Effect of resistance training and hypocaloric diets with different protein content on body composition and lipid profile in hypercholesterolemic obese women

Nutr Hosp. 2012 Sep-Oct;27(5):1511-20. doi: 10.3305/nh.2012.27.5.5921.


Lifestyle changes such as following a hypocaloric diet and regular physical exercise are recognized as effective non-pharmacological interventions to reduce body fat mass and prevent cardiovascular disease risk factors.

Purpose: To evaluate the interactions of a higher protein (HP) vs. a lower protein (LP) diet with or without a concomitant progressive resistance training program (RT) on body composition and lipoprotein profile in hypercholesterolemic obese women.

Methods: Retrospective study derived from a 16-week randomized controlled-intervention clinical trial. Twenty five sedentary, obese (BMI: 30-40 kg/m²) women, aged 40-60 with hypercholesterolemia were assigned to a 4-arm trial using a 2 x 2 factorial design (Diet x Exercise). Prescribed diets had the same calorie restriction (-500 kcal/day), and were categorized according to protein content as: lower protein (< 22% daily energy intake, LP) vs. higher protein (> 22% daily energy intake, HP). Exercise comparisons involved habitual activity (control) vs. a 16-week supervised whole-body resistance training program (RT), two sessions/wk.

Results: A significant decrease in weight and waist circumference was observed in all groups. A significant decrease in LDL-C and Total-Cholesterol levels was observed only when a LP diet was combined with a RT program, the RT being the most determining factor. Interestingly, an interaction between diet and exercise was found concerning LDL-C values.

Conclusion: In this study, resistance training plays a key role in improving LDL-C and Total-Cholesterol; however, a lower protein intake (< 22% of daily energy intake as proteins) was found to achieve a significantly greater reduction in LDL-C.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anthropometry
  • Body Composition / physiology*
  • Body Mass Index
  • Caloric Restriction*
  • Diet
  • Dietary Proteins / administration & dosage*
  • Energy Intake
  • Exercise Therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypercholesterolemia / blood*
  • Hypercholesterolemia / diet therapy
  • Hypercholesterolemia / therapy*
  • Lipids / blood*
  • Lipoproteins / blood
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / blood*
  • Obesity / diet therapy
  • Obesity / therapy*
  • Resistance Training*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Waist Circumference


  • Dietary Proteins
  • Lipids
  • Lipoproteins