Marcus here! This email is the last part of the foundation we’re building in order to create a successful body recomp cycle. We’ll mainly be discussing the set up of your training and nutrition in order to make sure you retain as much lean mass as possible while losing fat and also making sure you don’t mess with your mental wellbeing!
We’ll start with training since we’ve already discussed a couple of major points about exercise that are crucial to the process. To reiterate, doing high intensity training at least 3 times per week is a must. You should also be aiming to increase the amount of total activity you’re doing per week, e.g. recreational exercise or brisk walks.
With those two out of the way, the next things to focus on are: the intensity of resistance training you’re doing and also planning the of your cardio.
If you aren’t doing resistance training, you will not reach your desired result. Having muscle is metabolically costly for your body, meaning if you’re in a caloric deficit, your body will be looking to lose weight* in the easiest way possible. Muscle requires both stimulation and energy to be retained, making it potentially one of the first things to go if you’re in a caloric deficit! Your nutrition must cover the energy requirements of maintaining muscle so all that is left to worry about is training hard enough to give your body a reason to keep that muscle mass. Weight training is the simplest way to overload your muscles and it will also be the quickest way to building healthy lean mass, which is why we make sure there is plenty of it in our sessions!
Your cardio is important and ties more into your daily nutrition than you generally think. Unless you’re doing cardio to build greater fitness, its purpose in fat loss is to be done to increase your caloric deficit without having to eat less food. A quick note on your cardio too – do not go all in for 30 minutes a day every single day in the beginning, start off small and build it up as you hit plateaus. I started with only 20 minutes of cardio, once per week. Now I’m up to every day for about 150 minutes total per week, so still not a crazy amount by any stretch and I’m consistently dropping weight!
We generally don’t want to eat less, and doing more daily activity means you wont have to sacrifice eating, which is great! But besides this point, it’s important you don’t slash your calories too much because you’ll be depriving your body of the nutrients required to keep your muscle, maintain your mood and keep your hormones at healthy levels. Trust me, if you want to feel terrible, have no energy, and be constantly mad at everyone for no reason – cut out carbs and fats.
The main points to take on board for your nutrition are:
– You’ll only figure out what works best for you through trial and error, it’s time consuming but you will see the best results after you find out what foods fuel you best and help you recover the most efficiently, while still being enjoyable to eat.
– You’ve got to find meals that you can be consistent with, consistency is the most important thing when it comes to losing fat.
– Don’t starve yourself, this is obviously unhealthy to do – instead, do more activity during your day to increase the caloric deficit.
– If you aren’t tracking calories, simply eat to satiety or stop eating once you begin to feel full. You will eventually start feeling a little bit hungry while dieting, this is normal. It might be a little uncomfortable until you have a meal, but it shouldn’t be painful.
We’ll briefly take the nutrition a little bit deeper for those who are tracking calories/macronutrients, this isn’t required but as you know, I think it speeds up the process and produces greater results.
It’s important that your protein intake be higher than if you were just eating to maintain or even to put on muscle, increasing your protein so that your protein is 20g – 30g over your normal daily amount (1g per pound of bodyweight) will help fight muscle loss while in a deficit.
When it comes to carbs and fats, it’s really up to you and which sources of food you prefer to eat and what makes you feel better! I find I can go without carbs and still train hard in the gym – training duration takes a hit but intensity doesn’t. However if I start cutting out fats, my mood drops shockingly fast and I start feeling irritable and lethargic, this is not worth a slightly better pump while training, therefore I keep my fats a little higher than what is ‘recommended’ and keep my carbs lower. It’s a balance you’ll have to experiment with until you find what works best for you!
And that’s it! These are the most important lessons I learned from helping clients with their nutrition and also from my personal experience! If you have any questions then please don’t hesitate to send an email back or grab us after a session to have a chat. Thanks guys!