Recomposition: Maintaining weight while losing fat

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Replies

  • sardelsa
    sardelsa Posts: 9,826 Member
    DebSozo wrote: »
    So, I am jumping into this conversation late, but I just started heavily jumping into weight lifting about 2 weeks ago. I am 5'2" (so basically, short) and trying to reduce my body fat percentage a bit while also getting toned. In the past 2 weeks, I've put on a couple lbs, but I've already lost an inch around my waist. I've put on about a half inch around my biceps and hips, but I know it's those squats and bench presses. lol! I have a feeling my weight won't be a real great reflection of the changes my body is undergoing. Measurements are the way to go.
    I've been trying to overcome my preconceived notions that I need a crazy amount of cardio to see any fat loss, but it's hard.
    Another problem I'm having, like others on here, is getting enough protein. I'm trying to eat at a 40%, 40%, 20% macro ratio but I find it SO difficult to find the right combination of foods to get there.

    I definitely don't want discourage you, but it's doubtful that you will see any noticeable changes in only 2 weeks. Recomping takes a very long time (especially for women). You're probably just experiencing water weight fluctuations. But keeping going, and I'm sure there are many great things to come.

    I read that females might gain about 1/2 pound muscle every 2 weeks or 13 pounds in a year. It is double that for (natural) men if they are doing everything right. The source contains some advertising but I'm assuming the background info is true?http://www.bodyrecomposition.com/muscle-gain/general-philosophies-of-muscle-mass-gain.html/

    I haven't read the article but I believe these results would be for a calorie surplus (bulking) not so much recomp
  • sardelsa
    sardelsa Posts: 9,826 Member
    sijomial wrote: »
    sardelsa wrote: »
    I was going to post this in the thread where I saw it but I did not want to derail the OP. But it was about recomping with body fat.

    @sijomial you mentioned that it is easier for those with higher body fat to recomp since they have "a store of easily accessible energy.. the leaner you are the harder it gets" Can you or anyone else explain this further?

    How lean is too lean to really benefit from recomp? I feel like I am on the lean side, but not quite "ripped" (which is not my goal anyhow...especially since I lack the muscle base).
    @sardelsa
    How lean is too lean? Ask @Hornsby !! His results are remarkable.

    Remember that none of us is always in a constant surplus, deficit or maintenance - we are always swinging between the three states depending on our digestion and activity.
    Having an energy buffer of fat helps with muscle sparing when in a deficit. It's one of the big factors why some people can gain some muscle mass in a sustained but small deficit.

    Downside of recomping when chubby - progress is harder to see when hidden under a fat suit.
    Upside of recomping when lean - small amount of progress brings very noticeable changes in appearance.

    When I was coming down from 18% BF I really couldn't see progress - I had to measure it. Now I'm about 15% (?? guessing!) changes in definition and vascularity are far more apparent.
    I've never had a goal of being very lean (too old, not the preferred look for me) so I've actually used my recomp to raise my maintenance weight range. I'm a bit contrary like that!

    Ahh thanks @sijomial I see what you mean. For me I don't want to get too much leaner but slightly build on what I have. I actually don't need to make a huge transformation or anything... just would be nice to make a bit of progress over time !
  • heybales
    heybales Posts: 18,830 Member
    edited July 2016
    DebSozo wrote: »
    So, I am jumping into this conversation late, but I just started heavily jumping into weight lifting about 2 weeks ago. I am 5'2" (so basically, short) and trying to reduce my body fat percentage a bit while also getting toned. In the past 2 weeks, I've put on a couple lbs, but I've already lost an inch around my waist. I've put on about a half inch around my biceps and hips, but I know it's those squats and bench presses. lol! I have a feeling my weight won't be a real great reflection of the changes my body is undergoing. Measurements are the way to go.
    I've been trying to overcome my preconceived notions that I need a crazy amount of cardio to see any fat loss, but it's hard.
    Another problem I'm having, like others on here, is getting enough protein. I'm trying to eat at a 40%, 40%, 20% macro ratio but I find it SO difficult to find the right combination of foods to get there.

    I definitely don't want discourage you, but it's doubtful that you will see any noticeable changes in only 2 weeks. Recomping takes a very long time (especially for women). You're probably just experiencing water weight fluctuations. But keeping going, and I'm sure there are many great things to come.

    I read that females might gain about 1/2 pound muscle every 2 weeks or 13 pounds in a year. It is double that for (natural) men if they are doing everything right. The source contains some advertising but I'm assuming the background info is true?http://www.bodyrecomposition.com/muscle-gain/general-philosophies-of-muscle-mass-gain.html/

    That's if eating in surplus.

