Recomposition: Maintaining weight while losing fat

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  • Hadabetter
    Hadabetter Posts: 942 Member
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    I have been doing a recomp over a period of 2 years, starting from a fairly fit place... I'm several inches smaller now than when I started, and within 3 lbs of the same weight. I'm around 21% body fat as of 3 weeks ago. The image in the white bikini is the oldest, and the one in the blue and black is the most recent. I don't know what my body fat was when I started, but I'd guess around 26-27%, with a lot less lean mass. 7hkpov0qlyax.jpg
    densrsmiw24d.jpg
    Good job!
  • arditarose
    arditarose Posts: 15,573 Member
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    @arditarose Thank you!

    I have to admit. I don't know if I will have the patience for this. Two years...How was it for you? Were you ever tempted to bulk/cut?
  • dmt4641
    dmt4641 Posts: 409 Member
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    @leahgoldgirl Wow you look great! I can definitely see a major difference. Thanks for posting. Can you give some details on how on you achieved this (calories static vs. cycling, lifting programming, etc.)? Thanks!
  • pumpkinpocalypse
    pumpkinpocalypse Posts: 104 Member
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    I've been hearing more and more about this so-called recomp thing on the forums lately and now that I get what it is i'm seriously starting to consider going into one as soon as I'm done transitionning into maintenance and have found my actual maintenance calorie needs...
    I'm actually a pound and a half under my goal weight and I definitely don't want to go under that (i wanna be able to eat YO.), but I sure could use some more muscle definition, a tone up, call it whatever you want. i want thighs of steel and a nice stomach/abs. (my tum is currently pretty flat but kind of on the flabby/soft side yaknow). A recomp looks like a great idea...I just need to find a way to get more weight lifting into my routine since polefitness is all I got for now (and gyms in my area only offer *kitten* cardio routines, exclusively). Any tips on that btw?
  • sistrsprkl
    sistrsprkl Posts: 1,013 Member
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    I've been doing a slow recomp for about 2 years now, slow going. One of my problems is that I'm a vegetarian and I just don't like a lot of protein sources. Right now, I'm set for 90g (I weigh 145) and I rarely come close to hitting that even with powder and bars. Is 1g for 1p really that important for recomp?
  • Hadabetter
    Hadabetter Posts: 942 Member
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    @sistrsprkl Adequate protein is important, but there is debate about what is adequate. I did mine on 0.7 g/lb which many sports nutritionists recommend. I don't know how gender impacts that but one would think that a woman would require less than a man. I think of more concern for you would be to ensure you are eating complete and or complimentary proteins. (If you're an ovo-lacto vegetarian, then you shouldn't have a problem.)
  • leahgoldgirl
    leahgoldgirl Posts: 61 Member
    edited June 2015
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    @arditarose I think it helped that I wasn't unhappy with how I looked when I started, and I love to workout, so my major goals involved becoming a better athlete, with looking better as a bonus. I also wanted something that was sustainable, everyday.

    I don't like bulk/ cuts for people who aren't going to be on stage, or don't actually need to gain weight, in order to gain lean mass, because if you eat too much during a bulk, you run the risk of adding fat cells, which you can later shrink, but not get rid of, which makes each cut harder. Also, cutting just sounds like it SUCKS. I do not do well when I cut very far below TDEE, so I don't think I would be able to get through a cut cycle.

    @dmt4641 When the white bikini pic was taken, I was playing a lot of rec - intermediate co-ed sports, and had just started lifting (I had done some minor strength training on and off in my 20s). I was eating just about anything I wanted, mostly in moderation, with some gorges. That was enough to keep me relatively in shape. I often felt like crap though, and I wasn't performing where I wanted to. A couple of months after the white bikini pic (taken around my 30th birthday), I started small group functional fitness training (think crossfit lite), started lifting more in earnest, and made some changes to my diet, including cutting out wheat (which I've been allergic to since I was a kid, but was still eating for some awful reason), upping my veggie intake (2 cups + with each meal), making sure to get enough protein, and cutting most dairy (lactose intolerant). I also cut back my alcohol intake (I would have done this regardless... I was over the party years). I already wasn't eating processed sugar on any kind of regular basis. My diet when I started was basically 2 eggs, and half a cup of oatmeal, with cinnamon and a few berries for breakfast, a piece of fruit/ a few berries and 1/3 - 1/2 serving of nuts as a snack, 1/2 cup rice or sweet potato, 2 cups of veggies, and 4-5 ounces of lean protein for lunch, another snack of 1/2 serving of nuts, and a dinner that went on the same scheme as lunch. If I wanted to nosh in between, I ate raw veggies. Sometimes I dipped them in guacamole. It worked out to about 1,650 - 1,750 calories per day. My TDEE was probably around 1,750. My goal was to burn about 50-100 calories more per day than I took in. That way, my body could sip on my fat reserve for a tiny bit of extra fuel, which I needed to keep building muscle, but not be so shocked that I started eating my lean mass for nourishment.

