The Best Time to Work Out for Weight Loss, According to Study

The Best Time to Work Out for Weight Loss, According to Study

A recent study published in the journal Obesity has revealed that the most effective time to work out for weight loss is early in the morning, ideally between 7 am and 9 am. The study analyzed data from 5285 participants in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) and divided them into three groups: morning, midday, and evening. The researchers found that those who engaged in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) in the morning had a lower body mass index and waist circumference compared to participants in the other clusters.

In addition to the physical benefits, the morning group also reported a healthier diet and consumed less daily energy compared to the other groups. The study’s authors also noted that despite spending more time in sedentary behavior, the participants in the morning cluster still had better weight outcomes. The findings suggest that exercising in the morning not only aids in weight loss but also positively influences dietary habits.

The study focused on the diurnal pattern of physical activity, examining how different times of the day affect obesity. Previous research has primarily focused on the frequency and intensity of physical activity, with little attention given to the timing of exercise. This study sheds light on the importance of considering the diurnal pattern when evaluating the impact of physical activity on health outcomes.

However, it is important to note that this study is not definitive, as it does not establish a causal relationship between morning exercise and weight loss. Rebecca Krukowski, a clinical psychologist specializing in behavioral weight management, suggests that people who consistently exercise in the morning may differ from those who exercise at other times in ways that were not measured in the study, such as having more predictable schedules and lower stress levels.

While morning workouts may offer potential benefits, it is important for individuals to choose a time that suits their lifestyle and preferences. The key to successful exercise is consistency, regardless of the time of day.

– Tongyu Ma, PhD, assistant professor, Health Sciences Department, Franklin Pierce University, Rindge, N.H.; and the Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong, China.
Obesity journal

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