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  1. #1
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    Losing fat by eating a calorie SURPLUS?

    A nutritionist and trainer told me that for a someone doing heavy weight training, the amount of calories you eat is not what determines your fat composition. He basically said that its the quality of the calories that matters.

    He said you can lift weights and eat a calorie surplus of lean meats and proteins, fruits, nuts and vegetables,... your weight will stay the same or even increase.. but your body fat will decrease.

    By cutting out certain carbs like pasta, bread, etc.. and replacing them with fruits, nuts, and vegetables, you will train your body to burn energy more efficiently and use fat for energy..

    I think this is known in the weightlifting world as "recomping"... your weight stays the same but your bodyfat decreases.

    So if your maintenance calories are 2000, and you power lift and eat 2500 calories of the right foods, you will lose fat.

    is this true, or is he wrong?
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    Originally Posted by ConanDestroyer View Post
    A nutritionist and trainer told me that for a someone doing heavy weight training, the amount of calories you eat is not what determines your fat composition. He basically said that its the quality of the calories that matters.

    He said you can lift weights and eat a calorie surplus of lean meats and proteins, fruits, nuts and vegetables,... your weight will stay the same or even increase.. but your body fat will decrease.

    By cutting out certain carbs like pasta, bread, etc.. and replacing them with fruits, nuts, and vegetables, you will train your body to burn energy more efficiently and use fat for energy..

    I think this is known in the weightlifting world as "recomping"... your weight stays the same but your bodyfat decreases.

    So if your maintenance calories are 2000, and you power lift and eat 2500 calories of the right foods, you will lose fat.

    is this true, or is he wrong?
    wut?
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  3. #3
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    Originally Posted by ConanDestroyer View Post
    A nutritionist and trainer told me that for a someone doing heavy weight training, the amount of calories you eat is not what determines your fat composition. He basically said that its the quality of the calories that matters.

    He said you can lift weights and eat a calorie surplus of lean meats and proteins, fruits, nuts and vegetables,... your weight will stay the same or even increase.. but your body fat will decrease.

    By cutting out certain carbs like pasta, bread, etc.. and replacing them with fruits, nuts, and vegetables, you will train your body to burn energy more efficiently and use fat for energy..

    I think this is known in the weightlifting world as "recomping"... your weight stays the same but your bodyfat decreases.

    So if your maintenance calories are 2000, and you power lift and eat 2500 calories of the right foods, you will lose fat.

    is this true, or is he wrong?
    he's right - it's easier said than done though. not everyone can pull it off

    well, actually, you aren't really losing fat by doing this. you're gaining muscle and keeping fat levels the same. when you increase muscle without adding fat it = lower bodyfat %
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    While recomping is a real life phenomenon, he spewed off a bunch of bull****. IE: Avoiding carbs and eating clean.
    Life without sarcasm would be a dull and way too nice place to be.

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    Originally Posted by heath01 View Post
    he's right - it's easier said than done though. not everyone can pull it off

    well, actually, you aren't really losing fat by doing this. you're gaining muscle and keeping fat levels the same. when you increase muscle without adding fat it = lower bodyfat %

    So what he described to me is a version of "clean bulking" ?

    Adding muscle while keeping fat levels low?

    I want to lose fat, so should I reject his advice?
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    You cannot eat more than your body needs and cut fat. A surplus of calories will ALWAYS lead to fat gains. Recomping involves eating at maintenance.

    Recomping is misleading in my opinion. At best it is a process advertised without the proper disclaimers. You cannot put on muscle at the same rate that you can lose fat so if you are eating at a maintenance level of calories and staying at the same weight while putting on some muscle you are holding back on your fat loss potential for minimal muscle gains. Instead of getting the best of both worlds(cutting and bulking) you are essentially getting the worst of both worlds by limiting how much muscle you can put on because of the calorie restriction and limiting how much fat you can lose by not restricting your calories enough. The one study I saw on the subject compared three groups of individuals. Group one focused on losing weight. Group two focused on gaining muscle mass. Group three focused on recomping. All three groups lifted heavy during the process and every group gained some muscle mass. The weight loss group lost significantly more weight than either of the other groups. The bulking group put on significantly more muscle mass than the other groups. The recomp group had a slight, almost insignificant increase in muscle mass compared to the weight loss group but they lost significantly less fat.

    This doesn't mean recomping doesn't serve a purpose. Some people just don't have the dedication to stick to a lengthy reduced calorie diet for a long period of time. By keeping calorie intake the same and just focusing on weight training you can make improvements in your body. This is better than nothing. However, you will make more of an improvement in the same amount of time by just focusing on cutting or bulking. This is why the majority of people cycle back and forth instead of trying to recomp.
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  7. #7
    Registered User drewsedg's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by ConanDestroyer View Post
    So what he described to me is a version of "clean bulking" ?

    Adding muscle while keeping fat levels low?

