To study the influence of diet composition on regulation of body weight, we fed 21 weight-stable subjects (11 lean, 10 obese) high-carbohydrate (HC) and high-fat (HF) diets for 1 wk each. Although diet composition was fixed, total energy intake was unrestricted. Subjects had a higher energy intake on the HF (11,039 +/- 2700 kJ/d) than on the HC (10,672 +/- 2617 kJ/d) diet (P less than 0.05), but energy expenditure was not different between diets. On day 7 of the HC diet, carbohydrate (CHO) oxidation was significantly related to CHO intake with the slope of the regression line 0.99, suggesting that overall CHO balance was near zero. However, the slope of the regression line was greater for obese than for lean subjects. On day 7 of the HF diet, fat oxidation was significantly related to fat intake but the slope of the line was 0.50, suggesting that overall fat balance was positive. However, this relationship was due entirely to lean subjects, with obese subjects showing no relationship between fat intake and oxidation.