HIIT training has taken the fitness world by storm. First it dazzled us with promises of reaping benefits from working out for just 7 minutes, then researchers proclaimed that we could get fit in only 4. Now a study from the University of Western Australia has found that high intensity interval training not only cuts down on time spent working out, but it’s also better for losing weight.
17 overweight men were recruited to perform interval training at three levels of intensity—moderate, high or very high. An hour after each session, the subjects were allowed to eat as much as they wanted.
The results showed that the harder the men worked out, the fewer calories they decided to eat. The men that performed the very high intensity training consumed up to 200 fewer calories than those who rested.
Ph.D. candidate Aaron Sim, the lead author of the study, believes the dip in calories consumed may be related to altered levels of appetite-related hormones and metabolites.
“The interval training suppressed active ghrelin—a hunger-stimulating hormone—and increased levels of blood lactate and blood glucose, both of which may play a role in suppressing short-term food intake,” Sim said.
The study concluded that to reap the benefits and cut your caloric intake, you should exercise at 75 to 80 percent of your heart rate for the entire workout.