A low-calorie diet with or without interval exercise training improves adiposopathy in obese women

Nicole M. Gilbertson, Natalie Z.M. Eichner, Emily M. Heiston, Julian M. Gaitán, Monique E. Francois, J. Hunter Mehaffey, Taryn E. Hassinger, Peter T. Hallowell, Arthur Weltman, Steven K. Malin

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15 Citations (SciVal)


The objective of this study was to test if a low-calorie diet plus interval exercise (LCD+INT) improves adiposopathy, an endocrine dysfunction, when compared with an energy-deficit–matched LCD in obese women. Subjects (age: 48.2 ± 2.4 years, body mass index: 37.8 ± 1.3 kg/m2) were randomized to a 13-day LCD (n = 12; mixed meals of ∼1200 kcal/day) or LCD+INT (n = 12; 12 sessions of 60 min/day alternating 3 min at 50% and 90% peak heart rate). Exercise was estimated to expend 350 kcal per oxygen uptake–heart rate regression analysis and individuals were refed calories expended to match energy availability between groups. Absolute (post – pre caloric intake) and relative (total daily and exercise energy expenditure relative to calorie intake) energy deficits were calculated. Fitness (peak oxygen uptake) and body composition (BodPod; Cosmed USA Inc.) were measured and a 120-min, 75g oral glucose tolerance test was performed at pre-and post-intervention to assess adiposopathy (i.e., ratio of high molecular weight–adiponectin to leptin) and estimate insulin sensitivity. LCD and LCD+INT had similar absolute (P = 0.55) and relative (P = 0.76) energy deficits. LCD and LCD+INT had similar reductions in fat mass (both P < 0.001), despite LCD inducing greater weight loss (P = 0.02) than LCD+INT. Both treatments improved adiposopathy (P = 0.003) and peripheral insulin sensitivity (P = 0.02). Absolute energy deficit correlated to improved adiposopathy (r = –0.41, P = 0.05), and absolute and relative energy deficits were associated with increased insulin sensitivity (r = –0.47, P = 0.02; and r = –0.40, P = 0.05, respectively), independent of body composition changes and increased peak oxygen uptake. Taken together, LCD, with or without INT, improves adiposopathy in relation to insulin sensitivity in obese women, suggesting that a short-term energy deficit is key for reducing risk of type 2 diabetes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1057-1064
Number of pages8
JournalApplied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism
Issue number10
StatePublished - 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Physiology
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Physiology (medical)


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