In this episode, Dr. Jade explains some good practices if you are trying to lose fat while also building (or maintaining) muscle mass, also called ‘body recomposition’. First, it’s important to know that individuals who are just starting in the gym will accomplish body recomposition easier than those who are intermediate or advanced lifters.
Secondly, when it comes to nutrition, people who are trying to lose fat while building muscle should be focusing on a few key things: protein intake – extremely important to give the muscle a reason to maintain its shape; veggies – they will give you the right amount of nutrients that the body requires while in this process; water intake – fundamental to keep the body hydrated and also of great value to help with fat loss.
When it comes to workouts, Dr. Jade explains that beginners should be doing something along the lines of ‘full body workouts’ while more advanced lifters might separate their workouts into body parts, for example, Monday: chest & back / Tuesday: legs & calves / Wednesday: shoulders & arms, and so on…
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Podcast Intro: [00:14] welcome to the Next Level Human Podcast. As a human, you have a job to do. In fact, you have four jobs; to earn and manage money, to attain and maintain health and fitness, to build and sustain personal relationships, to find meaning and make a difference. None of these jobs are taught in school and that is what this podcast is designed to do. To educate us all on living our most fulfilled lives through the mastery of these four jobs. I'm your host, Dr. Jade Teta and I believe we are here living this life for three reasons and three reasons only; to learn, to teach and to love. In this podcast, I will be learning, teaching, and loving right along with you. I'm grateful to have your company; here is to our next level.
Episode Intro: [01:18] Okay, what's going on everybody? Welcome to today's show. Today, we are going to be back to metabolism. And we're going to be talking about the concept of body recon positioning. And this term body recon positioning basically refers to the idea that we are trading muscle for fat. So it's this idea that we're losing fat, while building muscle or at the very least maintaining muscle. But usually when we talk about recon positioning, we are essentially talking about reducing the amount of fat on the body and then gaining muscle. Now the first thing to understand about this concept is one that is confusing for a lot of people. And that is this idea that when you are doing fat loss the correct way, you shouldn't be in a place of recomp positioning, which means if you are trading muscle in place of fat, we have to realize that weight loss may not actually occur think about a pound of fat and a pound of muscle are both a pound they weigh exactly the same. However, muscle is much more dense than fat. And this is why this popular saying that is actually inaccurate that a pound of muscle weighs less than a pound of fat. That's not true a pound of muscle and a pound of fat weigh exactly the same. But people use that euphemism as a way of describing how trading muscle for fat makes the body look smaller. So when you are recompositioning, what happens is you lose fat, you gain muscle, hopefully you're gaining the same amount of muscle or close to the same amount of muscle as fat you are losing. And while your body weight may not change much at all, you will look smaller because muscle is more dense, and you will look much more toned, much more athletic because of the shape that muscle gives you. Obviously the shape that fat gives you is more of a fluffy, flabby, bulkier appearance, where as the shape that muscle gives you is a more smaller, denser, shapelier appearance. You can even feel this to the touch, right? That's this idea of being tone or tight when you touch the body versus soft or flabby when you touch the body. Now, I talk about this a lot as the law of multitasking. And I oftentimes say and you may have heard me say this is something the body does not like to do. The body is not a great multitasker. It does not really like to be in catabolism and Annapolis them at the same time. So let's cover those phrases if you haven't heard them before, a naturalism is what we talk about building tissue up. And anomalism requires calorie excess. In other words, the body needs energy to build tissue. And if you're eating more energy, then you are expending taking in more energy than you are using up you'll have calorie excess. Now this calorie excess can go either to fat gain or muscle gain. And if you're not doing something to force those extra calories into muscle gain, then you are probably going to gain fat but the truth of the matter is when you're gaining fat, you're almost always gaining a little bit of muscle. And