Tone and shape up
You want to sculpt a lean toned physique.
You want to support general fitness and health.
You want a suitable healthy diet that’s easy to do.
Toning and shaping
Reducing your body fat will help you to gain the trim and toned body that you are after. To achieve your goal, eat a good, balanced diet and include resistance and cardio training. You should also increase protein intake and cut down on carbs in your diet. Various studies have shown you’ll lose body fat as a result of these simple things.
"Large quantities of carbohydrates cause insulin spikes that make it more difficult for the body to burn stored fat."
The right diet
Protein helps to tone your body
Paying attention to your diet doesn't mean giving up on all the things you like. In fact quite the opposite is true. If your body is under-nourished, it will tend to draw on itself and you’ll lose muscle mass rather than fat. In turn this will mean you burn fewer calories. The solution is to cut down on the carbs and increase the amount protein you eat. Protein activates the metabolism, helping to maintain muscle which in turn gives you a better shape. That doesn’t mean women who work out intensively will build big muscles however – rather, their bodies become more toned and their contours more athletic.
You can only tackle your stored fat by keeping your carb intake low. Food and drink labels will tell you which products are high in carbs, sugar, fat or calories. Eat less of these and go for products that are higher in protein instead. Why is this so important?, Because protein is the second most important component of our bodies (water is first) and is essential for the muscles that give us our shape, for the immune system and for the health of skin and hair. Protein also keeps your appetite satisfied for longer. Unfortunately, foods rich in protein often also contain a lot of saturated fatty acids and calories. That’s why you should try to consume only high-quality protein with mostly healthy fats, such as fish, chicken, turkey, beef, eggs and nuts (one handful a day). If you want to calculate how much you need, a good starting point is a daily intake of 1.5 g of high-quality protein per kilogram of body weight. High-quality, low-calorie protein shakes are a great, convenient way to get this amount without consuming too much unnecessary fat or calories. They also contain calcium, which is good for strong, healthy bones.
Light the afterburner
To achieve a slimmer, better shape you need to combine cardio and resistance training. By doing high-intensity workouts you’ll achieve your goal faster, as the greater intensity enhances the afterburn effect of the workout. In other words, the metabolism continues to burn calories even after you’ve left the gym.
Cardio or endurance training improves your health and helps burn calories. Interval training is particularly suitable for high-intensity exercise units, particularly as it makes cardio work more varied and fun.
Working out with weights builds a more toned and athletic body. This is extremely important part of your training as it helps you to burn more calories. Switch between upper and lower body work — that way you’ll need fewer breaks between exercises. Try to lift a bit more weight or perform one more rep at each workout.
For successful equipment-based training you need a strong core. Therefore, in addition to the equipment training you should also do stability exercises.
One approach to training is to do two or three sets, with 12-15 reps of each exercise. Intensity plays just as big a role in equipment-based training as in cardio training. If possible, opt for a training circuit that challenges the whole body. How often you train each week will of course depend on your training schedule, but you should aim for around three times a week.
Don't forget to warm up and stretch before working out!