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How Often Should You Do HIIT to Lose Weight? (It's Not as Many Days as You May Think!)

PopSugar Logo By Jenny Sugar of PopSugar | Slide 1 of 12: Fitness trainers and dietitians agree that the key to losing weight isn't just about exercising hard to burn calories. Registered dietitian Leslie Langevin, MS, RD, CD, of Whole Health Nutrition, said that a big chunk of weight-loss success has to do with your diet. David Chesworth, an ACSM-certified personal trainer and wellness coach at Hilton Head Health, agrees and told POPSUGAR that the right nutrition plan is key, adding that a combination of High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) and diet can help with weight loss (especially with reducing belly fat).
HIIT involves short intervals done at almost your max effort, followed by longer, slower recovery periods or rest. The secret to HIIT is in how hard you work during your intense intervals. Your goal is to work out at 90 percent of your max, which trains your body to work in anaerobic mode, which helps you become more efficient at producing and using energy. The result? Your body's fat-burning potential increases, and the pounds melt away. Boom!
So HIIT is where it's at when it comes to getting lean, but how often do you need to do it to see results? ACE-certified fitness trainer John Kersbergen said, "The most efficient way to get results is to do some form of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) for a total-body workout and to focus on strength training certain body parts (upper body, lower body, core) on different days of the week." And no need to suffer for hours at the gym. John said, "The whole workout including warmup doesn't need to be more than 45 minutes to be effective." And three to four times a week is enough. That's totally doable, right?
If you can't do a whole 45-minute session, break it up throughout the day or aim for shorter workouts more often in the week. Keep reading for some HIIT workouts to get you started.

How Often Should You Do HIIT to Lose Weight? (It's Not as Many Days as You May Think!)

Fitness trainers and dietitians agree that the key to losing weight isn't just about exercising hard to burn calories. Registered dietitian Leslie Langevin, MS, RD, CD, of Whole Health Nutrition, said that a big chunk of weight-loss success has to do with your diet. David Chesworth, an ACSM-certified personal trainer and wellness coach at Hilton Head Health, agrees and told POPSUGAR that the right nutrition plan is key, adding that a combination of High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) and diet can help with weight loss (especially with reducing belly fat).

HIIT involves short intervals done at almost your max effort, followed by longer, slower recovery periods or rest. The secret to HIIT is in how hard you work during your intense intervals. Your goal is to work out at 90 percent of your max, which trains your body to work in anaerobic mode, which helps you become more efficient at producing and using energy. The result? Your body's fat-burning potential increases, and the pounds melt away. Boom!

So HIIT is where it's at when it comes to getting lean, but how often do you need to do it to see results? ACE-certified fitness trainer John Kersbergen said, "The most efficient way to get results is to do some form of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) for a total-body workout and to focus on strength training certain body parts (upper body, lower body, core) on different days of the week." And no need to suffer for hours at the gym. John said, "The whole workout including warmup doesn't need to be more than 45 minutes to be effective." And three to four times a week is enough. That's totally doable, right?

If you can't do a whole 45-minute session, break it up throughout the day or aim for shorter workouts more often in the week. Keep reading for some HIIT workouts to get you started.

© Getty / Thomas Barwick

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