Working out in the morning could promote belly reduction because cortisol levels are higher at that time, making it easier to use abdominal fat as an energy source.
Working out in the evening could lead to an increase in cortisol, which can contribute to the accumulation of abdominal fat and disrupt sleep.
Exercise time depends on individual preference and time availability, but the important thing is consistent commitment to physical activity to achieve results in abdominal fat loss.
While for man running is a way to lose weight or keep weight under control, the next step is to reduce or eliminate the belly.
Running can do a great deal in this regard, but you may not have known that the part of the day you exercise is not irrelevant and indeed has a bearing on belly reduction.
The reason is quickly stated: as a Newsweek article notes, beyond how much and how you eat, one of the culprits for that fat accumulation is, albeit indirectly, cortisol.
Cortisol is a hormone released by the adrenal glands that regulates the body’s response to stress, affects blood pressure, blood sugar levels, and the sleep cycle.
What does stress have to do with it
Normally the cortisol level is highest in the morning upon waking and lowest in the evening. During the day, in short, it drops, and then returns to initial levels during the night’s rest.
This cycle is normal and implies that in the morning (when it is highest) the energy available is just as high. If you train in the evening, however, to sustain the exertion, your cortisol level also rises, and one response of the body to the unusual demand for energy is to stockpile fat. Where. Well, you probably figured it out: on the belly. And that is not the only drawback: increasing cortisol in the evening can also lead to sleep issues.
A study of 2022 confirmed that in both women and men, running in the morning is more effective in consuming fat precisely because cortisol levels are higher, which results in better utilization of abdominal fat, which is burned and not stored as it is in the evening.
Finally, sleep is of central importance: as it turns out, it is during the night that cortisol levels rise, reaching their highest values in the morning. If they are raised in the evening because of a workout, the result is less restorative sleep because of early cortisol replenishment.
Fit it in your schedule
Of a different opinion is Rachel MacPherson, a certified nutritionist and author of health and fitness books. For her, the time of day is relatively important; what matters is that the time devoted to training is a commitment and finds space in the practitioner’s schedule. In short, continuity is more relevant than the time of day you exercise, partly because biorhythms affect when you exercise. In other words: the schedule depends on both personal and work commitments and individual inclination to prefer certain time slots.
In short: as always, the right answer to the question of how to lose abdominal fat is not (only) to run in the morning but to do it with consistency and commitment and especially when you feel like it.
If you then do well in the morning, nothing better!