Study: Interval Training, Healthy Eating Solution to Obesity

April 28, 2011

A program that combines interval training and healthy eating practices seems to be perfectly indicated for those suffering from obesity.

A program that combines interval training and healthy eating practices seems to be perfectly indicated for those suffering from obesity, according to the results of a new study from the Montreal Heart Institute’s center for preventive medicine and physical activity (ÉPIC Centre). Results of the study were announced at the National Obesity Summit, currently taking place in Montreal.

Within the framework of this study, researchers analyzed the track record of 62 participants in Kilo-Actif, a nine-month program intended for obesity sufferers that focuses on weight loss and maintenance. The study showed significant improvements in participants’ body mass, waist circumference, body mass index, and effort capacity.

The results are especially encouraging because on average participants lost 5.5% of their body mass, reduced their waist circumference by 5.15%, and increased their effort capacity by 15%. Beyond weight loss, participants also saw a 7% decrease in LDL as well as an 8% increase in HDL.

Offered at ÉPIC Centre and overseen by physicians, kinesiologists, and nutritionists, Kilo-Actif is a program which aims to modify eating habits and promote an active lifestyle through education on healthy practices. During the course of the program, participants commit to taking part each week in two or three supervised training sessions of 60 minutes each. Participants are also invited to five face-to-face meetings and two group meetings with a dietitian where the basis of the Mediterranean diet and nutritional rules are explained.

“It has been clearly demonstrated that obesity increases the risk of health problems, particularly of cardiovascular disease, yype 2 diabetes, stroke, hypertension, and certain types of cancer,” said Dr. Martin Juneau, director of prevention at the Montreal Heart Institute and Director of ÉPIC Centre.

“A program like Kilo-Actif, which combines interval training with healthy eating, is therefore perfectly indicated because we know that a decrease in body mass can lower the risk factors associated with cardiovascular disease,” Juneau said in a statement.

“Kilo-Actif’s success is largely based on the adoption of an interval training program,” added Valérie Guilbault, an ÉPIC Centre kinesiologist who oversaw the training of the participants. “It is proven that, compared to moderate-intensity continuous training, interval training is more appreciated by participants. This type of training is also more effective, because alternating between short periods of intense effort and rest periods allows for a longer training time.”