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The Best Exercises to Do Before Bed to Lose Belly Fat

Connor Sellers
Published by Connor Sellers
Last updated: October 22, 2022

One of my regular clients recently had to leave the gym temporarily because of his newly arrived baby.

Being a religious gym-goer, he asked me to give him some exercises he could do before bedtime after his son falls asleep, which will keep him from gaining fat and help him avoid the infamous “dad bod”.

So I decided to conduct thorough research to determine which before-bedtime exercises are the most efficient for fat loss. I read numerous articles and did a three-month trial on myself, so I can confidently recommend what works best for all my current and future parent-to-be clients.

These are my insights.

Quick Summary

  • Evening exercise should combine cardio and strength workout, have mild intensity, and last about 30 minutes.
  • Evening meals rich in tryptophan, mint odor, and a cooler bedroom may also contribute.
  • The downsides of bedtime exercise could happen if performed just before sleeping.

What Exercises To Do Before Bed To Burn Belly Fat?

A group lifting a dumbbell

There are several different types of exercises you could do before bed to lose belly fat.

The important thing to remember is that they have to have a light to moderate intensity and last no longer than 30 minutes.

The ideal scenario would be if you combined cardio movements and strength exercises to reduce belly fat more efficiently.

Cardio Exercises

Here is a list of the best cardio workouts for weight loss but you can start with three rounds of lunge jumps, doing as many reps as comfortable in 60 seconds.

The rest between sets should also be about one minute. After one minute of rest, you can go for jump squats in the same pattern.

Strength Exercises

A person doing squats

You should start with leg muscles. Perform basic body-weight squat, focusing on the negative phase. Make one set of 10 to 15 reps.

After squats, do 15 reps for each leg of stationary lunges to keep the pump in the legs.

Afterward, come crunches that may aid in body fat decrease and acquiring a flat stomach. You should do three sets of 10 reps. To also engage the core, you can insert a glute bridge in the same pattern.

The end is reserved for isometric exercise. Get into your plank pose and try to hold for at least 20 seconds.

After you have done everything, a good option is to slow down your heart rate by doing some stretching exercises.

Related Article: Cardio vs Strength Training

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What Other Routines Before Bed Could Help You Lose Weight?

A woman double thinking what to eat

Some other routines before bed that could help you lose weight include controlling what you eat and also not eating after 5 pm [1].

But, if your lifestyle doesn't allow you to skip the late dinner, you should pick your meals wisely.

Foods rich in amino-acid tryptophan, such as turkey, chicken, or cottage cheese, might be the best options for dinner.

Tryptophan is linked with both weight loss and a good night's sleep [2]  [3].

Studies showed that 30 grams of either casein (slow-digesting milk protein) or whey snack in the evening lead to a higher resting metabolic rate the following morning than when not having dinner at all [4].

One interesting hack is the fact that research shows that peppermint, banana, vanilla, and green apple smells may suppress appetite [5].

So, a good option would be to have some mint tea in the evening or light the minty candle in your bedroom to keep you from ingesting more calories.

Sleeping in a cool bedroom may also be adequate for losing abdominal fat.

Researchers found that colder temperatures may intensify brown fat potency, improve our metabolism, and keep us from gaining weight [6].

Related Articles:

Are There Any Downsides Of Working Out Before Sleep?

A woman stretching

There are some downsides to working out before sleep, especially if you are doing it at the wrong time or the wrong way.

Exercise will bring up your heart rate and body temperature.

It might increase your metabolism signaling your body to stay active and awake, contributing to sleep issues.

Also, cardio before bed may induce too much endorphin production, keeping the person alert for a long time.

"Many people find that exercise too close to bedtime, often within an hour or two, can make it difficult to fall asleep due to its stimulating nature and effect on body temperature, so become an expert on you and experiment with exercising at different times of day (and night) and see how that affects your sleep."

- Adam Perlman, Health & Wellbeing Expert at Duke University

You should keep in mind that it is harder to stay consistent if working out is the last thing you do in a day.

The most consistent ones were those who had a morning routine of exercising, which has also been proved to increase sleep quality [7].

FAQs

What to Drink Before Bed to Lose Weight?

To lose weight, before bed you should drink some of the popular beverages like:

  • Cinnamon tea
  • Soaked Fenugreek water
  • Chamomile tea
  • Aloe Vera juice
  • Turmeric Milk

It's recommended to avoid drinking alcohol as the body may stay busy metabolizing alcohol instead of excess fat during the night and prevent you from losing weight.

What Is The Best Time to Exercise at Night?

The best time to exercise at night is two to three hours before sleep. However, having just a one-hour window between exercise and sleep may be enough to avoid sleep disturbance for most people.

Can I Workout at Night After Dinner?

You can work out at night after dinner, but the best option is to wait a few hours (3 - 4) after your meal. The rule of thumb is to have some light dinner or snack so your body can fully recover during the night and burn fat. If you want to take a walk or ride a bike, it's OK to do it right after dinner.

Should I Do Exercises Before Bed?

There is a direct correlation between exercise and sleep quality. Regular exercise may lead to more sleep, and the better and more you sleep, the less likely you are to trigger habits and mechanisms that might lead to you becoming overweight.

Exercises mentioned earlier in the article might be enough to lose belly fat and keep your regular body weight.

In my personal experience, an excellent result also occurred when I combined bedtime exercises with some high-quality nighttime fat burners.

I always recommend this combo to my clients who have to pause the gym to make sure they preserve their body form.


References:

  1. https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/
  2. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs
  3. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0140673670920155
  4. https://diginole.lib.fsu.edu/islandora/object/fsu%3A253098
  5. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/265072153
  6. https://diabetesjournals.org/diabetes/article/63/11/3686/34165
  7. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/oby.22535
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