People who exercise at the same time each day sustain their weight loss more successfully, new research concludes.
People who exercise consistency end up doing more exercise, researchers found, which helps with weight loss.
The most common time for people to exercise is in the morning.
However, those who exercised in the evening successfully maintained their weight loss, if they stuck to this time.
So, it is not the time of day that matters most, but sticking to a consistent pattern.
The study followed 375 adults who had successfully maintained their weight loss.
The results show the importance of habits in weight loss.
Positive habits that are repeated day after day can help keep people healthy.
This is because habits tend to be performed automatically, sometimes with little conscious effort.
Dale Bond, study co-author, said:
“Our findings warrant future experimental research to determine whether promoting consistency in the time of day that planned and structured physical activity is performed can help individuals achieve and sustain higher levels of physical activity.”
Leah Schumacher, the study’s first author, said:
“It will also be important to determine whether there is a specific time of day that is more advantageous for individuals who have initial low physical activity levels to develop a physical activity habit.”
Another new study has suggested that working out in the morning burns the most calories.
Morning exercise increases the ability of muscles to burn fat and sugar, a separate study of mice has shown.
About the author
Psychologist, Jeremy Dean, PhD is the founder and author of PsyBlog. He holds a doctorate in psychology from University College London and two other advanced degrees in psychology.
He has been writing about scientific research on PsyBlog since 2004. He is also the author of the book “Making Habits, Breaking Habits” (Da Capo, 2003) and several ebooks:
- Accept Yourself: How to feel a profound sense of warmth and self-compassion
- The Anxiety Plan: 42 Strategies For Worry, Phobias, OCD and Panic
- Spark: 17 Steps That Will Boost Your Motivation For Anything
- Activate: How To Find Joy Again By Changing What You Do
The study was published in the journal Obesity (Schumacher et al., 2019).