Body weight control is thought to be improved when physical activity and energy intake are both high (high energy turnover). The aim of this study was to investigate the short-term impact of energy turnover (ET) on fat balance during zero energy balance, caloric restriction and overfeeding. In a randomized crossover study, 9 healthy men (BMI: 23.0 ±2.1 kg/m2, 26.6 ±3.5 y) passed 3x3 days in a metabolic chamber: 3 levels of ET (low, medium and high; physical activity level = 1.3-1.4, 1.5-1.6 and 1.7-1.8) were performed at zero energy balance (EB), caloric restriction (CR), and overfeeding (OF) (100%, 75%, 125% of individual energy requirement). Different levels of ET were obtained by walking (4 km/h) on a treadmill (0, 165, 330 min). 24-h macronutrient oxidation and relative macronutrient balance (oxidation relative to intake) were calculated and free fatty acids, 24-h insulin and catecholamine secretion were analyzed as determinants of fat oxidation. During EB and OF, 24-h fat oxidation increased with higher ET. This resulted in a higher relative fat balance at medium ET (EB: +17%, OF: +14%) and high ET (EB: +23%, OF: +17%) compared to low ET (all p<0.05). In contrast, CR led to a stimulation of 24-h fat oxidation irrespective of ET (no differences in relative fat balance between ET levels, p>0.05). In conclusion, under highly controlled conditions a higher energy turnover improved relative fat balance in young healthy men during overfeeding and energy balance compared to a sedentary state.
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