Exercise Training and Energy Expenditure following Weight Loss

Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2015 Sep;47(9):1950-7. doi: 10.1249/MSS.0000000000000622.


Purpose: This study aims to determine the effects of aerobic or resistance training on activity-related energy expenditure (AEE; kcal·d(-1)) and physical activity index (activity-related time equivalent (ARTE)) following weight loss. It was hypothesized that weight loss without exercise training would be accompanied by decreases in AEE, ARTE, and nontraining physical activity energy expenditure (nonexercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT)) and that exercise training would prevent decreases in free-living energy expenditure.

Methods: One hundred forty premenopausal women had an average weight loss of 25 lb during a diet (800 kcal·d(-1)) of furnished food. One group aerobically trained 3 times per week (40 min·d(-1)), another group resistance-trained 3 times per week (10 exercises/2 sets × 10 repetitions), and the third group did not exercise. Dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry was used to measure body composition, indirect calorimetry was used to measure resting energy expenditure (REE) and walking energy expenditure, and doubly labeled water was used to measure total energy expenditure (TEE). AEE, ARTE, and nontraining physical activity energy expenditure (NEAT) were calculated.

Results: TEE, REE, and NEAT all decreased following weight loss for the no-exercise group, but not for aerobic and resistance trainers. Only REE decreased in the two exercise groups. Resistance trainers increased ARTE. HR and oxygen uptake while walking on the flat and up a grade were consistently related to TEE, AEE, NEAT, and ARTE.

Conclusions: Exercise training prevents a decrease in energy expenditure, including free-living energy expenditure separate from exercise training, following weight loss. Resistance training increases physical activity, whereas economy/ease of walking is associated with increased TEE, AEE, NEAT, and ARTE.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Caloric Restriction
  • Energy Metabolism / physiology*
  • Exercise Therapy / methods
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Obesity / physiopathology
  • Obesity / therapy
  • Physical Education and Training / methods*
  • Premenopause
  • Resistance Training
  • Walking / physiology
  • Weight Loss / physiology*
  • Young Adult