Managing Your Recomposition Strategy

Don’t wait until Monday — start tracking now!

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You have the tools, knowledge and confidence to design your own body recomposition strategy, now it is over to you to focus on the implementation.

It’s easy to delay getting started by focussing on collecting more information instead of getting out there and implementing. This is a mistake — you’re better off starting with a basic strategy that improves over time, as opposed to trying to perfect your strategy before you get started (it will never happen).

I can tell you that there will rarely be a better time to get started than now. As the old saying goes: the best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago and the next best time is now.


Managing Your Recomposition Strategy

Essentials for sustaining your results

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The importance of developing the tools, knowledge and confidence to manage your body composition for the long-term becomes clear after you reach your goals and want to maintain your progress.

If you built these skills through the process of developing a personalised strategy to manage energy balance, it’s a straightforward process to channel them towards the new goal of maintaining your progress.

The contrast is having used a generic plan to achieve your goals. Once the goals are reached, it’s common to abandon the plan and slowly return to the previous regime that you are familiar with. …


Managing Your Recomposition Strategy

Promote the positive feedback loop of results-driven adherence

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Measuring progress helps recognise the benefits of your hard work and motivate further investments of time and effort into your strategy. This section focuses on methods of assessing body composition, but it’s important to track progress in other areas of the strategy.

Improvements in strength and fitness are quite easy to monitor, but you can also measure progress in the number of training sessions you complete each we or extra activity you’ve added to your routine, such as walking.

The same goes for food. Beyond sticking to the target energy intake, look for progress in your habits such as eating less takeaway or cooking a new recipe every week. …


Managing Your Recomposition Strategy

Lessons learned from coaching hundreds of clients

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There are three things you need to manage your body composition: tools, knowledge and confidence.

You need the tools to calculate an energy deficit, increase energy expenditure and decrease energy intake.

You need the knowledge of when to use each tool — do you do everything all at once, or will that be overwhelming (you should know that answer); when do you make changes and so on.

You need the confidence that the strategy will work. The best way to develop confidence is to see results from your progress, but before you get there you need to have faith in the system. …


Training For Body Recomposition

Overcoming a major barrier to increase physical activity

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I still get anxious walking into a new gym and have thoughts like ‘what if people are stronger or leaner than me’ or ‘maybe they will think I do not practice what I preach?’

When I moved my personal training business to a new facility in 2017, I was worried about what other people would think about my methods, even though I had plenty of experience and a full client list.

There was this mild fear of being ‘called out’ by someone, which never happened and in fact, I have never seen it happen in a gym… so I’m not sure why it was so concerning.


Training For Body Recomposition

Finding the right amount of training for your goals

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I have always developed personalised training programs for my clients. We worked to create a program that would meet their energy expenditure targets and improve their strength and fitness in line with their goals.

In this section, I am going to share the key principles to design your own training plan to achieve your fitness, strength and body composition goals. We are going to run through each of the variables to ensure everything is covered in your own strategy.

Types of training

The type of program you select isn’t all that important at the start, what really matters is that you are exercising and sweating on a consistent basis. Whether you use a gym program that I developed, a running program that you found online, do gym classes, play sports or anything else, the key is that you are engaging in regular physical activity. …


Training For Body Recomposition

Building drive to push through tough sessions you‘d rather skip

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When your to-do list is seemingly endless and the stress is piling up, you will question why you are training and whether it’s going to be worthwhile.

It’s quite easy to stick to the plan early on when every action you take seems to have a tangible reward. Every time you run, you are fitter. Every time you lift weights, you are stronger. After a few weeks on the program, your energy levels skyrocket, weight drops and confidence increases.

You inevitably ask yourself why you haven’t been doing this all along?

A few months down the track, you have made significant progress towards your goals or maybe you have achieved them. Whilst the training is rewarding, it is not always ‘fun’ and you still have to convince themselves to turn up more often than not. …


Training For Body Recomposition

The role of physical activity for achieving your goals

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Physical activity is a vital component of body recomposition and increasing it is the simplest way to increase energy expenditure.

Physical activity is associated with gains in strength, fitness and mobility along with a multitude of health benefits including decreased risks of cardiovascular conditions, improved mental health and decreased all-cause mortality.

These benefits are independent of improved body composition, but you can imagine the double-whammy of benefits that come from being more active, developing your fitness and improving your body composition.

While fat loss goals can be achieved with minimal physical activity — provided appropriate nutrition intake — this is not the best approach for body recomposition.


Nutrition For Body Recomposition

Overcoming the three diet killers

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The temptations of high-sugar or high-fat energy-bombs are the last thing you need when trying to manage your energy intake. This section looks at the impact of food cravings, mindless eating and hyperpalatable foods on your food intake to help you better understand the challenge and be prepared to overcome them.

Food cravings

I don’t believe in food cravings — I think the intake of bad foods comes down to three things: pleasure, proximity and inhibition.

I am not convinced that your brain craves, let alone is addicted to, any particular nutrient or food. …


Nutrition For Body Recomposition

Managing hunger while getting results

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Managing hunger is a key component of controlling energy intake, yet it rarely receives any attention when designing a nutrition strategy or talking about the plan. A strategy that keeps hunger to the minimum will increase adherence.

It’s hard to make good nutrition choices when you’re hungry and constant hunger makes adherence challenging. It’s important to take steps to minimise hunger with food choices and nutrition planning that works for you. Everyone is different — some people wake up ravenous in the morning while others can happily eat their first meal at 12 pm.

You can think of hunger as a proxy for mobilising stored body fat — if you experienced zero hunger and are full all day, then it is unlikely that your body had to dip into its energy stores for fuel. …

About

Tom Fitzgerald

Nutritionist & Exercise Scientist specialising in body composition.

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