Like most women (probably all women) I am very body conscious. Not just when it comes to my figure, but also my fitness, eating habits and overall health. My parents always told me the greatest gift in life is good health, because you can do just about everything, and feel good for it, as well as feeling good about yourself.

Just over 18 months ago, I started on a downward spiral after a series of things began to change in my life. When we are stressed, or upset many of us tend to over-indulge in things that we can have to make up for the things that we can’t have.

In today’s consumerist market; one that advertises ‘bad’ food as a luxury or sometimes even a reward, we are not stuck for ideas when it comes to ‘comfort food’.

When stress looms, which it often does in our chaotic and fast-paced world, our brain produces the hormone cortisol which triggers cravings for sweet, salty and high-fat foods – foods that give you bursts of pleasure and energy.

If you’re stuffing your face with chocolate in your revision break whilst reading this – stop for a moment. Are you even hungry?

The difference between emotional hunger and physical hunger can sometimes be difficult to determine. However, there are many things that set it apart; emotional hunger comes on suddenly. You have dire need for chocolate or pizza and feel nothing else will do. This leads to mindless eating, and even when your stomach is full, you still don’t feel ‘satisfied’. That’s because the emotional hunger is not located in the stomach, it’s located in your head; the taste, texture or smell of a particular food just wont leave you.

So exams ends, you work out that glitch with your mum and summer approaches. However, you realise you have hindered the go-plan for your summer body.

But! Hope is not yet lost, and I am not talking about going on a crash diet because these really just don’t work.

I started HIIT (high intensity interval training) and turbulence training a few weeks ago - exercises that comprise of training flat out for short bursts during cardio or excessive weight lifting with minimal rests in-between.

In recent years with the rise in popularity of these exercise routines, newspapers, magazines and documentaries have all covered the theory.

So why is it said that it really ‘HIITs’ the spot? For starters, you’re not going using this technique to ‘burn’ calories like you do with long hours of cardio. I am a very fit person, and used to do steady hour runs on the treadmill or the cross trainer. It was great for my fitness and endurance but not so much for my body fat percentage…Turns out long hours of exercise actually teaches your body to slow down your metabolism so you have a store of energy should you run out…this is when most women hit a ‘weight plateau’, where it just seems impossible to lose anymore weight.

Bearing that in mind, think of HIIT training as re-tuning a few of your nuts and bolts; working on making your metabolism faster so you burn more calories during the day and the night. This is what HIIT does.

Remember those awful PE sessions at secondary school? Planks, squats, bridges and circuits – turns out these are the holy grail of fitness and weight loss. I lost 3 kilos without even changing my diet. 

 

A HIIT or just a load of SHIIT?