Best Time to Work Out for Weight Loss According to Hormones

In a Nutshell: The best time to work out for weight loss is in the morning, especially in a fasted state when hormonal levels are optimal for fat burning and muscle preservation.


  • Morning workouts, particularly in a fasted state, optimize fat burning and muscle preservation by aligning with the body’s hormonal rhythms.
  • Higher levels of growth hormone in the morning, especially in a fasted state, are crucial for muscle repair and protection, aiding in weight loss.
  • Exercising before breakfast, when insulin levels are lower, maximizes fat burning by allowing the body to use fat as an energy source more effectively.

Weight Loss and Workout Timing

Revolutionize your weight loss journey by syncing your workout schedule with your body’s hormonal clock. 

Autumn Bates, a Clinical Nutritionist, unravels the science behind the best time to exercise for maximizing fat burning and maintaining muscle mass, offering a groundbreaking perspective on fitness.

Hormonal Influence on Exercise

Bates stresses the significance of hormones in determining the effectiveness of workouts. “If weight loss is your goal, then understanding your hormonal environment is crucial,” she says. 

Mornings are the prime time for exercising, especially in a fast state. This is due to the natural morning peak of cortisol, a hormone that aids in mobilizing energy, making it a suitable time for fat burning.

The Role of Cortisol

Cortisol, a catabolic hormone, is naturally higher in the morning. Bates notes, “This natural increase in cortisol means you have more energy available, which can aid in a more effective workout.” 

By aligning exercise with this hormonal peak, individuals can enhance the efficiency of their weight loss efforts.

Growth Hormone and Muscle Preservation

Alongside cortisol, growth hormone plays a vital role in weight loss. 

Working out in the morning aligns with the naturally higher levels of growth hormone in a fasted state, crucial for repairing and protecting muscles,” explains Bates. 

This hormonal synergy in the morning facilitates fat loss while preserving muscle mass.

Insulin’s Impact on Fat Burning

Bates also highlights the role of insulin. After eating, insulin levels rise, potentially hindering growth hormone activity and promoting fat storage. 

“Working out before breakfast maximizes fat burning, as insulin levels are lower, allowing your body to more effectively use fat as an energy source,” she asserts.

Aligning Workouts with Hormonal Rhythms

Bates’ approach focuses on the strategic timing of exercise to harness the body’s hormonal patterns. 

Morning workouts, particularly in a fasted state, are recommended for those aiming to lose fat while preserving muscle. 

This method is about exercise and understanding and working with the body’s natural rhythms for sustainable and effective weight loss.

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