when you're gaining muscle, you're almost always gaining some fat along with it. So this idea of a anabolism is building up tissues. And typically when you are in an anabolic state, you'll be building muscle and fat. Now catabolism is the opposite of that; catabolism is the breaking down of tissues, it requires calorie deficits. And when you are losing weight and being in catabolism, and losing fat, you are almost always losing muscle along with it. In fact, research suggests that 20 to 50% depending on how extreme that calorie deficit is, and what other things that you're doing to help maintain muscle, which we'll talk about in a minute, 22 to 50% of weight loss in traditional eat less exercise, more types approaches can be lean mass and when we talk about lean mass, because you might say Jade at 50% that sounds like a lot. And it is. But keep in mind when we talk about lean mass, of course, we're talking about basically water, muscle organ tissues, that kind of thing. But a lot of the calculation for loss of lean mass is water weight, and we all know that you can lose a pretty substantial amount of water weight. So the idea when we talk about lean mass is that usually, you're losing significant amounts of water, which go into that calculation as well. So the body doesn't like to multitask, I oftentimes like to say, it wants to be in anabolism, or catabolism, it doesn't really like to be doing both and what we're talking about with body recon positioning is this multitasking effect, it is difficult, it's kind of the metabolic equivalent of tapping your head and rubbing your tummy, it can be ton done, but it takes a lot of concentration and effort to make this happen. So the idea would be with body repositioning, what we're trying to do is create an anabolic state in the muscle. And we are trying to create a catabolic state in the fat. So we're trying to burn fat and gain muscle. Now how would we do that?
[06:41] the idea would be to do two things primarily, that really make this not only possible, but likely if you do it the correct way. If we move most of our macronutrient intake into protein, and most of our exercise into weight lifting, we can easily begin to force the body to build muscle and burn some fat, especially if we're giving it not low calories, but we're keeping it right in that sort of ISO caloric zone where there is a high energy flux where we're working out a lot. And we're also eating a lot to fuel that working out. So we're in this e m e m state, you've heard me talk about this before this eat more exercise more state, which is the best metabolic toggle to use for body composition. But we're not just in an eat more exercise more state here where we've got this very narrow calorie gap. We're also adjusting the macronutrients to be very high in protein. And we're moving most of our exercise, if not all of our exercise to weight training. Now, what does this do? Well, first, let's talk about weight training. When we are doing weight training, what we are essentially doing is we are yes, burning some calories. We are yes changing hormones, we are also giving a mechanical stimulus to the muscle, which is essentially telling the muscle Look, you've got load, you've got demand, you've got stress, we need you around because you have got to be able to do this work. So the body again remember that metabolism is a stress barometer. It's a stress, measuring and responding apparatus. And so what it is doing is essentially saying what stress Am I under? And how do I have to respond to that stress? Well, if I'm under the stress of load, constantly having stress on my joints and my muscles and needing to do lots of work with my muscles, then that stimulus that stress, hopefully an adaptation stress is one that says maintain muscle, in fact, perhaps even gain muscle. So we need a stimulus that tells the body to maintain or gain muscle. So that's what the weight training is doing. Now, the truth of the matter is if you're doing lots of cardio exercise, of course, if you just ate less and exercise more, you would because you're exercising more even jogging and things like that are using the muscle and so you'd be far better off doing some type of exercise. If you want to maintain some muscle, then no exercise. For example, someone who just cuts calories way back and does nothing but sit on the couch is probably going to lose a lot more lean mass probably closer to that 50% loss that we talked about then someone who is moving the body. So even if you're moving the body at all, even doing cardio, this is a good thing to help maintain as much muscle mass as you can. However, it is a far cry from doing weight lifting, which really forces the muscles to stand up and the nervous system to stand up and take notice and say we have a stimulus here, we have a challenge here, we must