Intermittent fasting (IF) and high intensity interval training (HIIT) are effective lifestyle interventions for improving body composition and overall health. However, the long-term effects of IF and potential synergistic effects of combining IF with exercise are unclear. The purpose of the study was to investigate the long-term effects of IF, with or without HIIT, on body composition and markers of metabolic health in diet-induced obese mice. In a randosmised, controlled design, 8-week-old C57BL/6 mice (males (n = 39) and females (n = 49)) were fed a high fat (HF) and sugar (S) water diet (30% (w/v)) for 24-weeks but were separated into five groups at 12-weeks: (1) 'obese' baseline control (OBC); (2) no intervention (CON); (3) intermittent fasting (IF); (4) high intensity intermittent exercise (HIIT) and (5) combination of dietary and exercise intervention (IF + HIIT). Body composition, strength and blood variables were measured at 0, 10 and/or 12-weeks. Intermittent fasting with or without HIIT resulted in significantly less weight gain, fat mass accumulation and reduced serum low density lipoproteins (LDL) levels compared to HIIT and CON male mice (p < 0.05). The results suggest that IF, with or without HIIT, can be an effective strategy for weight gain prevention despite concurrently consuming a high fat and sugar diet.
Keywords: body composition; energy balance; fasting glucose; high fat diet; plasma lipids; weight loss.