No consistent evidence of a disproportionately low resting energy expenditure in long-term successful weight-loss maintainers

Academic Article


  • Background Evidence in humans is equivocal in regards to whether resting energy expenditure (REE) decreases to a greater extent than predicted for the loss of body mass with weight loss, and whether this disproportionate decrease in REE persists with weight-loss maintenance. Objectives We aimed to1) determine if a lower-than-predicted REE is present in a sample of successful weight-loss maintainers (WLMs) and 2) determine if amount of weight loss or duration of weight-loss maintenance are correlated with a lower-than-predicted REE in WLMs. Design Participants (18-65 y old) were recruited in 3 groups: WLMs (maintaining ≥13.6 kg weight loss for ≥1 y, n = 34), normal-weight controls [NCs, body mass index (BMI; in kg/m 2) similar to current BMI of WLMs, n = 35], and controls with overweight/obesity (OCs, BMI similar to pre-weight-loss maximum BMI of WLMs, n = 33). REE was measured (REE m) with indirect calorimetry. Predicted REE (REE p) was determined via 1) a best-fit linear regression developed with the use of REE m, age, sex, fat-free mass, and fat mass from our control groups and 2) three standard predictive equations. Results REE m in WLMs was accurately predicted by equations developed from NCs and OCs (±1%) and by 3 standard predictive equations (±3%). In WLMs, individual differences between REE m and REE p ranged from -257 to +163 kcal/d. A lower REE m compared with REE p was correlated with amount of weight lost (r = 0.36, P < 0.05) but was not correlated with duration of weight-loss maintenance (r = 0.04, P = 0.81). Conclusions We found no consistent evidence of a significantly lower REE than predicted in a sample of long-term WLMs based on predictive equations developed from NCs and OCs as well as 3 standard predictive equations. Results suggest that sustained weight loss may not always result in a substantial, disproportionately low REE. This trial was registered at as NCT03422380.
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Pubmed Id

  • 18568439
  • Author List

  • Ostendorf DM; Melanson EL; Caldwell AE; Creasy SA; Pan Z; Maclean PS; Wyatt HR; Hill JO; Catenacci VA
  • Start Page

  • 658
  • End Page

  • 666
  • Volume

  • 108
  • Issue

  • 4