Metabolic Benefits of Prior Weight Loss with and without Exercise on Subsequent 6-Month Weight Regain

Alice S. Ryan, Monica C. Serra, Andrew P. Goldberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Objective: To determine the 6-month follow-up effects after intentional 6-month weight loss alone (WL) and after weight loss with aerobic exercise (AEX + WL) on body composition, glucose metabolism, and cardiovascular disease risk factors in older postmenopausal women and to identify the mechanisms for weight regain. Methods: Women (n = 65, BMI > 25 kg/m2) underwent maximal oxygen consumption testing, dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry, computed tomography scans, and oral glucose tolerance tests before and after 6 months of AEX + WL or WL and at 12 months ad libitum follow-up. Insulin sensitivity (M) (hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamp) was measured at baseline and 6 months. Thirty WL and thirty-five AEX + WL women completed a follow-up at 12 months. Results: Similar weight loss was observed (−8%) in both groups from 0 to 6 months. Total fat mass, fat-free mass, visceral fat area, subcutaneous abdominal and midthigh fat areas, fasting glucose, insulin levels, homeostatic model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR), insulin areas under the curve, and triglyceride levels decreased similarly after WL and AEX + WL and remained lower at 12 months than at baseline, despite weight regain at 12 months. Initial M was associated with weight regain (r = −0.40, P < 0.01). Weight regain was related to independent changes in leptin and HOMA-IR from 6 to 12 months in a multiple regression model (r = 0.77, P < 0.0001). Conclusions: Reductions in body fat and improvements in insulin sensitivity after AEX + WL and WL were maintained at 12 months despite modest weight regain. Baseline insulin resistance partially predicted the magnitude of weight regain in postmenopausal women.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)37-44
Number of pages8
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2018
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


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