You’ve probably heard that High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) produces an afterburn effect, which means your body continues to burn extra calories at an elevated rate for 24 hours after the completion of your workout.
Sure that’s sounds amazing, but is it too good to be true?
The Science of Afterburn
There is a scientific term for afterburn: excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPEOC). This refers to the oxygen that your body needs to restore after a heart-pounding workout.
So afterburn is indeed real.
While you exercise your body needs fuel to keep your muscles firing, and this requires oxygen to transport the fuel into the muscles. This causes your metabolism to rev up to an elevated state during and after exercise.
Intense Exercise = Intense Afterburn
Studies show that there is a direct correlation between the intensity of your workout and the amount of calories burned during the afterburn period.
In order to get the most afterburn bang for your buck, you must push yourself to 70-85% of your max heart rate during your workout. The more intense your workout, the more bonus calories you will burn in the hours afterwards.
Intense and vigorous exercise keeps your body burning calories hours after the workout is through. And this is not the only benefit to HIIT workouts – there’s also the bonus of increased muscle tone, fat loss and an increase in your aerobic capacity.
Keep this in mind the next time that you push yourself through a workout. Remember that intensity pays off, and HIIT workouts have more proven benefits than a steady state cardio workout.
Want MORE Afterburn?
Then use all of your muscles.
To amp up your afterburn, avoid single joint movements that isolate body parts and instead focus on compound, full body movements. Exercises like squats, lunges and deadlifts work multiple joints and muscles and increase the intensity of your workout, and likewise the intensity of your afterburn effect and the number of calories that you burn.
Golden Beet Salad
Here’s a fresh and delightful way to serve up tender, golden beets! To get the most flavour, we oven steam the beets and then toss them with a simple, satisfying homemade dressing. Enjoy!
Here’s what you need…
12 small golden beets, trimmed
3 sprigs fresh thyme
1 tablespoon olive oil
sea salt and black pepper
¼ cup water
For the Dressing:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
1 tablespoon Muscat vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh mint, minced, plus more for garnish
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Remove the beet greens (if still attached) and scrub the beets.
In a 9 × 13-inch glass casserole dish, toss the beets with the olive oil. Season with sea salt and black pepper and add the sprigs of thyme and water. Cover the dish tightly with foil and roast in the oven for an hour, or until the beets are fork-tender.
Let the beets cool in the covered pan, then rub off the beet skins with paper towels. Cut each beet in half, then each half into quarters. Place the beet pieces in a large bowl.
In a small bowl combine the all of the dressing ingredients. Toss the dressing with the beet pieces until fully combined. Transfer to a serving bowl or plate and sprinkle with more mint. Serve and enjoy!
Nutritional Analysis: One serving equals: 43 calories, 4g fat, 1g carbohydrate, 3mg sodium, 0g sugar, 1g fibre, and 1g protein.