Diabetes: diet and strength training aid weight loss

14 May 2010

Combining an energy-restricted, high-protein diet with resistance exercise training (strength training) boosts weight loss and improves body composition in people with type 2 diabetes.

Australian researchers have found that following this diet also led to improvements in blood sugar control and cardiovascular (heart disease) risk markers, regardless of whether resistance training was used or not (Diab Care 2010; 33: 969-976).

They randomised 83 overweight and obese men and women with type 2 diabetes to an energy-restricted diet with or without supervised resistance training (RT). Improvements were greater in the combination (diet plus resistance training) group.

“The addition of RT produced greater weight and fat mass loss, which was further magnified by replacing some dietary carbohydrate with protein… resulting in greatest reductions in weight, fat mass, waist circumference and insulin,” said the authors, from the University of Adelaide and the CSIRO Food and Nutritional Sciences division.

The target diet profile was 43 per cent carbohydrate, 33 per cent protein and 22 per cent fat. Resistance training was conducted 3 times per week and consisted of 8 separate exercises, including leg presses, chest presses, knee extensions and sit-ups.

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