High-intensity interval training can triple weight loss and is three times faster, research finds.
High-intensity interval training — known as HIIT — can be done in as little as 20 minutes.
A 20-minute HIIT workout can produce the same level of weight loss as exercising continuously at a moderate intensity for 60 minutes.
Common types of interval training involve 30-second bursts going “all out” followed by four minutes of recovery at a much lower intensity.
Interval training can also be done on a bicycle, by running, jogging, speed walking or with a variety of other exercises.
Although HIIT burns less calories, it is linked to a higher amount of weight loss.
Dr Eric Plaisance, study co-author, said:
“The number one reason that people tell us they do not exercise is due to a lack of time.
High-intensity interval training takes about a third of the time as a continuous exercise training.
If you are going to start a diet where you are restricting calories, these results could help prevent muscle mass and maintain energy expenditure.”
The study on mice found that HIIT preserved muscle mass and improved the way the body deals with glucose.
Other recent studies on humans have reached similar conclusions (one recent study, finding it can triple weight loss).
HIIT helps fight muscle loss while losing weight, Dr Plaisance said:
“One of the major problems when you restrict calories on a diet is that you lose muscle mass, and as a result, your metabolism slows down to accommodate the restriction of food.
Eighty percent of people who lose weight by dieting gain all of it back in a four- to five-year period.”
About the author
Psychologist, Jeremy Dean, PhD is the founder and author of PsyBlog. He holds a doctorate in psychology from University College London and two other advanced degrees in psychology.
He has been writing about scientific research on PsyBlog since 2004. He is also the author of the book “Making Habits, Breaking Habits” (Da Capo, 2003) and several ebooks:
- Accept Yourself: How to feel a profound sense of warmth and self-compassion
- The Anxiety Plan: 42 Strategies For Worry, Phobias, OCD and Panic
- Spark: 17 Steps That Will Boost Your Motivation For Anything
- Activate: How To Find Joy Again By Changing What You Do
The study was published in the American Journal of Physiology – Endocrinology And Metabolism (Davis et al., 2017).