    Probably about 1/2 that or less depending on lifting experience if eating at maintenance.
  • cgvet37
    cgvet37 Posts: 1,189 Member
    I started maintenance about four weeks ago. I lost 29 lbs., but started feeling slugish in the gym. My weight loss had plateaud as well. I added cardio three days a week, and I'm leaning out. I know it will take longer to loose the remaining fat, but having the energy to push myself in the gym is more important. I have no plans of duing a bulk or cutting again. Unless I feel another cut is needed in the future.
  • NealNH
    NealNH Posts: 104 Member
    "great believer in the older woman (and man) needs more protein than those adults under 50"

    You may be interested in these articles which indicate that older adults do need more protein.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4555150/
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15640517

    Neal
  • middlehaitch
    middlehaitch Posts: 8,380 Member
    @NealNH, thanks for the link. That is one of the articles that led me to eating a minimum of 1g per lbs LBM
    minimum.
    There are a few out there that say similar.

    I am interested to see if my lifting will improve with a few more g of protein :D

    Cheers, h.
  • cerise_noir
    cerise_noir Posts: 5,468 Member
    edited July 2016
    Fantastic thread. I've read it from start to end and I am looking forward to being in recomp territory.

    Currently, I am at a high bodyfat% (approximately 40% with calipers and 170-175lbs 5'3". Ugh). I was doing Strong curves but had to stop due to hairline fracture in my foot and toe and ankle injury. So now, I am looking to start Stronglifts 5x5 to work on my strength with perhaps 2 days of easy cardio (I bike 50min 2x weekly to work and go for walks) . Right now, I am trying to find the sweet spot with my deficit to really cut down on my bodyfat percentage. My TDEE ranges from 1800-2100.
  • Forty6and2
    Forty6and2 Posts: 2,492 Member
    I've read through a fair share of this thread and I really like what you guys have to say. I have one question for myself though

    I've decided to cut back on my weight loss goal (from 1lb per week to 0.5lb per week) when I start grad school next month and add in more resistance training in place of all the cardio I'm doing now (getting paid to teach cycling classes as of right now but won't in the fall). At this time, I'm hoping to be 149 lbs, which is 9lbs out of a "normal" weight range for 5'3.

    My question is: how would I begin to find out the number of calories I'm burning so I can lose at a reasonable rate during this time? I know it's going to be a lot of trial-and-error and I have done primarily lifting in the past, although my weight was much higher and I had a higher range for a deficit. I guess I'm asking: how would any of you suggest setting my activity to begin? My plan is to lift 3 days a week for about an hour and most of my cardio is going to come from walking, but it's much easier for me to estimate my calorie goal when doing cardio anyway.

    I hope this makes sense and thanks for any advice!
  • psuLemon
    psuLemon Posts: 38,024 MFP Moderator
    edited July 2016
    Forty6and2 wrote: »
    I've read through a fair share of this thread and I really like what you guys have to say. I have one question for myself though

    I've decided to cut back on my weight loss goal (from 1lb per week to 0.5lb per week) when I start grad school next month and add in more resistance training in place of all the cardio I'm doing now (getting paid to teach cycling classes as of right now but won't in the fall). At this time, I'm hoping to be 149 lbs, which is 9lbs out of a "normal" weight range for 5'3.

    My question is: how would I begin to find out the number of calories I'm burning so I can lose at a reasonable rate during this time? I know it's going to be a lot of trial-and-error and I have done primarily lifting in the past, although my weight was much higher and I had a higher range for a deficit. I guess I'm asking: how would any of you suggest setting my activity to begin? My plan is to lift 3 days a week for about an hour and most of my cardio is going to come from walking, but it's much easier for me to estimate my calorie goal when doing cardio anyway.

    I hope this makes sense and thanks for any advice!

    Personally i would switch to a tdee method where you would eat the same amount of calories daily. You could track it for 4 weeks and then adjust based on your outcome. This way you don't chase exercise calories.
  • KetoneKaren
    KetoneKaren Posts: 5,673 Member
    What workouts are post menopausal women above doing? I am 62.

    Hi, I haven't taken part in the above older, smaller, lighter women recomp discussion although I am one of the above.

    62yo, 5'1, maintain at 100-105lbs 6+years. Sedentary cals as per MFP 1200. Hahaha.

    All Pro is the programme I use. It increases reps before weight, and leans a bit more towards muscle gain rather than strength as it is in the 8-12rep range.

    I have adapted it to suit me, and where I work out, (gym only has 45lbs bars) and am not shy of using hand weights or machines if that is all that is available. So long as it hits the right muscle group I am happy.

    I started All Pro last year. Ran it for 3 cycles (5 weeks), then went on vacation. Came back, repeated the last cycle about 2-2.5 months ago but went off track because - summer. I have just got back to it this week and I feel I am in a whole different more positive place with it.

    I made some progress the last time I ran it as a recomp, but it was snail pace slow.

