Short-Term Changes in Body Composition and Metabolism with Severe Dieting and Resistance Exercise

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Jennifer Gornall
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Rudolph G. Villani
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The primary aim was to investigate whether the reduction in resting metabolic rate (RMR) and fat free mass (FFM) associated with a short-term very low kilojoule diet (VLKD) is altered by concurrent resistance exercise. Twenty overweight, premenopausal women were pair matched on body surface area and randomly assigned to either diet only (3,400 kJ/day) or diet combined with resistance training. Before and after 4 weeks of treatment, RMR was assessed by indirect calorimetry; total body mass (TBM), FFM, and fat mass (FM) by dual energy x-ray absorptiometry; total body water (TBW) by bioelectrical impedance; and strength by a weight-lifting test. Both groups had significantly lower TBM, FFM, FM, TBW, absolute RMR, and RMR, with FFM as the covariate, in the posttests than the pretests with no significant differences between groups. It was concluded that 4 weeks of resistance training did not prevent or reduce the decline in FFM and RMR observed with a VLKD.

J. Gornall is with the Department of Human Movement Science, and R.G. Villani is with the Department of Anatomy and Physiology, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Plenty rd Bundoora, Victoria, Australia 3083.

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