respond to this. So we've measured the challenge, and we got to respond to the challenge. And so let's do everything we can to maintain our muscle and hopefully gain some. So then how do we gain some Well, we give the body the building blocks of muscle amino acids, we give the body plenty of protein. In fact, we give the body so much protein that it goes, Okay, I've got enough protein to recover. And I've got enough protein to repair. And I've even got enough protein to adapt. So obviously you can recover and repair. But the adaptation response is what we want, because that's the thing that's going to lay down extra muscle. Now if we do that, and we also reduce the calorie intake from both fat and carbohydrate, respectively, both at the same time reducing fat intake, reducing carbohydrate intake, what we're telling the body is like we're giving you plenty of energy to do what you need to do to recover, repair and adapt. But we're also keeping your calorie intake from fat and carbs at a level that forces you to burn your own fat to make up for those reserves. And so what we're doing with body recon positioning is sending two signals, one signal with the weight training says you must keep your muscle you must respond to this and even adapt and then we're sending another signal that says and by the way, you've got plenty of the resources to do that for your muscle. And while you may not have enough of the caloric resources to do this work, you do have body fat on your body. So use your body fat for the energy of the work and use all this extra protein we are giving you to maintain and hopefully get hopefully gain muscle. So then the question becomes if you understand that, then the question becomes Okay, Jade, what does this actually look like? How much protein How much do we cut carbohydrates, and fat? And how much weightlifting do we do. And it's really that simple when we're talking about body recompositioning. So here's the rule of thumb, really what you want to do to give the body not just enough protein to recover and repair but also enough to adapt, we're looking at probably around one gram of protein per pound of current body weight, that's probably going to be ideal. And at the least amount we want to give the body is one gram per pound of ideal body weight. So we have current body weight versus ideal body weight. So you might say, well, Jade, how do I know which one to use? Well, if you're someone very heavy, in the 250-300 pounds above this range, what we know is that you probably got a lot a lot of excess fat on your body. And so you probably don't really need to be consuming 300 grams of protein, you want to really be consuming the amount of grams of protein that corresponds to your lean body mass. And another way to do that is just say what your ideal body weight would be. So if you're a 300 pound male, and you want to weigh 200 pounds, and you feel like that's where you would be at your best, that's the amount of protein per grams that you'd want at a minimum. So very heavy, people don't necessarily want to eat 300 grams per pound of body weight. If you're very heavy, you probably want to eat grams per pound of ideal body weight. Now for the rest of us and I would say by the way, this would be people who are above 30% body fat. If you're above 30% body fat, you probably want to use your ideal body weight in pounds to four grams of protein, that's the amount of grams of protein that you would take in. Now if you're in the 25% or lower body fat. You probably want to eat grams per pound of current body weight. The point here is to give yourself enough protein grams to repair, recover, and most importantly adapt of course that at that adaptation is the part of putting down muscle and actually gaining muscle. So that's what you want to do with protein and this is probably the most important thing to count. And maybe the only thing to count when you're trying to do this body recompositioning, simply count your grams of protein. Now a couple things here when you're getting protein at these levels, you want to be very careful of understanding protein sources. A good protein source is a source of protein that is mostly protein, not mostly fat, or carbs. For example, beans are not a great source of protein for this particular body recon positioning technique, because beans while they have a decent amount of protein have way more carbohydrates. Likewise, nuts and fatty pieces of meat are not a great way to get your protein when you're trying to do body recon positioning, because they oftentimes come along with more fat than they do protein. So when we're talking about these protein sources, you want lean protein sources when you're trying to body composition. Otherwise, as you elevate your protein levels, you'll also be elevating carbohydrate and or fat along with that.
