Losing weight is never easy, but it can be done. Just ask the ‘World’s Fattest Man‘ who shed over 300kg or the Polish grandfather who turned it around in his golden years. However, newly released data shows that if they’d committed to one simple workout routine, they could’ve seen even better results…
Exercising between 7am and 9am appears to be the golden hour for weight loss, as reported by 9News. A new study published in the journal Obesity has shown that individuals who hit the gym earlier in the day tend to have a lower waist circumference and body mass index (BMI) compared to those who work out at midday or in the evening.
WATCH: If you’re feeling tough, try Goggins’ morning workout…
Rebecca Krukowski, a clinical psychologist specializing in behavioural weight management at the University of Virginia, hailed this research as exciting and suggests a simple weight loss strategy: schedule your exercise routine in the morning, before the onslaught of emails, phone calls, and meetings that can easily distract you.
The Science Behind Morning Exercise
The researchers analysed health and activity data from 5,285 participants in the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, specifically focusing on the years 2003 to 2006. During this period, accelerometers or activity trackers were first introduced in the survey.
Those who exercised between 7am and 9am boasted an average BMI of 27.5, compared to midday and evening exercisers with an average BMI of 28.3. Midday was defined as 9am to 4pm, and evening as 5pm to 8pm. However, the impact of morning exercise extended beyond BMI alone…
Even when participants exceeded the recommended physical activity guidelines of at least 150 minutes per week — effectively nullifying the argument that distractions curbed the amount of time actually spent working out later in the day — those who hit the gym in the morning still had the lowest BMI and waist size.
This finding held true across various demographics, including sex, ethnicity, education, tobacco use, alcohol consumption, and amounts of sedentary behaviour around workouts.
What Could Be Driving the Morning Advantage?
The reasons behind the morning exercise advantage could be a mix of physiology and lifestyle habits. Tongyu Ma — a research assistant professor of rehabilitation sciences at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University — had this to say:
“People who exercise regularly in the morning could have more predictable schedules, such as being less likely to be shift workers or less likely to have caregiving responsibilities that impede morning exercise.”Tongyu Ma
This predictability can positively affect sleep quality and stress levels, factors that play a role in weight management.
Moreover, morning exercisers may have distinct biological traits compared to night owls. They tend to have lower daily caloric intake and passively burn more energy throughout the day. Exercising in the morning, while in a fasted state, encourages the body to rely on stored fat for energy, aiding in fat oxidation both during and after the workout.
If you’re aiming for weight loss, consider setting your alarm a bit earlier and prioritizing morning exercise. Not only does it help you kickstart your day with a boost of energy, but it also appears to be a strategic move in the battle against the bulge.
Morning exercise routines are also more likely to stick, ensuring you stay committed to your weight loss goals. So, rise and shine, and let your morning sweat sessions pave the way to a slimmer, healthier you.