The endocannabinoids have been recognized as an important system involved in the regulation of energy balance. Rimonabant (SR141716), a selective inverse agonist of cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1), has been shown to cause weight loss. However, its suppressive impact on food intake is transient, indicating a likely additional effect on energy expenditure. To examine the effects of rimonabant on components of energy balance, we administered rimonabant or its vehicle to diet-induced obese (DIO) C57BL/6 mice once daily for 30 days, by oral gavage. Rimonabant induced a persistent weight reduction and a significant decrease in body fatness across all depots. In addition to transiently reduced food intake, rimonabant-treated mice exhibited decreased apparent energy absorption efficiency (AEAE), reduced metabolizable energy intake (MEI), and increased daily energy expenditure (DEE) on days 4-6 of treatment. However, these effects on the energy budget had disappeared by days 22-24 of treatment. No chronic group differences in resting metabolic rate (RMR) or respiratory quotient (RQ) (P > 0.05) were detected. Rimonabant treatment significantly increased daily physical activity (PA) levels both acutely and chronically. The increase in PA was attributed to elevated activity during the light phase but not during the dark phase. Taken together, these data suggested that rimonabant caused a negative energy balance by acting on both energy intake and expenditure. In the short term, the effect included both reduced intake and elevated PA but the chronic effect was only on increased PA expenditure.