[20:55] let's get back to the show. And so the types of protein you want are very lean types of protein that have a lot of protein per ounce. So things like chicken breasts, things like egg whites, things like bison, meat, things like white fish, things that are very high in protein, very low in carbohydrate, and fat. Now again, there's nothing wrong with carbs, and fat. These are some of the healthiest things that you could have. But remember what we're trying to do, we're trying to trick the body or entice the body to burn fat while gaining or maintaining muscle, this means we want to give it mostly protein or a good amount of protein, and then force it to feed itself through its own body stores. So you don't want to give it any extra carbs or fat. That elevates calories, forcing it to say, Oh, I'll burn these carbohydrates and fats, instead of burning my own glycogen, and fat. And of course, when you are pushing the body through weight training, all that extra protein is prioritized towards recovery, repair and adaptation. So you can see what we're doing here. So the one thing you want to be counting is one gram per pound of current body weight if you're, you know, sort of less than 30% body fat and not too heavy, or at a minimum or if you're very heavy, one gram per pound of ideal body weight. This is the first thing you want to do. And you might say, okay, Jade, that sounds good. I understand that. What do I do with the rest of my diet? Well, the best thing to do after this is simply to consume large amounts of non starchy green vegetables, in fact, unlimited amounts, because starchy green vegetables, or non starchy green vegetables, rather, are loaded with micro nutrition. Plenty of well actually, they're not that high in fiber, but a good amount of fiber, and lots of water without very many calories, you can pretty much eat these in unlimited fashion without creating too much intake of carbohydrate and or fat. And you can simply add a little bit of balsamic vinaigrette. And this is where we're a little bit of lemon juice and a tiny bit of oil. And this is where understanding if you're going to be doing lots of salads, or lots of skillet meals, or lots of stir fries, which really this is what this comes down to. You want to lean heavier on the vinegars and things like that and less on the oils and things like that. And so when you're doing salads, you want to make a balsamic vinaigrette that is two parts balsamic vinegar, one part oil, where normally it's the other way around, isn't it, it's two to three parts oil, one part balsamic vinegar, or if you're using lemon juice, you want to be doing the same thing. So you want lots of vinegar based dressings. Same thing when you're doing stir fries and skillet meals and things like that, which this is what much of your diet will look like lots of chicken, lots of bison, lots of Lean steak, lots of fish, whey protein, these very lean protein sources with a ton of vegetables and not a whole lot of fat. And so this is where you add a small amount of ghee or a small amount of coconut oil just enough to make the pan and give a little bit of flavor or cook your meals but not so much to add a bunch of calories. So this is really very clearly a very high protein diet lean protein with low carb and lower fat and this is what you want to be doing with the diet. And so I oftentimes use this five s diet which I call you know soups salads, scrambled shakes and stir fries. And you know skillet meals with be, you know, sort of the same as stir fries. This is what you want to be eating. And more specifically, you want to be eating low fat, low carb soup salads, scrambled shakes and stir fries. And more specifically, you want to be eating soup salad and scrambled shakes and stir fries that have more vinegar based stuff, more citrus based stuff and less fat based stuff. And so you're gonna be eating lots of broth, lots of salads, lots of stir fries, lots of skillets, lots of lean protein, and to get your protein levels up where they need to be many of you will also be doing lean protein shakes. Now this doesn't really matter, just make sure that when you get a protein shake, you're not getting a protein meal replacement protein meal replacements will have again more carbohydrates and fat than protein. One quick way to look at this is simply take the protein and the fiber and compare it, you know, add up protein plus fiber, and then add up the fat plus total carb. And what you'll see pretty quickly is you want to make sure you're having protein shakes that the protein plus fiber exceeds the fat plus carbohydrate, and the more it exceeds it, the better. And so this is what the diet would look like. And yes, it's boring. And yes, it is not necessarily the most flavorful thing in the world, you certainly can have salts, and spices and all those kinds of things. You just don't want to be adding a ton of oils and fats and starches into this. And your metabolism doesn't care. This is what is required for body composition, if this is what you want to do, and the metabolism could care less whether you think it's boring or not. Or whether you think it's tasty or not, or whether or not you don't like separating egg whites from your egg yolks, etc. This is what it is doing. And we're not talking here about whether it's healthy or not. Egg yolks are one of the healthiest things on the planet, we're simply talking about what it takes to entice the body to burn fat and build muscle at the same time. So hopefully you understand the diet aspect of this now.
