What is the best time of the day to exercise for weight loss? What time to prioritize? Should you eat before or after to optimize weight loss? We answer these questions with the expertise of a sports coach.
We know that exercise is essential for maintaining robust health, effective weight loss, building muscle, and blowing off steam. But what's the best time to work out for weight loss? Here are some insights from Adam El Khaiat, a sports coach and content creator for foodspring.
Is it better to exercise in the morning or evening to lose weight?
If you're working out to shed some pounds, engaging in physical activity in the morning is preferable. According to a study from the University of Copenhagen, muscles worked in the morning tend to utilize stored sugars and lipids more. As a result, the body taps into its fat reserves, making weight loss more effective. Adam El Khaiat emphasizes, "For weight loss, the winter period may be more challenging because you need to consume fewer calories than you expend, but with the cold and shorter days, the body requires more energy than in the summer! However, it's not impossible to achieve; you just need to accumulate more energy expenses." Exercising in the evening to lose weight is also a good option, provided you don't do it too late to avoid disrupting your sleep. Engaging in physical activity in the late afternoon is conducive to expending energy and surpassing your performance. Because the body's temperature is naturally higher in the late afternoon, muscles are more toned and capable of being pushed. Intense activities can help burn calories and release the day's tensions.
What's the ideal time for exercising to lose weight?
To lose weight quickly, it would be ideal to exercise twice a day between 10 AM and 11 AM and then between 4 PM and 7 PM at least five days a week. During these time slots, the body is neither in a digestive phase nor in a resting phase, making it optimal for burning calories. However, adhering to this frequency can be challenging in a life already filled with family and/or work commitments, so consistency is key. Adam El Khaiat points out that "having a regular and consistent schedule for your practice improved results." Indeed, exercising at a fixed time will train the body to push itself at the same time each day. The result is optimized performance and noticeable progress.
Timing your post-exercise meals matters too to optimize weight loss
It is recommended to have a meal about two hours after physical activity. This allows the body to recover and benefit from the necessary nutrients. If you plan to eat before your workout, the key is to allow a waiting period before training to facilitate proper digestion and avoid discomfort or bloating. To do this, it is advisable to wait about 30 minutes after a small breakfast or a snack and between 2 to 3 hours after a full meal, as explained by Adam El Khaiat. Furthermore, he strongly advises against exercising on an empty stomach, as it could lead to an insufficient supply of energy resources, hindering the expected results and making the session less effective.
Thanks to Adam El Khaiat, sports coach and content creator for foodspring.