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Body Recomposition for Women: Lose Fat and Gain Muscle!

Discover how body recomposition for women can dramatically change your body, and maintain muscle too! 

For so many women out there, losing weight is something that they aim for when hitting the gym and changing food habits. And often, as this progresses, many women will start to consider how they can tone their body up and build a stronger, more muscular physique. There is a method to losing fat and gaining muscle, commonly called body recomposition. Females can use this to dramatically change their physique and overall health and fitness. 

If you’ve spent any time looking into weight loss and muscle gain, you’ll know that, at first glance, it doesn’t quite make sense that it works at the same time. This is because losing fat requires you to cut down on calories, while building muscle takes more energy, which requires you to boost your calorie intake. So how does it work? 

Well, luckily for us, our bodies are pretty intelligent and can actually do both a the same time. With the right balance of nutrition and regular exercise, you can change the composition of your body to support muscle and cut down on fat. Brilliant right! 

So, without further ado, let’s learn more about body recomposition for women. 

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What is body recomposition?

Let’s start with the basics before we get into the nitty gritty of how to achieve body recomposition for females. What is it? 

The composition of your body is describing the ratio of fat to lean muscle you have. By understanding what your ratio is and what a healthy ration is, you can start to understand how healthy you actually are, and what changes you might need to make to achieve health. 

By recompositioning your body, you’re making a change to that ratio of lean mass to fat mass. With body recomposition, the goal is most commonly to balance the loss of fat to the increase of lean muscle mass simultaneously. 

Simultaneously is important here, as so many ‘diets’ and exercise regimes focus on just one thing, which is weight loss. Body recomposition doesn’t focus on weight loss, instead it puts the magnifying glass on your composition, and achieving a healthy ratio. 

To understand more, we found this book from Michael Matthews was super helpful in helping to understand and implement a body recomposition for women.

How to do body recomposition for females

Body recomposition female

Body recomposition for females sounds great. It’s what most of us want to achieve – fat loss and a more toned physique. But, if you’re going to achieve a body recomposition it does take a fair bit of dedication and commitment, so be prepared for that! 

The key knowing how to do a body recomposition, is knowing what to eat, how much and the best way to exercise to support your goals. Once you know these things, it’s just a matter of putting them into practice and sticking with it. 

To make it easier, we’ve listed the key things you absolutely need to do in order to influence a body recomposition in favor of less fat and more muscle on your body. 

Eat more protein

Protein is fuel for muscle and, without enough of it, you’ll struggle to maintain or even gain muscle from your workouts. What’s more, protein will help you to promote muscle gain and support fat loss while you’re on a calorie restricted diet [1]. 

Therefore, it’s essential that you ensure you’re getting a good amount of protein in your diet, and consciously including a portion of the macro into most meals. A great way of increasing your protein intake is to use a supplement, for a quick, easy and often affordable boost.

You might’ve thought that, when it comes to building muscle it’s all about the workouts, but just by ensuring you’re getting enough protein each day, you can really see a difference in your physique. 

Track your macros

As we’ve mentioned above, it’s super important that you’re eating enough protein and are making a conscious effort to eat well. One really great way of making sure you’re doing the right thing is to track your macros in the food you’re eating. 

This means that, throughout the day, you can ensure you’re getting the right amount and ratio of protein to carbs to fats to achieve your body recomposition goals. 

There are some handy apps you can use to do just this, but one of the most popular and most effective is the MyFitnessPal app. You can simply scan the barcode of your foods and it will populate information on how many macronutrients and calories you’ll be consuming. 

Lift weights

In order to build muscle, you need to challenge your body with the right kind of exercise. This means you’ll need to lift weights. By lifting weights that are heavy for you, and challenging for your muscles, it breaks down the tiny fibers within your muscles and creates a stimulus to regrow them stronger than before. 

If you haven’t lifted weights before, it’s important that you do each movement correctly, and do not overdo it straight away! Experts recommend you begin with 2-3 weight training sessions a week [2] and alternate between upper body workouts, lower body and full body exercises in each session, leaving at least a day of rest between them [2].

This will allow you body time to recover from the previous workout, so you feel strong and ready to go again. 

If you’re more into fitness and exercise, you can start to look at lifting weights 4-6 times a week, depending on your experience and base fitness level [2]. 

If you haven’t yet started out with weight lifting, and would like to know where to start, check out our exercise guides, which will help you through each movement safely, step by step. 

Include HIIT workouts 

While weight lifting is important, it’s not the be-all and end-all of body recomposition. In fact, HIIT training may actually help build up some great momentum in your recomposition journey, and speed the whole thing up according to research. 

Studies indicate that a max effort sprint workout compliments a body building workout well, by raising your metabolic rate for 24 hours after, which increases overall fat burn, and preserves muscle mass compared to other, lower intensity cardio sessions [3]. 

This fat burning, muscle preserving benefit is due to the fact that a high intensity interval training workout, requires you to work very hard, utilizing the muscle you’ve been developing, whilst also getting the heart rate firing on all cylinders. This combination tells your body you need that muscle to keep going, but can say goodbye to fat too. Perfect! 

