Many people aren't self-described "morning people," and not a lot of people enjoy weight-loss workouts very much. Thus, you might find the concept of morning workouts for weight loss to be more akin to cruel and unusual punishment than a fun way to spend the a.m. hours. However, morning workouts for weight loss do have their benefits, so you may wish to incorporate them into your workout program. Consult a doctor prior to beginning any workout program.
Growth Hormone Benefits
Working out in the morning may be particularly beneficial for women due to natural hormonal secretions. Research published in the June 1998 issue of "Clinical Chemistry" found that women have much higher levels of circulating growth hormone in the morning than men do. This is beneficial because growth hormone helps break down fatty acids for energy -- so the more growth hormone you have circulating when you need energy, the more likely fat will be burned to fuel your exercise.
Fasted = Fat Loss?
If you perform workouts early in the morning, before you've had a chance to eat anything, it seems reasonable to expect that you'd be burning fat for energy rather than your breakfast, right? Science seems to confirm this idea, as a study from the October 2009 edition of "Medical Hypotheses" indicates that performing exercise in a fasted state promotes increased fat loss due to the expenditure of stored body fat for workout fuel.
Setting the Tone
Starting your day with a workout can get you into a healthy mindset and make you more likely to make healthy choices for the rest of the day. The morning workout can serve as motivation to control your portion sizes and be disciplined later on, or you might risk "wasting" your workout by eating too many calories. A morning workout for weight loss can provide you with a way to focus on your goals at the start of each day, reminding you of the importance of your quest and the steps you need to take to get there.
As with any workout plan, there are some potential drawbacks to consider with a morning weight-loss workout program. You may have to go to bed earlier each night so you can get adequate sleep prior to your morning workout, and you may find it difficult to get used to being up earlier than usual for your first few workouts. Additionally, you may have to work out at home or find a different exercise facility if your gym does not have early morning hours.
Brian Willett began writing in 2005. He has been published in the "Buffalo News," the "Daytona Times" and "Natural Muscle Magazine." Willett also writes for Bloginity.com and Bodybuilding.com. He is an American Council on Exercise-certified personal trainer and earned a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from the University of North Carolina.