Calculators

Body Recomposition Calculator

By Ted KallmyerUpdated February 15, 2024

Discover the perfect calorie and macro amounts for body recomp with our customizable calculator.

Age

Biological Sex

Current Weight

Height

Formula ?

Exercise

3 weight training sessions per week (minimum duration 30 minutes).

Additional Weekly Calories Burned ?

Recomposition Goal ?

More Fat Loss
Even
More Muscle Gain

🏋🏼‍♀️ TRAINING DAYS

Carbohydrate
Protein
Fat

💤 REST DAYS

Carbohydrate
Protein
Fat
🔥 Get faster results! and make body recomp simple with our Thrive Coaching System. Help from a coach, expert recomp macro calculations, group coaching sessions, custom meal plans, and so much more.💪

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 simultaneously.

Favorable body composition has many health benefits and improves athletic performance.

There is ample research-backed evidence showing it is entirely achievable. However, it requires a commitment to weight training and a nutrition plan.

How to do a body recomposition

Step 1: Enter your details into the calculator

If you know your body fat percentage (calculate here), choose Lean Mass Formula and input your percentage.

The lean mass method yields better results than weight and height alone.

Step 2: Choose your recomposition goal

  • If you choose More Fat Loss, there will be less muscle gain.
  • If you choose More Muscle Gain, there will be more muscle gain, but probably some fat gain.
  • 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, you’ll need to get up to speed.

You will be told how much carb, protein, and fat you must eat daily. You can adjust this to show per meal to help you get an idea.

It’s best to eat more on workout days (the increased carbs fuel your workouts) and less on non-workout days. Protein remains relatively constant throughout – muscle recovery can happen anytime.

Step 4: Stick to a consistent workout routine.

Consistent workouts are not optional for body recomposition.

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

As a basis, we recommend this:

  1. Have three weight training sessions per week.
  2. Minimum of 30 minutes per session.
  3. Focus on compound movements.
    For example, squats, deadlifts, pull-ups (or lat pull-downs) – rather than bicep curls, etc.
  4. Rest only 30-60 seconds between sets (i.e., leave your phone at home).
  5. Three sets per exercise, 8-15 reps per set.

Step 5: Track your macros

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

This can be tricky.

If you’ve got the budget, use Factor Meals, which has consistent 500-550 calorie meals. These can form the basis of daily meals, and you can then add in protein shakes to meet the required calorie amount.

Step 6: Get enough sleep

It might seem odd, but let’s 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.

Step 7: Measure results

Rather than using basic scales, use an advanced scale system like FitTrack. This gives far more precise body recomp metrics.

How long does it take to recompose your body?

5 steps to achieve body recomposition

We recommend a minimum of 8 weeks.

Take measurements (fat skinfold tests, photos, etc.) weekly. 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 much protein should I choose?

  • The default option (high) is best.
  • Maximum is only for those doing longer, more intense weight-lifting workouts.
  • Plant-based protein is set lower: It’s challenging to meet the protein macro without carbs and fats getting too high. If you are vegetarian or vegan and okay with 1-2 protein shakes daily, use the default option.

If I do extra workouts, do I need to account for the calories?

You can account for the extra calories if you do over three weight training sessions a week.

  • Track your extra calories over a week.
  • Be conservative (i.e., don’t overestimate).
  • Enter them into the “Additional Weekly Calories.”

The additional energy expenditure will be allocated to the overall weekly algorithm.

If you need help, use the calorie burn calculator. Remember you are looking for extra calories expended over a week.

How many calories should I eat a day for a 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 minor adjustments to this, you can begin the process of gaining muscle while losing fat mass.