[27:02] so then what about the training aspect of this weight training, you might say? Well, Jade, how much well, for beginners, at least three times per week of weight training. But perhaps even more. And I would say that for most people who are intermediate to advanced, this is going to require, you know, something like beginners three to five weight training sessions per week and for more intermediate or mass four to six weight training sessions per week. And again, you want the weight training to be done in a way that forces the muscles to stand up and take notice you might say well, Jade, what forces the muscles to stand up and take notice. Well, we talked about how protein enough protein signals to the muscle that hey, I've got enough to recover, repair and adapt. But what kind of training do we need to do to make the muscle say, Oh, I've got to recover, repair and adapt this is going to be training that is higher volume, and progresses in that volume. So when we talk about volume, what we're talking about is sets times reps times weight. So if I do 100 pounds, bench press 10 times, right, for a set, well, that's 10 times 100. That's a volume of 1000. Right now, if I do three sets, that's a volume of 3000. And what we want to do is we want the muscles to experience a high volume of weight training. And then we want to increase that volume, something we call progressive resistance it each week, if possible. So what does this mean? This also means that what you probably want to do is create a workout program and stick to that exact same workout program for eight to 12 weeks and increase the weight each time. This may be again, boring, you may not like the idea of this, but this is what works, it forces the body to go, oh my god every single week, I'm doing this bench press this shoulder press this bent over row. And I'm doing it at a very high volume and the volume is going up each week. This month, these muscles are being taxed in a way that I need to make sure I'm adding muscle now this is very different than this idea of I'm going to do a different workout every day metabolic conditioning, and I'm not necessarily going to overload the same muscle groups again and again day after day, week after week. That's what you want. You want to overload these muscles again and again day after day, week after week, which means the exercises are going to pretty much stay the same.
[32:01] and now back to the show. You're going to start with a particular volume, and then you're going to start raising that volume week after week. So hopefully that makes sense. You might say, okay, Jay, well, what does this look like your workouts in my mind, if you're a beginner should be full body workout, something that looks a little bit like this squat, deadlift, bench press, shoulder press, right, these kind of big body movements. If you're in a gym, well then you can use machines leg press hack, squat, these kinds of things, bench press machine, but basically I like to do this I this thing where it's basically full body. And I like to do a horizontal push, which would be like some kind of pushing movement like a bench press along with a horizontal pole, something like a bent over row, then I want to do something like a vertical press, like a military press, shoulder press and a vertical pole something like a pull down or a chin up. And then I want to do something for the legs that work the whole leg. So this is going to be something like a squat. This is going to be something like a leg press. This could be something like a deadlift, which it most people might say well Jade, isn't that back, it is working some back but it's mostly working the posterior chain hamstrings, glutes, low back area. These are the things that I'd want to do. So if you want to say Alright, well Jade, give me the workout, I would say okay, do a bench press chest, press, do a back row, do a vertical pull down, either pull up or pull down and do a vertical press shoulder press something like that. And then do something like squats or leg presses five exercises. Now again, this is for beginners, five exercises, three to five sets per exercise, okay, and you'll be doing this exact same workout, basically three times per week or four times per week. So Monday you do this workout, then Wednesday you do this workout, then Friday you do this workout, and then maybe Saturday you do this workout again, maybe using slightly lighter weights. And then next week, you bump up the weights a little bit, this is the way that I would do this. And typically, we use this in a three day split. So you do Monday, Wednesday, Friday of this workout doing three to five sets of those exercises that I recommended using eight to 12 repetitions. Now I like eight to 12 reps, because when we're talking about progressive resistance and building progressive resistance, the eight to 12 rep range is a really great rep range. I oftentimes most people even call this a 10 Rep max. 10 Rep Max is a way that you can do 10 times but not 11. But because it's tricky to find that 10 rep max within a workout, we use this eight to 12 rep range way of approaching this. So if you can't get eight repetitions of the exercise, then you're probably going a little too heavy. Now if you get 12 if you can get more