I don't really understand recomp?

When I asked a question before about having only a little bit of weight left to lose, some said that I didn't really need to lose much more and should try recomp instead. I'm not quite sure about that, but I looked it up and only got more confused. From what I understood, it was balancing your caloric intake and expenditure to maintain weight and somehow change your body composition. However, that doesn't seem much different from what I already do? I have a mild deficit and work out every day.
(I'm 101 lbs, and though my waist is tiny, it almost seemed like I lost all the fat on my waist and transferred it to my hips/butt. I don't know if my waist is just smaller so that my hips look bigger, or if I actually got fatter on my hips...)

Replies

  • csplatt
    csplatt Posts: 642 Member
    How tall are you? I am confused about how you could be 101 lb and have weight to lose. I am guessing someone recommended you lift weights if you are unhappy with general shape. You wouldn’t need to eat at a deficit to see results.
  • wunderkindking
    wunderkindking Posts: 1,614 Member
    Weight lifting will change how heavy you look. There's a post in the success stories pictures thread that I can't find right now but basically this lady gained 20lbs and looked BETTER - because strength training.

    Your body composition - matters. Lean body mass gets lost with fat, and if you don't have lean body mass it doesn't matter how little you weigh, you're going to be, well, kind of jiggly and squishy and LOOK heavier. Nevermind helping your metabolism because muscle requires calories to maintain, even at rest - fat does not.
  • DancingMoosie
    DancingMoosie Posts: 8,577 Member
    edited March 2021
    It is possible you are misunderstanding the changing the composition part. It generally means to build muscle and lose fat. We recommend this approach when at a low-healthy weight, but slightly over fat and under muscled. This type of recomp would also require strength training to build muscle.
  • ecjim
    ecjim Posts: 960 Member
    Recomp is engaging in a weight training program while eating at a maintenance level. The idea is to increase muscle mass while loosing fat , and maintaining your current weight. You may want to increase your cals by 1 -200 per day.
  • kshama2001
    kshama2001 Posts: 25,700 Member
    Weight lifting will change how heavy you look. There's a post in the success stories pictures thread that I can't find right now but basically this lady gained 20lbs and looked BETTER - because strength training.

    Your body composition - matters. Lean body mass gets lost with fat, and if you don't have lean body mass it doesn't matter how little you weigh, you're going to be, well, kind of jiggly and squishy and LOOK heavier. Nevermind helping your metabolism because muscle requires calories to maintain, even at rest - fat does not.

    I didn't get this from the Success forum, but same thing - she looks better at 18 pounds heavier because she has more muscle and less fat:

    xaar930mcanb.jpg
  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 25,267 Member
    Did you check out the recomposition thread here? It's quite informative. There are quite a few "progress so far" photos sprinkled through the thread.

    https://community.myfitnesspal.com/en/discussion/10177803/recomposition-maintaining-weight-while-losing-fat
    Weight lifting will change how heavy you look. There's a post in the success stories pictures thread that I can't find right now but basically this lady gained 20lbs and looked BETTER - because strength training.

    Your body composition - matters. Lean body mass gets lost with fat, and if you don't have lean body mass it doesn't matter how little you weigh, you're going to be, well, kind of jiggly and squishy and LOOK heavier. Nevermind helping your metabolism because muscle requires calories to maintain, even at rest - fat does not.

    IMU, both fat and muscle are metabolically active, i.e., burn calories at rest. A pound of muscle is estimated to burn about 6 calories a day at rest, a pound of fat about 2 calories. I 100% agree with the appearance and health benefits of muscle over fat, beyond the essential range of bodyfat we all need for basic health, of course . . . and burning the extra 4 calories per pound is better than not burning them. 😉