The technical bits – how to calculate calories for body recomp

  1. Apply the Mifflin-St Jeor equation to calculate your basal metabolic rate.
  2. If you know your body fat percentage, use the Katch-Mcardle formula.
  3. Multiply BMR by 1.2 to get your maintenance calories.
  4. Adjust the calorie amount for training days based on the goal:
    +20 % for more muscle gain and +10% for more fat loss.
  5. Adjust calorie amount for rest days based on the goal:
    -5% for more muscle gain, -15% for more fat loss.
  6. Calculate protein amount
    The default is 0.95 grams protein/lb (~2 g / kg) of body weight. Plant-based is 0.65 g/lb.
  7. Calculate the fat amount.
    Calculate fat at 30% of daily calories.
  8. Calculate the 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.

The standard macro calculator is aimed at people wanting to lose weight, and exercise is optional.

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

How much cardio for a body recomposition?

The traditional bodybuilding method involves a ‘bulk’ phase (lots of calories + heavy weights), followed by a ‘cutting’ 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 increase muscle mass.

You should keep cardio to a minimum. However, it’s good for the heart and mental health, so don’t give up going for bike rides or walks if this is your thing.

It’s a good idea to account for the extra energy expenditure from cardio.

If you burn a lot of calories through cardio, you will not achieve the desired body recomp results. You are not doing a body recomposition!

Help! I’m not getting the desired results

  • I’m gaining some muscle but not losing fat
    Adjust calories down lower.
  • If your goal is Even, change it to More Fat Loss.
  • Are you eating more on workout days? And less on non-workout days?
View article sources

Sources

  • 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

273 Comments

  • Gary 4 weeks ago

    Hi Ted, Great advice, i have been lifting weights for the last 5 years in my garage so the exercises i can do are limited. i need to shed a few pounds to achieve a six pack, so i guess that is down to my nutrition. Take Care.

    Reply
    • Ted Kallmyer (Certified Macro Coach) 4 weeks ago

      Thanks, Gary. That is correct. Abs are made in the kitchen 🙂

      Reply
  • Chris 4 weeks ago

    Hi Ted, thanks for writing this guide and creating the calculators. Super helpful. I’m 5’10”, 147 lbs, and currently 12.2% body fat. I’m a high-level rock climber, so every pound counts, and I’d really like to recomp to lose about 4 lbs of fat and gain 4 lbs of muscle to get down to around 10% BF.

    Given my relatively lean starting point, I selected build muscle in the calculator and am seeing a training day total of 2362 cal and a rest day total at 1870 with 30-30-40 (carbs) macros. I just wanted to double-check that you agree with what I’ve calculated myself and if that’s making sense given what I love to do.

    thanks again!

    Reply
    • Ted Kallmyer (Certified Macro Coach) 4 weeks ago

      Hey Chris, You are so welcome and I’m glad you find it helpful. You have to be in a deficit to lose fat so you may want to start with “some fat loss” and then evaluate after 2 weeks. Then you can add a little or sutract a little to find your sweet spot. When I work with a client I’m always evaluating a set of numbers in the “real world” and making small adjustments based on the data.

      Reply
  • Hannah 1 month ago

    Hi! Should I subtract calories burned from my training days?
    Like say I’m doing an hour in the gym lifting weights, do I need to subtract that from the number of calories the calculator worked out for me to eat on training days?

    Reply
    • Ted Kallmyer (Certified Macro Coach) 4 weeks ago

      Hi Hannah, No subtraction needed. The calculator would have factored your exercise into the amount you should be eating.

      Reply
  • Desiree 1 month ago

    I’m following the recomp macros as of Jan 5, 2024. I’m a 39 year old female, 5 feet 2 inches, starting weight was 131.4 pounds. I do heavy weight training 5x per week and only one 20 min. cardio session.

    I must say I am very impressed with my results in just two weeks. As of today, I weigh 130.7, lost half an inch off my waist, hips remain the same (a great thing because I don’t want to lose the booty gains). I think I lost almost a pound because I didn’t include my weight training calories so I will adjust my macros. Thank you so much coach!!! I can’t wait to see what I look like at week 8. Trust the science folks!!!

