So you have started to train smarter, faster and quicker than ever before with High Intensity Interval Training and now you are looking to change the shape of your body through fat loss.
HITT is the perfect way to exercise if you want to see a change in your body shape or size, it's an effective way to build muscle, use stored fat and initiate the after burn effect so you can use energy (calories) for hours after you stop exercising.
What is the after burn effect?
When you are training at a high intensity such as interval training and Tabata style workouts, you are using your fast access energy glycogen to fuel your body. Glycogen is the glucose (sugar) that is stored in your muscle tissue and is available for your body to use during intense training. Working at high intensity requires lots of fuel or glycogen and during interval training your glycogen stores can become depleted and even empty. The after burn effect is the amount of energy or calories that your body burns post workout to replenish those stores. The term commonly used to describe this effect is called EPOC: Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption, and it relates to how much energy it takes to replenish oxygen stores, restore ATP energy stores (the energy stores used when exercising at a maximum for 10-20sec), remove lactic acid and replenish muscle protein used. This is why HIIT training is effective training for weight loss when combined with good nutrition.
To properly define those muscles you work so hard for and lose the extra fat from your hips, thighs or abdomen, you need to reduce the amount of glucose available for your body to use as fuel during and post workout so your body must tap into fat stores for fuel.
To do this your diet needs to be low in fast release carbohydrates or High GI foods such as processed foods, cereals, grains, sugars, low fat dairy products. And high in slow release carbohydrate or Low GI foods such as vegetables, full fat and low processed dairy, ancient grains such as quinoa, buckwheat, protein, fats such as avocado, olive oil, coconut oil and eggs.
By Kali Grey BSC Human Nutritionist