Degree Name

EdD (Doctor of Education)


Educational Leadership

Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Catherine Glascock

Committee Members

Bethany Flora, Don Good, Michael Ramsey


Weight gain due to poor diet and lack of exercise is responsible for over 300,000 deaths each year (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2010). Obese adults have an increased risk for serious health conditions including high blood pressure and cholesterol, type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, stroke, gallbladder disease, osteoarthritis, sleep apnea, respiratory problems, and certain cancers (National Cancer Institute, 2012). Participation in exercise can help control weight, strengthen muscles and bones, and reduce the incidence of cardiac events, stroke, hypertension, type 2 diabetes, colon and breast cancers, osteoporotic fractures, gallbladder disease, obesity, depression, anxiety, and delay mortality (ACSM, 2009). The purpose of this study was to determine the effectiveness of exercise participation during weight loss on a high protein-low carbohydrate diet plan during a 12-week span in females aged 15 to 25 years. Specifically, this research study was a comparison of markers of health such as weight, fat mass, percent body fat, and fat-free mass in females who consistently exercised during the diet (Exercisers) from those who did not participate in consistent exercise (Non- Exercisers). The population in this study was selected due to the transition from high school to college being a critical period because it is associated with many identity choices and lifestyle changes that can lead to weight gain (Anderson, Shapiro, & Lundgren, 2003). The data indicate participation in regular exercise, while consuming a high protein-low carbohydrate diet plan, increases the loss of body weight, fat mass, and percent body fat when compared to participating in the diet plan alone. There was no significant difference in fat-free mass reduction between the groups. One implication for practice is recommending moderate to vigorous exercise for a minimum of 30 minutes at a time, totaling a minimum of 150 minutes per week, for females trying to achieve weight loss. Based from the results of this research study, in order to achieve a greater amount of body weight, fat mass, and percent body fat reduction one should consider incorporating exercise participation and high protein-low carbohydrate dieting into their weight loss plan.

Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access


Copyright by the authors.