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Recomposition: Maintaining weight while losing fat

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  • tsazanitsazani Posts: 633Member Member Posts: 633Member Member
    I'm at my goal weight. My impedence scale says I'm at 18% BF. I'd like to get below 15% without losing weight.

    My problems. 62 y/o DM2 for 15 years. Well controlled but I have to eat a 2400 cal maintenence Phase 4 (80-100 g net carbs per day) Atkins diet as OMAD to keep my blood sugars under excellent control.

    For exercise I do 160 min of moderate cardio per week.

    Will this work?
  • PAV8888PAV8888 Posts: 6,754Member Member Posts: 6,754Member Member
    tsazani wrote: »
    I'm at my goal weight. I'd like to get below 15% without losing weight. For exercise I do 160 min of moderate cardio per week.
    Will this work?

    What is your proposed mechanism for adding lean mass?

    weight = stable. So to reduce your fat percentage you have to increase lean mass.

    160 min of moderate cardio with caloric control could well prove enough to help you maintain your weight.

    But I don't see it as a driver that can help you build more lean mass.
  • psuLemonpsuLemon Posts: 35,893Member, MFP Moderator, Greeter, Premium MFP Moderator Posts: 35,893Member, MFP Moderator, Greeter, Premium MFP Moderator
    PAV8888 wrote: »
    tsazani wrote: »
    I'm at my goal weight. I'd like to get below 15% without losing weight. For exercise I do 160 min of moderate cardio per week.
    Will this work?

    What is your proposed mechanism for adding lean mass?

    weight = stable. So to reduce your fat percentage you have to increase lean mass.

    160 min of moderate cardio with caloric control could well prove enough to help you maintain your weight.

    But I don't see it as a driver that can help you build more lean mass.

    It should also be noted that from a muscle protein synthetic standpoint OMAD and very low carb tend to be suboptimal. At the very least, spreading protein and timing of some carbs around a workout (lifting) would be more ideal.
  • tsazanitsazani Posts: 633Member Member Posts: 633Member Member
    Would substituting some resistance training help?

    I'm thinking 80 min of resistance and 80 min of moderate cardio.

    2 days of full body resistance + 2 days of moderate cardio? Or 4 days of split resistance and do the cardio right after?

    Would that work? Given that my daily net carb intake will always be between 80-100 g?
    edited February 4
  • epangiliepangili Posts: 707Member Member Posts: 707Member Member
    Very fascinating thread... I would love to join you all and almost there... still 8.5 lbs away from doctor's goal for me and recuperating from drunken driver totaling my car... hopefully sooner rather than later
  • PAV8888PAV8888 Posts: 6,754Member Member Posts: 6,754Member Member
    tsazani wrote: »
    Would substituting some resistance training help?
    I'm thinking 80 min of resistance and 80 min of moderate cardio.
    2 days of full body resistance + 2 days of moderate cardio? Or 4 days of split resistance and do the cardio right after?
    Would that work? Given that my daily net carb intake will always be between 80-100 g?

    There is a chance that our definitions are not matching and what you mean with moderate cardio is not cardio activities with a MET value between 3.0 and 5.9. You don't have to do killer exercise to meet the definition: for example walking at 3.0 miles on level ground is a MET 3.3 activity and qualifies.

    A lot of people do not meet the recommended level of physical activity as suggested by the WHO. I am the first to admit that while I exceed the cardio requirements I most certainly do not consistently meet or exceed the strength building requirements. Hence it does not come as a surprise to me that I am neither becoming stronger, nor leaning out while at maintenance, but remain basically stable.

    As per the WHO, the Recommended levels of physical activity for adults aged 18 - 64 years are as follows:

    In adults aged 18–64, physical activity includes leisure time physical activity (for example: walking, dancing, gardening, hiking, swimming), transportation (e.g. walking or cycling), occupational (i.e. work), household chores, play, games, sports or planned exercise, in the context of daily, family, and community activities.

    In order to improve cardiorespiratory and muscular fitness, bone health, reduce the risk of NCDs and depression:

    Adults aged 18–64 should do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity throughout the week or do at least 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity throughout the week or an equivalent combination of moderate- and vigorous-intensity activity.

    Aerobic activity should be performed in bouts of at least 10 minutes duration.