    As I started lifting more, I upped my protein at breakfast (I'm up to 4 eggs), and added an extra ounce or so of meat at lunch and dinner. 6 months ago, I started CrossFit. I'm lucky enough to have 3 doctors and a nutritionist at my gym. I took their suggestions, and started working based off macros (and my new TDEE which was about 1,900, and is now about 2,180). I still eat at or slightly below TDEE everyday, though I might try eating about 50 calories above TDEE per day once I hit 19% body fat.

    Now, I eat depending on my workouts. 3-4 days per week are moderate. On those days, I eat 1.5x my weight in grams of carbs, about 75% of my body weight in grams of fat, and about 90%-110% my weight in protein. I try to consume 2/3rds of my carbs post workout, so that my body can more effectively use them as fuel, so if I don't workout until 7 PM, my diet until then is basically all protein, fat and veggies, with maybe a little fruit, and I spend the hour after my workout loading up on my daily carbs. On a light day (low weight, mostly cardio), I eat 1x my body weight in grams of carbs, 1x my body weight in grams of fat. Protein intake doesn't change. A heavy day is .5x my weight in grams of fat, 2x my body weight in grams of carbs. On a rest day, I eat as few carbs as possible (I half count veggie carbs though), eat the same protein I always would, and eat higher fat.

    I workout about 5-6 days per week. I try for one day to be a total rest day, or be VERY light (a walk/ leisurely bike ride). One day is active rest (moderate cardio, stretching, light weights/ conditioning), one day is usually more HIIT training based and counts as light - not quite moderate, unless I lift after class on my own, and 3-4 days are heavier lifting + the WOD.
  • Hadabetter
    Hadabetter Posts: 942 Member
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    And when your body needs protein it looks first for amino acids circulating in the blood stream. Failing that, it will get the protein it needs to maintain/repair your vital organs from your existing muscle mass. This will kill any efforts at body recomp. So your protein intake should be spread throughout the day in 3-4 roughly equal doses to ensure that you always have those amino acids available to your body.

    For this reason body recomposition is not compatible with intermittent fasting.
  • ILiftHeavyAcrylics
    ILiftHeavyAcrylics Posts: 27,732 Member
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    @leahgoldgirl You look great! Excellent work.
  • leahgoldgirl
    leahgoldgirl Posts: 61 Member
    edited June 2015
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    @Hadabetter @sistrsprkl There is no biological reason that I can think of that a woman would need proportionately less protein. It's already harder for us to build muscle, because of our hormones. Not taking in enough protein stands to hurt our progress more.

    I would look into what items you can eat throughout the day to make complete proteins (they don't need to be consumed together), and also look at ways you can hide protein. For example, blending tofu into a smoothie with peanut butter, greens, some coconut or almond milk (or greek yogurt) and some lower sugar fruit (berries).

    I also think that .8 grams for each lbs is probably sufficient. You don't need the full 1 gram per lb.
  • PeachyCarol
    PeachyCarol Posts: 8,029 Member
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    sistrsprkl wrote: »
    I've been doing a slow recomp for about 2 years now, slow going. One of my problems is that I'm a vegetarian and I just don't like a lot of protein sources. Right now, I'm set for 90g (I weigh 145) and I rarely come close to hitting that even with powder and bars. Is 1g for 1p really that important for recomp?

    Do you like Greek yogurt and cottage cheese? I'm a vegetarian too. If you don't like either of them, they can be added to smoothies with frozen fruit. Add some Pb2, peanut butter, or almond butter and almond milk, and you've got a LOT of protein.

  • LolBroScience
    LolBroScience Posts: 4,537 Member
    edited June 2015
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    Hadabetter wrote: »
    And when your body needs protein it looks first for amino acids circulating in the blood stream. Failing that, it will get the protein it needs to maintain/repair your vital organs from your existing muscle mass. This will kill any efforts at body recomp. So your protein intake should be spread throughout the day in 3-4 roughly equal doses to ensure that you always have those amino acids available to your body.

    For this reason body recomposition is not compatible with intermittent fasting.

    Anything to actually support that other than anecdotal evidence?

    Are you assuming that training takes place in a fasted state?

    I mean as it relates to time btw... and I'm not disagreeing with the 3-4 meals per day necessarily.
  • usmcmp
    usmcmp Posts: 21,220 Member
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    Hadabetter wrote: »
    And when your body needs protein it looks first for amino acids circulating in the blood stream. Failing that, it will get the protein it needs to maintain/repair your vital organs from your existing muscle mass. This will kill any efforts at body recomp. So your protein intake should be spread throughout the day in 3-4 roughly equal doses to ensure that you always have those amino acids available to your body.

