It’s no secret that high-intensity interval training (HIIT) is a major player when it comes to weight loss. Time-restricted feeding (TRE) is also a fairly effective method. Well, listen up, because according to a recent study published in Cell metabolism, the combination of the two methods completely changes the game. Want to burn double your visceral fat while reducing your risk of developing chronic disease? HITT workouts paired with time-restricted eating is a pretty amazing fat-burning combination, according to recent research.
HIIT is gold in general because you can burn 25% to 30% more calories than a moderately intense workout (via AARP). TRE has also become extremely popular; it involves limiting the timing of your meals each day within a given time frame. By adjusting the timing of your eating habits, foods eaten earlier can be metabolized before you go to bed, and there is less stored fat to burn. TRE is also a great way to lose weight and improve your overall well-being. It makes perfect sense to combine these two incredible powers to create an aggressive weight loss plan for overweight and obese people.
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This recent study reveals that the combination of HITT and TRE can improve long-term glycemic control and help you burn twice as much visceral fat. Pretty tempting, right? Both TRE and HIIT are essential ways to improve the cardiometabolic health of people who are overweight and at risk of developing serious diseases. This research reveals that combining these two approaches is more effective than performing just one.
Trine Moholdt, the study’s lead author and head of the Exercise, Cardiometabolic Health and Reproductive Research Group at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), explains: “ETR and HIIT isolated have received increasing attention as effective and feasible strategies. We wanted to compare the effects of combining TRE and HIIT with their effects alone and determine whether TRE and HIIT would act synergistically in improving the health of people at risk for cardiometabolic disease. changing the eating and physical activity habits of people who want to rapidly improve their health and reduce their risk of disease.”
There were 131 women involved in the seven-week study. Participants were divided into four groups of 32 or 33 each for observation. They included a TRE group, a HIIT group, a combined TRE + HIIT group, and a control group. Each person in the study was overweight or obese and potentially at risk for cardiometabolic diseases, including cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. Body mass index, blood pressure, insulin and blood sugar levels were were checked before and after the study.
HIIT included 35 minutes of exercise performed three times per week at a maximum heart rate of 90%. TRE has restricted the calories to be consumed within a 10 hour window each day. Each training period was observed and participants recorded their first and last calories each day. The study found that participants who combined HIIT and TRE were able to reduce visceral fat and fat mass, improve their cardiorespiratory fitness game, and improve their average long-term glycemic control. There were no statistically significant changes in appetite hormones, blood lipids or vital signs after the introduction of any of the interventions compared to the control group.
Interestingly, there was a very high rate of adherence to the study, according to Kamilla La Haganes, first author and Ph.D. student at NTNU. The Haganes explains, “High adherence rates matter. Adherence rates to general lifestyle recommendations are low, and our diet and exercise strategies can serve as an alternative.”
Following the conclusion of the study, 18 of the participants in the control group must have been quite impressed and decided to try out one of the study interventions. “We recommend this type of program for people who want a relatively easy way to change their eating and exercise habits and improve their health,” says Moholdt, adding, “TRE is a less tedious and faster way to lose weight. weight versus daily calorie counting and HIIT are tolerable and safe for previously sedentary individuals and can be completed in 30-40 minutes.”
The research team plans to follow the study participants two years after completion. They want to see if participants actually continued with the intervention methods and whether a combined HIIT and TRE course will be just as effective when performed at home rather than in an observed study setting. A new study will include both women and men. Haganes believes, “Together, these two new studies will tell us more about long-term feasibility and also about the possibility of implementation in a real-world setting.”
Alexa is the associate editor of Eat This, Not That!’s Mind + Body, overseeing the M+B channel and bringing readers compelling stories about fitness, wellness and self-care. Learn more about Alexa
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