    Although I held my weight, and ate enough - great believer in the older woman (and man) needs more protein than those adults under 50, I think I was actually over training (for me) and that retarded the results. I was swimming or doing the rowing machine 2-4 times a week and a 90min session of yoga on Sunday's. By the time I went on vacation I was close to burn out.

    This time around I am going to lift x3 a week as a primary focus, do SSLI cardio on my alternate days (optional), and Sunday yoga- love the benefits.

    I am going to do it as a recomp until the end of August then decide if I am going to continue, or roll it into a bulk and cut. It will depend on how I think I am progressing.

    My very basic sedentary cals were set at 1200 by MFP, and most calcs are similar. I long term reverse dieted the 1200 up to 1350. With exercise I add in an extra 150-200 cals for 60 min cardio, lifting I add 100.

    NB I haven't counted cals consistently (do a portion check every few months) for about 5 years, so my numbers are not written in stone.

    Cheers, h.

    There are pics of me about 2 cycles into All Pro in my profile, not pretty 30 yo standards, but as a nana- not too shabby.
    I love my body, wrinkles and all, and what it can do.

    @middlehaitch I looked at your photos and YOU LOOK FANTASTIC by any standards!
  • griffinca2
    griffinca2 Posts: 672 Member
    Forty6and2, I'm 5'3" and am re-starting recomp; don't need to lose any more weight (at 116/117). I normally eat around 1370 - 1400 cals a day; do weight training 3 days a week w/usually 15 - 20 cardio session after weights. Normal start for recomp is after you have pretty much come close to your desired weight. I try to watch the processed foods, portion sizes and sugar. I'm trying to build muscle so trying to up the protein and cut back some on the carbs. I would use MFP to log my eats and exercising; re-adjusting cals to see what works the best. It usually takes a little experimenting to see what works for you. B)
  • jerb00
    jerb00 Posts: 155 Member
    Griffin and middle - how do you feel maintaining so low. I am really struggling at 1380. Figured 1400 is tdee (some calcs. Put it closer to 1500 some less than 1300) so I am trying to lose a bit an lean oh with lifting heavier and today I as exhausts an totally binged. No exaggeration, I was standing there thinking "stop" but I just couldn't. It was on butternut squash lasagne and the kids' breakfast cookie dough. Coul have been starburst and Oreos so I guess I picked a healthier choice but man I feel like crap now. I have only don this a few time before and not for s long long time. I am shorter than both of you. I felt like I could handle the 1200 short term by this is forever. Feeling concerned...
  • usmcmp
    usmcmp Posts: 21,225 Member
    jerb00 wrote: »
    Griffin and middle - how do you feel maintaining so low. I am really struggling at 1380. Figured 1400 is tdee (some calcs. Put it closer to 1500 some less than 1300) so I am trying to lose a bit an lean oh with lifting heavier and today I as exhausts an totally binged. No exaggeration, I was standing there thinking "stop" but I just couldn't. It was on butternut squash lasagne and the kids' breakfast cookie dough. Coul have been starburst and Oreos so I guess I picked a healthier choice but man I feel like crap now. I have only don this a few time before and not for s long long time. I am shorter than both of you. I felt like I could handle the 1200 short term by this is forever. Feeling concerned...

    I can't speak for either of them and I'm taller plus much heavier than most people, but maintenance calories for me felt very low when I reached my weight loss goal. While people might get jealous that my intake is higher, I also have more body to fuel.

    When I first started into maintenance before I bulked my calories were pretty low. Over time I was able to increase them. Much of that has to do with hormones, but building muscle will do that as well. Feeling that your calorie goal is low in maintenance may never disappear no matter how much your goal might go up.
  • middlehaitch
    middlehaitch Posts: 8,380 Member
    @jerb00,
    I had a base sedentary maintenance of 1200. I ate at that for my first few months maintenance adding exercise cals. I then reverse dieted up to about 1350 by slowly adding calories, and I mean slowly, until I started to see a steady gain. So I would guess 1350 is my base.
    I always eat back my exercise, 150-200 for cardio; 100 for strength. All esteem area as I no longer log.

    I think one has to look at where one has come from, and where one is going.

    My weight gain was over 5 years and 30 lbs.
    when I started counting it was 1200 for 1lbs a week and it just stayed there until I reached goal.
    The thing was though, my intake really was very close to what I naturally ate. I don't snack, never have.

    It was a case of shaving a bit off servings of mashed potato, ice cream, rice, having 2 biscuits instead of three with my evening coffee, 10oz of wine instead of 12. Small things that I didn't miss.

    I have never developed a taste for most of the North American fast foods, so don't miss them, nor do I like deep fried food on a regular basis. My weakness is desert, but I generally only had it at weekends, so just had slightly smaller deserts.

    I have been lucky, I really am quite happy with the calories I have. If I want a high cal meal, I have it. I know it won't start a downward spiral, it will just be a meal.

