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Burn Double the Visceral Fat With This Diet and Workout, Study Says

This dynamic duo will help you kiss that visceral fat goodbye!

It's no secret that high-intensity interval training (HIIT) is a major player when it comes to weight loss. Time-restricted eating (TRE) is also quite an effective method. Well, listen up, because according to a recent study published in Cell Metabolism, combining the two methods is a complete and utter game-changer. Want to burn double the visceral fat while lowering your risk of developing a chronic condition? HITT workouts coupled with time-restricted eating is a pretty amazing combination for burning fat, recent research shows.

HIIT is golden in general, as you can torch 25% to 30% extra calories when compared to performing a moderately-intense workout (via AARP). TRE has become extremely popular as well; it's all about limiting the timing of your meals each day within a given timeframe. By tweaking the time of your eating patterns, food consumed earlier can metabolize before you go to sleep, and there's less fat in storage to burn. TRE is also a great way to lose weight and better your overall wellness. It makes perfect sense to combine these two amazing powerhouses to create an aggressive plan for weight loss in overweight and obese individuals.

Related: Every Thick Waistline Needs This Visceral Fat Reducer at 60, Trainer Says

This recent study reveals the pairing of HITT and TRE can enhance long-term glycemic control and help you burn double the visceral fat. Pretty enticing, right? Both TRE and HIIT are instrumental ways to improve cardiometabolic health in people who are overweight and at risk of developing serious illnesses. This research reveals combining these two approaches is more effective than performing just one on its own.

Trine Moholdt, the senior author of the study and head of the Exercise, Cardiometabolic Health, and Reproduction Research Group at Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), explains, "Isolated TRE and HIIT have received increasing attention for being effective and feasible strategies for at-risk populations. We wanted to compare the effects of the combination of TRE and HIIT with their isolated effects and to determine whether TRE and HIIT would act synergistically in improving health in individuals with risk for cardiometabolic disease. This finding highlights the importance of changing both dietary and physical activity habits for individuals who wish to rapidly improve their health and lower their disease risk."

There were 131 females involved in the seven-week study. The participants were broken up into four groups of 32 or 33 in each for observation. They included a TRE group, HIIT group, TRE+HIIT combination group, and control group. Each person in the study was either overweight or obese and potentially at risk for cardiometabolic diseases, including cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. Body mass index, blood pressure, insulin, and blood glucose levels were checked prior to and after the study.

HIIT included 35 minutes of exercise performed three times each week at a 90% maximum heart rate. TRE restricted calories to be consumed within a 10-hour window each day. Every workout period was observed, and participants recorded their first and final calories each day. The study revealed that those participants who combined HIIT and TRE were able to decrease visceral fat and fat mass, up their cardiorespiratory fitness game, and boost their average long-term glycemic control. There were no noticeable statistical changes in appetite hormones, blood lipids, or vital signs after introducing any of the interventions when compared to the control group.

Interestingly, there was a very high rate of sticking with the study, according to Kamilla La Haganes, first author and a Ph.D. student at NTNU. La Haganes explains, "High adherence rates are important. Adherence rates to general lifestyle recommendations are low, and our diet-exercise strategies may serve as an alternative."

Following the conclusion of the study, 18 of the control group participants must have been pretty impressed and decided to test out one of the study's interventions. "We recommend this kind of program for people who wish to have a relatively simple way of changing diet and exercise habits and improving their health," Moholdt explains, adding, "TRE is a less tedious and time-efficient method to lose weight compared with daily calorie counting, and HIIT is tolerable and safe for previously sedentary individuals and can be completed within 30 to 40 minutes."

The research team plans to follow up with the participants of the study two years after completion. They want to see if the participants effectively continued the intervention methods, and determine if a combined HIIT and TRE course will be just as successful when performing them at home, rather than in an observed study setting. A new study will comprise of women and men. Haganes feels, "Together, these two new studies will tell us more about the long-term feasibility and also the possibility for implementation in a real-world setting."

Alexa Mellardo
Alexa is the Mind + Body Deputy Editor of Eat This, Not That!, overseeing the M+B channel and delivering compelling fitness, wellness, and self-care topics to readers. Read more about Alexa