Precision Nutrition System

Precision Nutrition System
Healthy Eating For Fat Loss

Monday, January 29, 2007

Fewer Calories or More Exercise

New research published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology &
Metabolism reveals that dieting alone is equally effective at reducing
weigh and fat as a combination of diet and exercise--as long as the
calories consumed and burned equal out.

Newswise -- When it comes to body composition and fat distribution, a
calorie is a calorie, regardless of whether it's controlled by diet
alone or a combination of diet and exercise.

New research published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology &
Metabolism reveals that dieting alone is equally effective at reducing
weigh and fat as a combination of diet and exercise--as long as the
calories consumed and burned equal out. The research also indicates that
the addition of exercise to a weight-loss regimen does not change body
composition and abdominal fat distribution, debunking the idea that
specific exercises can reduce fat in targeted areas (e.g., exercise to
reduce fat around a person's midsection).

"It's all about the calories," said Dr. Eric Ravussin of the Pennington
Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, La., and senior author of the
study. "So long as the energy deficit is the same, body weight, fat
weight, and abdominal fat will all decrease in the same way."

Other researchers on the Pennington Biomedical Research Center team
include Drs. Leanne M. Redman, Leonie K. Heilbronn, Corby K. Martin,
Anthony Alfonso, and Steven R. Smith.

For the study, the researchers followed 35 overweight (a Body Mass Index
greater than 25 but less than 30) but otherwise healthy adults who were
randomly assigned to follow one of three diet and exercise combinations
during a six-month period. The first group was the control group, and
followed a healthy diet designed to maintain the participants'
bodyweight. The next group followed a diet that reduced their caloric
intake by 25 percent, which equaled between 550 and 900 fewer calories
per day. The final group reduced their calorie intake by 12.5 percent
while increasing their physical activity to achieve an additional 12.5
percent increase in calorie expenditure.

"It was critical for our study that the calorie deficit for both groups--
the one following the diet and exercise regimen and the one simply
consuming fewer calories--be equal," said Ravussin. "This ensured that we
would be able to measure the impact of exercise on body composition and
abdominal fat."

The study began with a 5-week baseline period to carefully establish
individual energy requirements. During this time, the researchers
calculated the energy intake required for weight maintenance and the
energy deficit necessary to achieve the desired caloric restriction.

During the first three months of the study, participants were provided
with all meals. Later, participants self-selected a diet based on their
individual calorie target, though calorie consumption was still
monitored. Participants in the exercise group also underwent a
structured exercise regimen 5 days a week. In addition to controlling
diet and a guided exercise program, all participants attended weekly
meetings to not only teach subjects how to adhere to their meal and
exercise plans but also to boost motivation and morale.

Participants in both the calorie restricted group and the exercise group
lost approximately 10 percent of their body weight, 24 percent of their
fat mass, and 27 percent of their abdominal visceral fat. The
distribution of the fat in the body, however, was not altered by either

"The inability of the interventions to alter the distribution of fat
suggests that individuals are genetically programmed for fat storage in
a particular pattern and that this programming cannot easily be
overcome," said Ravussin. "It also helps settle much of the debate over
the independent and combined effects of dieting and increased physical
activity on improving metabolic risk factors such as body composition
and fat distribution."

The researchers did note, however, that exercise improved aerobic
fitness, which has other important cardiovascular and metabolic
implications. "For overall health, an appropriate program of diet and
exercise is still the best," said Ravussin.

The researchers also acknowledge that additional research is necessary
to investigate in a large number people all the independent health
benefits of calorie restriction and exercise.

Pennington Biomedical Research Center is a campus of the Louisiana State
University System.

The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism is a publication of
The Endocrine Society.

Founded in 1916, The Endocrine Society is the world's oldest, largest,
and most active organization devoted to research on hormones, and the
clinical practice of endocrinology. Today, The Endocrine Society's
membership consists of over 13,000 scientists, physicians, educators,
nurses and students in more than 80 countries. Together, these members
represent all basic, applied, and clinical interests in endocrinology.
The Endocrine Society is based in Chevy Chase, Maryland.

An on-line, Rapid Release version of the paper, "Effect of calorie
restriction with or without exercise on body composition and fat
distribution," was published January 2, 2007. The final paper will
appear in the March 2007 issue of the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology
& Metabolism. The abstract is here:

1 comment:

annalaura said...

Don't forget to consider your body type.