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Know more: Diet combined with high-intensity exercise reduces risk of weight regain

Tuesday, December 05, 2017

If you want to avoid regaining all that weight you worked so hard to lose, Pearl Mathias tells you how high-intensity exercise may help

If you’ve been on a strict calorie-restricted diet that has helped you shed some kilos, the worry of possible weight regain may be at the back of your mind. Eric Plaisance, Ph.D., assistant professor of exercise science in the UAB School of Education, says, “Eighty percent of people who lose weight by dieting gain all of it back in a four- to five-year period.” But, researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham have found that combining a calorie-restricted diet with high-intensity interval training (HIIT) can reduce the risk of weight regain.

High-intensity interval training (HIIT), also called high-intensity intermittent exercise (HIIE) or sprint interval training (SIT), is a form of interval training that alternates short periods of intense anaerobic exercise with less intense periods of recovery. For example, if you are exercising on the treadmill, you may go from running or sprinting (high-intensity exercise) to walking (recovery), then perform another cycle of high-intensity running followed by another active recovery period, continuing this for four or five cycles.

Plaisance states that people who perform 20 minutes of high-intensity interval training seem to produce the same amount of weight loss as those who do 60 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise. “The number one reason that people tell us they do not exercise is due to a lack of time,” he said. “High-intensity interval training takes about a third of the time as continuous exercise training.”

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