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Recomposition: Maintaining weight while losing fat

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  • poolycodpoolycod Posts: 12Member, Premium Member Posts: 12Member, Premium Member
    Just started reading the mfp forums, great thread and I'm slowly working my way through these pages. I think this is where I need to be, doing recoup rather than the weight loss, I'm quite happy with my weight (82kg at present) but want to lose body fat. Current bf is 19 to 20% and I'm looking to drop under 15% in the next 7 weeks (1 week in to a new plan). I do resistance work 4 times a week, 3 circuits classes and 2 to 3 karate classes per week. My bf is all over the place at the moment. It's going up even during a deficit week. Any advice would be appreciated.
  • jiggyj9jiggyj9 Posts: 70Member Member Posts: 70Member Member
    I’m 5’7, 135 lbs and about 19% BF. Deciding to stick to recomp instead of bulk/cut. It’s more sustainable for the long term. There are times though when I’m so indecisive and feel like I should bulk more and other times where I feel like I need to cut. Ugh! Would love to have friends on here with recomp experience :)
  • admaarieadmaarie Posts: 4,241Member Member Posts: 4,241Member Member
    jiggyj9 wrote: »
    I’m 5’7, 135 lbs and about 19% BF. Deciding to stick to recomp instead of bulk/cut. It’s more sustainable for the long term. There are times though when I’m so indecisive and feel like I should bulk more and other times where I feel like I need to cut. Ugh! Would love to have friends on here with recomp experience :)


    Lol I go through the same struggle. I’m always like maybe I should be cutting. I think for me it’s just a mind game bc I was used to being in a deficit for so long, not staying the same size, etc.
  • sardelsasardelsa Posts: 8,322Member Member Posts: 8,322Member Member
    jiggyj9 wrote: »
    I’m 5’7, 135 lbs and about 19% BF. Deciding to stick to recomp instead of bulk/cut. It’s more sustainable for the long term. There are times though when I’m so indecisive and feel like I should bulk more and other times where I feel like I need to cut. Ugh! Would love to have friends on here with recomp experience :)

    I feel the same way. Similar stats to you. Finally decided to stop cutting as I was losing in places I'd rather not, so I am going to maintain for a while. Not sure I would call it recomp since I have no intention to lower my bodyfat further, we will see what happens.
  • poolycodpoolycod Posts: 12Member, Premium Member Posts: 12Member, Premium Member
    It seems I can't resist stealing the chocolate left over from Halloween, BF% is continuing upward. Current maintenance calories are 1810 and I've set my macros 40% protein 30% for carbs and fats. I'm also not eating back my exercise calories too much so getting a deficit. Any advice on how to get my BF% to get on the downward slope again. I've already cut the sugary treats out, as I know they're bad for me. :)

    I could do with a few friends on MFP, no one I know is on here. I've tried to get friends and family to track but they just end up on weight watchers or slimming world diets, not at all in the same place as me.
  • CarvedTonesCarvedTones Posts: 2,340Member Member Posts: 2,340Member Member
    snl474ekxltl.jpg

    Fortunately the medium gym shorts I bought while at the same weight have drawstrings and have been getting washed a lot. :smiley:
  • stdyh4ndstdyh4nd Posts: 11Member, Premium Member Posts: 11Member, Premium Member
    I wasn't too sure if I would clearly see a difference at first so I measured in every way I could:
    • Scale Weight
    • DEXA Scan (to be taken again at 3 months)
    • Body Measurements (hips, chest, biceps, thighs, neck)
    • Progress Photos (roughly every 2-3 weeks)
    • Lift Numbers (progressive overload)

    Then of course there's simply, 'do my clothes fit better?' or "do I like the way I look?" I'd say Dexa scan is the ultimate way to truly know then progress photos ranking right behind that.
  • heybalesheybales Posts: 17,066Member Member Posts: 17,066Member Member
    nowine4me wrote: »
    Team Recomp — seriously, how do you know if this is working? I know it takes a long time and I need to keep the faith, but I’ve seen zero change in 3 months. Same weight (+/- 5# or so), getting stronger but no visible signs of improvement or change. What gives?

    Was the start of the 3 months also the start or near the start of a serious effort lifting program?

    Or you had a well established program already going on and just went to recomp?

    Because the first potentially many months of lifting is about increasing strength not from the body feeling the need to spend extra energy building muscle, but tapping out muscle you already have, and from form improvements.

    So it could be in the scheme of things, you could only have no to 1 month of actually recomping going on.

    So it would be hard to see progress.
  • sijomialsijomial Posts: 15,401Member Member Posts: 15,401Member Member
    nowine4me wrote: »
    Team Recomp — seriously, how do you know if this is working? I know it takes a long time and I need to keep the faith, but I’ve seen zero change in 3 months. Same weight (+/- 5# or so), getting stronger but no visible signs of improvement or change. What gives?

