intermittent fasting and HIIT training

Time-restricted eating, a type of intermittent fasting that means you can only eat during a specific time window of the day, and high-intensity interval training (HIIT) have been shown to benefit cardiometabolic health in overweight and at-risk people. serious illnesses. However, a randomized controlled trial wanted to test whether the combination of these two approaches is more effective than one or the other separately. The results, published in the journal Cell Metabolism, show that overall improved glycemic control long-term average versus a control group with no intervention. Moreover, he induced double discounts in fat mass and visceral fat area compared to each intervention alone.

“Time-restricted eating and HIIT alone have received increasing attention as effective and feasible strategies for at-risk populations,” said Trine Moholdt, head of the exercise, cardiometabolism research group. and Reproductive Health at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) and the lead author of the study. “We wanted to compare the effects of the two in combination and their effects separately and determine if they would work synergistically to improve the health of people at risk for cardiometabolic disease. This finding highlights the importance of changing dietary habits and physical activity for people who want to quickly improve their health and reduce the risk of disease.”

The trial had four arms: HIIT alone, intermittent fasting alone, intermittent fasting-HIIT combination, and a control group. A total of 131 women were enrolled, with 32 or 33 in each arm. All were overweight or obese and had risk factors for cardiometabolic diseases such as type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

The time-restricted diet consisted of consuming all the daily calories in one 10 hour time window. HIIT training was defined as exercise performed at 90% of maximum heart rate for 35 minutes, three times per week. The physical activity sessions were supervised by the researchers and the participants were asked to record their first and last calories each day.

The interventions lasted 7 weeks. Various measurements were taken before and after the study, including participants’ blood pressure, body mass index, blood fat and cholesterol levels, and blood glucose and insulin levels. .

Researchers found that participants who combined intermittent fasting and HIIT were able to improve your blood sugar control long-term mean measured by glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c) test. They could also effectively reduce body fat and the visceral fat and increase your cardiorespiratory fitness measured as maximal oxygen uptake. However, there were no statistically significant differences in blood lipids, appetite hormones or vital signs after any of the interventions compared to the control group.

Another important finding of the study was that adhesion was high. “Rates of compliance with general lifestyle recommendations are low, and our diet and exercise strategies may serve as an alternative,” said first author Kamilla La Haganes, a PhD student at NTNU. In fact, after the study ended, 18 participants in the control group also chose to try one of the study interventions.

“We recommend this type of program to people who want a relatively easy way to change their diet and exercise habits and improve their health. Time-restricted feeding is a quick way to lose weight and less tedious than daily calorie counting, and HIIT is tolerable and safe for previously sedentary people and can be completed in 30-40 minutes,” advises Moholdt.

A limitation of the study was that the intervention period was only 7 weeks. Longer term investigations are needed to determine effects and sustainability over longer time periods. It was also performed during the Covid-19 lockdown, which affected participants’ lifestyles and could have influenced the results.

Researchers are currently inviting participants for follow-up testing 2 years after the study ends to find out if they continued with the interventions. They also plan to determine whether the combination of time-restricted eating and HIIT it will induce the same health benefits and have equally good adherence rates in an entirely home setting. This study will include both men and women. “Together, these two new studies will give us more information on the long-term feasibility and also on the possibility of implementation in a real environment. Additionally, we can investigate whether there are gender differences in response to these interventions,” concludes Haganes.


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