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Body recomposition, also known as “recomping” or “recomp,” is the process of losing fat and gaining muscle simultaneously.
A body recomposition diet during which you lose fat and gain muscle simultaneously is everyone’s dream. People who were previously in-shape, or extremely overweight people who are new to working out, can gain muscle and lose fat simultaneously and relatively easily: Writer and consultant Lyle McDonald writes that people who were previously fit, stopped working out consistently, and who then go back to consistent training and dieting regain the muscle they lost quickly without gaining much excess fat1. Although building muscle without gaining fat is theoretically possible for the general population, it is impractical because it is such a slow, meticulous process: Lyle McDonald says that even though it is technically possible for already in-shape people to gain muscle and lose fat simultaneously, the process is very slow and tedious. Although body recomposition is possible and relatively easy for formerly fit or overweight, untrained people, it is impractical for the vast majority of gymgoers. Although there are various weight training routines that will help you lose fat (future article coming soon), people who already have a substantial amount of muscle mass should not decrease the stimulus on their muscles by using low weight, high reps in an effort to burn fat. As mentioned in the bulking macronutrient ratios article, only give yourself a slight surplus of calories: 10-20% over maintenance, or perhaps 200-250 calories per day over maintenance, is more than enough. Because true body recomposition is not possible for most gymgoers, the best method to changing your physique is to decide which you want: gain muscle or lose fat. Body Recomposition, or losing fat and gaining muscle simultaneously, is every bodybuilder’s, fitness model’s, and regular gymgoer’s dream. However, for most people, body recomposition is possible only through extremely meticulous attention to diet and training.
Since trying to lose fat and gain muscle simultaneously is likely to keep you from making any real progress on either goal, it is best to pick one goal, either gaining muscle or losing fat, and concentrating on that goal. Even though body recomposition is technically possible, attempting to lose fat and gain muscle at the same time usually leads to people spinning their wheels and getting no results. The first important thing to note is that the calorie surplus to gain muscle is very, very small when compared to the calorie deficit required to lose fat. Lets look at what your body does with its calories, please look at my body on left side of the above diagram. Lets talk about this nuclear reactor here and how to stop if from turning on and burning up our muscles.
Consume enough calories to keep your body from thinking its starving but not so many calories that you gain fat, 10% under your TDEE is a good value to use. Many beginners to fitness ask if they should lose their fat first or start lifting to gain muscle first, the answer is that they should do BOTH at the same time!!! Especially for beginners, it is very easy to lose fat and gain muscle at the same time! Losing fat and gaining muscle at the same time is very difficult for advanced bodybuilders.
Skinny teens who can’t gain either fat or muscle even when they eat as much as they can.
Advanced bodybuilders with low bodyfat (under 8%).Your body needs some fat so when you get to a certain point, your body will start choosing to burn muscle instead of fat if you have a caloric deficit. Although bulking to gain mass and cutting to lose fat are the standard approaches that bodybuilders and fitness enthusiasts take to change their physiques, most people want to do both at the same time so that they can avoid getting fat while bulking or losing mass while cutting. The other group for whom body recomposition is possible is people who are very overweight and untrained1. He writes that the process is based on “insanely meticulous calorie and nutrient counting and timing” and only allows muscle to be built at an extremely slow rate3.
Even though it would be theoretically possible to eat just enough of a surplus to build muscle but not enough to gain fat, having such a precise diet would be extremely meticulous.


