Advanced Body Recomposition Methods
For losing fat and gaining muscle at the same time, you may require some special methods as per individual needs according to the training experience level or any other special requirement based on your lifestyle or activities. These methods allow the advance lifter or dieter to optimize things better suited to his/her personal situation and provide better outcomes.
For an advanced lifter who risks losing mass and performance on a hypocaloric diet, calorie cycling is a good option. Calorie cycling basically means to rotate the high-calorie and low-calorie days within a week. Some days you eat higher calories than others. It allows you to accumulate a net calorie deficit over a week rather than the fix daily deficit.
Arguably, the best benefit of calorie cycling is to boost and preserve the performance, and promote recovery during a cut. You eat a slightly higher than maintenance on your training days and slightly lower on your non-training days.
Let’s say you want to eat at your maintenance level for your recomposition phase. Assume that your maintenance is 2000 calories with three training days each week.
Now, instead of eating daily with a fix 2000 calorie number, you’ll eat 2500 calories on your 3 training days and 1600 calories on your four non-training days. This will create periods of over-feeding (muscle growth) and under-feeding (fat loss) with still a net average of 2000 calories over the week.
Due to super-busy schedules and more than usual body fat to lose, some people prefer an intermittent fasting (IF) lifestyle for a body recomposition. Intermittent fasting allows you to eat your calories in a 6 to 8 hour period of feeding while fasting for the other 18 to 16 hours.
It is purported to lend many health and longevity benefits to the dieter, along with a better hunger control and satiety during a cut. Even though this type of dieting is not very conducive to the preservation of performance, strength, and muscle in advance lifters, still many dieters choose it for the freedom of lifestyle it offers.
Nevertheless, incorporating IF in a body recomposition phase is easy. We’ll again take the example of a lifter eating at the maintenance of 2000 calories for the recomposition.
- Fix the hours of feeding, let’s say 8 hours (12 PM to 8 PM), and fast for the rest of the time. You can use unsweetened black coffee during the fast to curb hunger if required.
- Break your fast with a moderate sized meal consisting of about 500 calories (25% of total calories).
- Take another 500 calories for your pre/post workout feeding.
- Finally, consume a large 1000 calorie dinner before 8 PM (50% of total calories).
A ketogenic diet* is the least tempting choice to make when it comes to gaining lean body mass. The physiology of a person on a ketogenic diet is not at all conducive for muscle gain. Not only the ketone bodies are not as efficient as the glycolytic energy system when it comes to fuel the intense training sessions; the depleted glycogen stores in a body create an overall catabolic environment. This is good for losing lots of fat quickly but not at all supportive of body recomposition.
The ketogenic diet* is a high-fat, adequate-protein, low-carbohydrate diet that in medicine is used primarily to treat difficult-to-control (refractory) epilepsy in children. The diet forces the body to burn fats rather than carbohydrates. Normally, the carbohydrates contained in food are converted into glucose, which is then transported around the body and is particularly important in fueling brain-function. However, if there is very little carbohydrate in the diet, the liver converts fat into fatty acids and ketone bodies. The ketone bodies pass into the brain and replace glucose as an energy source.
Keto-Cyclic system delivers the goodness of ketogenic diet while reducing its side effects. In this system, you follow a normal ketogenic diet for a fixed period and then follow it with a targetted carb approach for an extended period. This allows you to lose a significant amount of fat mass over a period of few weeks and then provides you a chance to maintain that leanness while focusing on muscle gain for the next few weeks.
A single block of the Keto-Cyclic diet consists of a 2 to 4 week cycle of a fat loss targetted ketogenic diet alternated with 6 to 8 week cycle of targetted carb approach. This approach works great for intermediate and advanced lifters.