Effect of Calorie Restriction with or without Exercise on Body Composition and Fat Distribution

Pennington Biomedical Research Center, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, United States
Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism (Impact Factor: 6.21). 04/2007; 92(3):865-72. DOI: 10.1210/jc.2006-2184
Source: PubMed


There is debate over the independent and combined effects of dieting and increased physical activity on improving metabolic risk factors (body composition and fat distribution).
The objective of the study was to conduct a randomized, controlled trial (CALERIE) to test the effect of a 25% energy deficit by diet alone or diet plus exercise for 6 months on body composition and fat distribution.
This was a randomized, controlled trial.
The study was conducted at an institutional research center.
Thirty-five of 36 overweight but otherwise healthy participants (16 males, 19 females) completed the study.
Participants were randomized to either control (healthy weight maintenance diet, n = 11), caloric restriction (CR; 25% reduction in energy intake, n = 12), or caloric restriction plus exercise (CR+EX; 12.5% reduction in energy intake + 12.5% increase in exercise energy expenditure, n = 12) for 6 months.
Changes in body composition by dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry and changes in abdominal fat distribution by multislice computed tomography were measured. Results: The calculated energy deficit across the intervention was not different between CR and CR+EX. Participants lost approximately 10% of body weight (CR: - 8.3 +/- 0.8, CR+EX: - 8.1 +/- 0.8 kg, P = 1.00), approximately 24% of fat mass (CR: - 5.8 +/- 0.6, CR+EX: - 6.4 +/- 0.6 kg, P = 0.99), and 27% of abdominal visceral fat (CR: 0.9 +/- 0.2, CR+EX: 0.8 +/- 0.2 kg, P = 1.00). Both whole-body and abdominal fat distribution were not altered by the intervention.
Exercise plays an equivalent role to CR in terms of energy balance; however, it can also improve aerobic fitness, which has other important cardiovascular and metabolic implications.

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    • "Altogether our results suggest that the beneficial effects of both acute and chronic exercise on fat metabolism primarily occur during sleep. As has been noted in longitudinal and cross-sectional studies, we further observed that reduced-obese subjects who exercised regularly had higher levels of aerobic fitness [42], [43], insulin sensitivity [43], [44], HDL cholesterol [42], and lower fasting and 24-hr TG levels as compared to sedentary reduced-obese individuals, despite similar level of body fat. Aerobic fitness was also favorably associated with insulin sensitivity and lipemia, which provides additional evidence supporting the benefits of exercise in mitigating the adverse effects of unhealthy weight. "
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    ABSTRACT: It has been hypothesized that obese and reduced-obese individuals have decreased oxidative capacity, which contributes to weight gain and regain. Recent data have challenged this concept. To determine (1) whether total and dietary fat oxidation are decreased in obese and reduced-obese adults compared to lean but increase in response to an acute exercise bout and (2) whether regular physical activity attenuates these metabolic alterations. We measured 24-hr total (whole-room calorimetry) and dietary fat (14C-oleate) oxidation in Sedentary Lean (BMI = 21.5±1.6; n = 10), Sedentary Obese (BMI = 33.6±2.5; n = 9), Sedentary Reduced-Obese (RED-SED; BMI = 26.9±3.7; n = 7) and in Physically Active Reduced-Obese (RED-EX; BMI = 27.3±2.8; n = 12) men and women with or without an acute exercise bout where energy expended during exercise was not replaced. Although Red-SED and Red-EX had a similar level of fatness, aerobic capacity and metabolic profiles were better in Red-EX only compared to Obese subjects. No significant between-group differences were seen in 24-hr respiratory quotient (RQ, Lean: 0.831±0.044, Obese: 0.852±0.023, Red-SED: 0.864±0.037, Red-EX: 0.842±0.039), total and dietary fat oxidation. A single bout of exercise increased total (+27.8%, p<0.0001) and dietary (+6.6%, p = 0.048) fat oxidation across groups. Although exercise did not impact RQ during the day, it decreased RQ during sleep (p = 0.01) in all groups. Red-EX oxidized more fat overnight than Red-SED subjects under both resting (p = 0.036) and negative energy balance (p = 0.003) conditions, even after adjustment for fat-free mass. Obese and reduced-obese individuals oxidize as much fat as lean both under eucaloric and negative energy balance conditions, which does not support the hypothesis of reduced oxidative capacity in these groups. Reduced-obese individuals who exercise regularly have markers of metabolic health similar to those seen in lean adults. Both the acute and chronic effects of exercise were primarily observed at night suggesting an important role of sleep in the regulation of lipid metabolism.
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    • "This meta-analysis confirmed the need for gender-specific approaches and outcomes of obesity treatment in general, as previously stated by Lovejoy et al.[46] and more specific in the treatment of abdominal obesity. Furthermore, the results of this meta-analysis showed that males yield a higher profit of exercise on VAT than women corroborating the findings of Redman et al.[47]. The latter found more effect of caloric restriction and of the combination of caloric restriction and aerobic exercise in men then in women. "
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