The effect of exercise intensity on fat oxidation and non-exercise activity thermogenesis in overweight/obese men

Alahmadi, Mohammad Ali (2011) The effect of exercise intensity on fat oxidation and non-exercise activity thermogenesis in overweight/obese men. PhD thesis, Queensland University of Technology.


It is frequently reported that the actual weight loss achieved through exercise interventions is less than theoretically expected. Amongst other compensatory adjustments that accompany exercise training (e.g., increases in resting metabolic rate and energy intake), a possible cause of the less than expected weight loss is a failure to produce a marked increase in total daily energy expenditure due to a compensatory reduction in non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT). Therefore, there is a need to understand how behaviour is modified in response to exercise interventions. The proposed benefits of exercise training are numerous, including changes to fat oxidation. Given that a diminished capacity to oxidise fat could be a factor in the aetiology of obesity, an exercise training intensity that optimises fat oxidation in overweight/obese individuals would improve impaired fat oxidation, and potentially reduce health risks that are associated with obesity. To improve our understanding of the effectiveness of exercise for weight management, it is important to ensure exercise intensity is appropriately prescribed, and to identify and monitor potential compensatory behavioural changes consequent to exercise training. In line with the gaps in the literature, three studies were performed. The aim of Study 1 was to determine the effect of acute bouts of moderate- and high-intensity walking exercise on NEAT in overweight and obese men. Sixteen participants performed a single bout of either moderate-intensity walking exercise (MIE) or high-intensity walking exercise (HIE) on two separate occasions. The MIE consisted of walking for 60-min on a motorised treadmill at 6 km.h-1. The 60-min HIE session consisted of walking in 5-min intervals at 6 km.h-1 and 10% grade followed by 5-min at 0% grade. NEAT was assessed by accelerometer three days before, on the day of, and three days after the exercise sessions. There was no significant difference in NEAT vector magnitude (counts.min-1) between the pre-exercise period (days 1-3) and the exercise day (day 4) for either protocol. In addition, there was no change in NEAT during the three days following the MIE session, however NEAT increased by 16% on day 7 (post-exercise) compared with the exercise day (P = 0.32). During the post-exercise period following the HIE session, NEAT was increased by 25% on day 7 compared with the exercise day (P = 0.08), and by 30-33% compared with the pre-exercise period (day 1, day 2 and day 3); P = 0.03, 0.03, 0.02, respectively. To conclude, a single bout of either MIE or HIE did not alter NEAT on the exercise day or on the first two days following the exercise session. However, extending the monitoring of NEAT allowed the detection of a 48 hour delay in increased NEAT after performing HIE. A longer-term intervention is needed to determine the effect of accumulated exercise sessions over a week on NEAT. In Study 2, there were two primary aims. The first aim was to test the reliability of a discontinuous incremental exercise protocol (DISCON-FATmax) to identify the workload at which fat oxidation is maximised (FATmax). Ten overweight and obese sedentary male men (mean BMI of 29.5 ¡Ó 4.5 kg/m2 and mean age of 28.0 ¡Ó 5.3 y) participated in this study and performed two identical DISCON-FATmax tests one week apart. Each test consisted of alternate 4-min exercise and 2-min rest intervals on a cycle ergometer. The starting work load of 28 W was increased every 4-min using 14 W increments followed by 2-min rest intervals. When the respiratory exchange ratio was consistently >1.0, the workload was increased by 14 W every 2-min until volitional exhaustion. Fat oxidation was measured by indirect calorimetry. The mean FATmax, ƒtV O2peak, %ƒtV O2peak and %Wmax at which FATmax occurred during the two tests were 0.23 ¡Ó 0.09 and 0.18 ¡Ó 0.08 (g.min-1); 29.7 ¡Ó 7.8 and 28.3 ¡Ó 7.5 (; 42.3 ¡Ó 7.2 and 42.6 ¡Ó 10.2 (%ƒtV O2max) and 36.4 ¡Ó 8.5 and 35.4 ¡Ó 10.9 (%), respectively. A paired-samples T-test revealed a significant difference in FATmax (g.min-1) between the tests (t = 2.65, P = 0.03). The mean difference in FATmax was 0.05 (g.min-1) with the 95% confidence interval ranging from 0.01 to 0.18. Paired-samples T-test, however, revealed no significant difference in the workloads (i.e. W) between the tests, t (9) = 0.70, P = 0.4. The intra-class correlation coefficient for FATmax (g.min-1) between the tests was 0.84 (95% confidence interval: 0.36-0.96, P < 0.01). However, Bland-Altman analysis revealed a large disagreement in FATmax (g.min-1) related to W between the two tests; 11 ¡Ó 14 (W) (4.1 ¡Ó 5.3 ƒtV O2peak (%)).These data demonstrate two important phenomena associated with exercise-induced substrate oxidation; firstly, that maximal fat oxidation derived from a discontinuous FATmax protocol differed statistically between repeated tests, and secondly, there was