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Effects of Exercise on Postprandial Responses to Ad Libitum Feeding in Overweight Men


Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise: November 2010 - Volume 42 - Issue 11 - p 2015-2022
doi: 10.1249/MSS.0b013e3181e0d186
Basic Sciences

Purpose: Previous exercise reduces the lipemic response to meals of fixed size. It is not known whether this triglyceride (TG) attenuation also occurs in response to ad libitum feeding because exercise might induce a compensatory increase in energy intake. It is also unclear whether the effects of a single exercise session on lipemia would be augmented by repeated exercise sessions on consecutive days.

Design: Ten sedentary overweight/obese men (aged 35 ± 6 yr) each participated in three 4-d trials in random order: CON (no exercise on days 1-3), EX-1 (exercise session on day 3), and EX-3 (exercise sessions on days 1-3). Each exercise session expended 33.5 kJ·kg−1 body mass. Subjects consumed an isocaloric diet (provided by experimenters) and avoided alcohol on days 1-3 of all trials. On day 4 of each trial, participants underwent a 7-h metabolic assessment, during which an ad libitum buffet breakfast and lunch was provided, and postprandial plasma and expired air responses were assessed.

Results: Day 4 ad libitum energy intake was higher than CON in EX-3 (9216 ± 669 vs 7859 ± 492 kJ, P < 0.05) but not EX-1 (8335 ± 683 kJ). Postprandial TG responses were 27% and 25% lower in EX-1 and EX-3, respectively, than in CON (both P < 0.05), and postprandial insulin responses were 26% (P = 0.06) and 31% (P < 0.05) lower in EX-1 and EX-3, respectively, than in CON. Compared with CON, postprandial fat oxidation was 20% higher in EX-1 and 27% higher in EX-3 (both P < 0.05).

Conclusions: Previous exercise attenuates the lipemic response to ad libitum meals, suggesting that exercise's TG-lowering effect will extend into "real-world" settings where food intake is not carefully controlled. This response is not augmented by exercising on repeated days.

1Institute of Cardiovascular and Medical Sciences, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, Scotland, UNITED KINGDOM; and 2Division of Developmental Medicine, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, Scotland, UNITED KINGDOM

Address for correspondence: Jason M. R. Gill, Ph.D., Institute of Cardiovascular and Medical Sciences, College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences, West Medical Building, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, G12 8QQ, United Kingdom; E-mail:

Submitted for publication February 2010.

Accepted for publication March 2010.

©2010The American College of Sports Medicine