    Part of that is the natural higher body fat level you will have as a woman - it doesn't take much of a layer of fat to mask what's happening underneath. As you are gaining strength something is happening, maybe not much growth but a sign nevertheless.

    As I'm an incidental recomper (a by product of my exercise/training rather than a particular goal) and old and with years of serious training changes are very subtle for me,
    Like when I got my winter cycling kit out and found my cycling tights are now like compression garments around my quads and calves and my compression top is now so tight around my chest/arms/shoulders that I couldn't get the damn thing off without help!
  • CarvedTonesCarvedTones Posts: 2,340Member Member Posts: 2,340Member Member
    nowine4me wrote: »
    Team Recomp — seriously, how do you know if this is working? I know it takes a long time and I need to keep the faith, but I’ve seen zero change in 3 months. Same weight (+/- 5# or so), getting stronger but no visible signs of improvement or change. What gives?

    Another belt hole without any additional weight loss and abs starting to pop. I think my shoulders and biceps are a little bigger but that is more subjective. The abs are sort of subjective, but I am sure they are more defined. That's my answer to your first question; I am not educated/experienced enough to give you a good answer on your second question.
    edited November 2018
  • hesn92hesn92 Posts: 5,494Member Member Posts: 5,494Member Member
    nowine4me wrote: »
    Team Recomp — seriously, how do you know if this is working? I know it takes a long time and I need to keep the faith, but I’ve seen zero change in 3 months. Same weight (+/- 5# or so), getting stronger but no visible signs of improvement or change. What gives?

    Hey, you're not alone. I've been lifting for like 7 months now and my weight has been pretty steady and I don't really see much of a difference. I take pictures every so often and upload them into the "Progress" section, and I look back at them frequently and just don't see much going on. But I guess I'm fine with that, I like being active and healthy so that's my main goal, not as much aesthetics. Every so often I'll look at myself in the mirror and think my arms look a little more muscular (but I have puny little girl arms so it wouldn't take much lol)
  • sardelsasardelsa Posts: 8,322Member Member Posts: 8,322Member Member
    nowine4me wrote: »
    Team Recomp — seriously, how do you know if this is working? I know it takes a long time and I need to keep the faith, but I’ve seen zero change in 3 months. Same weight (+/- 5# or so), getting stronger but no visible signs of improvement or change. What gives?

    I always have the same issues. I recomped for about 3 months two years ago. I know that is really a blip of time in the recomp world, still I was frustrated. Keep in mind I was very lean already so I didn't have much to work with. I think if my bodyfat had been higher it may have been better for me.

    Now I am maintaining again, not sure I would consider it recomp since I will be happy if I maintain my current bodyfat the way it is and not get leaner.

    What kind of changes are you hoping for? Are you already quite lean looking for more definition, are you wanting a bit more size in areas?
  • nowine4menowine4me Posts: 3,956Member, Premium Member Posts: 3,956Member, Premium Member
    Thanks gang. Quick stats, I’m 5-7”, 135 and 24% bf. I’d really like to build muscle in my shoulders arm and back to balance out my my large butt and thighs (where I hold the vast majority of fat). I’ve been lifting for 3 years during my losing phase, but got periodically sidetracked due to shoulder injuries resulting in deloads. Typically, I lift more seriously in the winter and prefer to run in the summer.

    I was hoping that lifting during maintenance would produce some clear evidence of muscle and then maybe a quick cut next spring would get everything to pop. But so far I look exactly the same, clothes fit the same, no little bulges popping out. Nuthin.
  • sijomialsijomial Posts: 15,401Member Member Posts: 15,401Member Member
    nowine4me wrote: »
    Thanks gang. Quick stats, I’m 5-7”, 135 and 24% bf. I’d really like to build muscle in my shoulders arm and back to balance out my my large butt and thighs (where I hold the vast majority of fat). I’ve been lifting for 3 years during my losing phase, but got periodically sidetracked due to shoulder injuries resulting in deloads. Typically, I lift more seriously in the winter and prefer to run in the summer.

    I was hoping that lifting during maintenance would produce some clear evidence of muscle and then maybe a quick cut next spring would get everything to pop. But so far I look exactly the same, clothes fit the same, no little bulges popping out. Nuthin.

    Gaining strength isn't "nuthin".
    Realistically what rate of muscle gain would you expect? Quarter of a pound per month maybe?
    If aesthetics are your priority then reducing your BF% with a very small deficit could make a big difference. Why wait until Spring? A cut doesn't have to be a big deficit, just a small tweak is also an option.

    You might find that a certain BF% suddenly reveals what's going on underneath. For me that was 17% - started to see vascularity, muscle separation etc.... !9% to 17% was frustrating, couldn't see anything happening despite working hard, 17%-15% while losing 1lb/month and I was wearing out the mirror :) and enjoying what I was seeing.

    @stdyh4nd remarkable progress pictures also show it to a degree. Week 1 to week 4 = subtle changes, week 6-10 = dramatic progress.
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