large variability in the workload corresponding with FATmax. The second aim of Study 2 was to test the validity of a DISCON-FATmax protocol by comparing maximal fat oxidation (g.min-1) determined by DISCON-FATmax with fat oxidation (g.min-1) during a continuous exercise protocol using a constant load (CONEX). Ten overweight and obese sedentary males (BMI = 29.5 ¡Ó 4.5 kg/m2; age = 28.0 ¡Ó 4.5 y) with a ƒtV O2max of 29.1 ¡Ó 7.5 performed a DISCON-FATmax test consisting of alternate 4-min exercise and 2-min rest intervals on a cycle ergometer. The 1-h CONEX protocol used the workload from the DISCON-FATmax to determine FATmax. The mean FATmax, ƒtV O2max, %ƒtV O2max and workload at which FATmax occurred during the DISCON-FATmax were 0.23 ¡Ó 0.09 (g.min-1); 29.1 ¡Ó 7.5 (; 43.8 ¡Ó 7.3 (%ƒtV O2max) and 58.8 ¡Ó 19.6 (W), respectively. The mean fat oxidation during the 1-h CONEX protocol was 0.19 ¡Ó 0.07 (g.min-1). A paired-samples T-test revealed no significant difference in fat oxidation (g.min-1) between DISCON-FATmax and CONEX, t (9) = 1.85, P = 0.097 (two-tailed). There was also no significant correlation in fat oxidation between the DISCON-FATmax and CONEX (R=0.51, P = 0.14). Bland- Altman analysis revealed a large disagreement in fat oxidation between the DISCONFATmax and CONEX; the upper limit of agreement was 0.13 (g.min-1) and the lower limit of agreement was ¡V0.03 (g.min-1). These data suggest that the CONEX and DISCONFATmax protocols did not elicit different rates of fat oxidation (g.min-1). However, the individual variability in fat oxidation was large, particularly in the DISCON-FATmax test. Further research is needed to ascertain the validity of graded exercise tests for predicting fat oxidation during constant load exercise sessions. The aim of Study 3 was to compare the impact of two different intensities of four weeks of exercise training on fat oxidation, NEAT, and appetite in overweight and obese men. Using a cross-over design 11 participants (BMI = 29 ¡Ó 4 kg/m2; age = 27 ¡Ó 4 y) participated in a training study and were randomly assigned initially to: [1] a lowintensity (45%ƒtV O2max) exercise (LIT) or [2] a high-intensity interval (alternate 30 s at 90%ƒtV O2max followed by 30 s rest) exercise (HIIT) 40-min duration, three times a week. Participants completed four weeks of supervised training and between cross-over had a two week washout period. At baseline and the end of each exercise intervention,ƒtV O2max, fat oxidation, and NEAT were measured. Fat oxidation was determined during a standard 30-min continuous exercise bout at 45%ƒtV O2max. During the steady state exercise expired gases were measured intermittently for 5-min periods and HR was monitored continuously. In each training period, NEAT was measured for seven consecutive days using an accelerometer (RT3) the week before, at week 3 and the week after training. Subjective appetite sensations and food preferences were measured immediately before and after the first exercise session every week for four weeks during both LIT and HIIT. The mean fat oxidation rate during the standard continuous exercise bout at baseline for both LIT and HIIT was 0.14 ¡Ó 0.08 (g.min-1). After four weeks of exercise training, the mean fat oxidation was 0.178 ¡Ó 0.04 and 0.183 ¡Ó 0.04 g.min-1 for LIT and HIIT, respectively. The mean NEAT (counts.min-1) was 45 ¡Ó 18 at baseline, 55 ¡Ó 22 and 44 ¡Ó 16 during training, and 51 ¡Ó 14 and 50 ¡Ó 21 after training for LIT and HIIT, respectively. There was no significant difference in fat oxidation between LIT and HIIT. Moreover, although not statistically significant, there was some evidence to suggest that LIT and HIIT tend to increase fat oxidation during exercise at 45% ƒtV O2max (P = 0.14 and 0.08, respectively). The order of training treatment did not significantly influence changes in fat oxidation, NEAT, and appetite. NEAT (counts.min-1) was not significantly different in the week following training for either LIT or HIIT. Although not statistically significant (P = 0.08), NEAT was 20% lower during week 3 of exercise training in HIIT compared with LIT. Examination of appetite sensations revealed differences in the intensity of hunger, with higher ratings after LIT compared with HIIT. No differences were found in preferences for high-fat sweet foods between LIT and HIIT. In conclusion, the results of this thesis suggest that while fat oxidation during steady state exercise was not affected by the level of exercise intensity, there is strong evidence to suggest that intense exercise could have a debilitative effect on NEAT.

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ID Code: 49707
Item Type: QUT Thesis (PhD)
Supervisor: Hills, Andrew, Byrne, Nuala, & King, Neil
Keywords: neat, obesity, physical activity, exercise energy expenditure, substrate utilisation, body composition, FATmax, accelerometer, exercise prescription, exercise training, exercise intervention, compensatory responses
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Exercise & Nutrition Sciences
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Deposited On: 16 Apr 2012 00:19
Last Modified: 16 Apr 2012 00:19

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