If you’re in need of a little inspiration for your first HIIT workout, we’ve created a range of HIIT sprint workouts that you can do pretty much anywhere. 

Swap out cardio

As we’ve mentioned above, in order for your body to recognise it needs muscle ( which is what we need to influence a recomposition), the intensity and pressure on the muscle needs to be high. 

Cardio, while challenging on the respiratory system, isn’t max effort. For example, on a run, you won’t be sprinting to your best for 4 or 5 miles as it would be dangerous and impossible, because you need some restraint in order to keep going for longer. 

As such, cardio sessions can be detrimental to your recomposition efforts and could actually reduce your muscle levels if you’re in a calorie deficit [4].

Female Body recomposition macros and calories

With help from the points above, you should have a good idea of what it takes to create the right conditions for a body recomposition which promotes muscle, and helps you drop fat. 

But, when it comes to food, we put a big emphasis on ensuring you’re eating the right amount of calories and the right amount of protein. 

Normally, for weight maintenance you’d expect to eat around 0.8g of protein per kilo of your bodyweight. However, research has shown that, for a successful body composition, you may be leaning more towards 2.5g per kilo of bodyweight [5].

What’s worth remembering is that is a lot of protein. And, you body can’t process it all in one sitting, so try to aim for a portion at each meal, with snacks in between to help you along the way. This should help your body process it well. 

It’s also good to be aware that some studies have identified high levels of protein as leading to kidney stones or kidney pains [6]. As such, be careful, speak to your doctor and if you have any pains reduce your intake immediately. 

In terms of calories, it’s a good idea to find your maintenance calories, which is basically what your body needs to tick over in general. Once you’ve got that, you can look at calorie cycling to support your goals. We like to do the following: 

  • Find your weight maintenance calories
  • On days you are training at the gym, increase by 15%
  • On rest days, reduce by 10% 

This ensures you are fueled for your workouts, but are also in a good calorie position to promote body recomposition. 

Macro examples for female body recomposition

As we described above, you’ll need about 2.5g of protein per kilo of bodyweight. So if you’re a 60kg woman, that equates to 150g of protein a day. 

Let’s say maintenance calories come in at around 1,600 per day. That means that your protein takes up around 37% of your calorie intake, we’d round that up to 40% if you’re using something like MyFitnessPal. 

For fats, women should be consuming around 0.8 to 1g of fat per kilo of bodyweight each day. As women need slightly more fats than men, we’ll go for the upper end of this spectrum, which comes in at 60g of fat a day, which equates to about 35% of your daily calorie intake.

So, that leaves us with 25% of our daily calorie intake available for carbohydrates, which should, in this example, leave us with 100g of carbohydrates a day. 

Now you have the percentages you need to weight your macros, you can adjust your calories as we mentioned above depending on whether it’s a workout day, or a rest day. On an app like MyFitnessPal, to adjust this, leave the percentages as they are and simply change your daily calorie intake and it’ll work it out for you.

So in total, let’s take a look at what this would look like for both workout and rest days: 

Training day: 

Calories: 1,840

Protein: 184g

Fat: 71g

Carbs: 115g

Rest day: 

Calories: 1,440

Protein: 144g

Fat: 56g

Carbohydrates: 90g

Obviously, this is just an example and these calorie intakes and macro portions should be based on your body, not this example, to provide the very best and healthiest body recomposition results for women. 

Body recomposition workouts for women

If you’re thinking of starting off on a body recomposition for women journey, you need to ensure both your diet and your exercise routine supports your goals. 

As we’ve mentioned above, body recomposition needs some good old fashioned strength training, along with HIIT workouts too. We’ve written up a few workouts we think you’ll find really helpful with this, and provided step by step exercise guides too. Check them out: 

Or, if you just need to brush up on a couple of exercises, we’ve written up plenty of exercise guides to help. 

Body recomposition results for Females

Talking of recomposition results for women, we’ve rounded up a range of some truly inspirational recompositions, achieved by using the methods we’ve mentioned above. 

It’s always a good idea to keep body recomposition results in mind as you’re starting out on this new way of changing your body, as the inspiration in these pictures can be super impressive! 

Check out these body recomposition results for women and let us know what you think! 

This amazing body recomposition result comes from Meg Burke Fitness, check her instagram out here. 

body recomposition results for women
What about this fantastic result of body composition from body recomposition specialist Gabriele Reine. Discover more at her instagram.

Body recomposition for women

Or this amazing body recomposition result which took place over the course of ust 8 weeks! Impressive stuff! 

Body recomposition for women results
Body Recomposition for Females – The Final Word

With dedication, the right mindset and hard work, we know anything is possible, and it’s just the same for body recomposition for females. 

It’s definitely not plain sailing or easy, but with a consistent approach informed by the information we’ve shared above, we know from the body recomposition results we’ve looked at, that it really can be done! 

Plus, the science supports all that too! It’s just a matter of creating the right balance for your body and sticking to those workouts. 

Why not give it a go and let us know how you get on in the comments! We look forward to hearing about all your body recomposition efforts! 

gymgirlfit

gymgirlfit was created by health and fitness enthusiasts, with backgrounds in powerlifting and writing. We've written for a number of well-known fitness publishing companies.

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