Maintenance of improvements in fitness and fatness 1 year after a 3-month lifestyle intervention in overweight men

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Sustained improvements in cardiovascular fitness and body composition after lifestyle interventions are challenging. The present study investigated whether changes in cardiovascular fitness and body composition were maintained for up to 1 year after similar exercise-induced (T) or diet-induced weight loss (D) or exercise without weight loss (T-iD) in overweight sedentary men. Six and 12 months after the interventions, we measured cardiovascular fitness and body composition. Cardiovascular fitness was higher at both 6- (3.2 ± 1.5 ml O2/kg/min, P = 0.053) and 12-month follow-up (3.9 ± 1.4 ml O2/kg/min, P = 0.049) compared with preintervention in T. Fat mass (-3.0 ± 1.2 kg, P = 0.04) and abdominal fat (-3.6 ± 1.5%, P = 0.04) were lower within T at 12-month followup compared with pre-intervention. This did not occur in D (P>0.13) or T-iD (P>0.14), although body weight was lower in D (-2.5 ± 2.2 kg, P = 0.09). This study showed that fitness and fatness were not returned to pre-intervention levels 1 year after a 3-month exercise-induced weight-loss intervention.

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