Sneaking in a short interval workout an hour before digging in to that plate of fries is all it takes, according to recently published research. University of Exeter scientists had a hunch this tactic might work, so they had a group of subjects hop on a bike and complete a minute of high-intensity cycling followed by 75 seconds of active recovery for a total of 8 minutes. An hour later, they give them high-fat milkshakes. As it turns out, this group’s arteries were less affected by the fat–which can ward off conditions like stroke and heart disease in the long run–than the participants who completed 25 minutes of moderate-intensity cycling before sipping on the same treat. Yes, you read that correctly: Shorter workout = bigger payout!
So next time you’re waiting for the pizza delivery guy to show up, why not sneak in a quick eight-minute HIIT session? Even though a slice now and then won’t kill you, breaking a sweat before digging in may just protect you from a heart attack or stroke later down the road. Sounds like a good reason to get moving if you ask us.
If you want something really indulgent, pair your fatty fare with one of the 8 Fatty Foods That Make You Skinny.