When should you exercise? Does the time matter? Is there the best time to exercise in order to burn more fat and lose more weight?

People ask this question so often that it deserves one unambiguous answer. There is the theory that you will burn more fat as energy during the training if you exercise early in the morning before you eat or drink anything.

It leaves you nothing else but to wonder if this is really true and will this strategy help you lose more weight over time. But the answer is not that simple so we will address this subject from different angles.

When you are full the body mostly uses glucose (sugar) as main source of energy (fuel). During the better part of the day, all of us are full to some extent.

Depending on the size of your meal and its contents (meaning how much fat, protein and carbs it contains) the state of fullness can last up to four hours.

Once you go to sleep you are mostly not eating. While you are sleeping you slowly go to the phase of hunger. When you are in that state your body is inclined to use fat as the source of energy since there is a larger amount of free fatty acids circulating your bloodstream then it is right after the meal.

This is the reason why some people believe that the body will use the free fatty acids (fat) circulating in the bloodstream rather than glucose as fuel during the workout if you do it while you are hungry.

blue dumbbell, measuring tape and an alarm clock on a white surface

Fat, Carbs And Protein

Fat has twice as many calories as carbs and protein if it is measured per gram. According to that if your body burns fat as energy during the workout that energy consumption is much larger for the body than it is when the body is using carbs or protein.

So it means you will burn more calories while training if you are hungry. This is, in short, the reason why many people believe that training, while you are hungry, is much better if you want to lose weight.

Even though it might sound reasonable. this attitude towards training is not the one we should implement before we take into consideration what people prefer and how does their day look like.

A person should workout at the time of day he or she feels like they can give the most. Or when the daily chores allow it. Not all of us have much free time to use and it is much better working out at any time than not working out at all.

The time you can workout can be early in the morning or 11am or 7pm basically the time that suits you the best is the time when your body will react to the training the best.


Unrelated to almost all other parameters it is proven that what gives the best results in training is the intensity of it. The intensity of training dictates how much calories your body burns during the training and after it.

Assessment is that even if you are training at the intensity that is 60% of your maximum the speed of your metabolism will be higher than usual in the next three hours.

The more intense you train the longer your metabolism will be faster. If you manage to coordinate the time when you are training with the time when you can train the hardest there is a high probability that you will be able to fulfil your goals. 

What is also established is that the metabolism slows down gradually as the day goes into the night. In other words, our basal metabolism is the fastest early during the day but as the day goes by it is slowing down because the body is preparing itself for sleep.

Thus, since training speeds up metabolism some people believe that they will invigorate their metabolism if they are training in the afternoon or early in the evening and that will help their body to burn some additional calories.

So all in all, what matters the most is the intensity of training being hungry or full does not have anything to do with burning more fat.


In the end, we came to the conclusion that even tho the body uses fat as fuel if you are training before eating it still does not matter much for weight loss when you consider other methods of training such as high intensity training. 

High intensity training and interval training help you speed up metabolism and burn much more calories during the training and even a few hours after the training while you are simply resting. 

So basically it is all up to you and how hard are you ready to workout. We are not saying that you should eat unhealthy food since training without a healthy balanced diet won’t help you much.

And it is not really pleasant training with your belly full but still, you should not pay much attention to the time of your meal according to the time of the training. 

As long as you have a healthy balanced diet and you workout regularly results will come and you will have a healthy good looking body.