    For this reason body recomposition is not compatible with intermittent fasting.

    casein-protein-digestion.png
  • senecarr
    senecarr Posts: 5,377 Member
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    Hadabetter wrote: »
    And when your body needs protein it looks first for amino acids circulating in the blood stream. Failing that, it will get the protein it needs to maintain/repair your vital organs from your existing muscle mass. This will kill any efforts at body recomp. So your protein intake should be spread throughout the day in 3-4 roughly equal doses to ensure that you always have those amino acids available to your body.

    For this reason body recomposition is not compatible with intermittent fasting.
    110923.jpg

  • FitForL1fe
    FitForL1fe Posts: 1,872 Member
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    usmcmp wrote: »
    Hadabetter wrote: »
    And when your body needs protein it looks first for amino acids circulating in the blood stream. Failing that, it will get the protein it needs to maintain/repair your vital organs from your existing muscle mass. This will kill any efforts at body recomp. So your protein intake should be spread throughout the day in 3-4 roughly equal doses to ensure that you always have those amino acids available to your body.

    For this reason body recomposition is not compatible with intermittent fasting.

    casein-protein-digestion.png

    sigh now I need to stop being a *kitten* and buy some casein
  • PeachyCarol
    PeachyCarol Posts: 8,029 Member
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    draznyth wrote: »
    usmcmp wrote: »
    Hadabetter wrote: »
    And when your body needs protein it looks first for amino acids circulating in the blood stream. Failing that, it will get the protein it needs to maintain/repair your vital organs from your existing muscle mass. This will kill any efforts at body recomp. So your protein intake should be spread throughout the day in 3-4 roughly equal doses to ensure that you always have those amino acids available to your body.

    For this reason body recomposition is not compatible with intermittent fasting.

    casein-protein-digestion.png

    sigh now I need to stop being a *kitten* and buy some casein

    It's creamier than whey if you're into that whole texture thing.

  • senecarr
    senecarr Posts: 5,377 Member
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    draznyth wrote: »
    usmcmp wrote: »
    Hadabetter wrote: »
    And when your body needs protein it looks first for amino acids circulating in the blood stream. Failing that, it will get the protein it needs to maintain/repair your vital organs from your existing muscle mass. This will kill any efforts at body recomp. So your protein intake should be spread throughout the day in 3-4 roughly equal doses to ensure that you always have those amino acids available to your body.

    For this reason body recomposition is not compatible with intermittent fasting.

    casein-protein-digestion.png

    sigh now I need to stop being a *kitten* and buy some casein

    Worried you'll need casein just in case?
  • FitForL1fe
    FitForL1fe Posts: 1,872 Member
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    draznyth wrote: »
    usmcmp wrote: »
    Hadabetter wrote: »
    And when your body needs protein it looks first for amino acids circulating in the blood stream. Failing that, it will get the protein it needs to maintain/repair your vital organs from your existing muscle mass. This will kill any efforts at body recomp. So your protein intake should be spread throughout the day in 3-4 roughly equal doses to ensure that you always have those amino acids available to your body.

    For this reason body recomposition is not compatible with intermittent fasting.

    casein-protein-digestion.png

    sigh now I need to stop being a *kitten* and buy some casein

    It's creamier than whey if you're into that whole texture thing.

    yeah it usually tasted like *kitten* in the past though, but maybe I'll luck out
    senecarr wrote: »
    draznyth wrote: »
    usmcmp wrote: »
    Hadabetter wrote: »
    And when your body needs protein it looks first for amino acids circulating in the blood stream. Failing that, it will get the protein it needs to maintain/repair your vital organs from your existing muscle mass. This will kill any efforts at body recomp. So your protein intake should be spread throughout the day in 3-4 roughly equal doses to ensure that you always have those amino acids available to your body.

    For this reason body recomposition is not compatible with intermittent fasting.

    casein-protein-digestion.png

    sigh now I need to stop being a *kitten* and buy some casein

    Worried you'll need casein just in case?

    dem late night gainz bro na mean
  • senecarr
    senecarr Posts: 5,377 Member
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    Don't go with GNC Raw RE-FEED if buying casein. Horrible. I'm surprised it didn't break my blender the times I used it to try to get that stuff to mix.
  • FitForL1fe
    FitForL1fe Posts: 1,872 Member
    edited June 2015
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    senecarr wrote: »
    Don't go with GNC Raw RE-FEED if buying casein. Horrible. I'm surprised it didn't break my blender the times I used it to try to get that stuff to mix.

    yep all my prior experiences were marked by poor mixing and terrible taste. and a final consistency of wallpaper paste.

    but the GAINZ