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 amount of calories we can eat daily to maintain our bodyweight. With a decline in calories comes a reduction in micro and macronutrient intake, which 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.”
We 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:
1. Beginner trainees
2. Detrained athletes
3. Overweight or obese individuals
Among these individuals, the first six months will elicit the most predominate gains in lean muscle, micronuclei and fat loss. Ensure that your first six 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 six months, it would be advisable to enter into either a maintenance phase or slow bulk phase. This allows the body to recover hormonally from a calorie deficit and allow ghrelin and leptin levels in the brain to restore to normal functioning (hunger signaling hormones).
In order for body recomposition to be achieved, the following concepts should be applied:
1. Enter into a caloric deficit. About 15 to 20 per cent of your maintenance caloric intake is ideal. Veer on the side of caution and start at a 15 per cent deficit, taking away or adding calories as dependent upon inches lost per month around the naval. It’s ideal to lose about .05 to .1 per cent of your bodyweight 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, muscle is being built simultaneous to fat being lost.
2. Protein must be at 1g per pound of bodyweight. If you are obese or overweight, you may use your lean body weight.
3. Resistance training must be utilized at a frequency of at least three times a week, with progressive overload
increases in strength and volume over time. Incorporate two hours of high intensity interval training and two-to-three hours of low intensity steady state cardiovascular training over time (five to eight hours weekly volume). This 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 energy cannot be created or destroyed, only converted. 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 the energy required to repair muscle tissue damage and sustain energy output during physical activity.
Look good and feel good with body recomposition. Sign up with a trainer today at O2 Wellness.
By Michelle Long, Head Coach & Manager
Sunnyside Mall, 1595 Bedford Highway
Suite 210 (On the mezzanine level)