So you just discovered HIIT? No doubt you’re loving just how easy it is to get a fat burning, calorie melting workout in now and you’re getting a kick out of pushing yourself so hard.
But while you’re probably feeling great, you should know that fat loss and muscle gain do not happen in the gym or on the track. Rather, they happen in the kitchen. If you really want to make the very most of HIIT, the you should combine it with the right diet…
The Basics – Calories In, Calories Out
The great thing about HIIT is that it is a form of MetCon – metabolic conditioning. That is to say that it doesn’t just burn calories while you’re training, it also increases your calorie burn at rest by making your cells more efficient at burning through fat stores and sugars. Thus, even when you’re resting, you’re going to lose more weight.
But you still need to try and calculate this as much as you can and to do that, you need to figure out a rough ‘AMR’ – the total number of calories you burn in a day (this stands for ‘Active Metabolic Rate’). Likewise, you should track the calories you’re taking in with an app like MyFitnessPal and what this will then allow you to do, is to make sure you are consuming fewer calories than you are burning off. If you do this, then you should lose weight – and especially with the metabolic benefits.
Some people will tell you that it is important to reduce carbs – at least the simple kind. That’s because carbs spike the blood sugar and your body responds by producing insulin, absorbing that sugar and then storing it as fat.
If you’re concerned about this, you can try something called ‘carb backloading’. Here, you simply consume carbs only immediately following a workout. This wouldn’t work with aerobic training but HIIT will deplete the glycogen stores in your muscles. Thus, the priority of your body will become refuelling those glycogen stores, meaning that you’ll be less likely to store the excess energy as fat!
This way, you can still enjoy your carbs but without the guilt!
One supplement that makes a lot of sense in conjunction with a HIIT workout program is creatine. That’s because creatine allows you to recycle ATP in your system, which in turn means you can rely on the ATP-CP energy system just a little longer. This in turn means that you can go all out for a second or so more when performing the high intensity portion of your workouts. That’s a big difference and it will result in better results. All that and creatine has also been shown to add muscle (by increasing water retention in the muscles) and to boost IQ!
Meanwhile, you can also try other supplements that will enhance your cellular energy. Popular choices include l-carnitine, CoQ10 and omega 3.
You don’t need any supplements, but adding a little l-carnitine and creatine can only help you see results faster!