Visceral fat, as opposed to subcutaneous fat, lies deep inside the body and is a type of fat many leading health experts stress about how dangerous it is due to its proximity to vital organs making it potentially life-threatening. Visceral fat has been linked to metabolic disturbances and increased risk for cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. Fortunately, there is a way to blast this kind of fat away.
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A 2018 meta-analysis by French researchers found that HIIT significantly reduced total, abdominal, and visceral fat mass.
A similar Italian study confirmed those findings in a 2016 study which found that a combination of HIIT and steady-state workouts were the most effective in reducing fat around the midsection.
The high-intensity nature of a HIIT workout means a person is torching a significant number of calories as they’re working out.
What is high intensity interval training (HIIT)?
Active Health explained: “HIIT is a form of cardio exercise done in short, intense bursts that aims to maximise athletic performance under conditions where the muscles are deprived of oxygen.
“HIIT is a great form of exercise to include in your workout routine if you are seeking to build strength and muscle endurance or trying to lose weight.
“The intensity of the exercise leads to an increased rate of fat oxidation as well as excess post-exercise oxygen consumption, which occurs when your body recovers from its oxygen-deprived state during HIIT.
“During this stage, adipose tissue is broken down and converted into fuel.”
The calorie burn continues long after a HIIT workout thanks in part to the post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC).
EPOC is a phenomenon which occurs as the body returns to a normal metabolic rate following a workout.
To create an EPOC, the body pulls in more oxygen than it usually would while in rest.
To process the excess oxygen, the body needs to burn more calories, even when you’ve stopped working out.
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In a study with the National Library of Medicine, the effects of high-intensity interval training on total, abdominal and visceral fat mass was investigated.
The study noted: “High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is promoted as a time-efficient strategy to improve body composition.
“The aim of this meta-analysis was to assess the efficacy of HIIT in reducing visceral fat mass in normal-weight and overweight/obese adults.
“Electronic databases were searched to identify all related articles on HIIT and fat mass.”
The study determined that HIIT is a time-efficient strategy to decrease fat-mass deposits including those of visceral fat mass.
HIIT is the ideal workout for those leading busy lives and want to squeeze in a workout during a lunch break or to get in shape for a fast-approaching event.
Not only will a person burn calories during a HIIT workout than steady-state cardio, but the effect of all that intense exertion kicks the body’s repair cycle into hyperdrive.
This means a person will burn more fat and calories in the 24 hours after a HIIT workout.
HIIT workouts allows a person to preserve their muscles whilst still ensuring most of the weight lost comes from fat stores such as belly fat.
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