Body Recomposition Calculator

Filed under Nutrition & Fitness Calculators

Body recomposition is the process of losing fat and gaining muscle at the same time.

This calculator uses your details to create your optimal calorie and macronutrient amounts. This must be combined with consistent resistance training.

Age

Biological Sex

Current Weight

Height

Formula ?If you know your body fat %, Lean Mass formula may be more accurate.

Calories Burned During Exercise

If you know your calorie burn from a typical workout (from a tracking device), enter it here. Otherwise we'll estimate (body recomposition requires consistent workouts).

Recomposition Goal ?More fat loss means less muscle gain.
More muscle gain means some fat loss as well.
Even is a compromise between the two.

More Fat Loss
Even
More Muscle Gain

Carbohydrate
Protein
Fat

Adjust Meals Per Day

Adjust Protein Amount

What is body recomposition?

Body recomposition is the process of improving your body composition by increasing muscle mass and decreasing fat mass.

Positive body composition has many health benefits, as well as improving athletic performance.

There is ample research-backed evidence showing it is entirely achievable. So believe it!

It requires a commitment to weight training and a nutrition plan.

How to do body recomposition

Step 1: Enter your details into the calculator

If you know your body fat percentage (see how to calculate), then choose Lean Mass Formula (and input your percentage).

This will give you more accurate results than weight and height alone.

If you have been using a fitness tracker in your workouts (such as a Fitbit, or Apple Watch), then enter the amount of calories burned. Use our calorie burned calculator to help with this.

Don’t get fixated on exact amounts, but take an average ‘guesstimate’ of your typical workout.

If you don’t have this info, leave it blank. The calculator will make an estimate assuming you are doing around 3 workouts a week.

Step 2: Choose your recomposition goal

  • If you choose More Fat Loss then there will be less muscle gain.
  • If you choose More Muscle Gain there will be more muscle gain, but probably some fat gain as well.
  • If you choose Even – it’s a compromise between the two.

Step 3: Take note of your calories and macros

The calculator will recommend your daily calorie and macro amounts. If you’re new to macros, then you’ll need to get up to speed.

This tells you how much carb, protein, and fat you will need to eat each day. You can adjust this to show per meal to help you get an idea.

Step 4: Stick to a consistent workout routine

This is not optional for body recomposition.

Your workouts must be resistance-based, not cardio-based. This means weight-bearing exercises rather than running or walking.

This depends on your experience level. As a basis we recommend this:

  1. Aim to have 3 workout sessions per week.
  2. Focus on compound movements
    Things like squats, deadlifts, pull-ups (or lat pull downs) – rather than bicep curls etc.
  3. Rest only 30-60 seconds between sets (i.e. leave your phone at home).
  4. 3 sets per exercise, 8-15 reps per set.

Step 5: Track your macros

For maximum chance of success, you will want to track your macros.

We have extensive resources on this site, including an entire guidebook and program on macro counting that can be purchased.

Step 6: Get enough sleep

It might seem odd to list this here, but let’s just quote the research:

Sleep deprivation […] seems to create an “anti” body recomposition environment, where building muscle mass and losing FM [fat mass] would be less likely.

Enough said.

How long does it take to recompose your body?

We recommend a minimum of 8 weeks.

Take measurements (fat skinfold tests, photos, etc) once a week. You can weigh yourself – but that won’t tell you anything about your body composition.

Depending on your results, you will want to adjust your settings.

If you need help, Coach Ted has helped hundreds achieve their goals.

How many calories should I eat a day for body recomposition?

There is no one size-fits-all here. Calories and macros for body recomposition are highly individualized.

Your biological sex, height, weight, and activity level will predict your daily energy expenditure. By making small adjustments to this, you can begin the process gaining muscle while losing fat mass.

The technical bits – How to calculate calories for body recomp

  1. Apply the Mifflin-St Jeor equation for calculating your basal metabolic rate.
  2. If you know your body fat percentage, use the Katch-Mcardle formula.
  3. Factor in energy burned from workouts.
    We apply either (a) the calorie amount you entered or (b) multiply BMR by 1.2
  4. Adjust calorie amount for goal. +10% for more muscle gain, -10% for more fat loss.
  5. Calculate protein amount
    .95 grams protein / kg of bodyweight is the default. Plant-based is .65 g / kg
  6. Calculate fat amount
    Calculate fat at 25% of daily calories
  7. Calculate carb amount
    All remaining calories are allocated to carbs.

Yes 🤓. That’s why we made a calculator.

Is this the same as the macro calculator?

No, there are many differences.

Our standard macro calculator is aimed at people wanting to lose weight. Exercise is optional.

There are differences at both the calorie calculation step and macro calculation step.

How much cardio for body recomposition?

The traditional method of bodybuilding involves a ‘bulk’ phase (lots of calories + heavy weights), followed by a ‘cut’ phase (reduced calories + lots of cardio).

Body recomposition is a different process
. Cardio alone (such as steady state running or walking for 20 mins+) won’t result in increased muscle mass.

For this reason cardio should be kept to a minimum. However it is good for heart and mental health, so don’t give up going for bike rides or walks if this is your thing!

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References

  • Barakat, C., Pearson, J., Escalante, G., Campbell, B., & De Souza, E. O. (2020). Body recomposition: can trained individuals build muscle and lose fat at the same time?. Strength & Conditioning Journal, 42(5), 7-21. (full text)
  • Ribeiro, A. S., Pereira, L. C., Schoenfeld, B. J., Nunes, J. P., Kassiano, W., Nabuco, H. C., ... & Cyrino, E. S. (2022). Moderate and Higher Protein Intakes Promote Superior Body Recomposition in Older Women Performing Resistance Training. Medicine and science in sports and exercise.Link
Ted Kallmyer is an ISSA certified Specialist in Fitness Nutrition, author, and macros coach. He has helped hundreds of clients reach their body transformation goals.
Updated May 4, 2022

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