    For additional health benefits, adults should increase their moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity to 300 minutes per week, or engage in 150 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity per week, or an equivalent combination of moderate- and vigorous-intensity activity.

    Muscle-strengthening activities should be done involving major muscle groups on 2 or more days a week.

    In general the WHO suggests the above as minimums with further effort creating additional benefits.

    When it comes to building strength, the general consensus is that you will see better and faster results if you were to follow a specific strength building program as opposed to engaging in random strength related exercises.
    edited February 4
  • sijomialsijomial Posts: 16,138Member Member Posts: 16,138Member Member
    tsazani wrote: »
    Would substituting some resistance training help?

    I'm thinking 80 min of resistance and 80 min of moderate cardio.

    2 days of full body resistance + 2 days of moderate cardio? Or 4 days of split resistance and do the cardio right after?

    Would that work? Given that my daily net carb intake will always be between 80-100 g?

    Trying to get leaner while maintaining weight requires you to add muscle. You can do the maths to work out how much lean mass you need to add to achieve that 3% or more change in body composition.

    So yes you do need to train in a way that will add muscle and although resistance based cardio can add muscle to a degree it's pretty limited and slows dramatically once you are accustomed to that exercise. (e.g. a novice cyclist might see some leg/glute growth initially but that doesn't really continue to a significant degree.)

    Whether you mix up your strength training and cardio in the same session or split them up is to a degree personal choice but if whatever you do first in a session compromises what you do second then spliting them makes it more effective. (Personally I prefer to completely focus on the task in hand and do it to the best of my ability.)
  • Pipsqueak1965Pipsqueak1965 Posts: 348Member Member Posts: 348Member Member
    Do you actually need protein to build muscle? I would like to gain a little more, but although my weight is fine (and stable) I don't eat that much protein (average about 62g per day, weight is about 104-105 pounds). I do weight train as far as possible (like others, I have knee problems, so although I squat/lunge etc I can't do that with a lot of weight.
  • sijomialsijomial Posts: 16,138Member Member Posts: 16,138Member Member
    Do you actually need protein to build muscle? I would like to gain a little more, but although my weight is fine (and stable) I don't eat that much protein (average about 62g per day, weight is about 104-105 pounds). I do weight train as far as possible (like others, I have knee problems, so although I squat/lunge etc I can't do that with a lot of weight.

    @Pipsqueak1965

    Well yes you do need protein to build muscle as that's what it's made of. :smiley:
    But it's a range from inadequate to sub-optimal to adequate to optimal to excessive and your intake would probably be regarded by most as sub-optimal for supporting muscle growth.

    Making random assumptions about your LBM it wouldn't take a lot of effort at your light weight to get up to what would be seen as a decent amount of 1g per lb of estimated lean body mass.
  • Pipsqueak1965Pipsqueak1965 Posts: 348Member Member Posts: 348Member Member
    Is there any way of working out lean body mass easily? I would guess by looking at myself in comparison to pictures I'm somewhere around 21-22% body fat. Ish.
  • sijomialsijomial Posts: 16,138Member Member Posts: 16,138Member Member
    Is there any way of working out lean body mass easily? I would guess by looking at myself in comparison to pictures I'm somewhere around 21-22% body fat. Ish.

    A rough estimate is good enough for purpose, precision isn't necessary (and it's very hard to achieve anyway).
    Everything that isn't fat is lean mass so 78 to 79% lean mass so you could aim for high 70's in grams (more is fine but starts to give declining benefit and can skew your overall diet).
  • Pipsqueak1965Pipsqueak1965 Posts: 348Member Member Posts: 348Member Member
    @sijomial thank you very much - i will have a go at increasing it :)
  • psuLemonpsuLemon Posts: 35,893Member, MFP Moderator, Greeter, Premium MFP Moderator Posts: 35,893Member, MFP Moderator, Greeter, Premium MFP Moderator
    To add onto @sijomial, if anything, it's better to overshoot your protein goals. So doing some meal preplanning can help that.
  • Pipsqueak1965Pipsqueak1965 Posts: 348Member Member Posts: 348Member Member
    I will - I'm cutting down animal products at the moment (for environmental reasons) and that has had a bit of an impact on my protein intake. I am obviously going to have to up the nuts and beans a bit!
  • psuLemonpsuLemon Posts: 35,893Member, MFP Moderator, Greeter, Premium MFP Moderator Posts: 35,893Member, MFP Moderator, Greeter, Premium MFP Moderator
    I will - I'm cutting down animal products at the moment (for environmental reasons) and that has had a bit of an impact on my protein intake. I am obviously going to have to up the nuts and beans a bit!

