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Trust me. There’s thousands and thousands of different diet methods everywhere. Each and every one of those work if you’re consistent. So today, I’ll be sharing with you what worked for me and what I’ve been able to do for a long period of time. And that’s called Body Recomposition. The photo you see right above you is a result within a 2-week period. We’re going discuss each bitty and gritty detail but in simplified easy to digest form (pun intended). Excited? Let’s start!
I’m writing this article not just for myself but for anyone who’s curious and wants to learn body recomposition the easy way.
What is Body Recomposition?
Body recomposition, or simply, ‘recomp’ is the process of reducing body fat and adding muscle mass.
Anytime someone has changed from being fat to lean while maintaining or gaining muscle, is an example of ‘body recomposition’
Can I really lose fat while building muscle?
Before you read any further please make sure that you’re at least an intermediate in bodybuilding and in a healthy maintaining weight. This is not recommended if you’re obese or underweight. If you’re either skinny fat or want to maintain your lean muscle then please do stay.
Cutting and Bulking. You probably hear these 2 words a lot, but not recomposition.
Cutting = You’re on a calorie deficit to lose weight. It’s as simple as eating less than your maintenance calories and macros by 100-200 to lose weight.
Bulking – You’re on a calorie surplus to gain weight, preferably muscle. It’s as easy as eating beyond your maintaining macro and calorie allowance by 300-500 for gains.
You’ll commonly hear stories of people, doing a ‘one week bulk’ followed by a ‘one week cut’, in the hope of losing fat and building muscle at the same time. DON’T DO THAT. These phases are done in months in between.
SHOULD YOU RECOMP?
Ok, now that disclaimers, caveats, and prerequisites are out of the way, let’s talk about who this does work for.
1. The Fat Beginner
Recomping is an excellent tool for someone who’s just starting out on their physique journey.
I’m not a fan of newbies putting themselves into a caloric deficit. The first 6–12 months of a beginner’s physique journey is ‘primetime’ for growth. So take advantage of this period (the only exception to this rule is if you are really overweight or obese to begin with) .
2. The ‘Skinny Fat’ Beginner
Someone who is ‘Skinny Fat’ doesn’t have much muscle on their frame and are carrying a lot of fat, often around the stomach.
Just like their skinny brethren, a straight caloric deficit will only make them look worse as they lack the muscle to look shredded. An argument could be made that if this group ate in a straight calorie surplus they could see results in terms of muscle growth. But, these people often have a tendency to put on body fat easily. The recomp is a great way to strike the perfect balance between fat loss and muscle growth.
If you are someone who is naturally skinny, aka ‘the hard-gainer’ type — the recomp is not for you. Get into a caloric surplus and focus on gaining size and strength. Period.
3. Anyone Determined to Stay Lean Year-Round
If you want to stay lean all the time, you can’t afford extended periods of bulking and cutting.
Recomping makes it easier to keep a photo-ready physique, while making consistent muscle and strength gains.
If you want to get really lean for a party, vacation or photo-shoot, you can cut for a few weeks to “tighten up” beforehand.
4. Lifters Who Want to Strip Off Fat Inside a Bulking Cycle
I often use the recomp protocol as a phase inside my muscle gain phases to strip off excess fat.
I’m a fan of extended muscle gaining periods – often eight months or longer. Inevitably, the deeper I get into this phase, the more body fat I will accumulate. I like periodizing a four to five month calorie surplus followed by a two(ish) month recomp to strip off fat. Then I revert back to a surplus and resume the mass gaining phase.
In a nutshell it’s basically eating on a surplus on your lifting days, and eating on deficit on rest days. Other terms of this would be calorie cycling, macro cycling, or lean gains. What makes recomposition easy to follow is we’re naturally hungrier on workout days and lack appetite on rest days. It’s just a matter of knowing your required calorie and macro allowance for the day and adjust accordingly.
HOW DO WE START OUR RECOMP DIET
#1 Determine your maintenance calories
Your Bodyweight (in lbs) x [12 to 16] = Maintenance calories
You can choose between 12 to 16 depending on your daily activity. I’m quite out and about so my multiplier is 14. I’m currently 115lbs so my count is 1610
#2 Determine your rest-day calories
Simply subtract 150-200 calories from your maintenance. Mine’s 1,410
#3 Set-up your macros
Training day macros :
Protein — 1 gram per pound of total body weight.
Fat — 25–30 percent of total calories.
Carbs — the calories remaining once protein and fat are set.
My protein is around 115 g, and the remaining is split between fat and carbs. I use My Fitness Pal app to compute and track.
Rest day macros : Protein count is still the same, however the carbs and fat is lowered based on your rest-day calorie computation. My rest day calorie is 1,410
Refeeds and “Cheat” Meals
Cravings? PMS? Special occasions? It’s best if you time this on your workout day. You can go beyond your calorie allowance by a 100-300 and eat your heart’s desires. Best done on a minimum of once per week or if you can once per month.
I use this on my milk tea craving season HAHAHA
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I got all the facts here from this website: http://physiqonomics.com/body-recomposition/ and it discusses recomposition in great detail. From how many calories your body needs to take, when to have your “cheat days” or “free meals” up to macronutrient adjustments. GOOD LUCK and happy recomping! ^_^