We are continually back and forth on this blog trying to find the best way to lose weight and shed pounds. We do it through research, discussion and feedback and invariably never come to a definitive conclusion. However, there is a group of scientists that believe that they have found the absolute fastest way to lose weight through exercise alone.
Before we go any further, let me first emphasize that, as you know, I am no fan of “get rich quick schemes” when it comes to weight loss and dieting. In my world they don’t exist. However, just like in any other walk of life, some methods and systems work better than others so for the sake of argument, let’s assume that I’m on board with this philosophy..for now.
Scientists studied individuals who were tasked with 3 twenty minute exercise bike sessions per week for 12 weeks. The researchers found that a high-intensity 8-second bursts of exercise, followed by a 12-second period of low intensity work and on and on repetitively causes the subject to lose more weight than a 5-6 hour weekly jogging regimen. Apparently the biochemistry behind this phenomenon is based on a group of hormones called catecholamines which get released into the bloodstream in large amounts when using this training schedule. Their effect is to force the body to burn abdominal fats as energy and also to reduce lactic acid levels in the muscles enabling the subject to prolong the workout and reduce muscle pain.
If you’re any kind of expert on fitness training you will recognize this method for what it is and that’s High Intensity Interval Training or (HIIT) which, in its crudest form has been around for decades. Marathon runners use a very primitive form of interval training to prepare for their races (that involves much different time intervals and intensity levels so don’t think that what we’re talking about today will turn you into a marathon runner – IT WON’T).
Despite the simplicity of the approach, and it is easily done, there are some pitfalls to consider. The research was only carried out over a 12-week period because the body tends to break down after such an intensive level of training. As we have discussed before, consistent weight loss and dieting is a state of mind that needs to be adopted as an attitude going forward and not just over short periods to achieve temporary goals before tumbling away back down the hill.
My own personal opinion is that this type of HIIT can be attempted over that short 12-week period but in fact after that, the subject simply must revert back to some kind of dieting control and exercise program. The HIIT should be seen as a way to give an already well established weight loss focus a swift burst of progress to encourage additional focus and to increase motivation. This is obviously not a way for the average dieter to suddenly begin to think about weight loss and exercise,