than 12 reps, you're probably going a little lighter. And so what you want to do is keep the weight in a zone where you can get eight to 12 reps, you can immediately see how this helps us with our progressive resistance here. Because what happens is maybe when we start, we're getting maybe between eight and 10 reps per set. And then after two weeks or three weeks, now we're able to get more than 12. And we know we need to go up in weight. So the next time we come in, we raised the weight. And now we're back between eight and 10 repetitions. And this is how it goes. So this is the way I would do this. Now if you are more intermediate, and I would even say for advanced, you can split the body up into upper and lower. And the way I like to do this is for the upper movements, I like to do a vertical push a vertical pole, a horizontal push a horizontal pole. So again, vertical push and pull, this would be pull downs, and shoulder presses, a horizontal push would be chest press, and bent over row. But now because we have a little bit more time, and we're splitting upper body and lower body, we can begin to move into the arm. So then you can do something for biceps and something for triceps. Right, so that becomes 123456 movements. And again, three to five sets of eight to 12 reps per exercise and then the next day you go into lower body. So that would be your Monday workout if you’re intermediate to advanced and your next day would be your lower body workout, which I would do something along the lines of squat, deadlift, leg extension, leg curl, calf raises, right, something along these lines. So that's five exercises. And again, three to five sets, eight to 12 reps. And the progressive resistance is built in with these eight to 12 reps. So now you have this formula of what this would look like.
[36:52] Now, I'll mention one more group, which most of you won't be in. But there are people who are advanced enough that you may even want to make your resistance training more of a split and start splitting your workouts into body parts. So for example, maybe on Monday, you do chest and back. Maybe on Tuesday, you do legs, and calves. Maybe on Wednesday, you do shoulders and arms, right, and then you take a day off, and then you come back again to chest and back. You know all you know, legs and calves, and shoulders and arms. And maybe with legs, you want to throw in core in there. And that's six workouts per week, where you're hitting each of these body parts twice. Now most people unless you're very advanced or very young are using performance enhancing drugs or something like that, that may be a little bit too much volume. But you get the idea here, we're trying to get the volume up, we're forcing the body to pay attention. And we are essentially progressing the resistance. And the workout again stays the same throughout with very little variations so that the body goes, oh my goodness, these same muscle groups are getting hit again and again. And again, day after day, week after week, I better do something to adapt. And then it looks inside and goes well I'm getting all this extra protein, I may not be getting a whole lot of fat and carbs, but also I'll burn my body fat for energy. And I'll use all this extra protein to recover, repair and adapt. And this is essentially body recon positioning. At its best this is how this would work. And you might say well, Jade, what other things could help this along?
[38:31] Well, if you're a beginner, you're going to be very good at body recompositioning, beginners can have a lots and lots of benefit here. It's not nearly as difficult if you're someone on performance enhancing drugs anabolic or testosterone. Same thing, you're gonna get great results with this because those two things being a novice at weight training. And also, using performance enhancing drugs are going to increase your ability to multitask, it's gonna make it far easier. Now there are other things here that you can do where you know, that may not be performance enhancing. One of the ones that I love is creatine and creatine is one of the most well researched supplements that exist and it can be really, really good at helping body recon positioning. So creatine, which is really easy to take, you simply get a powder, there's two ways to take it by the way, you can do it in a loading dose where you do 20 grams per day over three to five days. Or I like to do it where it's five grams per day, just continuously. The reason I don't like to do the 20 grams because I've in my clinical experience, I've often had people have some digestive upset or maybe some cramping or other things that can occur when you add in the creatine that fast at that amount. So I just like to do five grams per day and your body will have enough within about seven to 10 days. Creatine can be beneficial here and of course, do the other things that you know to do. Make sure you're drinking plenty of water and all of those kinds of things. So this is body composition is something that a lot of you have been asking me to do something on how do I burn fat and build muscle at the same time? This is the way to do this. And I hope that that was useful for you. And we're gonna go ahead and end the podcast right here and I will see you at the next show.