The Ultimate Guide To Body Recomposition: Lose Fat And Build Muscle
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Body Recomposition: Lose Fat and Gain Muscle

HealthyStripe's Editorial Team
28 October 2022

It’s no secret that a lot of people struggle with their weight. And while there are many different ways to approach the problem, body recomposition is one of the most successful. That is, losing fat and gaining muscle at the same time. It may sound impossible, but it can be done if you know how. In this article, we’ll talk about how to do just that.

What is Body Recomposition?

Body recomposition is an approach towards diet and workout that simultaneously aims to lose fat as well as gain muscle and hence restructure your body. 

How does it Work?

Body recomposition seems counterintuitive.

After all, you need to be in a calorie excess to gain muscle and a calorie deficit to lose fat. So how can you do both at the same time? How can body recomposition work?

Here’s how. 

It combines a cyclical diet approach, weight lifting and moderate cardio. 

The diet involves eating fewer calories, cutting down on carbs and fats and eating high amounts of protein. This facilitates an increase in the ratio of lean mass to the total mass.

Coming to the training aspect, weight lifting assists in putting on muscle and moderate cardio burns fat.

The Benefits of Body Recomposition

There are a bunch of benefits take come with body recomposition

A Stronger and Fitter Body

Often, we think that if we achieve an arbitrary weight we’ll be healthy and fit. Body recomposition shifts our focus to metrics more relevant to health. These metrics include body fat percentage, lean mass and the ratio of lean mass to total body mass. The focus on resistance training makes us stronger while cardio keeps our heart and circulation healthy and kicking. Body recomposition thus leads to a well-rounded, functionally fit body.

Also Read: Low Creatinine: Causes, Symptoms, Treatments

Lower Risk of Disease

According to WHO, “ Obesity has reached global epidemic proportions with at least 2.8 million annual obesity-associated mortality ”. A high proportion of fat tissue is widely recognised as a risk factor for a multitude of diseases, especially cardiac disorders and diabetes. It can lead to chronic inflammation in the body, sleep apnea and gastric reflux.

As we saw earlier, a lot of us focus on losing weight without considering the root cause- fat percentage. This leads to crash diets and following fads that can leave us “skinny-fat”. By focusing on a more relevant metric, body recomposition helps to lower visceral fat and lowers the risk of disease. 

You Look (And Feel) Great!

Body recomposition gives you a lean, muscular look which is considered very attractive and aesthetically pleasing worldwide. 

Your clothes will hang just right and you’ll look strong but not excessively bulky. 

Your mind will feel sharper and less fuzzy. Goodbye brain-fog!

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How to Lose Fat and Gain Muscle

The foundational claim of body recomposition is to lose fat and gain muscle at the same time. This shouldn’t be possible, right?

After all, losing fat is a catabolic process and building muscle is an anabolic process. But it is possible, certainly for beginners.

To lose fat

  • Eat 200-300 calories below your maintenance level which you can easily find out using online calculators such as the one provided by the Mayo Clinic.
  • Do moderate amounts of cardio training every week.

To build muscle

  • Eat a diet rich in proteins. Try to ensure you have at least 20-30g of lean protein with every meal. 
  • Do regular resistance training every week, preferably lifting weights.

Sample Meal Plan for Body Recomposition

As the saying goes, you can’t out-train your diet. 

Body Recomposition works on the basis of calorie-cycling, eating different amounts of calories on different days.

While Body Recompositioning, there are three types of days that you’ll be cycling through in terms of your diet.

  • Days when you eat at a calorie surplus, with a higher proportion of proteins
  • Days when you eat at your maintenance level of calories
  • Days when you eat at a calorie deficit

Here’s what a typical day of eating at a calorie surplus might look like 


2 eggs prepared the way you like

2 slices of multigrain bread with avocados

1 glass of beetroot juice


Herb encrusted Baked salmon with veggies


Mixed nuts


Chicken or turkey breast with garlic and lemon dressing accompanied by rice and spinach  

Also Read: Tabata vs. HIIT: What’s the Difference?

Sample Workout Routine for Body Recomposition

Our workout routine shall be optimized for maximising muscular hypertrophy with a sprinkling of cardio.

You should aim to do resistance training 4-5 times a week. 3 sets of 12-15 reps each with around 30 secs between each set should put you in the muscle building sweet-spot.

Sample Weekly Training Plan

  • Monday: Resistance Training + Low-Intensity Steady State(LISS) Cardio
  • Tuesday: Resistance Training
  • Wednesday: Resistance Training + HIIT Cardio
  • Thursday: Resistance Training + LISS Cardio
  • Friday: Resistance Training
  • Saturday: Resistance Training + HIIT Cardio
  • Sunday: Rest Day 

Aim for progressive overload and steadily ramp up the intensity and you’ll be well on your way to achieving those gains!


Should you do cardio for a Body Recomposition? 

Cardio is definitely beneficial for body recomposition. It burns calories and improves your basal metabolic rate. However, overdoing it can kill your gains from weightlifting due to a phenomenon called the interference effect.

How many calories should I eat for a body recomposition?

The current research suggests that eating 200-300 calories below your maintenance level is ideal for body recomposition. Maintenance level is the number of calories you ought to consume to stay at your current body weight. You can calculate it easily using online calculators such as the one provided by the Mayo Clinic. 

Can you body recomp in 12 weeks?

While the time taken to body recomp depends on your starting point, 12 weeks is sufficient if you consistently stick to your routine. 

 How much protein should I eat to recomp?

In combination with weight-lifting, 1.6-2.0 g of protein is recommended per kg body weight. This works out to at least 20g of lean protein with every meal.  

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