Background and activities

Dr. Martins has been investigating over the past 15 years how exercise and energy restricted diets impact on energy balance and body weight homeostasis, in particular their impact on appetite control. 

She holds a first degree (honor) in Nutrition and Dietetics from Oporto University (Portugal), a M.Sc. in Clinical Nutrition (distinction) from Roehampton University, London (UK) and a Ph.D. from University of Surrey (UK). She has received an awards from the British Nutrition Society in 2007 and Association for the Study of Obesity (ASO) in 2008 in recognition of her research on the effects of exercise on appetite control.

In 2008, after completion of her Ph.D., she was awarded a Post Doctoral fellowship (from FCT, Portugal) to investigate the effects of exercise-induced weight loss on appetite-related peptides and motivation to eat in individuals with obesity, at NTNU, under the mentorship of Prof. John Blundell (University of Leeds, UK). Two years later, in 2010, Dr. Martins was awarded a research grant from Central Norway Regional Health Authority/NTNU to lead a project on “High-intensity intermittent training to maximize metabolic and cardiovascular protection in individuals with obesity” in collaboration with Dr. Neil King (Queensland University of Technology, Australia) and Prof. Linda Morgan (University of Surrey, UK).

In 2011 she started as an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Medicine, being responsible for two of the modules in the new master in “Obesity and Health” (“Definition, pathophysiology and consequences of obesity” and “Conservative treatment of obesity: Behavioral therapy, diet and exercise”). Since then, Dr. Martins’ research shifted towards energy restricted diets and their impact on appetite control and energy metabolism. Her research groups has, in particular, investigated the impact of very-low energy diets, intermittent fasting and low-carbohydrate ketogenic diets on appetite control. Additionally, she is interested in understanding on bariatric surgery impacts on appetite control and energy metabolism, has potential modulators of long-term weight loss outcomes.

She is at the moment at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) in USA on a sabbatical leave investigating the physiology of the reduced-obese state in collaboration with Dr. Barbara Gower, Dr. Gary Hunter and Dr. James Hill. Dr. Martins is particularly interested in understanding the phenomenon of  metabolic adaptation (a reduction in energy expenditure below predicted levels) and its clinical relevance.

Dr. Martins has published several original papers and reviews on the impact of exercise and energy restricted diets (namely ketogenic diets) on appetite control and energy metabolism and is a regular speaker at the European Congress of Obesity.