Exercise improves metabolic health and prevents the complications of obesity and type 2 diabetes. The inventors hypothesized that skeletal muscle contraction produces a cellular stress signal triggering adipose tissue lipolysis to sustain fuel availability during exercise. They aimed at identifying novel exercise-regulated exerkines, able to promote lipolysis. Growth and Differentiation Factor 15 (GDF15) gene expression and secretion increased rapidly upon skeletal muscle contraction. GDF15 protein was up-regulated in conditioned media from both acute and chronic exercise-stimulated myotubes. The inventors further show that physiological concentrations of recombinant GDF15 protein increase lipolysis in human adipose tissue. The inventors herein provide the first evidence that GDF15 is a novel exerkine produced by skeletal muscle contraction and able to target human adipose tissue to promote lipolysis. GDF15 could thus be suitable as a marker of exercise management.