One study suggests that performing high-intensity interval training (HIIT) bursts may be more effective at losing weight than prolonged, low-intensity workouts.
The study, published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, analyzed the results of 36 previous studies. Although all subjects had lost weight, those who did HIIT saw 28.5% more weight loss. However, some scientists have said that HIIT may not be the best weight loss solution for everyone. In some people, this can increase the risk of injury and cause relatively higher levels of cardiovascular stress.
What do the studies say?
Scientists from the Federal University of Goias, Brazil, analyzed data from 576 male and 522 female participants with different fitness levels. Interval training for the study was defined as cardiovascular exercise consisting of repeated short bursts of intense activity with periods of rest between each burst. Swimming, cycling, boxing, and running were included as activities in the study.
This type of exercise has been compared to a workout consisting of longer, continuous, moderate-intensity workouts, most of which lasted between 30 and 45 minutes. The duration of the study was at least 4 weeks for all participants.
Those who did interval training lost an average of 1.58 kg (3.48 lb) compared to 1.13 kg (2.49 lb) lost by those who did low-to-medium intensity workouts.
It appears that sprint interval training was particularly effective for weight loss, although scientists noted that the wide variety of exercise programs made it difficult to recommend a particular regimen. The NHS recommends at least two and a half hours of moderate aerobic activity such as jogging, brisk walking, or cycling each week.
The results were really impressive
To some researchers, the results didn’t seem intuitive, as most participants burned more calories while doing longer, medium-intensity exercise. There can be two explanations for this. First, HIIT can lead to increased energy expenditure after exercising. This means that the metabolic rate can be increased for up to 24 hours after a HIIT training session.
You may feel less hungry after a HIIT session. The study showed that hormones that are responsible for appetite are affected, which may be the cause of the decreased appetite. However, it is not easy to conclude whether this will reduce energy intake over the long term while following a HIIT routine, which still does not make the underlying reason clear.
One participant said he did 20 seconds of high-intensity exercise on his exercise bike three times a week. He reported an improved insulin sensitivity of 24%. The results were particularly impressive in younger, less fit people.
One of the biggest problems with exercising is that they run on a treadmill for half an hour, burn about 120 calories, then lie down on the couch and eat all sorts of junk foods, also known as balancing meals.
It seems that HIIT tends to suppress appetite and target the visceral fat in the gut. It’s not the calories you burn while exercising, but what you will do for the rest of the day.