Are you looking to get a toned body but don’t know where to start? Do you wish for a lean body with a flat stomach, a tight butt, and sexy legs? This post will give you the beginner’s guide on how you can go about to get a toned body.
This post will give you the beginner’s guide on how you can go about to get a toned body.
Now, if you read fitness magazines then you must be thinking about how much cardio should you do and what kind of a restricted diet should you follow.
You might have read magazines that tell you things like:
- You need to do lots of steady-state cardio if you want to lose weight.
- You need to perform workouts with high reps and light weight.
- You need to exercise 7 days a week
- You need to exercise every day for at least 2 hours.
- You need to severely restrict your calories.
- You need to avoid eating carbs.
- You need to avoid eating fats.
- You need to avoid eating sugar, red meat, dairy, grains, etc.
Now, with the above suggestions, you may lose a lot of weight. However, this is exactly the wrong way to lose weight.
Because, in addition to losing fat, you will also lose a lot of muscle. And this will end up making you look skinny fat.
This will make you feel tired and lethargic, craving for food, and your body will not look like the sexy, toned body that you want.
This is because low body fat on a woman without muscle looks very different than low body fat on a woman with muscle as you can see below.
This is also known as body recomposition where you tend to lose fat and build muscle. By doing so, you can get the toned body that you desire.
So, now you know that if you want a toned body, what you should be aiming for is to lose fat and build muscle.
To lose fat and build muscle, you need to be doing the following:
Perform intense workouts using heavy, compound movements
Yes, you heard it right. If you want to lose fat and build muscle, even a woman has to perform intense workouts with heavy, compound movements.
There are some myths that women have about lifting weights. They feel that working out will make them bulky.
This is just not true because a woman’s body produces a lot less testosterone than a male. And testosterone is what could make a male’s body bulky.
Even for a male, it is difficult to become bulky naturally, so it’s even more difficult for a woman.
Instead, by using heavy, compound movements, you will be able to burn calories and also build some muscle to get that toned and sleek body.
Heavy, compound movements are exercises like squats, deadlifts, bench press, overhead press, barbell rows, etc. that work out several muscle groups at the same time.
This makes them highly efficient and most effective as strength gaining, muscle building, and calorie burning tools.
As a beginner, you can check out some of the good beginner workout programs that you could use to start performing such workouts.
If you still need convincing to lift weights, here are the top 10 reasons why every woman should strength train.
Limit the amount of cardio that you do
A lot of fitness magazines preach that if you want to lose weight you need to do tons and tons of cardio.
Now, when it comes to losing weight it is the calorie deficit that is going to help you lose weight. No amount of cardio will help if you are not eating fewer calories.
Having said that, cardio can help you burn some additional calories that would help you eat a bit more than otherwise.
However, the problem with steady-state cardio like walking, running, jogging, etc. is that you need to do a lot of it to burn the required number of calories.
This is because the body is quite efficient when it comes to burning calories. So, it could be quite easy to consume more calories than what you burn doing cardio just by eating a little bit more.
Also, as you keep doing cardio, your body keeps getting adapted to it. So slowly you end up burning fewer and fewer calories if you are performing the same amount of cardio.
And the more cardio you perform, the higher the risk that you will start losing muscle along with fat. And we definitely don’t want that.
However, there is an alternative to steady-state cardio that can help you lose weight.
This is known as high-intensity interval training where you perform a short intense session of cardio followed by a short moderate session of cardio.
Such a type of cardio is shown to burn as much if not more calories than steady-state cardio in a short period of time.
This means that you just need to perform about 1 to 2 hours of high-intensity interval training every week to get the same benefits as steady-state cardio.
Get into a moderate calorie deficit
Like I said, the only way you can lose fat is to get into a calorie deficit where your body burns more calories than what you consume.
Now, to get a good, toned body, you know that you need to build and maintain your muscle mass while losing fat.
To lose fat safely without risking burning your muscle as well, you need to get into a moderate calorie deficit.
A moderate calorie deficit is one where you consume about 20% to 25% fewer calories than your TDEE (total daily energy expenditure).
Once you start doing that you will gradually start losing about 1 to 2 pounds of body fat every week while maintaining and in certain conditions even building muscle.
Consume a balanced macronutrient intake
Macronutrients play an important role when it comes to losing fat and building muscle.
The macronutrients are proteins, fats, and carbohydrates.
Protein is probably the most important macronutrient when your goal is to build muscle and lose fat.
This is because it contains amino acids that are the basic building blocks of muscle. It will help your muscles to recover and grow stronger as you workout at the gym.
It is recommended that you consume about 1 to 1.2 grams of protein per pound of body weight every day when you are trying to build muscle.
Fat is an essential macronutrient that your body needs for hormone production, satiety, muscle growth, and nutrient absorption in the body.
So you do need a good amount of healthy fats for your body to function properly.
It is recommended to consume about 0.2 to 0.25 grams of fat per pound of body weight every day.
Carbohydrates are essential macronutrients to help you get the energy required for your daily functioning as well as performance in the gym.
You need to consume a moderate amount of carbohydrates.
So, how much carbohydrates should you be consuming? That is easy to calculate since you already know the amount of proteins and fats that you need to eat as well as the number of calories you need to consume per day i.e. your TDEE.
Calculate the calories from your protein intake.
As we have seen, this could be 1.2 grams protein per pound of body weight. So if you weight 160 pounds, the amount of protein you need to consume is 160 * 1.2 = 192 grams.
Since each gram of protein contains 4 calories, the total calories you need from protein is 192 * 4 = 768 calories
Calculate the calories from your fat intake.
As we have seen, this could be 0.25 grams fat per pound of body weight. So if you weight 160 pounds, the amount of fat you need to consume is 160 * 0.25 = 40 grams.
Since each gram of fat contains 9 calories, the total calories you need from fat is 40 * 9 = 360 calories
Calculate the calories from your carb intake.
To calculate the calories from your carb intake, you just need to subtract the total calories from your protein and fat intake from your TDEE.
So if you are 160 pounds and your TDEE is around 2500 calories than the total calories you need from carbs is 2500 – 768 – 360 = 1372 calories
Each gram of carb contains 4 calories. So you can calculate the number of carbs you need by dividing the calories you need from carbs by 4.
So for our 160-pound example, the number of calories to consume would be 1372 / 4 = 343 grams
I hope this post has provided you with the best information on how you can start towards your goal of getting a good, toned, and sexy body.
If you have any questions about getting a toned body, please leave a comment below.
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