This week, a medical journal has shed some light on when to schedule your sweat session to maximize shedding weight. The results? Embrace the dawn!

Have you ever found yourself staring at the clock, pondering the perfect moment to lace up those sneakers and hit the pavement? If weight loss is your ultimate goal, science might have the answer for you.

The medical journal Obesity has published findings from a study that delved deep into the health data of over 5,000 individuals across the United States from 2003 to 2006, using information from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.

What is the significance of this time span? It was the first time activity trackers made their debut in the national survey. And the results? It turns out that the early bird truly does get the worm.

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Every participant had their BMI and waistline recorded and then strapped on an activity tracker for at least 10 hours daily over a four-to-seven-day spell. Those who stretched, lunged, or sprinted in the morning, specifically between 7 a.m. and 9 a.m., had lower BMIs and smaller waistlines. On the other hand, those who huffed and puffed from 9 am to 4 pm and 5 pm to 8 pm just didn’t quite hit the same svelte marks.

To put it into digits, morning machines had a BMI of 27.5, whereas midday movers and evening enthusiasts hovered around 28.3. When it came to average waist circumference, the morning crew stood tall at 37.7 inches (about 96cm), while the others lingered at 38.5 and 38.4 inches (about 98cm), with diet and calorie intake kept constant.

These findings held true regardless of gender, background, education, or weekend wine habits. 

Tongyu Ma, the study’s lead researcher at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, told NBC News, “If we choose to exercise in the early morning before we eat, we can potentially lose more weight compared to exercise at other times of the day.”

If you’re contemplating the shift from night owl to early riser, here is some added science-backed impetus. If you’re eager to shed some weight or feel your wholesome best, getting up earlier is the way to do it!

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