A time-efficient reduction of fat mass in 4 days with exercise and caloric restriction

Authors

  • J. A. L. Calbet,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Physical Education, University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Canary Islands, Spain
    2. Instituto Universitario de Investigaciones Biomédicas y Sanitarias de la Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Canary Islands, Spain
    • Corresponding author: Jose A. L. Calbet, Departamento de Educación Física, Campus Universitario de Tafira, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, 35017 Canary Islands, Spain. Tel: +34 928 458 896, Fax: +34 928 458 867, E-mail: lopezcalbet@gmail.com

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  • J. G. Ponce-González,

    1. Department of Physical Education, University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Canary Islands, Spain
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  • I. Pérez-Suárez,

    1. Department of Physical Education, University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Canary Islands, Spain
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  • J. de la Calle Herrero,

    1. Department of Physical Education, University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Canary Islands, Spain
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  • H.-C. Holmberg

    1. Department of Health Sciences, Swedish Winter Sports Research Centre, Mid Sweden University, Östersund, Jämtland, Sweden
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Abstract

To determine whether a fast reduction in fat mass can be achieved in 4 days by combining caloric restriction (CR: 3.2 kcal/kg body weight per day) with exercise (8-h walking + 45-min arm cranking per day) to induce an energy deficit of ∼5000 kcal/day, 15 overweight men underwent five experimental phases: pretest, exercise + CR for 4 days (WCR), control diet + reduced exercise for 3 days (DIET), and follow-up 4 weeks (POST1) and 1 year later (POST2). During WCR, the diet consisted solely of whey protein (n = 8) or sucrose (n = 7) (0.8 g/kg body weight per day). After WCR, DIET, POST1, and POST2, fat mass was reduced by a mean of 2.1, 2.8, 3.8, and 1.9 kg (P < 0.05), with two thirds of this loss from the trunk; and lean mass by 2.8, 1.0, 0.5, and 0.4 kg, respectively. After WCR, serum glucose, insulin, homeostatic model assessment, total and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and triglycerides were reduced, and free fatty acid and cortisol increased. Serum leptin was reduced by 64%, 50%, and 33% following WCR, DIET, and POST1, respectively (P < 0.05). The effects were similar in both groups. In conclusion, a clinically relevant reduction in fat mass can be achieved in overweight men in just 4 days by combining prolonged exercise with CR.

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