If you are reading this article it is likely that you want to lose weight and want to know how. You may also be a person that goes to the gym and see know difference in your body.
I’m hoping that some of the facts shared in this article will help you to lose weight, get fit and keep weight off for good!
Did you know that if you do long steady state cardio workouts for between 30-60 minutes constantly, eventually it can lead to fat GAIN around your belly, thighs and legs?
I realise that this may come as a shock to you, but studies are showing that long low intensity cardio workouts like long steady state runs can impede thyroid function.
Your thyroid is the organ in your body that controls the speed of your metabolism.
I have noticed that most people that start working out to lose belly fat do long cardio workouts at low intensity.
So, what are the advantages of HIIT?
HIIT workouts help to burn that hard to reach deep-rooted layer of fat
Let’s not forget that fat is healthy. Your body needs fat. However, it is when fat becomes excessive that it becomes a problem.
There are two types of fat that you have in your body. They are subcutaneous fat and visceral fat.
Visceral fat is sometimes known as “active fat since it can actively increase your risk of various health related diseases. This is the type of fat you want to avoid.
It is located in the abdominal cavity and surrounds your vital organs.
Subcutaneous fat is located just under the skin of your belly and can be pinched with your fingers. It is also located in the arms, legs and other areas of the body and is easier to see.
As it is located away from your vital organs it is less dangerous to your health. Visceral fat is located so deep in the body that you can only see it with an MRI of CT scan.
Now I am not saying that long slow cardio workouts are not healthy for you, as I have seen many people lose weight using this method.
However, you want the most efficient and effective way of losing fat right? Well lets look a little deeper at why you should do HIIT.
Why HIIT is more efficient at burning calories.
This is a scientific fact that you will love to here if you are trying to lose weight and get fit. For every litre of oxygen that your body consumes during exercise you burn 5 calories.
Even if it takes you 2 minutes to burn one litre of oxygen exercising at a slow intensity after an hour all those calories add up.
In this scenario you would burn 150 calories after an hour.
It may not sound like a lot, but if your fitness levels are not very high you will not overexert yourself and the time it will take to recover after a workout is small.
You could workout the next day with very little muscle pain.
Also, you are still going to improve your fitness. Reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease, and you may see some weight loss.
Advantages of HIIT workouts
You will be working at higher intensities in short bursts which means that you will consume more litres of oxygen. Remember that for every litre you consume, you burn 5 calories.
During your short bursts of intense exercise, you will burn a few litres of oxygen per minute.
HIIT workouts help you increase the production of hormones that increase weight loss!
Cortisol is an important hormone for your body. It is a stress hormone that helps your blood clot and in fight or flight situations it helps you produce incredible burst of speed or strength with the help of adrenaline.
The problem with cortisol is when your body produces too much cortisol.
This is because cortisol causes you to break down fat, protein and carbohydrates to use for energy in a fight or flight situation.
In the long term your body will lose protein from the muscle and will reduce your metabolism in the long run.
The carbohydrates that are broken down are often converted to fat by insulin and then stored in your body.
This elevation in cortisol in the long term causes you to lose muscle and store fat. Research has shown that long steady state cardio can cause an increase in your cortisol levels.
So, if you are a person that is doing a lot of cardio and not losing weight you may want to try HIIT. HIIT training causes you to produce growth hormone.
This is because working at higher intensity causes you to activate your type 2 muscle fibres, which are the same muscle fibres Usain Bolt activates when he runs 100 meters.
By increasing growth hormone, you will reduce cortisol and make it easier for your body to lose weight.
Gerald has a bachelor’s degree in Exercise, Nutrition & Health from Roehampton University. He has written articles for the magazines H2Open, Triathlon plus, Trail running and Men’s running. Gerald has achieved outstanding results with clients seeking fast Weight loss, core strengthening, Rehabilitation from injury or improved sports performance for Golf, rowing, badminton, hockey and Triathlon.
Gerald has a laid back and approachable personality. He is passionate about running performance. After completing his degree in 2007 he worked as a personal trainer before he did an internship in strength and conditioning with Watford football club (FC) in 2008. To learn more about Gerald visit his website.