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Impact of energy restriction with or without resistance training on energy metabolism in overweight and obese postmenopausal women: a Montreal Ottawa New Emerging Team group study

St-Onge, Maxime PhD1; Rabasa-Lhoret, Rémi MD, PhD2,3; Strychar, Irene EdD, RD2,4; Faraj, May PhD2,3; Doucet, Éric PhD5; Lavoie, Jean-Marc PhD1

doi: 10.1097/GME.0b013e318261f22a
Original Articles

Objective The present study measured the impact of adding resistance training to an energy-restricted diet on the components of energy expenditure in overweight or obese postmenopausal women.

Methods Participants (n = 137) were randomly divided into two groups: (1) a diet and resistance training (DRT) group and (2) a diet-only (DO) group. Women followed a 6-month energy-restricted diet consisting of 2,100 to 3,360 kJ less than daily needs. The DRT group also followed a resistance training program (three times a week). Resting energy expenditure (REE) was measured by indirect calorimetry. Total energy expenditure was measured with doubly labeled water. Body composition was measured by dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry.

Results Eighty nine women were included in the analyses for this study (DRT, n = 21; DO, n = 68). REE in both groups was significantly lower after the intervention (mean difference ± SD: DO, −0.26 ± 0.4 MJ d−1; DRT, −0.33 ± 0.4 MJ d−1; P ≤ 0.05). Relative REE, expressed per kilogram of lean body mass0.856 corrected for fat mass change, remained stable in both groups. Physical activity energy expenditure remained stable in both groups (mean difference ± SD: DO, 0.02 ± 1 MJ d−1, P = 0.91; DRT, −0.14 ± 1 MJ d−1, P = 0.64).

Conclusions Adding resistance training to an energy-restricted diet does not significantly alter any compartment of energy expenditure. REE is lower owing to reduction in body composition compartments, but relative REE is not significantly altered.

From the Departments of 1Kinesiology and 2Nutrition, Université de Montréal, Montreal, QC, Canada; 3Institut de Recherches Cliniques de Montréal, Montreal, QC, Canada; 4Centre de Recherche du Centre Hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal, Montreal, QC, Canada; and 5School of Human Kinetics, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON, Canada.

Received March 29, 2012; revised and accepted May 29, 2012.

Funding/support: This work was supported by a grant from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) New Emerging Teams in Obesity (Université de Montréal and University of Ottawa; Montreal Ottawa New Emerging Team project, grant 63279), by a CIHR operating grant (MOP62976), and by the start-up fund of the Centre Hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal foundation (18750). May Faraj was the recipient of the CIHR New Investigator Award. Éric Doucet was the recipient of the CIHR/Merck-Frosst New Investigator Award, the Canadian Foundation for Innovation/Ontario Innovation Trust New Opportunities Award, and the Early Research Award. Rémi Rabasa-Lhoret was the recipient of Fonds de la recherche en santé du Québec scholarship and holds the J.-A. DeSève Chair in clinical research.

Financial disclosure/conflicts of interest: None reported.

Address correspondence to: Jean-Marc Lavoie, PhD, Department of Kinesiology, University of Montreal, CP 6128 Downtown, Montreal, QC, Canada H3C 3J7. E-mail:

© 2013 by The North American Menopause Society.