Before setting up your nutrition when returning back to training, it’s important to first determine which change in physique best applies to you:
1) lost muscle and gained fat (anti-recomposition)
2) lost muscle and maintained fat (pure muscle loss)
3) maintained muscle and gained fat (pure fat gain).
For those who underwent anti-recomposition, the goal should be body recomposition, simultaneously gaining muscle and losing fat.
This strategy is for you.
First, set calories at maintenance. This can be worked out easily by BW (lbs) x 16 to give a rough estimate.
So you’ve lost muscle whilst gaining fat:
Muscle memory still in high gear after a short training break so muscle regain will be quick. It is therefore best to aim for body recomposition: allowing your body to tap into existing fat to accelerate existing muscle growth.
Firstly make sure your training is well programmed with progressive overload .
Workout maintenance calories then proceed to structure as follows:
Prioritise protein. Set this high...then go higher. It is simply better for faster re-composition as it allows for the leanest possible muscle gains.
Aim for 2.4-3.3g/kg/ day
Or if you work in lbs (1.3-1.5 g/lb BW).
This seems a lot and it is e.g:
80kg male/ female = 192- 264g protein/ day
See below a list of protein foods to see what this number would translate to in food.
Generally for body recomposition purposes a higher carb and lower fat split is advised. Here’s why.
Overeating fat can be stored exclusively in fat tissue as seen in one day overfeeding studies .
After a training break glycogen stores are low so your muscles act somewhat as a sponge. It will support your training efforts better.
Conversion of carbs to stored fat (De Novo Lipogenesis) is an energy costing process and not one the body does easily.
Specific macro splits don’t tend to have a largely significant place outside the context of muscle gain i.e some people prefer higher carbs or fats but for speedy recomp higher carbs is beneficial.
*for purely fat loss goals macro splits are irrelevant; it is simply TOTAL daily calories that matter.
Fats set at no higher than 20% of your total calories with a max cap at 75g/ day.
2200 calories/ day would equal 440 calories for fat.
There are 9 calories per gram of fat (carbs =4/gram, protein= 4/gram)
440/9 = 49g
Most will end in between 45-75g fat/ day
Once calories for protein and fats is set then the rest is utilised for carbohydrates.
E.g 80kg on 2500cal/day
Protein: 80x 2.4 =192g/ day
Fats: 20%= 500 calories 500/9= 56g/day
768+500= 1368 calories
2500 - 1368= 1132 calories left for carbohydrates.
1132/ 4 = 283g/ carbs
(FINAL MACRO SPLIT )
NUTRIENT TIMING & MEAL DISTRIBUTION
Lastly, emphasise peak variables, such as protein timing (e.g. pre- and post-workout protein, and pre-sleep protein). It doesn’t need to be perfect but we can optimise it.
Pre and Post Meals
0.5g/kg protein PRE AND POST 80kg = 40g
1gx BW (Kg) Carbohydrates PRE AND POST- ideally with a fruit source. 80kg= 80g
These meals would optimally be no longer than 4 hours apart.
Also to consider:
A high fibre and protein feeding before bed.
Protein distributed evenly between 4-5 meals/ day
Creatine load 20g/ day for a week then followed by 3-5g/ day maintenance dose.