    I suspect that in terms of TDEE, extra muscle makes it easier and more natural to move more, so people of X weight but more muscle/less fat probably move more and have a higher TDEE on average, but that's just a guess. The estimated metabolic (RMR) benefits are arithmetically kind of underwhelming, though.
  • cwolfman13
    cwolfman13 Posts: 41,002 Member
    When I asked a question before about having only a little bit of weight left to lose, some said that I didn't really need to lose much more and should try recomp instead. I'm not quite sure about that, but I looked it up and only got more confused. From what I understood, it was balancing your caloric intake and expenditure to maintain weight and somehow change your body composition. However, that doesn't seem much different from what I already do? I have a mild deficit and work out every day.
    (I'm 101 lbs, and though my waist is tiny, it almost seemed like I lost all the fat on my waist and transferred it to my hips/butt. I don't know if my waist is just smaller so that my hips look bigger, or if I actually got fatter on my hips...)

    Lifting weights with a solid, structured program while eating at or around maintenance is how you re-comp...back in my day, we just called this "getting in shape." You build a bit of muscle while simultaneously cutting a little fat...it all happens very slowly. When you build muscle, your body composition changes to be tighter...more well defined...look fit and healthy, etc.
  • RyotaFujikawa
    RyotaFujikawa Posts: 441 Member
    @csplatt I'm 4'11" :smile: I'm slightly overweight, but not too bad. I really only need to lose another 7-11 pounds. Honestly, I'm not sure if what I do is a deficit? I'm fairly small, and usually eat 700-1,300 calories, typically around 1,000 though. Would weight lifting be a good idea? I don't do that yet.
  • RyotaFujikawa
    RyotaFujikawa Posts: 441 Member
    @wunderkindking I agree, I'd much rather be heavier and have more muscle and less fat than be light and have only fat. :smile: Would it be a good idea to invest in weights? I already exercise a lot, and I've seen changes in my muscle definition, but certainly not as much as others' success story pictures.
  • ninerbuff
    ninerbuff Posts: 46,324 Member
    @csplatt I'm 4'11" :smile: I'm slightly overweight, but not too bad. I really only need to lose another 7-11 pounds. Honestly, I'm not sure if what I do is a deficit? I'm fairly small, and usually eat 700-1,300 calories, typically around 1,000 though. Would weight lifting be a good idea? I don't do that yet.

    Resistance training is ALWAYS a good idea. If your muscles aren't active, they atrophy for minimal usage. Nothing wrong with being strong. Also working active muscles burn more calories daily than inactive ones. And your body firms up more as well.

    A.C.E. Certified Personal and Group Fitness Trainer
    IDEA Fitness member
    Kickboxing Certified Instructor
    Been in fitness for 30 years and have studied kinesiology and nutrition

    9285851.png
  • RyotaFujikawa
    RyotaFujikawa Posts: 441 Member
    @DancingMoosie Thank you for helping me understand :smile: I do strength training without weights, and have been exercising regularly for a while. I still don't look very muscular though, except in my legs.
  • NextRightThing714
    NextRightThing714 Posts: 355 Member
    edited March 2021
    @csplatt I'm 4'11" :smile: I'm slightly overweight, but not too bad. I really only need to lose another 7-11 pounds. Honestly, I'm not sure if what I do is a deficit? I'm fairly small, and usually eat 700-1,300 calories, typically around 1,000 though. Would weight lifting be a good idea? I don't do that yet.

    Everything has been covered (i.e., strength training) but I'm wondering why you think you're overweight at 101 lbs? Even at 4'11" 101 lbs is on the low end of the healthy BMI range. As others have said, not sure losing additional weight is going to get you where you want to go.

    Edit: formatting.
  • kshama2001
    kshama2001 Posts: 25,700 Member
    @csplatt I'm 4'11" :smile: I'm slightly overweight, but not too bad. I really only need to lose another 7-11 pounds. Honestly, I'm not sure if what I do is a deficit? I'm fairly small, and usually eat 700-1,300 calories, typically around 1,000 though. Would weight lifting be a good idea? I don't do that yet.

    Everything has been covered (i.e., strength training) but I'm wondering why you think you're overweight at 101 lbs? Even at 4'11" 101 lbs is on the low end of the healthy BMI range. As others have said, not sure losing additional weight is going to get you where you want to go.