A decreased stimulus combined with calorie restriction is sure to result in muscle loss; instead, keep lifting heavy, and use calorie restriction and moderate amounts of cardio to lose fat.
By keeping your weight loss between 1-2 lbs per week, you will be able to maintain more muscle mass. Instead, it is better to choose one goal, whether it be bulking or cutting, and then focusing on it. Common wisdom is that you have to gain some fat to gain muscle, its the whole bulking and cutting mentality. Most mature adults can gain a maximum of 15 pounds of muscle in a year but many can only gain 5lbs of muscle a year.
To keep you alive, your body needs two things, plain energy to burn in the form of carbs or fat and then amino acids in the form of protein.
Our bodies are really smart, they know muscle is really important and they wont burn it unless they absolutely have to.
Cardio will not burn muscle, it will help you gain muscle while losing fat at the same time.
Many of them are close to their genetic limits so adding muscle is very difficult and slow for them even under the best of circumstances.
If you are 8% bodyfat and want to get down to 4-6% bodyfat you wont be able to add muscle while you do this, at best you can do is to maintain your muscle mass. Theoretically, body recomposition would be the best way to transform your physique, but reality makes losing fat and gaining muscle simultaneously much easier said than done.
In fact, studies have shown that even if overweight, untrained eat a calorie deficit, they can lose fat and gain muscle at the same time2.
This approach may be good for fitness models who need to be photo shoot-ready at all times, but it is not practical for someone who wants to make significant changes to his or her physique because trying to stay lean “isn’t consistent with the goal of trying to get stronger and more muscular for the most part”3.
However, if you want to build muscle, that does not mean that you can eat everything in sight; likewise, if you want to lose fat, you should not immediately go to 1,000 calories and 5 hours of cardio per day.
Now, your first thought is probably that it can’t be done because to gain muscle, you have to eat 100 calories more per day and to lose fat, you have to eat 400 calories less per day.
50% is housekeeping stuff to keep us alive – breathing, pumping blood, maintain body temperature, replacing dead cells, etc. Your body has an amazing series of emergency backup system to keep you alive should food be scarce.
Losing fat and gaining muscle at the same time is something that only beginning and intermediate bodybuilders can do. With regular dieting, its tough to drop down to 4-6% without losing muscle mass but carb cycling seems to really help for this specific purpose. Although a body recomposition plan during which you lose fat and gain muscle simultaneously is theoretically possible, for most people it would be so meticulous and so slow that it would be impractical and only lead to frustration. Because of the high attention to detail and the slow rate of progress, people who are attempting a body recomposition plan will only  “spin their wheels” and make little progress on either goal. Since minimizing fat gain while bulking and muscle loss while cutting is the best way to approach a body transformation, it is crucial that you have a well-structured diet and exercise plan.
Because of many peoples unrealistic expectations about adding muscle they come to the incorrect conclusion that you can’t gain muscle while losing fat.
For an average person losing weight, they will eat about 400 calories a day less (12,000 calories a month) than their TDEE to lose a pound of fat a week, or 52 pounds of fat in a year. Instead, a better approach is to decide whether you want to bulk (gain muscle) or cut (lose fat), and then structure your diet and training so that you minimize your “losses” to the other aspect of your physique.


If you are unable to accurately track your progress, it would be extremely difficult to adjust your diet and training as needed to continue progressing.
Considering this, experts agree that body recomposition plans are impractical for most people.
The secret to this is that our assumption that you need to eat more to gain muscle is incorrect for most adults. About 20% is actually spend DOING stuff – walking, lifting, moving and only about 5% is spent adding muscle. Considering the meticulousness of very lean bulks and their extremely slow rate of muscle building, attempting to gain muscle without fat is very impractical and will lead to people spinning their wheels and accomplishing nothing. Don’t get hung up on the exact numbers, the important thing is that exercise and building muscle uses very little of the calories we consume. And your muscles are the emergency backup, your body wont turn on this nuclear power plant to cannibalize muscle unless its a DIRE emergency.
Energy can come from any of the three systems but amino acids can only come from the stomach or the muscles. Wonderly has also taken many child development classes, while running a daycare out of her home for three years. X Related Articles How to Lose Fat Without Gaining Muscle Why I Can't Lose Weight Even Though I Exercise What to Eat Before & After Exercise to Build Muscle How to Make Your Arms Less Muscular Protein Shakes Before or After a Workout for Weight Loss? If you want to build muscle to lose weight, you may notice the number on your scale staying the same, or even increasing slightly, even though your measurements decrease.
Lifestyle changes to your diet and exercise program can improve your chances of losing weight while gaining muscle. A pound of muscle may weigh the same as a pound of fat, but the muscle takes up less room in your body. In other words, if you build seven pounds of muscle during the same time you lose seven pounds of fat, your scale would not budge, but your measurements would decrease.
Consider measuring your waist circumference or the circumference of other body parts to monitor your weight loss instead of relying on the scale. As your measurements decrease and you carry less fat, you decrease your chances of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, heart disease and joint injuries. Gaining muscle mass does increase your body’s need for calories, but if this need does not exceed your intake, you cannot lose weight. Increase your weight-loss potential while gaining muscle by decreasing the number of calories you consume and increasing the number of calories you use with exercise.
The University of Michigan Health System reports that people who have lost weight successfully eat more snacks of high nutritional value and eat breakfast on a regular basis. When you increase the nutritional value of the foods you eat, you typically decrease your calorie consumption, while allowing yourself to eat more food. Focus on consuming a diet full of fiber, whole grains and lean protein to keep nutrient consumption high while keeping your fat and calorie consumption low. Common exercises that burn high amounts of calories include jumping rope, rollerblading, running, and active sports such as basketball and football. Lost TheCommunity The Challenges The Moderators The Message Boards Get Fit Live Well TheStore About Jillian Jillian's Bio Press Books & DVDs Partners Downloads Business Inquiries Contact Us Disclaimer Need Help?



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