more calories burned." Ultimately, the time of day you choose to work out, as both experts say, is up to you, just be consistent and thorough to see faster results.