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When Should You *Really* Work Out? Science Has An Answer

Set your alarms early, girls. It'll be worth it.

Exercising at any time is always good for you, but you'll get better results if you tumble out of bed and get going in the A.M.

Researchers in North Carolina have discovered that those who work out early not only burn calories ahead of the daily intake of food, but spike their metabolism for up to 14 hours. Plus, a 45-minute pre-breakfast run will help you burn an extra 190 calories—because there are no sugars or treats to get in the way of a good session at the gym or on the trails.

You should also consider what you put into your body after a workout. Don't pile back the calories you've just lost, but make sure you have a healthy breakfast that sets you up for the rest of the day.

Nutritionists suggest women in particular should aim for a 700-calorie first meal of the day. This helps them kill off the hunger hormone ghrelin which, if coupled with a good lunch, should keep the snack attacks at bay, and leave you with plenty of energy left for an evening out or a good walk after work.

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And don't believe all the negatives about a good cup of joe. Coffee will not only keep you energized, but a shot of caffeine will also help your body burn a few extra calories while you work—often for up to three hours at a time, according to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

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Keep your lunch early as well and look for menu items that include dill or basil as these contain kaempferol, which is another metabolism-boosting secret soldier. An early lunch will then lead to an early dinner, allowing the body to power through until bedtime without a calorie wasted.