Top 5 Tips For Getting Toned

Tips for getting toned

Image Credit: Jacob Lund / iStockphoto

Losing weight and getting toned isn’t exactly the same thing.  It’s not unusual to lose 10-20 pounds and still look “skinny fat”.  You’ll be thinner, but still not lean. Here’s a few tips for getting toned you’ll want to follow.

Keep Your Metabolism Revving

There are some pretty obvious factors everyone focuses on when trying to lose a few pounds.  Exercise and diet get a lot of attention, but your metabolism is a passive weight loss factor that can be the difference between success and failure.

The higher your metabolism, the more calories you’ll burn each day.  Here’s a few tips to keep your metabolism revving in high gear:

– Slow digesting foods will boost your metabolism.
– Fast digesting foods (high sugar) has a negative effect on metabolism.
– Some foods can naturally boost metabolism like:

  • Green tea
  • Coffee
  • Whole grains
  • Chili peppers
  • Avocados
  • Garlic
  • Berries
  • Spinach

Preserve And Build Muscle

As mentioned above, your metabolic rate has a powerful influence on your weight loss success or failure.  And one of the primary factors in determining your metabolism is your lean body mass.

More muscle mass results in a higher metabolic rate, and a higher calorie burn each day.  It isn’t just bodybuilders that should pay attention to lean muscle mass. Everyone on a diet should focus on building new muscle and preserving what they already have.

That’s because when you’re on a low calorie diet, you don’t just lose body fat.  You’ll also lose a considerable amount of muscle mass when restricting calories.

Here’s a few ways to help maintain your muscle mass:

– Use resistance training workouts
– Eat high protein meals
– Avoid excessively long cardio sessions
– Drink plenty of water (muscles are mostly water)

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Don’t Overdue The Cardio

Cardio is great for your heart, and it obviously burns lots of calories when done at a sufficient intensity.  But you don’t want to make the mistake of getting tunnel vision, and limit yourself to cardio, cardio, cardio.

Excessively long cardio sessions can result in an accelerated breakdown of muscle tissue, which isn’t what you want.  Try to stay balanced and mix up your exercise choices between resistance training and cardio.

Workout With Intensity

If you’re making an effort to stay active without seeing significant results, you may not be pushing yourself hard enough.  Unfortunately, you won’t get a ribbon just for showing up when it comes to weight loss.

There’s a direct correlation between exercise intensity and results.  If you’re opting for a low impact walk on a treadmill as your cardio of choice, you may want to crank up the intensity.

Short bursts of high intensity exercise has a much higher calorie burn compared to longer steady state cardio.  That means a short 10 minute HIIT workout will yield greater results than a 30 minute low intensity workout.

Here’s a few high calorie burning workouts

HIIT Workouts
Tabata Training
Kickboxing Workouts

Give Yourself Time To Succeed

Most people underestimate the amount of time needed to lose just a few pounds.  Gaining weight, after all, seemed to happen overnight. Taking the weight off should be just as quick, right?

When you see dramatic “overnight” body transformations, it’s a pretty safe bet they were on the extreme end of weight loss behavior.  Unless you’re working out in a gym 2-3 hours everyday, six days per week, it’s going to take time.

You won’t be able to exercise for an hour then see your results in the mirror the next day.  How long does it take to see noticeable results? Consistent diet and exercise behavior will be noticeable to everyone after 3-4 weeks.

Give yourself time to succeed, and commit to lasting changes for a healthier life.

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