Recomp Calories

As someone who is kind of skinny fat lifting weights whilst trying to lose fat what is the best method to determine calories? I have heard eat at maintenance which is 2100 for my height and weight (188cm 103kg) with no activity. But should that be calculated using my lean body weight or my total weight.

Secondly, and kind of more importantly, what do I do if I’m just not hungry. If we assume I need to eat 2100 calories but I’m only hungry for say 1500 should I still try for 2100? I am trying to lose fat so the lower calories would help with that but I’m also trying to gain a little muscle so I’d have thought 1500 is too low.

A good starting point is going to a TDEE calculator. Acronym stands for to total daily energy expenditure. If you’re looking to lose weight, drop down 3-500 cals from TDEE. If wanting to gain then do the opposite. Sounds like you want to maintain and recoup. IMO this can work for beginners. That’s about it so if you’re new to lifting /active lifestyle give it a go.

If not hungry, don’t force feed. That’s only a tactic for people trying to gain. If you’re building new muscle and also burning more calories, yet still not hungry, you’re body is trying to find homeostasis with the new caloric burn etc.

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What is classed as a beginner? I have lifted before but never made a lot of progress, hence skinny fat!
I haven’t experienced anything that feels like I’m not recovering but would it be a mistake to do isolation exercises if I’m trying to lose weight. I’m doing PPL twice a week, so each group is getting worked twice. At the moment I’m doing 2 compounds then 1 isolation for each group. So push would look something like overhead press, then bench and finally cable push down

Somebody who hasn’t participated in a strict fitness regimen ever or for a long time. If you’ve already made some progress or beginner progress then recomping is probably not happening and instead you should target a fat loss or cutting regimen first.

Probably not me then, I did starting strength 6 years for about 4-6months

If you’re trying to recomp it’s important to get your protein. Like a gram (or maybe1.25 grams) per pound of lean bodyweight.

If you’re trying to avoid eating when you’re not hungry, be sure to structure your eating so you can get your protein in over the course of the day.


I’m going to aim for 300-500 calorie reduction, 1500-1700, if I gain any muscle then it’s a bonus but losing fat is a bigger priority at the moment. I’m not a lover of the heat and the extra weight makes it uncomfortable in summer.

Question, is it worth calculating protein intake based on lean body weight or total body weight? Seeing as I have a fair amount of body fat wouldn’t that alter the numbers?

Yeah, the number will be different depending on how you calculate.

If you’re just trying to lose weight, with no regard for muscles, I guess using the lower number would be OK.

But if you really want to recomp by putting on muscle while losing fat, get more protein! Use the higher number.