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How to Lose Weight Fast

Everyone knows the benefits of exercising and staying in shape. With our busy schedules and limited time, many want to know how to lose weight fast. There is an exercise which takes no more than 20 minutes, guarantees fat loss, and builds muscles. Sounds good? Enter high-intensity interval training (HIIT).

What is HIIT?

HIIT is a workout that alternates between high and low intensity. For example, running as fast as you can for 1 minute and then walking for 2 minutes. Repeat this interval five times for a 15-minute, fat-blasting workout.

Sounds easy? It’s not. When I say “running as fast as you can”, I meant it. You should be pushing yourself so hard that your heart rate is beating at 90 percent of your max heart rate. 60 to 65 percent of your max heart rate during the rest period.

Maximum heart rate (MHR) = 220 – your age.

If I am 30 this year, my MHR is 220 – 30 = 190.

190 x 90% = 171

I should be working out at a heart rate of 171.

Do note that this equation was developed based on young athletes. You should adjust your workout heart rate based on your fitness level.

Benefits of HIIT

A study compared a group doing 20 minutes HIIT against another doing 30 minutes jog. Both groups showed similar weight loss result.

However, the HIIT group lost 2 percent in body fat as compared to 0.3 percent in the other group. The HIIT group also gained close to two pounds of muscle, while the other group lost almost a pound of muscle.

Lose more body fats and gain muscles in the process? That’s definitely a win-win. The result showed that HIIT is more effective than continuous exercise.

EPOC (excess-post exercise oxygen consumption) is also present after HIIT. Your metabolism increases and your body continues to burn calories up to 24 hours after HIIT. Continuous exercise like jogging offers no such benefit.

How do I get started?

To begin, choose your work-to-rest ratio. Beginners should start with a longer resting ratio like 1:2; workout for 1 period and rest for 2.

Next, choose an exercise: running, cycling, and burpees are good options to begin with.

In the example below, 1 period is 30 seconds.As your fitness level increases, change the work-to-rest ratio or increase the period.

Difficulty Ratio Workout Rest
Beginner 1:2 30 seconds sprint 60 seconds slow jog
Intermediate 1:1 60 seconds sprint 60 seconds rest
Advance 2:1 60 seconds sprint 30 seconds rest

How much HIIT should I do?

When done right, HIIT pushes your body to its limit, you will need more time to recover. Aim to have 2 days of rest between each HIIT session and do no more than 2 sessions per week. Supplement your HIIT off days with other exercises like weight training or swimming. Coupled with the correct diet, a healthy weight loss is between 1 and 2 kg per week.

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