Exercise enhances dietary compliance during moderate energy restriction in obese women

S. B. Racette, D. A. Schoeller, R. F. Kushner, K. M. Neil

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


The effect of aerobic exercise on dietary compliance was assessed in 13 obese women (44 ± 3% fat) during a 12-wk weight-reduction program (EX group). Seventeen obese women (45 ± 5% fat) not engaged in aerobic exercise (NX group) served as control subjects. The reducing diets were designed to promote a weight loss of 1 kg/wk, with energy intakes individually prescribed (x̄ ± SD: 4.9 ± 0.6 MJ/d) to approximate 75% of each subject's measured basal metabolic rate. The EX group completed of three 45-min sessions/wk of supervised aerobic exercise at 65% of maximal oxygen consumption (V̇O2max). Daily energy intakes were calculated by summing changes in body stores, measured by total body water isotope dilution, and total daily energy expenditure, measured by doubly labeled water (DLW). Dietary compliance was assessed by comparing calculated intakes with prescribed intakes. Both the EX and NX groups reported consuming dose to their prescribed daily intakes, with differences of -0.08 ± 0.28 (EX group) and +0.03 ± 0.57 (NX group) MJ/d, respectively. However, expenditure/balance data determined by the DLW method indicated that the EX subjects exhibited better dietary compliance than the NX subjects, with intakes exceeding those prescribed by only 0.7 ± 1.5 compared with 2.3 ± 1.6 MJ/d for the NX subjects (P = 0.01). Therefore, an additional benefit of aerobic exercise during energy restriction is enhanced dietary compliance, which has important implications for the treatment of moderate obesity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)345-349
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 1995


  • Obesity treatment
  • doubly labeled water
  • energy expenditure
  • energy intake

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)


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