Bodyweight loss induced by either diet changes, alone or in combination with exercise (aerobic or resistance training) lead to decreases in total body fat especially abdominal fat. These changes in abdominal fat and in its regional distributions have also been accompanied by significant improvements in different cardiovascular risk factors (for example, high blood pressure and cholesterol).
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has been used to measure body fat levels especially abdominal fat changes. Several studies have attempted to precisely identify the best single-image location to best represent total volume of visceral adipose tissue and subcutaneous adipose tissue. For this study a total of 34 sedentary, non-smoking, obese (body mass index (BMI): 30-40) women aged 40-60 years were recruited through an advertisement in a local newspaper. Non of the subjects received any weight loss medication such as Orlistat. All the women in the study received a varied and well-balanced diet. The obese women were put through a tailored strength training programme. This programme consisted of resistance exercise for 45-60 minutes twice a week.
The findings of this study show that either a diet or a combined diet and resistance 16-week training programme lead to similar relative decreases in MRI measurements for body fat. However one of the key findings in the study was that the abdominal tissue distribution was affected by either a diet or resistance programme. Results show that for a successful abdominal fat decrease a combined strategy of a careful diet and gym resistance programme was required.