Lose fat and build muscle simultaneously
Is this possible?
If your answer is no, you have not read the literature on this topic! Research shows us that not only is this possible, but it is common.
As we age our metabolism declines. This, in turn, reduces the number of calories we can eat daily to maintain our body weight. With a decline in calories, comes a reduction of micro and macronutrient intake. This, in turn, can affect our sleep, mood, and energy levels, as well as output during exercise. With age, we also see a shift from the ‘ growing stage’ into the ‘ aging stage’. You will be able to see a reduction in growth hormone and testosterone levels, along with changes in thyroid function and estrogen levels. How can this be prevented? Body Recomposition!
Body Recomposition is most predominate among the following people:
- Beginner trainees
- Detrained athletes
- Overweight or obese individuals
Among these individuals, the first 6 months will elicit the most predominate gains in lean muscle, micronuclei, and fat loss. Ensure that your first 6 months of attempting body recomposition is as structured and disciplined as possible. Utilizing detailed workout logs with progressive overload, and a calorie tracker app is recommended. After 6 months it would be advisable to enter into either a maintenance phase, or slow bulk phase, to allow the body to recover hormonally from a calorie deficit, and allow ghrelin and leptin levels in the brain to retore to normal functioning (hunger signaling hormones).
In order for your body to achieve recomposition, the following concepts should be applied:
- Enter into a caloric deficit. 15-20% of your maintenance caloric intake is ideal. Veer on the side of caution and start at a 15% deficit, taking away or adding calories as dependent upon inches lost per month around the naval. 0.05-0.1% of your body weight is ideal to lose around the naval each month. Bodyweight will be difficult to use as a guide, due to the fact that, per pound, muscle is more dense than fat. Also bear in mind that during this phase, you build muscle is being built simultaneously to fat being lost.
- Protein must be at 1g per lb of bodyweight. If you are obese or overweight you may use your lean body weight.
- Utilize resistance training at a frequency of 3x week minimum; with progressive overload – increases in strength, and volume, over time. Incorporating 2 hours of High-intensity interval training, and 2-3 hours of low-intensity steady-state cardiovascular training over time (5-8 hours weekly volume) will be ideal to ensure optimal nutrient portioning, and insulin sensitivity, to store calories as muscle glycogen rather than fat, and to prevent over or under taxing the central nervous system.
Remember that you cannot create or destroy energy, only convert it. It is therefore common to see an overweight individual, who is in a caloric deficit and utilizing the above prescription, to convert their energy stores from fat, into energy required to repair muscle tissue damage and sustain energy output during physical activity.