One of Enthalpic's comments got me surfing the PubMed database and I found these two tidbits which I think are worth remembering. "ad libitum" means "as desired" or "as much as you want" in this context, so no calorie restriction, which always reduces resting metabolic rate. Being a geezer, the ages of the study participants caught my eye.
"Effects of an ad libitum low-fat, high-carbohydrate diet on body weight, body composition, and fat distribution in older men and women: a randomized controlled trial.Hays NP, Starling RD, Liu X, Sullivan DH, Trappe TA, Fluckey JD, Evans WJ.
Nutrition, Metabolism, and Exercise Laboratory, Donald W Reynolds Department of Geriatrics, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare System, Little Rock 72205, USA.
BACKGROUND: The efficacy of ad libitum low-fat diets in reducing body weight and fat in overweight and obese adults remains controversial. METHODS: We examined the effect of a 12-week low-fat, high-complex carbohydrate diet alone (HI-CHO) and in combination with aerobic exercise training (HI-CHO + EX) on body weight and composition in 34 individuals with impaired glucose tolerance (20 women and 14 men; mean +/- SEM age, 66 +/- 1 years). Participants were randomly assigned to a control diet (41% fat, 14% protein, 45% carbohydrates, and 7 g of fiber per 1000 kcal), a HI-CHO diet (18% fat, 19% protein, 63% carbohydrates, and 26 g of fiber per 1000 kcal), or a HI-CHO diet plus endurance exercise 4 d/wk, 45 min/d, at 80% peak oxygen consumption (HI-CHO + EX). Participants were provided 150% of estimated energy needs and were instructed to consume food ad libitum. Total food intake, body composition, resting metabolic rate, and substrate oxidation were measured. RESULTS: There was no significant difference in total food intake among the 3 groups and no change in energy intake over time. The HI-CHO + EX and HI-CHO groups lost more body weight (-4.8 +/- 0.9 kg [P=.003] and -3.2 +/- 1.2 kg [P=.02]) and a higher percentage of body fat (-3.5% +/- 0.7% [P=.01] and -2.2% +/- 1.2% [P=.049]) than controls (-0.1 +/- 0.6 kg and 0.2% +/- 0.6%). In addition, thigh fat area decreased in the HI-CHO (P=.003) and HI-CHO + EX (P<.001) groups compared with controls. High carbohydrate intake and weight loss did not result in a decreased resting metabolic rate or reduced fat oxidation. CONCLUSION: A high-carbohydrate diet consumed ad libitum, with no attempt at energy restriction or change in energy intake, results in losses of body weight and body fat in older men and women."
And from 2006:
"Effects of an ad libitum, high carbohydrate diet and aerobic exercise training on insulin action and muscle metabolism in older men and women.Hays NP, Starling RD, Sullivan DH, Fluckey JD, Coker RH, Williams RH, Evans WJ.
Department of Geriatrics, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, AR 72205, USA.
BACKGROUND: Previous studies have demonstrated that aerobic exercise training and weight loss have independent effects on insulin-stimulated glucose disposal (ISGD). We hypothesized that ad libitum consumption of a high-carbohydrate diet would result in weight loss and improved ISGD, and that aerobic exercise training would facilitate greater improvements in ISGD compared with diet alone. METHODS: Older participants (13 women, 9 men; age = 66 +/- 1 year) with impaired glucose tolerance were randomly assigned to an ad libitum diet alone (18% fat, 19% protein, 63% carbohydrate) or this diet plus aerobic exercise training (4 d/wk, 45 min/d, 80% VO(2peak)) for 12 weeks. ISGD, abdominal fat distribution, muscle glycogen, and glycogen synthase activity were assessed pre- and postintervention. RESULTS: Consumption of the diet resulted in significant weight loss and an improvement in ISGD. Consumption of the diet plus exercise training also resulted in weight loss and increased ISGD, but results were not significantly different from those in the diet-alone group. Mean abdominal visceral and subcutaneous adipose tissue cross-sectional areas were smaller postintervention compared to baseline with no difference between groups. Exercise training and consumption of the diet increased muscle glycogen content (344.7 +/- 21.3 to 616.7 +/- 34.4 micromol.g(-1)) and decreased glycogen synthase activity (0.21 +/- 0.02 to 0.13 +/- 0.01) compared to the diet alone. CONCLUSIONS: These results demonstrate that consumption of an ad libitum, high-carbohydrate diet alone or in combination with aerobic exercise training results in weight loss and improved insulin sensitivity. Furthermore, exercise combined with this diet appears to limit additional increases in insulin sensitivity due to muscle glycogen supercompensation with a concomitant adaptive response of glycogen synthase."