In the last post of this series we talked about why Recomping is so much better than normal crash diet philosophies. If you missed it, you can check that out HERE.
In this Fit Tip, we are going to give away the "secrets" of how to gain muscle while simultaneously losing body fat.
What Are the Keys to Recomping?
1. Resistance training.
Every study showing a significant Body Recomposition has had at least two hard resistance training sessions per week.
*Furthermore, the vast majority of studies that I am aware of that maintain lean body mass while in a significant nutritional caloric deficit contain some form of resistance training [1-17]. It may be possible to maintain one’s fat-free mass while on a diet with only endurance or interval training [18-22], but it is not the norm within the literature , and thus I would highly recommend at least two resistance or circuit training sessions per week.
2. Higher protein intakes.
Every study showing a significant recomp has been over 1 g/lb in protein [5, 23, 24]. *If someone is obese or has a lot of body fat to lose, it may be better to use 1.4 g/lb of LBM instead of basing protein solely on body weight.
3. Higher levels of daily movement.
If you can get to 10 to 12,000 steps per day it may accelerate your results without significantly increasing your appetite [25, 26] and this level of activity seems to be the critical threshold to maintain significant long-term fat loss [25, 27-30].
Those are the BIG Three. Major in the Majors and go get yourself some results that last!
1. Pearson, A.G., et al., A hypoenergetic diet with decreased protein intake does not reduce lean body mass in trained females. Eur J Appl Physiol, 2021. 121(3): p. 771-781.
2. Layman, D.K., et al., Dietary protein and exercise have additive effects on body composition during weight loss in adult women. J Nutr, 2005. 135(8): p. 1903-10.
3. Mitchell, L., et al., Physiological implications of preparing for a natural male bodybuilding competition. Eur J Sport Sci, 2018: p. 1-11.
4. Hulmi, J.J., et al., The Effects of Intensive Weight Reduction on Body Composition and Serum Hormones in Female Fitness Competitors. Front Physiol, 2016. 7: p. 689.
5. Longland, T.M., et al., Higher compared with lower dietary protein during an energy deficit combined with intense exercise promotes greater lean mass gain and fat mass loss: a randomized trial. Am J Clin Nutr, 2016. 103(3): p. 738-46.
6. Hector, A.J., et al., Pronounced energy restriction with elevated protein intake results in no change in proteolysis and reductions in skeletal muscle protein synthesis that are mitigated by resistance exercise. FASEB J, 2018. 32(1): p. 265-275.
7. Cava, E., N.C. Yeat, and B. Mittendorfer, Preserving Healthy Muscle during Weight Loss. Adv Nutr, 2017. 8(3): p. 511-519.
8. Paoli, A., et al., Ketogenic diet does not affect strength performance in elite artistic gymnasts. J Int Soc Sports Nutr, 2012. 9(1): p. 34.
9. Huovinen, H.T., et al., Body composition and power performance improved after weight reduction in male athletes without hampering hormonal balance. J Strength Cond Res, 2015. 29(1): p. 29-36.
10. Campbell, D.D. and K.A. Meckling, Effect of the protein:carbohydrate ratio in hypoenergetic diets on metabolic syndrome risk factors in exercising overweight and obese women. Br J Nutr, 2012. 108(9): p. 1658-71.
11. Mettler, S., N. Mitchell, and K.D. Tipton, Increased protein intake reduces lean body mass loss during weight loss in athletes. Med Sci Sports Exerc, 2010. 42(2): p. 326-37.
12. Garthe, I., et al., Effect of two different weight-loss rates on body composition and strength and power-related performance in elite athletes. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab, 2011. 21(2): p. 97-104.
13. Mero, A.A., et al., Moderate energy restriction with high protein diet results in healthier outcome in women. J Int Soc Sports Nutr, 2010. 7(1): p. 4.
14. Conlin, L.A., et al., Flexible vs. rigid dieting in resistance-trained individuals seeking to optimize their physiques: A randomized controlled trial. J Int Soc Sports Nutr, 2021. 18(1): p. 52.
15. Verreijen, A.M., et al., Effect of a high protein diet and/or resistance exercise on the preservation of fat free mass during weight loss in overweight and obese older adults: a randomized controlled trial. Nutr J, 2017. 16(1): p. 10.
16. Bryner, R.W., et al., Effects of resistance vs. aerobic training combined with an 800 calorie liquid diet on lean body mass and resting metabolic rate. J Am Coll Nutr, 1999. 18(2): p. 115-21.
17. Pasiakos, S.M., et al., Effects of high-protein diets on fat-free mass and muscle protein synthesis following weight loss: a randomized controlled trial. FASEB J, 2013. 27(9): p. 3837-47.
18. Pavlou, K.N., et al., Effects of dieting and exercise on lean body mass, oxygen uptake, and strength. Med Sci Sports Exerc, 1985. 17(4): p. 466-71.
19. Hernandez-Reyes, A., et al., Changes in body composition with a hypocaloric diet combined with sedentary, moderate and high-intense physical activity: a randomized controlled trial. BMC Womens Health, 2019. 19(1): p. 167.
20. Rice, B., et al., Effects of aerobic or resistance exercise and/or diet on glucose tolerance and plasma insulin levels in obese men. Diabetes Care, 1999. 22(5): p. 684-91.
21. Ross, R., et al., Exercise-induced reduction in obesity and insulin resistance in women: a randomized controlled trial. Obes Res, 2004. 12(5): p. 789-98.
22. Chomentowski, P., et al., Moderate exercise attenuates the loss of skeletal muscle mass that occurs with intentional caloric restriction-induced weight loss in older, overweight to obese adults. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci, 2009. 64(5): p. 575-80.
23. Haun, C.T., et al., Effects of Graded Whey Supplementation During Extreme-Volume Resistance Training. Front Nutr, 2018. 5: p. 84.
24. Campbell, B.I., et al., Effects of High Versus Low Protein Intake on Body Composition and Maximal Strength in Aspiring Female Physique Athletes Engaging in an 8-Week Resistance Training Program. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab, 2018. 28(6): p. 580-585.
25. Ostendorf, D.M., et al., Physical Activity Energy Expenditure and Total Daily Energy Expenditure in Successful Weight Loss Maintainers. Obesity (Silver Spring), 2019. 27(3): p. 496-504.
26. Melby, C.L., et al., Increasing Energy Flux to Maintain Diet-Induced Weight Loss. Nutrients, 2019. 11(10).
27. Church, T.S. and C.K. Martin, Exercise is the Key to Keeping Weight Off, but What is the Key to Consistently Exercising? Obesity (Silver Spring), 2019. 27(3): p. 361.
28. Kerns, J.C., et al., Increased Physical Activity Associated with Less Weight Regain Six Years After "The Biggest Loser" Competition. Obesity (Silver Spring), 2017. 25(11): p. 1838-1843.
29. Foright, R.M., et al., Is regular exercise an effective strategy for weight loss maintenance? Physiol Behav, 2018. 188: p. 86-93.
30. Varkevisser, R.D.M., et al., Determinants of weight loss maintenance: a systematic review. Obes Rev, 2019. 20(2): p. 171-211.