Can You Lose Weight By Doing HIIT Alone?

Last Updated on February 18, 2023 by TJ Daniels, Certified Personal Trainer

Fitness experts and dietitians agree that to lose weight, you must combine your workout plan with a nutrition plan.

Can You Lose Weight By Doing HIIT Alone?

Doing one without the other is unlikely to give you the results you are looking for, so combining what you do at the gym with what you create in the kitchen must go hand in hand. 

When it comes to what physical activity is best for weight loss, many people question HIIT training. High-intensity interval training involves short bursts of intense exercise followed by a few minutes of moderate activity, or complete rest, as a form of recovery.

This is then followed by repeating that cycle at a steady state in intervals.

This article will be discussing whether you can lose weight and burn fat by just doing a HIIT workout on its own. 

Benefits Of HIIT 

There are some great benefits when it comes to HIIT workouts. It is an effective and efficient way for weight loss, especially when it comes to fat loss.

This can be done in a shorter amount of time, as it allows you to burn the same amount of calories in 20 minutes as you would burn in a 45-minute weight training session.  Therefore, it is a form of steady-state cardio that leads to fat burning.

As HIIT training is so intense, it is effective at increasing lung capacity and blood flow in the body. Some of these workouts will take you to 90 or 100% of your max heart rate.

What this does is it increases your aerobic capacity, enabling you to increase your fitness levels and cardiovascular health. This will also increase your metabolism over time.

Another great benefit of HIIT workouts is that you will continue to burn calories for up to 48 hours after completing a workout. This can lead to more fat burn, so you’re not sacrificing any muscle mass, and you’re also able to lose weight. 

It’s also a type of workout that you can do anywhere, anytime. You don’t need a gym membership or any fancy equipment to complete HIIT workouts. You just need 30 minutes of your time.

This makes them ideal for those who have busy schedules and don’t have an entire hour they can spend at the gym. This means you can achieve results in less time.

Couple doing high intensity workout exercises.

Can You Lose Weight By Just Doing HIIT? 

As HIIT is such an intense form of exercise, you can lose weight and burn fat by doing it. However, as mentioned earlier on, this needs to be paired with an appropriate nutrition plan.

If your goal is to lose weight, then you need a meal plan that has a low caloric profile, and you need to be burning more calories than you are consuming.

Aside from doing hit workouts, you’ll also need to ensure you are active throughout your days. You cannot rely on HIIT training alone.

The Calorie Deficit 

Calories are the units of energy that you obtain from beverages and foods, and when you consume fewer calories than you burn during exercise, you are in a calorie deficit. 

There are three aspects to calories.

Your resting energy expenditure, also known as REE, which are the calories that are burned when you are resting, and the calories burned when your body performs daily functions to keep you alive, such as breathing and blood circulation. 

The thermic effect of food refers to the calories that are used up in order for your body to absorb, digest, and metabolize food. 

Lastly, activity energy expenditure refers to the calories you use up when engaging in physical activity. 

If your body consumes fewer calories than it needs to support the above functions, then you are in a calorie deficit. If you are in this consistently, then it will lead to weight loss. 

How To Achieve A Calorie Deficit

In order to achieve a calorie deficit and fat loss, you need to consume fewer calories and engage in more physical activity at the same time. 

Therefore, if you decide to engage in high-intensity interval training workouts, you must do this a few times a week while also consuming fewer calories in your meals.

How many calories you should be consuming in a day will depend on many factors, such as your current body weight.

How To Reduce Your Calorie Intake

Can You Lose Weight By Doing HIIT Alone

While the idea of cutting calories from your diet may seem daunting, it does not need to be such a drastic change. By making small changes to your eating habits and diet, you can cut several calories from your day without even noticing. 

Don’t Drink Calories

A lot of the hefty calories we consume come from certain beverages. These include sugary drinks such as soda and fruit juices and other warm drinks such as coffee. 

Alcoholic beverages also contain a lot of calories in them, and they can also lead to weight gain, diabetes, and heart disease. 

Get Rid Of Processed Foods

Highly processed foods contain a lot of sugar, fat, salt, and other harmful additives, that aren’t very healthy. Studies have shown that those who consume highly processed foods consume around 500 more calories than those who limit these foods. 

Foods that aren’t so processed are not only less calorie-dense, but they are also healthier as they contain a lot more nutrients, minerals, and fiber. These are all healthy nutrients that your body needs in order to thrive.

These are foods such as lean proteins, legumes, nuts, fruits, and vegetables. 

If you begin to replace processed foods with minimally processed ones, you’ll feel fuller and more satisfied. For example, if you’re used to having breakfast cereal in the morning, you can replace that with oatmeal and some fruit. 

Cook Your Food At Home

Cooking your meals at home allows you to have full control of all ingredients and additives that go into your dishes. You also have complete control over your portion sizes, which should be reduced if you are trying to consume fewer calories. 

Studies have shown that those who cook meals at home 6 to 7 times a week consume far fewer calories than those who cook 0 to 1 time each week. 

Cooking at home is also linked to healthier diets, and it will also save you quite a bit of money! 

How Often Should You Do HIIT To Lose Weight?

As long as you pair your HIIT workouts with a nutritious meal plan that contains fewer calories, it is a perfect form of exercise for weight loss. 

It is advised that you perform HIIT workouts that target different body parts in order to focus on strength training as well as cardio. This involves working your lower body, upper body, and core on different days of the week. 

It is important to dedicate different days of the week to different body parts, as your muscles will need time to recover in order for them to work properly the next time you train them. 

You can start by fitting two or three HIIT workouts in a week, and these can be from around 15 to 45 minutes long, depending on your fitness levels. 

If you are new to this kind of physical training, then you can begin by starting slowly, perhaps by trying to fit in two workouts a week, and then slowly increasing the amount as you get comfortable. 

Final Thoughts 

To conclude, a HIIT workout refers to high-intensity interval training. These revolve around spouts of intense activity followed by a rest period before repeating the cycle around 4 times. 

Due to their intensity, they are effective at achieving weight-loss results, but this is only possible when paired with a specific nutrition plan. 

In order to lose weight, your body must be in a calorie deficit, which is when you are consuming fewer calories than you are burning. 

Therefore, as well as engaging in HIIT training a few times a week, you must reduce your calorie intake so your body is working in a calorie deficit.

If this is a goal of yours, you should speak with a certified personal trainer, as they will be able to find an exercise, and healthy nutrition plan for you, to help you achieve your goals.

TJ Daniels, Certified Personal Trainer
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