Weight loss and body recomposition: Lose fat and gain muscles at the same time.
Traditional weight loss programs focus on cutting body fat and hitting a lower number on the scale. Stepping on the scales and looking at trends can help you determine if you’re making progress and shedding fat. However, even if you don’t see the numbers on the scale going down, you might still be making progress due to body recomposition.
Read more: What is the deal with weight fluctuation?
What is body recomposition or ‘recomp’?
While weight loss concentrates on losing fat, body recomposition refers to changes in the body’s ratio of fat to muscle. It focuses on body composition rather than weight. In simple terms, body recomposition is an approach to weight loss that not only focuses on losing fat but also gaining muscle at the same time.
How does body recomposition work?
Body recomposition is a phenomenon of simultaneously gaining muscle and losing fat. Although weight loss and muscle gain may seem to be in opposition to one another, they’re not impossible to achieve during the same period of time.
Basically, losing fat is a catabolic process (Breaking down) where the body breaks down stored fat for energy. This requires a caloric deficit through nutrition or exercise or ideally both. Gaining muscle is an anabolic process (Building up) that requires both exercise and adequate macronutrient proportions. By incorporating these two processes, one can easily lose fat and gain muscle at the same time.
What is healthy body composition?
According to the American Council on Exercise, healthy body composition depends on the amount of fat in the body.
- Essential body fat for men: 2%-5%
- Essential body fat for women: 10%-13%
- Acceptable body fat for men: 18%-24%
- Acceptable body fat for women: 25%-31%
- Overweight body fat for men: Over 25%
- Overweight body fat for women: Over 30%
Body recomposition basics:
In general, body recomposition is more of a lifestyle than a diet. Whether your goal is weight loss or body recomposition, a healthy diet and regular exercise must be on your to-do list.
Role of Macros:
If you want to gain muscles and lose fat, you need to be counting macros. If your goal is to lose weight, you need to lower your carbohydrate intake by 10%. If your goal is to build muscle, you need to improve your protein intake by 20% while lowering your carbohydrate and fat ratios by 10%.
Role of regular exercise:
Health experts recommend 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity for weight loss. If you’re focusing on body recomposition, you need to prioritize strength training to build muscle. You might encounter weight-loss plateaus initially, but you need to keep up with the momentum you had when you first started working towards your goal. If you’re not seeing any results try changing your strength-training routine or follow a high-intensity interval training plan.
Read more: How can you overcome a weight loss plateau?
If you want to lose fat and gain muscles at the same time, body recomposition is a great technique that you could follow. Try to find out your body composition and nourish your body proactively for better performance and function, add more protein to your diet, and focus on strength training.