Physical activity and diet compensation in response to a structured exercise program
Gipson, Amanda Diane
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Evidence supports that participation in structured exercise may lead to compensatory increases in energy intake (EI) and/or decreases in energy expenditure (EE) that can reduce or eliminate the weight management benefits of exercise. Twenty college-aged males and females volunteered for an 8-week, 150 min/week walking or jogging physical education class. Average daily EI and EE were measured using 24-hr diet recall and accelerometry at three time points during the intervention. Average daily EE and EI were not significantly different among the three time periods (p = .23, p = .52, respectively) or between genders or exercise intensities. Baseline body fat was negatively correlated with changes in EE and EI (r = -.40, r = -.36, respectively). High variability in changes in EE and EI suggests that compensation varies substantially across individuals. Further research can strengthen these findings and influence modifications to weight loss programs to account for compensation.