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Am J Clin Nutr. 1985 Apr;41(4):753-9.

Energy expenditure before and during energy restriction in obese patients.


Twenty-four hour energy expenditure (24 EE), resting metabolic rate (RMR), spontaneous physical activity and body composition were determined in 7 obese patients (5 females, 2 males, 174 +/- 9% IBW, 38 +/- 2% fat mass) on 2 different occasions: before weight reduction, and after 10 to 16 weeks on a hypocaloric diet as outpatients, the recommended energy intake varying from 3500 to 4700 kJ/day depending on the subject. Mean body weight loss was 12.6 +/- 1.9 kg, ie 13% of initial body weight, 72% being fat. Twenty-four hour energy expenditure (24 EE) was measured in a respiration chamber with all the subjects receiving 10418 kJ/d before weight reduction and an average of 3360 +/- 205 kJ/d while on the diet. When expressed in absolute values, both 24 EE and RMR decreased during the hypocaloric diet from 9819 +/- 442 to 8229 +/- 444 and from 7262 +/- 583 to 6591 +/- 547 kJ/d respectively. On the basis of fat-free-mass (FFM), 24 EE decreased from 168 +/- 6 to 148 +/- 5 kJ/kg FFM/d whereas RMR was unchanged (approximately 120 kJ/kg FFM/d). Approximately one half of the 24 EE reduction (1590 kJ/d) was accounted for by a decrease in RMR, the latter being mainly accounted for by a reduction in FFM. Most of the remaining decline in 24 EE can be explained by a decreased thermic effect of food, and by the reduced cost of physical activity mainly due to a lower body weight. Therefore, there seems little reason to evoke additional mechanisms to explain the decline in energy expenditure during dieting.

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