Is it safe to combine HIIT training with Fasting to Lose Weight?

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HIIT training and Intermittent fasting have become two of the most popular and effective ways of losing weight.

These two approaches have been endorsed by medical practitioners and scientists worldwide, and it shouldn’t be dangerous if all things are equal.

The two methods work in weight loss when you are consistent therefore it makes sense to try to combine the two to lose the maximum weight in the shortest possible time.

This blog post presents the facts and tries to conclude whether it is a good idea to combine the two. But before concluding let us first of all understand what HIIT training and intermittent fasting are and delve into their benefits and impacts on our body.

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What is HIIT Training?

Combine HIIT with fasting
Combine HIIT with fasting

High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is a workout approach that combines short bursts of intense exercise with brief recovery periods.

During a HIIT session, you alternate between pushing your body to its limits and allowing it to recover. This dynamic method elevates your heart rate, enhances endurance, and positively impacts metabolism.

HIIT can be a quick sprint to raise your heart level instantly or if you are engaging in other types of workouts it should be intense.

To reduce issues such as muscle cramps or strain, starting with a mild warm-up is best to set the body in the mood.

Let’s go into detail, about the benefits of HIIT training.

What are The benefits of HIIT Training?

To understand what the benefits of this type of exercise gives your body we have to appreciate how HIIT training impacts your body.

During High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), your body relies on both aerobic and anaerobic energy systems. Let’s break it down:

Aerobic System: In the initial phase of HIIT, your aerobic system kicks in. It uses oxygen to break down stored carbohydrates (glycogen) and fats to produce energy. The body utilizes much oxygen for this process, and it’s why you can sustain moderate-intensity exercise for longer periods.

Anaerobic System: In the anaerobic state which is where your body switches to the anaerobic system, your body stops relying on oxygen and starts using stored ATP (adenosine triphosphate) and creatine phosphate.

It’s a rapid but limited source of energy, which is why you can’t sustain high-intensity efforts for long. Lactic acid buildup occurs during anaerobic metabolism, leading to muscle fatigue this is when many experience cramping and soreness during their workouts.

EPOC (Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption): The incredible thing about HIIT training is that even when you are done, the body still burns calories at an elevated state. This is what we call EPOC.

This phenomenon, known as EPOC, occurs because your body needs to restore oxygen levels, clear lactic acid, and repair tissues.

Overall Benefits of HIIT Training:

  1. Improved Cardiovascular Fitness:
    • HIIT elevates your heart rate during intense intervals, enhancing cardiovascular endurance.
    • It improves oxygen uptake and overall heart health.
  2. Efficient Calorie Burn:
    • HIIT burns more calories in a shorter time compared to steady-state cardio.
    • The intense bursts increase metabolic rate, leading to post-workout calorie expenditure.
  3. Fat Loss and Muscle Preservation:
    • HIIT promotes fat loss while preserving lean muscle mass.
    • It triggers the release of growth hormones, aiding muscle development.
  4. Time-Efficient Workouts:
    • HIIT sessions are brief (usually 20-30 minutes), making them ideal for busy schedules.
    • You achieve significant results with less time investment.
  5. Enhanced Insulin Sensitivity:
    • HIIT improves insulin sensitivity, helping regulate blood sugar levels.
    • It’s beneficial for preventing or managing type 2 diabetes.
  6. Increased Metabolic Rate:
    • HIIT stimulates the metabolism, leading to continued calorie burn after exercise.
    • This effect persists even during rest (thanks to EPOC).

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What Is Intermittent Fasting?

combine HIIT training with Fasting
combine HIIT training with Fasting

Intermittent fasting (IF) is an eating pattern that cycles between periods of fasting and eating. Unlike a specific diet, intermittent fasting doesn’t dictate which foods to eat but focuses on when to eat them.

One method that is popularly adopted in intermittent fasting is the 16/8 Method also known as the Leangains Protocol. For this method, you only eat in an 8-hour window and fast for 16 hours straight.

There is also the Eat-Stop-Eat method where you fast 24 hours straight once or twice a week. This is best for those whose bodies have become accustomed to fasting for longer periods.

This is an alternative to check yourself on a strict diet because it is also a form of fasting. you set a target to eat a certain amount of calories most of the days

What are The Benefits of Intermittent Fasting?

Fasting comes with lots of benefits. It is a way by which your body cleanses itself. Additionally, you stand to benefit from the following you include fasting in your lifestyle.

Insulin Levels:  fasting increases insulin sensitivity, that is the ability for insulin to react quickly to elevated blood sugar levels. It also decreases the insulin level in your body.

Human Growth Hormone (HGH): Fasting can lead to an increase in HGH levels. Studies have shown fasting can increase HGH secretion by 300% to 1200%. Insulin and HGH have an inverse relationship, meaning when one is high, the other is low.

Cellular Repair: When you fast, your body experiences a lack of nutrients and energy. This nutrient deprivation triggers autophagy, as the body shifts to a state of conservation and recycling to maintain essential functions.

Can I combine HIIT workouts and Fasting?

Yes, you can but you must be guided. these two approaches are both effective in losing weight and building a healthy body.

Should you decide to combine the two, you should be careful not to overstress your body. You can vary the intensity from low to high and better understand your body.

Fasting and HIIT workouts both take energy from your body if you overdo them, you risk going into shock or passing out.

While fasting, your body may break down muscle tissue for energy, especially if your protein intake is insufficient. HIIT, which is demanding on the muscles, could exacerbate this effect if not managed properly. Rapid loss of muscle mass could also affect your kidneys.

Conclusion

High-intensity interval Training (HIIT) and intermittent fasting are both powerful tools for enhancing fitness and health. When done correctly, HIIT can significantly improve cardiovascular fitness, burn calories efficiently, and promote fat loss while preserving muscle. Similarly, intermittent fasting can help regulate insulin levels, increase human growth hormone (HGH) secretion, and trigger cellular repair processes like autophagy.

Combining these two approaches can amplify their benefits, but it’s crucial to do so with caution. Proper hydration, balanced nutrition, and careful monitoring of your body’s responses are essential to avoid potential risks such as energy deficiency, dehydration, hypoglycemia, and impaired recovery.

By understanding the mechanisms and benefits of both HIIT and intermittent fasting, and by approaching their combination mindfully, you can achieve significant health and fitness gains while minimizing the associated risks. Always consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new fitness or dietary regimen, especially if you have underlying health conditions.

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Emmanuel Papa Brew

Emmanuel Brew

With three years of experience in lifestyle blogging, Emmanuel Brew is a seasoned writer known for his engaging content. An avid health and fitness enthusiast, Emmanuel shares valuable tips on social life, blending his passion for well-being with storytelling. Follow Kwame’s journey for a unique perspective on health tips and meaningful lifestyle.

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