A single bout of prolonged, moderate-intensity endurance exercise lowers fasting and postprandial TAG concentrations the next day. However, the TAG-lowering effect of exercise is dose-dependent and does not manifest after light exercise of low energy cost ( < 2 MJ). We aimed to investigate whether superimposing mild energy intake restriction to such exercise, in order to augment total energy deficit, potentiates the hypotriacylglycerolaemic effect. Eight healthy, sedentary, premenopausal women (age 27·1 (
sem1·3) years; BMI 21·8 ( sem0·9) kg/m2) performed two oral fat tolerance tests in the morning on two different occasions: once after a single bout of light exercise (100 min at 30 % of peak oxygen consumption; net energy expenditure 1·04 ( sem0·01) MJ) coupled with mild energy intake restriction (1·39 ( sem0·22) MJ) on the preceding day, and once after resting coupled with isoenergetic feeding on the preceding day (control). Fasting plasma TAG, TAG in the TAG-rich lipoproteins (TRL-TAG) and serum insulin concentrations were 18, 34 and 30 % lower, respectively, after exercise plus diet compared with the control trial ( P< 0·05). Postprandial concentrations of plasma TAG and TRL-TAG were 19 and 27 % lower after exercise plus diet compared with the control condition ( P< 0·01), whereas postprandial insulin concentrations were not different. It is concluded that a combination of light exercise along with mild hypoenergetic diet may be a practical and feasible intervention to attenuate fasting and postprandial triacylglycerolaemia, especially for people who cannot exercise for prolonged periods of time at moderate-to-high intensities, such as many sedentary individuals.