Most people who are trying to lose weight want to have a lean but toned body. Often, traditional weight loss programs focus on reducing body fat and getting lower numbers on the scale rather than building muscle.
Body recomposition is an approach to weight loss that emphasizes the importance of not only losing fat but also gaining muscle at the same time. Besides reducing fat, using body recomposition techniques can help you increase your strength and increase the number of calories you burn during the day. This article defines body recomposition, discusses its health benefits, and explains how to start a body recomposition regimen.
What is body recomposition?
Body composition refers to the amount of fat and fat-free mass (muscle, bone, and water) in your body. Body composition analysis provides a better understanding of health than other screening methods that only consider weight and height, such as body mass index (BMI). This is because your percentage of body fat compared to your muscle mass better reflects your overall well-being than weight or BMI. Therefore, body recomposition focuses on body composition rather than weight.
Unlike a standard diet, body recomposition is a way of life in which fitness and nutrition techniques lead to healthy changes in your body’s fat to muscle ratio. Recomposition means “to form something new or in a different way”, hence the term “body recomposition”. Although body recomposition has long been used by athletes and weightlifters, it has only recently gained favor with people who are simply looking to get in shape and lose fat.
Body recomposition is more than just weight loss In general, people use scales to gauge their progress when trying to lose weight. If the number on the scale goes down, most dieters assume they’ve been successful.
However, the problem with using a scale as your only method of tracking your progress is that most scales don’t differentiate between fat loss and muscle loss, which is an important factor in measuring fitness. health. Excess body fat has been linked to a range of health problems and may increase the risk of chronic diseases, such as diabetes, cancer and heart disease.
In contrast, a healthy ratio of muscle mass to body fat can improve your health while decreasing your risk of the aforementioned diseases. If done correctly, body recomposition changes your body composition so that you have less fat and more muscle. Interestingly, prioritizing body recomposition techniques over other weight loss methods can result in much slower weight loss, or even no weight loss at all, due to simultaneous muscle gain.
However, contrary to popular belief, it is the ratio of muscle to fat that is the best indicator of overall health and fitness, not body weight. Plus, increasing muscle mass boosts your resting metabolic rate (RMR), which means you’ll burn more calories at rest.
How does body recomposition work?
Because body recomposition is more of a lifestyle than a diet, there is no set protocol. Instead, people who want to gain muscle while burning fat should commit to modifying their diet and exercise regimen in ways that facilitate body recomposition. Rather than tracking weight on a scale, you should gauge results by measuring body circumference and body fat using methods such as skinfold calipers.
Body Recomposition Basics
Traditional methods of weight loss consist of drastically reducing calories and increasing cardiovascular exercise in order to expend more energy. Although this may lead to weight loss, it is highly likely to reduce both fat mass and muscle mass.
When following a body recomposition program, it is important to preserve and build muscle while losing fat.
To achieve this goal, changes must be made in exercise and diet. While cardiovascular exercise is important for weight loss and overall health, strength training is necessary to change body composition. Additionally, a high-protein diet facilitates fat loss while promoting muscle growth.
Body recomposition methods can vary depending on your end goal. For example, a lean bodybuilder who wants to gain more muscle and reduce body fat will have different diet and exercise needs than an overweight person who wants to lose fat while toning.
The good news is that body recomposition benefits everyone, no matter how much fat you want to lose or how much muscle you want to gain. The key to effective body recomposition is finding the right balance between diet and exercise.
how to lose fat
From increasing your risk of many chronic diseases to deteriorating your emotional well-being and body image, excess body fat can negatively impact health in many ways. Losing body fat requires creating a calorie deficit, which can be achieved by either consuming fewer calories or expending more energy.
However, extreme calorie reduction through a low-calorie diet or several hours of cardiovascular exercise does not necessarily preserve muscle mass. To lose fat while maintaining or building your physique, it’s best to moderately decrease your calorie intake while incorporating exercises that build muscle mass into your routine, such as weight training.
Nutrition and Fat Loss
The quality of the diet also matters when it comes to losing fat. Eating a high protein diet has been shown to reduce fat while maintaining lean body mass. A study in 88 overweight adults showed that a low-calorie diet containing 1.4 g/kg body weight was more effective in preserving muscle mass and reducing body fat than a diet providing 0.8 g/kg) .
Studies have shown that a higher protein intake is necessary for athletes trying to lose fat while maintaining muscle.
A review of six studies showed that athletes who lost the least muscle mass while cutting calories consumed the most protein 2.5-2.6g/kg body weight. For this reason, increasing your protein intake to at least 1.4 g/kg body weight can improve your body composition.
Other ways to reduce fat stores
Besides increasing protein intake and increasing calorie expenditure, here are other proven ways to lose body fat:
– Cut out processed foods: A high intake of processed foods, such as fast foods, candy, packaged pastries, and crisps, has been linked to excess body fat.
– Cut carbs: Replacing carbs with foods higher in protein, healthy fats, and fiber can increase satiety and lower levels of insulin, a hormone that promotes fat storage.
– Increase your fiber intake: Eating more fiber-rich foods, such as vegetables and beans, can help reduce body fat, especially in the belly area.
– Try interval training: Interval training sessions that combine short, intense bursts of energy followed by brief recovery periods are more effective at reducing body fat than continuous, high-intensity workouts moderate
how to gain muscle
While losing fat is important, maintaining or gaining muscle is key to changing your body composition. Focusing only on diet and neglecting exercise habits can lead to loss of muscle mass. It’s essential to combine a healthy diet that promotes lean body mass with a fitness program that promotes muscle growth and maintenance.
The Importance of Protein
When trying to build muscle, a proper diet is essential. A healthy diet rich in whole foods, such as fresh produce, healthy fats, complex carbohydrates, and protein, is best for everyone, regardless of fitness goals.
People trying to change their body composition may need to focus on increasing their protein intake, as studies have shown that a high protein diet is necessary to promote muscle growth. For example, a recent review concluded that 1.6-2.2g/kg of body weight per day is best for maximizing muscle gain and strength.
Another review of 49 studies found that although participants consumed an average of 1.4 g/kg of body weight per day, an additional 35 grams of protein per day led to even more lean body mass gain.
For people who have more fat to lose, cutting calories by 30-40% while increasing protein intake to 1.2-3.1 g/kg can maximize fat loss while helping to maintain muscle mass. It is recommended to spread protein sources evenly throughout the day by consuming protein-rich foods such as eggs, poultry, dairy products and protein supplements every three to four hours.
The best exercises to gain muscle
In addition to a diet high in protein and whole foods, it’s essential to incorporate strength training into your routine. Strength training involves using resistance exercises to build strength and muscle mass. An example of strength training is lifting weights.
If your goal is to build muscle and reduce fat, experts recommend a training protocol that includes at least two days of resistance exercise per week. An analysis of 10 studies demonstrated that resistance training twice a week was more effective at maximizing muscle growth than once a week.
Combining strength exercises like squats, bench presses, push-ups, and other strength-training exercises two to three days a week with one to two days a week of interval training can be the perfect combination. high-intensity interval training and resistance training lead to fat loss, as well as increased muscle mass and strength.