The Best Time of Day to Exercise for Weight Loss


When it comes to losing weight, exercise plays a crucial role alongside a balanced diet. However, have you ever wondered if the time of day you choose to exercise could impact your weight loss results? While consistency and regular physical activity are key factors in shedding pounds, recent studies suggest that the timing of your workouts may also influence your weight loss journey. So, based on scientific evidence, let's find out the best time of day to exercise for optimal weight loss.

The Case for Morning Exercise

Exercising in the morning has often been touted as the ideal time for weight loss. One study published in the International Journal of Obesity found that participants who exercised in the morning on an empty stomach burned more fat compared to those who exercised later in the day [1]. This is because your body's glycogen stores are depleted after an overnight fast, forcing it to turn to stored fat for fuel during morning exercise.

Additionally, morning exercise has been shown to improve insulin sensitivity, which helps regulate blood sugar levels and can prevent excess fat storage [2]. By kickstarting your metabolism early in the day, you may continue to burn calories at a higher rate throughout the day, even after completing your workout.

The Benefits of Afternoon and Evening Exercise

While morning exercise has its advantages, not everyone is a morning person or has the flexibility to work out early in the day. Fortunately, afternoon and evening exercise also offer unique benefits for weight loss. A study published in the journal Experimental Physiology found that exercising in the evening may help curb appetite and reduce hunger, leading to fewer late-night snacks and overall calorie intake [3].

Moreover, your body temperature and muscle strength tend to peak later in the day, which may lead to improved exercise performance and increased calorie burn [4]. Evening exercise can also help relieve stress and promote better sleep, both of which are important factors in maintaining a healthy weight.

The Importance of Consistency and Personal Preference

While the timing of your workouts can influence weight loss, it is essential to remember that consistency and adherence to a regular exercise routine are the most critical factors in achieving your goals. The best time to exercise is ultimately the time that works best for your schedule and personal preferences, as this will make it easier to stick to your workouts long-term.

If you are not a morning person, forcing yourself to wake up early for a workout may lead to burnout and decreased motivation over time. Similarly, if you have family obligations or social commitments in the evenings, squeezing in a workout during your lunch break or in the afternoon may be more sustainable.


In summary, while morning exercise may offer some advantages for fat burning and metabolism, afternoon and evening workouts also provide unique benefits for weight loss. The most important factor is finding a consistent exercise routine that fits your lifestyle and personal preferences. By making physical activity a regular part of your day, regardless of the time, you can successfully achieve your weight loss goals and improve your overall health and well-being.


  1. Gonzalez, J. T., Veasey, R. C., Rumbold, P. L., & Stevenson, E. J. (2013). Breakfast and exercise contingently affect postprandial metabolism and energy balance in physically active males. British Journal of Nutrition, 110(4), 721-732.
  2. Van Proeyen, K., Szlufcik, K., Nielens, H., Ramaekers, M., & Hespel, P. (2011). Beneficial metabolic adaptations due to endurance exercise training in the fasted state. Journal of Applied Physiology, 110(1), 236-245.
  3. Alizadeh, Z., Younespour, S., Rajabian Tabesh, M., & Haghravan, S. (2017). Comparison between the effect of 6 weeks of morning or evening aerobic exercise on appetite and anthropometric indices: a randomized controlled trial. Clinical Obesity, 7(3), 157-165.
  4. Küüsmaa-Schildt, M., Eklund, D., Avela, J., Rytkönen, T., Newton, R., & Häkkinen, K. (2017). Neuromuscular adaptations to combined strength and endurance training: Order and time-of-day. International Journal of Sports Medicine, 38(9), 707-716.