Researchers Find Training Routine That Will Turn Your Body Into a Fat Burning “Machine”

High-Intensity-Interval-Training increases fat burning more than aerobic exercise. In fact, a few sessions of HIIT per week will turn your body into a fat-burning “machine.”

High-Intensity Interval Training Can Help Burn More Fat

“If that stubborn body fat isn’t going away, consider adding High-Intensity-Interval-Training or HIIT to your exercise routine,” says Professor Zeljko Pedisic.

HIIT increases fat burning more than aerobic exercise, finds a study that was recently published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

How was the study conducted?

For the study, researchers pooled results from 18 controlled intervention trials on the effects of HIIT on the rate of fat burning during exercise.

The intervention trials included a total of 511 adult participants who were engaged in either supervised HIIT, moderate-intensity aerobic exercise, or a non-exercising control group.

The duration of exercise interventions ranged from 2 to 14 weeks. In almost all of the studies, participants engaged in three HIIT sessions per week.

What are the key findings?

According to the research, a few sessions of HIIT per week will turn your body into a fat-burning “machine.” HIIT will make you start burning more fat not just during the HIIT sessions, but also during other types of physical activity, such as brisk walking, swimming, and playing sports.

Fat metabolism will improve after only four weeks of HIIT, and it will continue to improve over time.

After 12 weeks of HIIT, each minute of physical activity can be expected to burn an additional 0.13 grams of fat. For someone who engages in 150 minutes of physical activity per week, this could lead to around 10 kg (22 pounds) of additional fat burned in a decade.

According to the findings, overweight individuals may expect greater increases in fat burning, compared with “normal”-weight individuals.

While people could also improve their fat metabolism by engaging in aerobic exercise (e.g. jogging), this would require a much higher time commitment, and the improvements would be smaller.

Why is this important?

These findings may help more than two billion overweight people in the world to improve their fat metabolism and reduce weight.

They may also help billions of others to prevent unwanted weight gain over time.

Picture your 10-year older self with additional 22 pounds of body fat: HIIT may help you avoid such a change in the body composition.

“According to the recent Worldwide Survey of Fitness Trends, HIIT is among the most popular types of workouts. If you are not already doing it, maybe you should give it a go,” concludes Professor Pedisic.

Reference: “Effects of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) and sprint interval training (SIT) on fat oxidation during exercise: a systematic review and meta-analysis” by Muhammed M Atakan, Yasemin Guzel, Nipun Shrestha, Sukran N Kosar, Jozo Grgic, Todd A Astorino, Huseyin H Turnagol and Zeljko Pedisic, 20 July 2022, British Journal of Sports Medicine.
DOI: 10.1136/bjsports-2021-105181

ExerciseFitnessObesityPopularWeight Loss
Comments ( 6 )
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  • braaainz

    Suspicious that when F45 fitness chain’s valuation is tanking, a “study” comes out about how beneficial it’s training sessions are.

    • Sam

      I think this article qualifies as an advert.

  • Jim

    If this article was legit it would outline the routine that worked. As it stands it doesn’t tell me anything I haven’t known since the 1970s. HIIT was much discussed at least that early.

    • Sam

      You have to remember that these articles are written by people that don’t know anything before 2000 even existed. “Dude, like 1970 was like, when WW-II happened?”

  • Schmartrthanu

    It’s always cute to see Internet experts confusing HIT with HIIT, they are not the same thing, not a thing in common. Mentzer and Tabata had different things in mind.

  • Steve Nordquist

    Trafficwise disappointed that bjsports isn’t open access. They put brackets on persistence though so there’s that.