When your goal is to lose weight fast, even small changes in your diet and exercise routine can make a big difference. Exercise, in particular, is critically important, and you should do as much as possible – any time of day. There are divided opinions, however, on whether exercising at night can make you lose weight faster. Ultimately, the most important thing is how much you exercise, not when you do it. For fast weight loss, analyze your time commitments and routine, and exercise whenever it best suits you.
Break Bad Habits
One good reason some people choose to exercise at night is that it helps them break bad habits such as overeating at dinner or snacking while watching TV in the evening. If you are a late-night grazer, doing light exercise in the evening can physically remove you from temptation, as well as burn off any excess calories consumed during the day.
Your metabolism determines how fast you burn calories, so boosting your metabolism helps you lose weight faster. The Army Times has a series of tips to speed up your metabolism, including doing 20 to 30 minutes of moderate-intensity cardio before bed to keep your metabolism running all night. However, it recommends completing your workout at least two and a half hours before bed, so the post-exercise buzz doesn't keep you awake.
Ensure your evening exercise doesn't interfere with sleeping, because lack of sleep and stress can cause your weight loss to plateau. According to the "Annals of Internal Medicine," sleep is crucial to maintaining lean muscle while following a calorie-restricted diet, and dieters who don't get enough sleep will struggle to lose fat and suffer from slower metabolisms.
Another key factor in choosing whether to exercise in the evening is determining how it fits in your schedule. You may find that, after a long day at work, the last thing you want to do is hit the gym or go for a run. If you start skipping evening workouts because you are tired or have social commitments, it will slow your weight loss. Personal trainer Shane Chattin, author of "The Intense Trainer Program," says he discovered that the only way he could stick to his workout schedule was to get up very early in the morning and do his training before tackling the rest of his commitments.
- Zen Habits: 80 Awesome Weight Loss Tips
- “Army Times”; 10 Ways to Jump Start Your Metabolism; Gannett; 2010
- “The Intense Trainer Program”; Shane Chattin; 2005
- “Annals of Internal Medicine”; Insufficient Sleep Undermines Dietary Efforts to Reduce Adiposity; A. Nedeltcheva; Oct 2010
- “Exercise for Weight Management”; Gustav Mark Gedatus; 2001
- “Weight Loss Made a Bit Easier”; Larry Zafran; 2011