All exercises that require activity will burn calories, so why is HIIT the best option for weight loss?
Because of the nature of HIIT workouts, you can expend just as much energy as you would during moderate-intensity exercises in half the time, meaning you can burn just as many calories more quickly. This is great for athletes or fitness fanatics who want to get or stay in shape but don’t have tight schedules to work around.
The Afterburn Effect
Logically, HIIT training burns the same number of calories as any other exercise, it just does it more quickly, right? Wrong. Thanks to something known as “the afterburn effect”, HIIT training can actually be better for weight loss than moderate-impact exercises and cardio training. This is due to metabolism. HIIT affects the metabolism for hours after the workout is finished, and it does so in two ways.
During high intensity interval training, your muscles are deprived of oxygen at a much quicker rate than with regular cardio exercises. This oxygen deprivation forces your body to burn more fuel in order to aid in the repair process for hours after your workout is over.
HIIT can improve your insulin sensitivity. Insulin controls the levels of glucose the cells in your your body can take on, so by improving sensitivity you increase the efficiency of how your body processes the fuel you put into your body.
It’s not just your metabolism that contributes to HIIT’s effectiveness for weight loss. There is also evidence showing that high-intensity interval training can help to balance the weight-gain hormones, ghrelin and leptin, helping to prevent weight gain in the first place.