High Intensity intermittent exercise and timed daily protein ingestion
Fat loss in women can be notably harder than for men despite hours in the gym and endless dieting. Often all the hard work is in vain as the results are small compared to the effort.
Most exercise protocols designed to induce fat loss have focussed on regular steady state exercise such as walking and jogging at a moderate intensity for an extended duration. Although this is fantastic for general health and will affect overall energy expenditure, it may not be conducive to getting the desired results for fat loss with current dietary intakes.
Accumulating evidence suggests that high intensity intermittent exercise (HIIE) has the potential to be a more economical and effective exercise protocol for reducing fat weight , in particular abdominal (visceral fat). More recently, two studies in women have shown how HIIE and whey protein combined to increase fat loss.
In the study by Hazell et. al. (2014), the use of intermittent sprint (running – due to larger muscles being used than in cycling) training in 15 recreationally active women (age 22.9 yrs; body mass 60.8kg) was assessed over 6 weeks. The protocol consisted of 4-6 all out 30 sec sprints on a treadmill separated by 4 minutes rest performed 3 x per week. Results showed that body fat mass decreased by 8.0% and waist circumference by 3.5% whereas in increased lean muscle by 1.3%, increased maximal oxygen consumption by 8.7% and increased peak running speed by 4.8%.
What makes this most interesting was that there was no differences in food intake. This simple 180 seconds worth of exercise over 6 weeks showed exceptional changes in several parameters which can make it a time effective exercise strategy for that busy women on the go (Hazell et. al. (2014). Running sprint interval training induces fat loss in women. Applied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism).
To compliment this above exercise protocol, researchers in South Africa recently found evidence to support the addition of timed Whey protein ingestion to exercise decreased total body fat and visceral body fat over a 16 week period.
The addition of 20 grams of Whey protein mixed in water (21 grams of protein, 120 kcals per serve) was consumed within one hour of walking in the morning; the second serve was consumed mid-afternoon or within 30 minutes following exercise and serve three consumed within 2 hours of going to bed. No other diet protocol changed (Arcierio, et.al. (2014) Timed daily ingestion of whey protein and exercise training reduces visceral adipose tissue mass and improves insulin resistance; the PRISE study. Journal of Applied Physiology).
So, if looking at the best ways to make some inroads quickly into fat loss, here are some small initiatives to get started:
1. Ingest a good quality Whey Protein at 20grams, 3 times per day
2. Begin your HIIE program 3 times per week
3. Add resistance training to your week
4. Keep your incidental activity up (that is, take the stairs, walk at lunch and stay generally active).