Body Recomposition for Women: The Dos, Don’ts, & a Guide to Macros

In a world dominated by weight loss narratives, the concept of body recomposition often stands in the shadows, lacking the acknowledgement it deserves. Unlike the one-sided approach of shedding pounds, body recomposition seeks to create a harmonious balance between building lean muscle mass and reducing body fat. This transformative journey is particularly relevant for women, who navigate through varying fitness goals and hormonal changes. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into the dos and don’ts of body recomposition and provide valuable insights into macros to help you unlock your body’s potential.

Understanding Body Recomposition: More Than Weight Loss

Body recomposition is not solely about stepping on a scale and seeing the numbers decrease. It’s a different approach that transcends the notion of weight loss. It’s about sculpting a physique that’s not only healthy but also strong and sustainable. Unlike traditional weight loss methods that may lead to muscle loss, body recomposition focuses on simultaneously reducing body fat while building lean muscle mass. This dual-action approach transforms your body’s composition, leading to a leaner and more toned appearance.

The flipside of this way of transforming your body is that your weight may NEVER budge. For anyone dealing with an unhealthy relationship with the scale, this can be challenging. If you’re up for the challenge, body recomposition can create a beautiful relationship with your body. Lifting weights, challenging yourself, and prioritizing healthy foods will increase your self-confidence, self-love, and TRUST within yourself that you CAN achieve your goals and love your body. Self-love can be a wonderful byproduct of body recomposition if done correctly!

One of the BIGGEST benefits to body recomposition is the ability to eat more carbs and calories in general. When you increase your lean body mass, your body requires more calories and carbs at rest. Have you ever seen someone on social media bragging about how much they can eat and coincidentally they’re also a weight lifter? This is why!

Another benefit is the feeling of being strong. As someone who has struggled with wanting to weigh 100 lbs soaking wet, gaining lean muscle has made me feel STRONG & SEXY. A combination I never thought was possible. Long gone are the days of eating nothing and doing endless amounts of cardio. Body recomposition has CHANGED my life!

The Dos of Body Recomposition: Nurturing Progress

1. Prioritize Protein

Protein is your ally in muscle recovery and growth. It’s the cornerstone of any successful body recomposition journey. Aim for lean protein sources like chicken, turkey, and fish to support your body’s transformation. You can also find protein in supplements, as well as vegetarian sources, such as whole grains, nuts/seeds, tofu, and legumes. Make sure EVERY meal has at least 20 grams of protein.

2. Strength Training Empowerment

Cardio alone won’t suffice in the realm of body recomposition. Incorporating resistance training is key. Lifting weights challenges your muscles, aiding in their growth and boosting metabolism. As a result, you contribute to fat loss while enhancing your body’s overall strength. As the amount of lean muscle increases and fat loss occurs, that “toned” look becomes achievable.

3. Mindful Macros

Nourishing your body with balanced nutrition is essential. Rather than fixating solely on calorie counting, focus on a balanced macro distribution that suits YOUR unique needs. A moderate amount of carbohydrates, healthy fats, and protein fuels both workouts and recovery.

4. Hydration and Recovery

Never underestimate the power of hydration. Staying hydrated aids in muscle function and supports recovery. Additionally, prioritize quality sleep as it’s during rest that your body truly transforms. You are now a part of the team – “We take days off.” When lifting weights, your body requires MORE rest and even in that rest when your muscles are recovering, you’re burning MORE calories.

5. Progress Tracking

Beyond the numbers on a scale, progress tracking involves measurements, photos, and strength gains. Celebrate each milestone, recognizing that your journey goes beyond weight loss.

The Don’ts of Body Recomposition: Common Mistakes to Avoid

1. Extreme Caloric Restriction

While a caloric deficit is necessary for fat loss, extreme restriction can hinder muscle growth and slow down your metabolism. Aim for a moderate caloric deficit to achieve sustainable results; around 100-250 calorie reduction daily.

2. Overdoing Cardio

Cardiovascular exercise is beneficial, but overdoing it can hinder muscle gain. Balance cardio with strength training, and consider incorporating low-intensity steady state cardio (LISS). Rest days are the best days to do LISS cardio – go for a long walk or bike ride.

3. Neglecting Rest Days

Overtraining can lead to burnout and even muscle breakdown. Allow your body sufficient time to recover and rejuvenate. Rest days are just as crucial as workout days.

4. Ignoring Macros

Don’t fall into the trap of focusing solely on calories. Instead, prioritize nutrient-dense foods and a balanced macro ratio. This approach supports both energy levels and overall well-being.

5. Skipping Post-Workout Nutrition

Post-workout nutrition is essential. Consuming a combination of protein and carbohydrates supports muscle repair and replenishes energy stores.

The Macro Guide: Fueling Your Recomposition Journey

PROTEIN

Aim for at least 0.7 grams of protein per body weight. Protein needs are individualized meaning one calculation DOES NOT fit all. Advanced clients will prefer 1.0-1.2 g of protein per body weight, while beginners prefer a SLOW approach. Whatever the starting number, just start working on incorporating at LEAST 20 grams of protein at each meal. Protein is essential for muscle recovery and growth.

CARBOHYDRATES

Opt for complex carbohydrates such as whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. These provide sustained energy for both workouts and recovery. Your macros can range anywhere from 45-60% carbohydrates. Again, carbohydrates depend on gender, size, type of workouts and intensity.

FATS

Include healthy fats from sources like avocados, nuts, and olive oil. Fats are vital for hormone production and overall well-being. DO NOT LIMIT your fat intake. This isn’t the 90’s anymore, but we’re also not encouraging the keto diet. The rule is once you find your protein sweet spot, balance out how many carbs and fats you are comfortable with in a day!

Sample Meal Plan:

Breakfast: Scrambled eggs with spinach and whole-grain toast

Snack: Greek yogurt with berries and a sprinkle of nuts

Lunch: Grilled chicken salad with mixed greens, whole grain crackers, and salad dressing

Snack: Apple slices with almond butter and a protein shake

Dinner: Baked salmon, quinoa, and roasted vegetables

Embrace Your Transformation

Body recomposition is a multifaceted journey that embraces strength, balance, and self-discovery. It defies the conventional notion of weight loss, focusing on an overall transformation instead. By incorporating the dos, avoiding the don’ts, and optimizing your macros, you’re paving the way for a healthier, stronger, and more confident version of yourself. Remember, every step you take toward body recomposition is a step toward lasting wellness and vitality. It’s time to embrace this transformative journey with patience, commitment, and the unwavering belief that you’re capable of achieving your goals.

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