If you want to lose weight fast, keto is the way to do it. Dialing your carb intake down to less than 50 grams per day puts you into a nutritional state called ketosis, accelerating fat burning. Dieters usually lose 5-10lbs in the first two weeks on keto.
But, if you want to lose weight even faster, exercise will help. Working out burns even more calories and fat, leading to better results.
One of the most time-efficient forms of exercise you can do for fat loss is High-Intensity Interval Training or HIIT for short. But, how do you do HIIT on keto?
In this short guide, we reveal the benefits of HIIT, how it works with keto, and provide you with a few HIIT workouts for fast fat loss.
HIIT on Keto – A Complete Guide
What is HIIT?
HIIT involves short periods of intense training punctuated with brief rests. For example, on a stationary bike or treadmill, you could sprint for 45 seconds, take it easy and recover for 45 seconds, and then repeat ten times to total 15 minutes.
HIIT workouts are usually much shorter than other types of exercise as they’re simply too hard to do for long periods. This makes HIIT very time-efficient and perfect for those days when you are running low on energy.
But, on the downside, there is no such thing as an easy HIIT workout. In fact, done right, HIIT can be exhausting and is usually quite uncomfortable. That’s because to be effective, you need to work so hard that your body produces lots of lactic acid, and that’s the stuff that makes your muscles burn. You’ll also be extremely out of breath.
In short, HIIT is NOT for the faint-hearted!
What Makes HIIT So Good for Weight Loss?
HIIT helps you lose weight and burn fat in several different ways:
- Doing HIIT burns LOTS of calories – Slow, steady workouts burn about 100 calories per ten minutes. With HIIT, that number can be as high as 200 or even 300. Of course, HIIT workouts are usually shorter, but the fact remains, per minute, HIIT burns more calories than almost any other kind of exercise.
- Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption – HIIT triggers something called EPOC, also known as the afterburn effect. After a hard HIIT workout, your metabolism remains elevated for 36-48 hours, leading to increased calorie expenditure. In simple terms, it takes your body a long time to cool down after HIIT, and during that time, your body is burning calories at an accelerated rate, even while you sleep.
- Increased muscle mass – The more muscle you have on your body, the higher your metabolism will be. HIIT can produce small but significant increases in muscle mass, so you end up burning more calories 24/7. HIIT won’t turn you into a bodybuilder, but that increase in muscle mass will help you lose fat faster and make you look more toned and athletic.
Benefits of HIIT on Keto
HIIT can help you lose weight faster, but the benefits of HIIT go above and beyond simple weight loss. Additional benefits of HIIT on keto include:
- Shorter, more convenient workouts – HIIT workouts typically last 20-30 minutes and only need to be done every other day to be effective. There are HIIT workouts you can do at home, using nothing more than your bodyweight. Because of this, HIIT is ideal for anyone who doesn’t have time to go to the gym or prefers to exercise at home. With fewer barriers to exercise, you should have no problem fitting regular HIIT workouts into your schedule.
Shorter workouts are also beneficial because, on keto, your energy levels may be running low, and while you can get yourself up and ready for a short, sharp exercise session, something like a one-hour group training session fills you with dread. HIIT is over and done before your low energy levels make themselves felt.
- Fun, challenging workouts – If you are the sort of person who hates long, boring workouts, HIIT is for you. HIIT workouts are fast paced, can be completed in minutes and not hours, and are very varied.
In fact, there is no reason to do the same HIIT workout twice so, if long runs or lengthy trips to the gym leave you feeling bored, you’ll enjoy the change of pace that HIIT provides.
- Increased insulin sensitivity – HIIT workouts increase insulin sensitivity, lowering your blood glucose and getting you into ketosis sooner. It may also give you a little more latitude with your diet as any carbs you do eat, especially straight after exercise, will be preferentially shunted into your muscles. Lower intensity cardio does not have such a powerful effect on insulin sensitivity.
Some HIIT Workouts to Try
Here are three simple but effective HIIT workouts to try. Take it easy if you are new to this type of exercise; it’s harder than it looks! But, once you are familiar with HIIT, do your best to work as hard as you can. The benefits of HIIT are proportional to how intense your workouts are!
Traditional HIIT Workout – The most basic form of HIIT involves high-speed sprints with short periods of rest and recovery. You can do this type of workout on any cardio machine at the gym or by alternating between running and walking outside, riding a bike, or even using a jump rope.
After an easy 3-5 minutes warm-up, just go as fast as you can for 30-60 seconds and then slow down (but don’t stop) for another 30-60 seconds. Repeat ten times for a 10 to 20-minute workout.
Tabata HIIT – Short on time? Then this is the workout for you! Tabata HIIT was invented by Japanese sports scientist Izumi Tabata, and it only takes four minutes to complete.
Choose an exercise that works most of your body at once. Good options include hitting a punchbag, doing kettlebell swings, jumping rope, or using an exercise bike or elliptical.
Go as fast as you can for 20 seconds. Hold nothing back; treat this interval as a life-or-death race! On completion, rest for ten seconds and then repeat. Do eight laps to total four minutes.
Hard? You Bet! But it’s one of the most time-efficient workouts you can do.
HIIT PAUL Circuit – For this workout, you do four bodyweight exercises for 30 seconds each to total two minutes. You then rest for 60 seconds and repeat the entire sequence four times to total 12 minutes.
PAUL stands for:
- Plyometric – a jumping exercise such as squat jumps, box jumps, or burpees
- Abdominal exercise – such as planks, crunches, or sit-ups
- Upper body – such as push-ups, pull-ups, or dips
- Lower body – such as lunges, step-ups, squats, or hip thrusts
If 30 seconds per exercise is too easy, feel free to do 40, 50, or even 60 seconds per exercise. Alternatively, if that’s too long, you could do 20 or 15 seconds per exercise to make things easier.
HIIT and keto are a match made in weight loss heaven. Both are very efficient and produce results in double-quick time. And, despite what many people think, both HIIT and keto are straightforward to do.
For keto, you eliminate high carb foods like bread, rice, pasta, potatoes, and cereals from your diet and eat more non-starchy vegetables instead. Look out for hidden carbs and cut out sugar and processed foods, and within a week or two, you’ll be burning fat like a furnace and losing weight faster than ever before.
If you feel hungry, snack on high fat, moderate protein foods like beef jerky, hard-boiled eggs, or nuts. Drink plenty of water to avoid the most common side effects of low-carb dieting.
HIIT is not much more complicated. You’ll need a stopwatch to control your workouts, but, in simple terms, all you need to do is work hard for up to 2 to 3-minutes, rest to catch your breath, and repeat for 15-30 minutes. With HIIT, shorter is often better, so don’t worry if your workouts never get near the half-hour mark.
You’ll know you’re working hard enough if your muscles are burning and you are very out of breath. If you don’t feel like you want to stop, you aren’t working hard enough, so pick up the pace. After all, HIIT stands for HIGH-INTENSITY interval training, so go hard, or go home!
Combine HIIT and keto to achieve your weight loss and fitness goals faster than you dreamed possible.
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