Losing belly fat is a common fitness goal for many people. While diet plays a significant role in reducing belly fat, regular exercise is also crucial. However, the timing of your workouts can affect their effectiveness in burning belly fat. In this article, we’ll discuss the best time to exercise to lose belly fat.
Why Is Belly Fat So Stubborn?
Belly fat, also known as visceral fat, is the fat that accumulates around your midsection and surrounds your organs. Unlike subcutaneous fat, which is the fat that lies just beneath your skin, visceral fat is much more stubborn and difficult to shed. Excess visceral fat has been linked to various health problems, including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and certain types of cancer.
Best Time to Exercise for Losing Belly Fat
Several studies have shown that working out in the morning may be the most effective time to burn belly fat. One reason is that when you wake up, your body’s levels of the “stress hormone” cortisol are naturally higher. Cortisol helps mobilize energy stores, making it easier for you to burn fat during exercise. Additionally, morning workouts can help kickstart your metabolism, allowing you to burn more calories throughout the day.
If you’re not a morning person, don’t worry; afternoon workouts can also be effective at burning belly fat. Research suggests that aerobic exercise, such as running or cycling, may be most effective at burning belly fat during the afternoon. This is because your body temperature naturally rises throughout the day, which can increase your endurance and help you burn more calories during exercise.
Evening workouts can also be effective at burning belly fat, especially if you prefer to exercise later in the day. A 2018 study found that resistance training in the evening was more effective at reducing belly fat than morning resistance training. This may be because our bodies are better prepared for intense exercise later in the day, thanks to higher levels of testosterone and growth hormone.
Consistency Is Key
Ultimately, the best time to exercise is the time that works best for you and your schedule. The most important factor in losing belly fat through exercise is consistency. Whether you choose to work out in the morning, afternoon, or evening, the key is to stick to a regular exercise routine.
Best Exercises for Losing Belly Fat
In addition to timing your workouts, incorporating certain exercises into your routine can also help you lose belly fat more effectively. Here are some of the best exercises for targeting belly fat:
Cardiovascular exercise, such as running, cycling, or swimming, is one of the most effective ways to burn overall body fat, including belly fat. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity cardio per week, or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity cardio per week.
HIIT involves short bursts of high-intensity exercise followed by periods of rest or low-intensity exercise. Studies have shown that HIIT can be even more effective than steady-state cardio at burning belly fat. Try incorporating HIIT workouts into your routine 1-2 times per week.
Resistance training, such as weightlifting or bodyweight exercises, can help you build muscle and increase your metabolism, making it easier to burn fat throughout the day. Aim for at least 2-3 resistance training sessions per week, targeting all major muscle groups.
While there’s no such thing as “spot reduction,” doing core exercises like planks, crunches, and Russian twists can help strengthen your abdominal muscles and improve your posture, making your midsection appear tighter and more toned.
Losing belly fat requires a combination of healthy eating habits, regular exercise, and consistency. While the timing of your workouts can affect their effectiveness in burning belly fat, the most important factor is sticking to a regular exercise routine that works for you. Incorporating cardiovascular exercise, HIIT, resistance training, and core exercises can all help you lose belly fat more effectively. Remember to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new exercise routine.