Send to

Choose Destination
Eur J Clin Nutr. 2014 May;68(5):581-6. doi: 10.1038/ejcn.2013.277. Epub 2014 Jan 8.

The adaptive metabolic response to exercise-induced weight loss influences both energy expenditure and energy intake.

Author information

1] Faculty of Health and Wellbeing, Department of Sport, Academy of Sport and Physical Activity, Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield, UK [2] Faculty of Medicine and Health, Institute of Psychological Sciences, University of Leeds, Leeds, UK.
Faculty of Medicine and Health, Institute of Psychological Sciences, University of Leeds, Leeds, UK.
Department of Medical Sciences, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden.
Division of Surgery, Department of Clinical Sciences, Danderyd Hospital, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.
School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences, Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.



A decline in resting energy expenditure (REE) beyond that predicted from changes in body composition has been noted following dietary-induced weight loss. However, it is unknown whether a compensatory downregulation in REE also accompanies exercise (EX)-induced weight loss, or whether this adaptive metabolic response influences energy intake (EI).


Thirty overweight and obese women (body mass index (BMI)=30.6±3.6 kg/m(2)) completed 12 weeks of supervised aerobic EX. Body composition, metabolism, EI and metabolic-related hormones were measured at baseline, week 6 and post intervention. The metabolic adaptation (MA), that is, difference between predicted and measured REE was also calculated post intervention (MApost), with REE predicted using a regression equation generated in an independent sample of 66 overweight and obese women (BMI=31.0±3.9 kg/m(2)).


Although mean predicted and measured REE did not differ post intervention, 43% of participants experienced a greater-than-expected decline in REE (-102.9±77.5 kcal per day). MApost was associated with the change in leptin (r=0.47; P=0.04), and the change in resting fat (r=0.52; P=0.01) and carbohydrate oxidation (r=-0.44; P=0.02). Furthermore, MApost was also associated with the change in EI following EX (r=-0.44; P=0.01).


Marked variability existed in the adaptive metabolic response to EX. Importantly, those who experienced a downregulation in REE also experienced an upregulation in EI, indicating that the adaptive metabolic response to EX influences both physiological and behavioural components of energy balance.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Nature Publishing Group Icon for White Rose Research Online
Loading ...
Support Center