    I do have a question…given my height and weight, do you think I should drop a few pounds for a more chiseled physique? I don’t want to lose muscle or the booty gains. Thank you for the help!

    Reply
    • Ted Kallmyer (Certified Macro Coach) 1 month ago

      Hi Desiree, Awesome job and so glad you’re seeing results. It seems like ~.5 pounds per week is a pretty safe rate and you shouldn’t see any muscle loss and in fact should be able to keep gaining some. I say stick with the plan for another month but do evaluate every two weeks.

      Reply
  • Nowy 1 month ago

    Hello, I am a 25 YOF. My Height is 5 feet 6 inches and I am currently around 182 lbs. I used to weigh around 150 lbs. (back in 2020). I want to lose weight and fat and I also want to gain some muscles in the future and get toned/ physically stronger.

    I was looking through the previous comments here and I think that in my case, I should use the macro calculator first, then later on use the body recomposition one. Is that correct? My other question, is how would I know when is the right time to switch to the other calculator?

    Another thing I have been struggling with is knowing what strength training exercises I should do? Any help is appreciated. Thanks!

    Reply
    • Ted Kallmyer (Certified Macro Coach) 1 month ago

      Hi Nowy, You are correct. Once you’ve lost 20 pounds you could start doing recomp. But even with the deficit recommended by the macro calculator you still should be able to make small strength gains and not lose muscle.

      Reply
  • Aria 1 month ago

    Hello, I’m a 39 y/o female who’s now 185lbs and I’m only 5’1. I’m pretty sure I lost all of my muscle due to health issues after I caught COVID last year. I’m trying to figure out how to start a recomp to get my muscle back while losing some of this weight. I used to be a long distance runner ~5 years ago and I did Olympic lifts at that time as well; my maintenance weight was around 128lbs. I can’t figure out how to start with macros or planning exercise because I have never been this weight before and I am a pollo-pescatarian so my diet is pretty tricky too. What do you recommend? Any advice appreciated!

    Reply
    • Ted Kallmyer (Certified Macro Coach) 1 month ago

      Hey Aria, Sorry for the delay I missed this somehow. You definitely want to start focusing on fat loss but at a safe deficit where you still be able to gain a little muscle. Once you get some of the body fat off, you can then start moving the needle more towards fat loss. Perhaps our macro calculator would be better for your needs Macro Calculator I also offer some consultations each week if you need some more help on where to start. There is no fee for this service.

      Reply
  • Susan 1 month ago

    Hi, I am a 30-year-old female, 5ft 3in tall, weighing 128 pounds with a body fat percentage of 26%. I am also a member of a triathlon club and follow a fitness routine that includes CrossFit 2-3 times per week, running twice per week, swimming once per week, and occasional bike rides (more when race training). Currently, I am not training for any specific event and would like to build lean muscle while reducing body fat. I am confused about whether I should cut or do body re-comp. Should I consider cutting down on cardio workouts? Any advice on this? Thank you.

    Reply
    • Ted Kallmyer (Certified Macro Coach) 1 month ago

      Hi Susan! Thanks for stopping by. Given your stats, I’d definitely recommend recomp. You should be able to build muscle and get leaner with the right macros. The only advice I’d give about cardio is to not do too much on days you are doing crossfit or other weight bearing activities.

      Reply
      • Susan 1 month ago

        Thank you. I will try the body recomp macros etc. 🙂

        Reply
        • Ted Kallmyer (Certified Macro Coach) 1 month ago

          Awesome. email me if you need any help or have questions once you get started.

          Reply
  • nuria 1 month ago

    Hi. I am a 25 years old women who weights 142 pounds, has a 25% body fat and my height is 167cm, i do strength training 4x times a week with 20 min moderate cardio 2x a week, I grew some muscle, I feel stronger now but gained fat because I did dirty bulking but now i want to change my habits, I still want to grew my muscle but don´t want to loose too much fat because I am a women and I don´t think we need to loose that much fat because it can compromise our menstrual cycle so I just want be on the healthier side but having visible muscle, grow my legs and my arms, so what should I do? Lean bulk, cut or body recomposition?

