Resistance Training Combined With Diet Decreases Body Fat While Preserving Lean Mass Independent of Resting Metabolic Rate: A Randomized Trial

Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2018 Jan 1;28(1):46-54. doi: 10.1123/ijsnem.2017-0221. Epub 2018 Jan 24.


The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of resistance training only (RT; n = 10), dietary intervention only (DIET; n = 10), resistance training plus diet (RT+DIET; n = 10), and control (CON; n = 10) on body composition and resting metabolic rate (RMR) in a cohort of 40 premenopausal female volunteers. Subjects in DIET and RT+DIET were provided with daily macronutrient and calorie goals based on DXA and RMR tests, with protein maintained at 3.1 g/kg/day. Subjects in the RT and RT+DIET groups performed a supervised progressive RT program consisting of exercises for all the major muscle groups of the body. Results showed a significant month-by-group interaction for change in fat mass with no significant linear trend for control. The three treatment groups all showed significant linear decreases in fat mass, but the slope of the decrease became progressively steeper from the RT, to DIET, to RT+DIET. A significant linear increase for lean mass was seen for resistance training only. There was a nonsignificant increase in RMR in all groups from Month 0 to Month 4 but no significant month by group interaction. In conclusion, significant reductions in fat mass were achieved by all experimental groups, but results were maximized by RT+DIET. Only the RT group showed significant increases in lean mass.

Keywords: body composition; fat-free mass; strength training.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adipose Tissue / metabolism*
  • Adult
  • Basal Metabolism*
  • Body Composition*
  • Body Mass Index
  • Diet*
  • Energy Intake
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Obesity / therapy
  • Overweight / therapy
  • Resistance Training*