    Tofu, setian and lentils are some of the highest sources of protein.
  • Pipsqueak1965Pipsqueak1965 Posts: 348Member Member Posts: 348Member Member
    I eat tofu already, and lentils on occasion. Never tried seitan. What is it?
  • Pipsqueak1965Pipsqueak1965 Posts: 348Member Member Posts: 348Member Member
    Don't worry - I've googled it.!
  • tsazanitsazani Posts: 633Member Member Posts: 633Member Member
    I do get 160 min of moderate cardio per week as I use a Polar watch with a chest strap.

    My maxHR is 174. 6 min of warmup/cooldown with 40 min of treadmill walking or swimming kept at 75-80% of maxHR. 4 days per week.

    My last VO2max was 36 (good for my age).

    Exercise is the least effective treatment for the control of my DM2 which is always priority #1 for me.

    2400 cal of LCHF with IF is my most effective. Medical MJ is #2 as it helps me to reduce stress and improve sleep. Exercise is a distante #3.
  • heybalesheybales Posts: 17,314Member Member Posts: 17,314Member Member
    tsazani wrote: »
    I do get 160 min of moderate cardio per week as I use a Polar watch with a chest strap.

    My maxHR is 174. 6 min of warmup/cooldown with 40 min of treadmill walking or swimming kept at 75-80% of maxHR. 4 days per week.

    My last VO2max was 36 (good for my age).

    Exercise is the least effective treatment for the control of my DM2 which is always priority #1 for me.

    2400 cal of LCHF with IF is my most effective. Medical MJ is #2 as it helps me to reduce stress and improve sleep. Exercise is a distante #3.

    So the only reason the body has to build more muscle is if what it has is regularly pushed to close to max.
    Body doesn't like to build and support what doesn't appear to be needed. Well, except fat, it thinks that will be needed sadly, so if extra calories - build that.

    Cardio doesn't do that for muscle except at start as sijomial mentioned.

    So you aren't doing anything that would ask the body to strengthen existing muscles beyond how they are being used for cardio long usage, and add more to handle the load they are receiving.

    Therefore you really won't be able to recomp.

    So if exercise is least reason for the DM2 - then perhaps not a big deal to get 3 sessions per week over to a strength training program that will progressively overload the muscles - asking body to make more of them.
    Then tack on some cardio at the end of those and another day for heart health.
  • PAV8888PAV8888 Posts: 6,754Member Member Posts: 6,754Member Member
    tsazani wrote: »
    Exercise is the least effective treatment for the control of my DM2 which is always priority #1 for me.
    2400 cal of LCHF with IF is my most effective. Medical MJ is #2 as it helps me to reduce stress and improve sleep. Exercise is a distante #3.

    So in reading your second post and re-reading your first, I've just realized that you're operating under health limitations that may be affecting your ability to meet your stated goals.

    Realistically, to increase muscle mass, you will have to perform appreciably more physical "work" in terms of a combination of intensity and duration which will force your muscles to grow in order to cope with the overload.

    Is this advisable? Is it something that is realistic? That is known to you and your doctors and I would assume you have discussed it with them! A lot of cardio type activity (as mentioned by @sijomial taking up bike riding up steep hills) will appreciably increase muscle mass, at least in the beginning. Realistically most people find faster and more "impressive" results using strength training programs.

    As such and in order to promote success in your endeavour I would suggest as much strength building as you can fit in during your "exercise time" and I would remind you that you can meet your basic "aerobic health requirements" by engaging in sufficient (probably more than 150 minutes, in spite of it being the WHO minimum recommendation) moderate aerobic activities. i.e. you don't need to be on a treadmill in order to take a 10 minute brisk walk during lunch time or to the gym where you are going to strength train... and yet these 10 minute brisk walks qualify towards meeting your basic cardiovascular requirements! :smile:
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