How high-intensity interval training (HIIT) helps you lose unwanted fat

Recently, there has been a great deal of hype surrounding high-intensity interval training (HIIT) or high-intensity intermittent exercise (HIIE) to lose abdominal weight. Many people have sought aerobic exercise to lose body fat but only had negligible results at best. However, HIIT might have a more significant effect on reducing abdominal and subcutaneous body fat. 


Research Reveals that HIIT is Beneficial to Health and Boosts Weight Loss

In a recent study undertaken by the School of Medical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia researchers found that HIIT caused a modest reduction in weight in average to slightly overweight males and females. It was shown that the participants attained significant increases in aerobic and anaerobic fitness which aided in substantial muscle adaptations. The HIIT workouts also affected their insulin sensitivity. 


Workout Times for HIIT

It is generally accepted that all individuals who wish to lose body fat must workout a minimum of 150 minutes or more per week performing a moderate exercise. Many people cite time as the leading factor in why they refrain from getting enough exercise. However, the relatively fast, hard workouts required by HIIT are ideal for time-starved, busy individuals. With HIIT, the time allotted for vigorous activity drops to 75 minutes. A 12-week HIIT regime renders significant reductions in body fat. However, some experts shy away from recommending strenuous physical exercise for certain individuals because of the danger of the person sustaining a cardiac event or musculoskeletal damage. Although, when HIIT has been used as a part of an athletic training program the risk of such health dangers is only minimal. Research is still being undertaken to determine the exercise protocol’s safety for older adults or those with a variety of health conditions, but preliminary results appear to show that the risks are minimal and the benefits of losing unhealthy weight might surpass any minuscule risk.

HIIT Involves Intense Exercise and Recovery Periods

HIIT involves alternating very short periods of intense exercise with recovery periods of mild intensity movement. The time frame for the hard workout usually ranges from 15 seconds to four minutes. During that time, the individual must approach 80 to 95 percent of their heart rate. The recovery period averages slightly longer than the workout period. During the recovery period, the person will either indulge in passive rest or mild activity keeping their heart rate at 40 percent to 50 percent of the maximum speed. The workout/rest interval is repeated six to 10 times. The total HIIT workout time ranges from 10 to 40 minutes. The time varies depending on the duration of the workout or rest periods undertaken.


The Health Benefits of HIIT

Here are just a few health benefits of high-intensity interval training:

●     Increased weight loss

●     Improved aerobic and anaerobic fitness

●     Enhanced glucose tolerance

●     Better insulin sensitivity

●     Blood pressure improvements

●     Diminished arterial stiffness

●     Corrected lipid profiles

●     Increased skeletal muscle fat oxidation

●     Heightened metabolism

●     Lower levels of abdominal and subcutaneous fat


Starting a HIIT Regime

Older adults, people who have lived a sedentary lifestyle, and individuals suffering from health conditions should first consult with their physicians before starting a HIIT regime.

Here are the steps to starting a HIIT exercise protocol:

  1. Choose a form of exercises such as walking, running, swimming, rowing, jumping rope, or cycling.
  2. Always undergo a 5 to 10-minute warm-up period before starting exercise and when complete experience a similar cooldown.
  3. Over time, build up to 8 to 10 repetitions of workout/rest intervals.
  4. Seek out a certified exercise professional to guide you through your HIIT workout program.


Diet and Exercise Combined

It takes both diet and exercise to lose weight and keep it off effectively. If your goal is to lose fat, especially hard-to-lose belly fat, then you are going to want to focus on a diet that features whole foods. It is imperative that you stop consuming sugary and processed foods. You will then need to embark on a high-intensity interval training workout program that fits your unique needs.


Possible HIIT Workout Option

Focus on performing the high-intensity workout for 40 seconds and then take a 20-second rest. During the 40 second interval, you are going to push your body hard. You can make this a ten-minute workout of workout/rest intervals and then increase the time to 30-minutes or more as your body becomes more adept at exercise. Ideally, your trainer will guide you through the HIIT steps.

Undoubtedly, if you want to lose unwanted weight then HIIT and a dietary plan are your best options. You will not only lose weight but also substantially improve your health.



Roy, B. A. (2013). High-Intensity Interval Training: Efficient, Effective, and a Fun Way to Exercise Brought to you by the American College of Sports Medicine www. acsm. org. ACSM’s Health & Fitness Journal17(3), 3.

Tschakert, G., & Hofmann, P. (2013). High-intensity intermittent exercise: methodological and physiological aspects. International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance8(6), 600-610.

Zhang, H., Tong, T. K., Qiu, W., Zhang, X., Zhou, S., Liu, Y., & He, Y. (2017). Comparable effects of high-intensity interval training and prolonged continuous exercise training on abdominal visceral fat reduction in obese young women. Journal of diabetes research2017.

Boutcher, S. H. (2010). High-intensity intermittent exercise and fat loss. Journal of obesity2011.

Sculthorpe, N. F., Herbert, P., & Grace, F. (2017). One session of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) every 5 days, improves muscle power but not static balance in lifelong sedentary ageing men: a randomized controlled trial. Medicine96(6).