Early bird gets the worm, right? Well, it's especially true for those who love to workout in the morning. According to a study published by the International Journal of Obesity, working out in the morning can result in significant weight loss compared to working out later in the day. The best part? That workout doesn't have to be massively intense. Simply getting your body moving can result in a change in your mindset, and even your eating patterns, for the rest of the day.
Why a morning workout helps with weight loss
In this study, the participants went through a 10-month supervised exercise program where they were encouraged to complete their exercises between either 7 a.m. and 11:59 a.m. or 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. The results showed that after those 10 months, the group of people that went during the earlier times to workout saw significantly more weight loss compared to the later group, which the researchers concluded that "timing of exercise may be important for body weight regulation."
Now the interesting thing about this study is that participants were asked primarily to do treadmill jogging or walking, with occasional alternate activities (like biking or walking outside). This means that it wasn't running, in particular, that had them lose weight, but simply moving their bodies on a regular basis. Showing up to do a workout and moving your body truly is enough to get yourself in the right physical and mental mindset to take control of your health.
If starting a morning workout routine sounds like something you want to do, it's best to first assess the type of workout you like. If you're not a runner, you don't have to start running. You should participate in the type of movement you enjoy for your body because it will make the entire experience a lot more fun and uplifting. Especially if that's the way you're starting your day. Some great workouts you can try in the morning include going for a walk, riding a bike, trying a new online fitness program with free weights, yoga, pilates, and other workouts along those lines. Just make sure to avoid these 15 Exercise Mistakes That Are Ruining Your Workout.
Make sure to fuel up on protein
It's also important to fuel your body after a workout, so you don't feel ravenous throughout the day. Brianna Bernard, Personal Trainer, Nutrition Coach, and Isopure Ambassador, says one of the best post-workout habits is to refuel with a nutrient-rich meal that includes lean protein, healthy fat, and complex carbohydrates. This means looking for all of these nutrients in your post-workout breakfast. A great example of this is enjoying a slice of sprouted toast with smashed avocado and a fried egg on top.
Fueling up on protein, in particular, is important for weight loss and for your muscles post-workout. Studies show that the body uses more calories to metabolize protein compared to fat and carbs, which means protein will help you to feel full for a longer period of time afterward. This means you won't snack as much as the day progresses!
Protein is also important to have within a 30-minute window of your workout because it fuels your muscles. Research shows protein helps with muscle repair and it also helps to build your muscle, which helps you to look lean. Your muscles need an abundant supply of amino acids to properly repair and build muscle.
While there are a lot of details that come into play through this weight loss study, actually living this out really doesn't have to be as complicated. If you want to go for a 30-minute walk in the morning, then dig into a plate of scrambled eggs with a cup of coffee, you've already achieved what you need to do. The combination of movement and protein will help your body to feel full and energized throughout the day, and get you started on the right track for a full day of healthy, nutritious eats. Or even make yourself one of these 19 High Protein Breakfasts That Keep You Full!