One of the most frequently asked questions in exercise and weight loss is "Does it matter what time of the day I work out?" You'll get a range of answers, from working out in the morning boosts metabolism throughout the day to just do it whenever you can fit it in.
But what if there is more to this question?
Last year at this time I weighed about 5 pounds less than I do right now. I gained 5 pounds earlier this year and have not been able to shake it. I have not increased my eating and have actually increased my exercise. And I'm eating cleaner and healthier than ever before. I've considered every possibility. Am I eating more than I realize? Am I overtraining? Am I eating too little and my body is in starvation mode? Is it because I quit smoking? Is it because I used to workout in the evening? No, that can't be true, working out in the morning is supposed to jump start the metabolism.....
Research is showing that it isn't necessarily the hour at which you workout that matters...but at what time in your schedule you do. There is evidence that shows that the calories you consume within approximately the first hour after working out are basically freebies, according to the Harvard Gazette. You body begins to repair and recover, and mixed with your afterburn, your body is burning at such a high rate that whatever you eat (within reason) is essentially burned off.
Wow. This is it. Last year I worked out before dinner every day. I ate dinner within an hour of finishing my workouts. My entire dinner was being burned off, while I was eating it. This year I've been working out so early in the mornings that I don't have breakfast until almost two hours after I work out. I was no longer getting free calories, if you will.
This is not to say you should binge after a workout or add a ton of additional food to your diet. Instead, try to schedule your workout an hour before one of your largest meals. One you already eat.