Does the time of day (morning vs. evening) impact burning more calories?

A: Whenever you can burn calories—morning, evening or mid-day—is the best time of day as long as you do it! If your question is addressing weight management, then the best way to lose weight and keep it off is to spend mental and physical energy, day in and day out, eating healthy calorie-controlled meals and getting in that calorie-burning exercise. In short, balancing the calorie math. The goal for weight loss is to consume fewer calories than your body requires, creating what is termed a “calorie deficit.” A calorie deficit of 500 calories per day results in a one-pound weight loss of body fat in one week’s time.

Whichever time of day you get in a major “bout” of calorie-burning activity is up to your personal schedule. Ideally, you’ll want to get in a planned exercise bout in addition to being physically active throughout the day, such as parking farther away from the store and taking the stairs instead of the elevator. In summary, the time of day you eat or exercise does not impact calorie burning. Your best bet is to eat small, frequent, nutritious (calorie-controlled) meals throughout the day and combine that eating style with a daily exercise bout as well as making an effort to simply move around more. That is what is important for your personal calorie balance and the secret to lifelong weight control.

Posted by Dr. Janet Brill

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