    Edit: formatting.

    There are some ethnic differences in BMI. As her username sounds Japanese to me and her profile lists a city in Japan, she could indeed be a little overweight for her height.
  • NextRightThing714
    NextRightThing714 Posts: 355 Member
    Nah. 101 is not considered overweight even using a BMI calculator designed for use by Asian people.

    Check out, e.g. -- https://aadi.joslin.org/en/am-i-at-risk/asian-bmi-calculator
  • CholeRoad
    CholeRoad Posts: 47 Member
    @RyotaFujikawa
    As you are at a normal weight and in a deficit your body won't prioritize building muscle. If you increase your calories to maintenance then you probably will see a more toned look emerge. I suggest you start doing some resistance training, cut down on cardio and increase protein intake. This will more likely give you the body you desire whilst eating a sufficient amount of calories.

    Actually I listened to a podcast yesterday that stated that it has been found that women's body 'prefer' to store fat on the hips and thighs and will sometimes shift fat from the stomach to the hips.
  • @RyotaFujikawa
    As you are at a normal weight and in a deficit your body won't prioritize building muscle. If you increase your calories to maintenance then you probably will see a more toned look emerge. I suggest you start doing some resistance training, cut down on cardio and increase protein intake. This will more likely give you the body you desire whilst eating a sufficient amount of calories.

    Actually I listened to a podcast yesterday that stated that it has been found that women's body 'prefer' to store fat on the hips and thighs and will sometimes shift fat from the stomach to the hips.

    Those new to strength training can build muscle in a deficit. So called newbie gains.
  • CholeRoad
    CholeRoad Posts: 47 Member
    Yes you are indeed correct.

    I was just thinking this might be difficult for someone who has been eating at 700 calories and doing a lot of cardio and maybe a diet break was due.
  • richardgavel
    richardgavel Posts: 1,000 Member
    @RyotaFujikawa
    As you are at a normal weight and in a deficit your body won't prioritize building muscle. If you increase your calories to maintenance then you probably will see a more toned look emerge. I suggest you start doing some resistance training, cut down on cardio and increase protein intake. This will more likely give you the body you desire whilst eating a sufficient amount of calories.

    Actually I listened to a podcast yesterday that stated that it has been found that women's body 'prefer' to store fat on the hips and thighs and will sometimes shift fat from the stomach to the hips.

    Those new to strength training can build muscle in a deficit. So called newbie gains.

    That's not a blanket statement. Building muscle in a deficit is based on having sufficient fat stores to pull from. For someone at the low end of BMI that might not be the case. In general, lifting during a deficit is primarily about preservation of existing lean mass with maybe a chance of building new lean mass if done optimally.
  • sijomial
    sijomial Posts: 19,750 Member
    @RyotaFujikawa
    As you are at a normal weight and in a deficit your body won't prioritize building muscle. If you increase your calories to maintenance then you probably will see a more toned look emerge. I suggest you start doing some resistance training, cut down on cardio and increase protein intake. This will more likely give you the body you desire whilst eating a sufficient amount of calories.

    Actually I listened to a podcast yesterday that stated that it has been found that women's body 'prefer' to store fat on the hips and thighs and will sometimes shift fat from the stomach to the hips.

    Those new to strength training can build muscle in a deficit. So called newbie gains.

    That's not a blanket statement. Building muscle in a deficit is based on having sufficient fat stores to pull from. For someone at the low end of BMI that might not be the case. In general, lifting during a deficit is primarily about preservation of existing lean mass with maybe a chance of building new lean mass if done optimally.

    Deficit is also nuanced, from so small to be insignificant to so large as to be counter-productive.

    And no optimal training is not a requirement for most people whether new to training or not. MPS is running 24 x 7 and it's not some delicate flower that needs nurturing to grow - just sufficient stimulus for each person's situation.
    A newcomer to exercise needs very little stimulus compared to an advanced trainee that might actually need to approach optimal.