    Reply
    • Ted Kallmyer (Certified Macro Coach) 1 month ago

      Hi Nuria, Great job on gaining more muscle. Start by just calculating your nutrition for a 10-15% deficit this will allow you to start leaning out but will not prevent you from getting stronger. Most people make the mistake of trying to cut too extremely, which is never healthy.

      Reply
  • Mo 2 months ago

    Help
    I’m trying to loose minimal fat and increase muscle mass
    I currently weigh 95 lb and am 5’8”
    My hub and I walk briskly every day and then I do a good 35 minutes weight training and hiit exercises
    I just don’t seem to be getting any progress
    My hub thinks I need to eat more
    The problem is is that I physically can’t
    I eat 2oz salmon salad daily with avocado spinach cottage cheese vegi
    Dinner is usual mushroom tofu egg white omelette
    After dinner
    I am full and I cannot move
    Do you have any advice on meals and /or training that could help me shed excess fat and tighten up
    Thanks

    Reply
    • Ted Kallmyer (Certified Macro Coach) 2 months ago

      Hi Mo, Thanks for reaching out. Your husband is correct. you need to be eating more in general and more protein since you are underweight for your height. I suggest incorporating more healthy protein-rich smoothies throughout the day since it can often be easier to drink calories/macros than to eat them. If you need more help and being accountable to the process, please reach out.

      Reply
  • Moe 2 months ago

    How often should I readjust my calorie intake?

    Reply
    • Ted Kallmyer (Certified Macro Coach) 2 months ago

      Hi Moe, This should always be based on your progress so do progress checks every two weeks with things like the scale body fat percentage and measurements and if you aren’t seeing results then make small calorie adjustments either less or more depending on your goals.

      Reply
  • Dad bod 2 months ago

    Hi Ted,
    Is there any negative consequence to supplementing some fat calories for some carb calories if I can’t get enough carbs? Also, is there any empirical evidence to support a higher fat diet with lower carbs when doing a recomp? I have zero interest in getting to 5% body fat. I’m around 24% now (dad bod) and would be very happy adding 5-10 pounds of muscle and ultimately getting to 15-18% body fat. You calculator is currently telling me to do 2627 calories on training days with 285g Carbs, 175g protein and 88g fats. Can I decrease carbs and increase fats and/or protein without any side effects? I’d still keep carbs for pre and post workout and any other time you suggest. There is a lot of contradictory advice I’ve been reading lately on the correct ratios of fats vs. Carbs. Any help is much appreciated.

    Reply
    • Ted Kallmyer (Certified Macro Coach) 2 months ago

      Hey Dad bod, You do have some wiggle room especially with the fat and carb macro. If you do set the fat macro a bit higher, just make sure the fats are coming from healthy sources which would primarily be plant-based fats. Our overall goal here is to be in better health so no point of being 15% body fat if your cholesterol is high and your arteries are clogging!

      Reply
  • Elian 2 months ago

    Hello, Can I use this calculator if I plan to do resistance training 5 days a week?
    Should I eat in a caloric Surplus in all these 5 days? I’m 26 years old at 121 lbs, 174 cm and body fat around 25%.

    Reply
    • Elian 2 months ago

      I also want to mention that my main goal is to grow my legs ,glutes and to lose the tiny love handles that I have.
      What do you think I should choose the more fat loss, even or more muscle gain?
      Thank you in advance.

      Reply
      • Ted Kallmyer (Certified Macro Coach) 2 months ago

        Hi Elian, Anytime you have fat to lose you’ll have to be in a deficit to do so but it sounds like you don’t have much to lose. Start with more fat loss and then start increasing things once you lose the fat you want to.

        Reply

Unlock your personalized fat loss strategy

Take the quiz