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The Best Time of Day to Exercise, Eat, Weigh Yourself

Make Your Day Work! Here's When to Eat, Work Out, and Indulge

With a busy, hectic schedule, it sometimes feels like a miracle if we manage to get enough sleep, eat balanced meals, and squeeze in time for exercise. But did you know that there's an optimal time to do all these things? Get the facts and start scheduling accordingly!

Best time to eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner: You should always eat breakfast within an hour of waking up. About 4.5 hours after that, you should have lunch, and a couple hours after that, dinner. If you delay these times, you're going to be hungry, and the hungrier you are, the more likely you are going to cheat and eat fatty junk food. According to Dr. Oz, the big rule of thumb is that you need to have dinner more than three hours before you go to bed so that you don't hit the hay with a full belly of food that hasn't been properly digested.

Best time to weigh yourself: Weighing yourself first thing in the morning will provide you with the most accurate read on your weight, but if the morning doesn't work, make sure you weigh yourself at the same time — and on the same scale — to keep things consistent.


Best time of the day to go grocery shopping: Heading to the grocery store at 10 a.m. is the best time, since you'll still be full from breakfast. If you go grocery shopping when you are hungry and blood sugar levels are low, it impairs your judgment. If you're hungry while food shopping, you'll be more likely to buy unhealthy sugary or fattening treats.

Best time of the day to work out: Morning! One study found that subjects who were put on a high-fat diet and worked out before breakfast gained no weight after six weeks, while those who worked out after breakfast gained three pounds. When you exercise in the morning, you kick-start your metabolism and burn more calories throughout the day.

Best time of the day to visit the doctor's office: If you need to go to the doctor, it's best to schedule your appointment first thing in the morning. Not only will this decrease your waiting-room time since you'll secure the first appointment of the day, but it also means you won't be overly hungry if you need to fast before a morning lab test.

Best time to boost your metabolism: The best time to rev up your metabolism is at 8 a.m., since you'll be getting up, weighing yourself, and hopefully exercising. One of the easiest ways to boost your metabolism first thing in the morning is to drink a cold glass of water.

Best time to cheat on a diet: If you want to sneak in one or two of your favorite foods on a particular day, there's actually an ideal time to indulge — and it might surprise you. When it comes to carbs, celebrity trainer Bob Harper says the best time to enjoy carbs is for breakfast, and according to Dr. Oz, the best time to eat fats is at 10 a.m. Both work to fuel and energize your body, but when you enjoy them in the morning, you have ample time to burn them off all day.

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography
Rockabilly74 Rockabilly74 5 years
The idea of exercising first thing would be great..gets it out of the way and for health reasons ie metabolism but quite frankly i would literally pass out!  I can only do my exercises in afternoon evening in period after lunch or after dinner. I currently use the cross trainer rather than running due to knee pain but do about 90km a week plus floor work and weights but all has to be arranged around my food! Am i the only one doing it all wrong?
bjeanne18 bjeanne18 6 years
Who can go grocery shopping at 10am unless it's a weekend? lol
grenadier grenadier 6 years
Number 4, about kick-starting your metabolism, is a myth that was debunked several years ago by highly controlled research, but keeps resurfacing in blogs like this. Ignore this one!
janetmouse janetmouse 6 years
I say as long as you exercise it doesn't matter what time it is!
deanna024 deanna024 6 years
Oh, one study says this and the next week, something will come out that says the opposite. If you exercise at any time as long as it's regular and strive to eat right all the time, you will be fine.
ktaboh ktaboh 6 years
Regarding #1 and #4 - I wake up at 5:45am to go to the gym but while I'm getting ready/ traveling, I eat a whole banana. That way, I'm not starving myself, I have enough energy to do my cardio and strength training, and I don't get cramps. When I come home an hour later, I immediately have my breakfast that also includes my whey protein shake. Hope that's helpful.
imLissy imLissy 6 years
I was thinking the same thing srgh!
arand arand 6 years
This is ridiculous. I wake up at 4:30am, according to the article, I should eat breakfast by 5:30am (which cannot happen because I'm commuting to my job)....then have lunch at 10:00am...then have dinner around 12 / 1pm? Uh, ok, what do I do from 1pm - 10pm (when I go to bed)? Starve?
srgh srgh 6 years
How do you work out in the morning before breakfast and still eat breakfast within an hour of waking up? That would mean I'd have, like, 20 minutes to work out!
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