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Am J Clin Nutr. 1995 Mar;61(3):486-94.

Effects of aerobic exercise and dietary carbohydrate on energy expenditure and body composition during weight reduction in obese women.

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Department of Medicine, University of Chicago, IL 60637.


To test the benefits of aerobic exercise and dietary carbohydrate during reduced-energy feeding, 23 obese women (44 +/- 4% fat) were randomly assigned to either aerobic exercise (Ex) or no exercise (Nx), and to a low-fat (LF) or low-carbohydrate (LC) reducing diet (5.00 +/- 0.56 MJ/d) for 12 wk. Changes in body composition, postabsorptive resting metabolic rate (RMR), thermic effect of a meal (TEM), and total daily energy expenditure (TDEE) were measured by respiratory gas exchange and doubly labeled water. Significant effects of Ex included a greater loss of fat mass (Ex: -8.8 +/- 2.1 vs Nx: -6.1 +/- 2.3 kg, P = 0.008) and maintenance of TDEE (Ex: +0.07 +/- 1.23 vs Nx: -1.46 +/- 1.04 MJ/d, P = 0.004), due to a difference in physical activity (Ex: +0.75 +/- 1.06 vs Nx: -0.61 +/- 1.03 MJ/d, P = 0.006), which was not attributable solely to the Ex sessions. RMR in both groups decreased comparably (-0.54 MJ/d), and TEM (% of meal) did not change. Diet composition did not significantly influence body composition or energy expenditure changes, but a greater weight loss was observed after the LC than after the LF (-10.6 +/- 2.0 vs -8.1 +/- 3.0 kg, P = 0.037) diet. The addition of aerobic exercise to a low-energy diet was beneficial in the treatment of moderate obesity because of its favorable effects on body composition, physical activity, and TDEE.

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