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Eur J Appl Physiol. 2010 Nov;110(5):893-903. doi: 10.1007/s00421-010-1571-y. Epub 2010 Jul 14.

High-intensity exercise and carbohydrate-reduced energy-restricted diet in obese individuals.

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School of Sport, Health and Exercise Sciences, Bangor University, George Building, Holyhead Road, Bangor, Gwynedd, UK.


Continuous high glycemic load and inactivity challenge glucose homeostasis and fat oxidation. Hyperglycemia and high intramuscular glucose levels mediate insulin resistance, a precursor state of type 2 diabetes. The aim was to investigate whether a carbohydrate (CHO)-reduced diet combined with high-intensity interval training (HIIT) enhances the beneficial effects of the diet alone on insulin sensitivity and fat oxidation in obese individuals. Nineteen obese subjects underwent 14 days of CHO-reduced and energy-restricted diet. Ten of them combined the diet with HIIT (4 min bouts at 90% VO(2peak) up to 10 times, 3 times a week). Oral glucose insulin sensitivity (OGIS) increased significantly in both groups; [diet-exercise (DE) group: pre 377 ± 70, post 396 ± 68 mL min(-1) m(-2); diet (D) group: pre 365 ± 91, post 404 ± 87 mL min(-1) m(-2); P < 0.001]. Fasting respiratory exchange ratio (RER) decreased significantly in both groups (DE group: pre 0.91 ± 0.06, post 0.88 ± 0.06; D group: pre 0.92 ± 0.07, post 0.86 ± 0.07; P = 0.002). VO(2peak) increased significantly in the DE group (pre 27 ± 5, post 32 ± 6 mL kg(-1) min(-1); P < 0.001), but not in the D group (pre 26 ± 9, post 26 ± 8 mL kg(-1) min(-1)). Lean mass and resistin were preserved only in the DE group (P < 0.05). Fourteen days of CHO-reduced diet improved OGIS and fat oxidation (RER) in obese subjects. The energy-balanced HIIT did not further enhance these parameters, but increased aerobic capacity (VO(2peak)) and preserved lean mass and resistin.

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