Body Recomposition: What is it and How Do You Measure it?

body recomposition

When your aim is to slim down and tone your body, it’s common to think you need to lose weight. This is because traditional methods of fat loss tend to focus solely on watching the number on the scales go down. However, if your goal is to “tone up” you may need to shift your focus. In fact, your goal should most likely be body recomposition – where you gain muscle while losing fat.

Body recomposition is a process that not only emphasises fat loss but also gaining muscle, building strength and, as a result, increasing metabolic rate. 

The problem with only measuring your body recomposition progress by stepping on the scales is that the scales can’t tell the difference between a kilo of muscle and a kilo of fat. So, even though you may have replaced fat with muscle and you may look and feel smaller, your weight may stay the same – or even go up.

So, what are the health benefits of body recomposition, how do you measure it and how do you achieve it? 

What is body recomposition?

Body composition is a term that refers to the two different types of mass that your body is made up of: body fat and fat-free mass. Body composition is important because it tells you more about your overall health and fitness than weight or BMI.

Body recomposition is the process of losing body fat while gaining muscle. What makes this different to weight loss is that, even though you will look and feel smaller, often your scale weight will stay the same or even go up, as the scales can’t differentiate between a kilo of muscle and a kilo of fat.

Is body recomposition healthy?

Yes! Contrary to popular belief, your ratio of muscle to fat is actually a better indicator of health than your weight. Having a healthy muscle to fat ratio not only helps you look and feel better but it also reduces your risk of a number of chronic health conditions. Plus, increasing muscle mass boosts your basal metabolic rate (BMR) which means you burn more energy while resting.

How do you measure body recomposition?

There are a number of different ways to measure body composition that will help you track your progress towards your goal of body recomp. Some of the most common methods are 3D body scanning, DEXA scanning and BIA.

While tracking your progress, rather than focusing on your weight, you should focus on your body’s circumference measurements (you’ll particularly see changes in your waist and stomach measurements), your body fat percentage, and lean mass. You can measure and track all of these through the Bodymapp 3D body scanning app.

The Bodymapp 3D body scanning app is one of the most convenient ways to measure and track body recomposition, as you can complete a full body scan in the comfort of your own home. Or anywhere, for that matter. Bodymapp utilises the depth sensors in compatible mobile models to capture thousands of data points to map the contours of your body and are accurate to within 1cm. 

Bodymapp will capture your body measurements and create your unique 3D body avatar. Your avatar, body composition analysis and up to 20 measurements of your body can then be accessed in the app so you can track your body and your health on your phone! 

How does body recomposition work?

Body recomposition is a slow process that’s more of a lifestyle than a diet. Because of this, there are no set rules. Instead, you’ll need to consistently focus on the foods and workouts that facilitate body recomposition. The key to effective body recomposition is finding the right balance between healthy diet and adequate exercise.

It’s important to build and preserve muscle, while also losing fat at the same time. So, while cardio is always vital for overall health and fat loss, strength training is also vital for body recomposition. On top of this, a balanced diet rich in healthy proteins is essential for building muscle while aiding fat loss.

How do you gain muscle?

Maintaining or gaining muscle mass is the key to body recomposition. To do so, you need to nail your nutrition and focus on strength training. A healthy diet rich in wholefoods with a balance of healthy fats, carbohydrates and protein is crucial for gaining muscle. In particular, you should aim for 1.2-2.2 grams of protein per kg of bodyweight daily. 

You also need to incorporate strength training into your routine. Start with 2 days per week and work your way up to 3 or 4 days per week as you progress. On top of this, ensure that you increase the weight that you lift progressively over time (progressive overload) so that you consistently challenge your muscles to grow stronger.

How do you lose fat while gaining muscle?

While building muscle will naturally help you lose fat through increasing your metabolic rate, you also need to take some extra steps to lose fat for body recomposition. You should eat at a slight calorie deficit of about 200 calories below your maintenance. You can use calorie calculators online to find this. Alternatively, you can look at your calorie benchmarks in your Bodymapp health report, find your lifestyle category for physical activity and take about 200 cals off your TDEE.

In summary

Body recomposition is the process of gaining muscle while losing fat, which can help you lower your risk of chronic diseases and raise your metabolic rate, while becoming fitter and stronger.

Body recomposition is achieved through a lifestyle change that focuses on a balanced diet with adequate protein, carbohydrates and healthy fats, while also consistently strength training.

You should measure and track your body recomposition progress through methods such as skin calipers, circumference measurements, Bodymapp 3D body scanning, and more, rather than through weight. This is because the scales can’t tell the difference between a kilo of muscle and a kilo of fat, and often won’t show your progress. 

Want to start tracking your body recomposition progress? Download Bodymapp now to start scanning for free!