    I want to lose fat, so should I reject his advice?
    Basically yes. Eating 500 calories over maintenance will result in weight gain. By lifting right and having the right diet you can encourage more of that gain to be muscle.

    If you want to lose fat you need to have an energy deficit. There is no avoiding that. You can create that deficit by increasing your work load or decreasing your intake. Usually a combination of the two is best.
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    Some of that weight gain is going to be fat no matter what if its a calorie surplus. That being said if you train hard you can gain muscle more than fat causing you to have less bf%. Just try eating at maintenance first and see from there. If you aren't losing weight then drop 300-500 calories.
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  9. #9
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    If you are eating more calories than you are burning on a daily/weekly basis, you WILL store the excess calories as fat once you refill your glycogen stores. It doesn't get any simpler than that. The quality and composition of the calories you consume will affect body composition (especially when it comes to repairing muscle), but you should be eating a good well balanced diet anyways.
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  10. #10
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    This is true. Because sometimes, especially when starting out, muscle building is alot easier. When you build muscle you burn more calories, which, if your diet is high in protein, your body will be using carbs and fat for fuel, thus burning off some fat, while building muscle. This is usually a noob gaining thing which is why you so see many noobs get frustrated when they check the scale because often their weight will actually INCREASE as first from the muscle gain. Seasoned lifters generally DO NOT see this.

    Now if you were to calorie cycle, and be in a deficit on your cardio days and a surplus on the days you do resistance training (might be the other way around) and at the end of the week are in a caloric surplus, I believe it is possible. You will be burning more fat on certain days, and on other days trying to build muscle. I am pretty sure this is a pretty slow process though and I wouldnt want to do it.
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  11. #11
    nuthin but a gbone thang gbone74's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by heath01 View Post
    he's right - it's easier said than done though. not everyone can pull it off

    well, actually, you aren't really losing fat by doing this. you're gaining muscle and keeping fat levels the same. when you increase muscle without adding fat it = lower bodyfat %
    This.
    if you put more muscle than fat on your BF% will drop even though your actual fat amount has increased or stayed the same.240lbs with 40lbs fat is less BF% than 220lbs with 40lbs fat
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    Originally Posted by gbone74 View Post
    This.
    if you put more muscle than fat on your BF% will drop even though your actual fat amount has increased or stayed the same.240lbs with 40lbs fat is less BF% than 220lbs with 40lbs fat
    That makes sense, mathematically..

    But you'd still have the same AMOUNT of fat, which means you didn't get healthier..

    Right?
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    Originally Posted by ConanDestroyer View Post
    That makes sense, in a mathematical sense...

    But you'd still have the same AMOUNT of fat, which means you didn't get healthier..

    Right?
    some people get a slight decrease
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    nuthin but a gbone thang gbone74's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by ConanDestroyer View Post
    That makes sense, in a mathematical sense...

    But you'd still have the same AMOUNT of fat, which means you didn't get healthier..

    Right?
    relatively you have less fat so you are healthier I think. if you are very light but fat(skinny fat) you may have 30lbs of fat now put 30lbs of fat on a 250lb man and hes fairly lean
    You don't drown by falling in the water. You drown by staying there.

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    Yeah, it does seem that many nutritionists are coming around to the idea of quality calories matter most. Saw this LA newspaper article about that today on Dr. Eades sight.

    "It's about time. Scientists now saying carbs, not fat, are to blame for America's ills"

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    Originally Posted by drewsedg View Post
    You cannot eat more than your body needs and cut fat. A surplus of calories will ALWAYS lead to fat gains. Recomping involves eating at maintenance.

    Recomping is misleading in my opinion. At best it is a process advertised without the proper disclaimers. You cannot put on muscle at the same rate that you can lose fat so if you are eating at a maintenance level of calories and staying at the same weight while putting on some muscle you are holding back on your fat loss potential for minimal muscle gains. Instead of getting the best of both worlds(cutting and bulking) you are essentially getting the worst of both worlds by limiting how much muscle you can put on because of the calorie restriction and limiting how much fat you can lose by not restricting your calories enough. The one study I saw on the subject compared three groups of individuals. Group one focused on losing weight. Group two focused on gaining muscle mass. Group three focused on recomping. All three groups lifted heavy during the process and every group gained some muscle mass. The weight loss group lost significantly more weight than either of the other groups. The bulking group put on significantly more muscle mass than the other groups. The recomp group had a slight, almost insignificant increase in muscle mass compared to the weight loss group but they lost significantly less fat.

    This doesn't mean recomping doesn't serve a purpose. Some people just don't have the dedication to stick to a lengthy reduced calorie diet for a long period of time. By keeping calorie intake the same and just focusing on weight training you can make improvements in your body. This is better than nothing. However, you will make more of an improvement in the same amount of time by just focusing on cutting or bulking. This is why the majority of people cycle back and forth instead of trying to recomp.
    I know this thread is years old, but this stuff is dynamite. What studies are you referring to drewsedg? I'd be interested to give em a read.
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