    I know this all sounds a bit prim writing it down, but really it is just the way I have always eaten, just a tiny bit less.

    Hmm actually on some ever so active days I struggle to eat as much as I know I should.

    I could right another novel on how I had to start moving more exercising- I found that much harder.

    Cheers, h.
  • DebSozo
    DebSozo Posts: 2,578 Member
    My body slowly put on weight over time. I used to be able to handle more calories for maintenance when I was younger and still not gain weight.

    The weight comes off of me slowly. I want to lose another 10 pounds and can't budge it. I was miserable on 1200 calories a day but don't lose on 1500. It does make me feel like giving in and giving up at times, but I hate gaining weight back after all the hard work it took to lose. I keep telling myself, "Never give up", and that keeps me on track. Soooo... since I'm not losing weight anyhow and am plateauing/maintaining I figured I would try recomp.
  • jerb00
    jerb00 Posts: 155 Member
    usmcmp wrote: »
    jerb00 wrote: »
    Griffin and middle - how do you feel maintaining so low. I am really struggling at 1380. Figured 1400 is tdee (some calcs. Put it closer to 1500 some less than 1300) so I am trying to lose a bit an lean oh with lifting heavier and today I as exhausts an totally binged. No exaggeration, I was standing there thinking "stop" but I just couldn't. It was on butternut squash lasagne and the kids' breakfast cookie dough. Coul have been starburst and Oreos so I guess I picked a healthier choice but man I feel like crap now. I have only don this a few time before and not for s long long time. I am shorter than both of you. I felt like I could handle the 1200 short term by this is forever. Feeling concerned...

    I can't speak for either of them and I'm taller plus much heavier than most people, but maintenance calories for me felt very low when I reached my weight loss goal. While people might get jealous that my intake is higher, I also have more body to fuel.

    When I first started into maintenance before I bulked my calories were pretty low. Over time I was able to increase them. Much of that has to do with hormones, but building muscle will do that as well. Feeling that your calorie goal is low in maintenance may never disappear no matter how much your goal might go up.

    This makes sense to me that you may never feel that maintenance is enough because is it all relative. I didn't think of it before. Feel kind bad for complaining cuz I do get it- low for me is different than low to you but it still kinds sucks for both of us.
  • bioklutz
    bioklutz Posts: 1,365 Member
    As someone who has "high" calories for my weight and height I can tell you how things might be different for me. I spend most of my working hours on my feet. When I get home from work I probably don't sit until maybe 2 hours later (I work out, shower, fix dinner, feed the dogs, take them outside, etc.). When I am sitting I am a little fidgety. I rarely sit for longer than an hour at a time - when I watch a movie it often gets paused halfway so I can move around for 5 minutes.

    None of this is particularly physically demanding but it all adds up to requiring a little more calories.
  • jerb00
    jerb00 Posts: 155 Member
    @jerb00,
    I had a base sedentary maintenance of 1200. I ate at that for my first few months maintenance adding exercise cals. I then reverse dieted up to about 1350 by slowly adding calories, and I mean slowly, until I started to see a steady gain. So I would guess 1350 is my base.
    I always eat back my exercise, 150-200 for cardio; 100 for strength. All esteem area as I no longer log.

    I think one has to look at where one has come from, and where one is going.

    My weight gain was over 5 years and 30 lbs.
    when I started counting it was 1200 for 1lbs a week and it just stayed there until I reached goal.
    The thing was though, my intake really was very close to what I naturally ate. I don't snack, never have.

    It was a case of shaving a bit off servings of mashed potato, ice cream, rice, having 2 biscuits instead of three with my evening coffee, 10oz of wine instead of 12. Small things that I didn't miss.

    I have never developed a taste for most of the North American fast foods, so don't miss them, nor do I like deep fried food on a regular basis. My weakness is desert, but I generally only had it at weekends, so just had slightly smaller deserts.

    I have been lucky, I really am quite happy with the calories I have. If I want a high cal meal, I have it. I know it won't start a downward spiral, it will just be a meal.

    I know this all sounds a bit prim writing it down, but really it is just the way I have always eaten, just a tiny bit less.

    Hmm actually on some ever so active days I struggle to eat as much as I know I should.

    I could right another novel on how I had to start moving more exercising- I found that much harder.

    Cheers, h.

    Thanks for your reply. Doesn't sound prim at all (log the word prim btw!). Truly, I have always been a clean rate too. Yogurt and berries or porridge and eggs for breakfast, huge salad with nuts and seeds for lunch, protein an veg with a sometimes starch for dinner. I don't snack much either. What I think I miss is feeling of satiety. The nuts seeds an butter from porridge/veg or full fat from yogurt made me feel better and fuller and less fussy than now. I eat a lot les of those thing to fit my calories macros. But like you I'll keep them shaved off and see how I adjust.