Here is the complete guide to everything you need to know about toning up.
- What is toning up?
- How can you tone up?
- Can you tone up in different areas?
What is toning up?
Toning up is a common thing many of us want to achieve through various tummy, arm or bum exercises. But what exactly is it?
It often get’s misused as a standalone concept, away from fat loss and muscle bulking. However, without a combination of the two toning up wouldn’t be an option.
Toning happens when you remove layers of fat between the muscles and the skin. It is here that your muscles can then be become more noticeable, firm and refined, giving you a toned look. Overall, when you tone up you are essentially losing fat and gaining muscle.
How can you tone up?
We can get more noticeably leaner, more trimmed and firm by undertaking a combination of 3 activities.
Weight training is the perfect way to lose weight and develop leaner looking muscles, without bulking them out. As you push your muscles gradually with weights, they get stronger.
If practised regularly, your muscle cells then start to develop leaner protein that is noticeable. This is good because your growing muscles will continue to require more energy than fat cells, pushing up your metabolism rate to use more energy from the fat stores. Ultimately, your fat cells then shrink leaving you looking more toned.
To find out how to lift check out our blog and challenge sections.
70% of your weight loss comes from the right diet. To shed pounds and get a little more toned, you have to choose foods which are full of nutrients, making it harder for body to break these nutrients away from one another. This prevents sugar highs and sugar lows during digestion. As a result, your body is not desperately seeking any more food, reducing sugar fluctuations in the blood and making you feel less hungry for longer. You have not consumed any excess calories, so less of them get stored as fat.
Getting a good balance between the combination below is important for achieving tone:
- Leaner proteins
- Browner carbohydrates
- Healthier Fats
To find out more about these visit our relevant blogs and challenges here to get more nutrition into your diet.
To counteract the weight gain through any excess calories consumed, it necessary to use them up through physical activity. We can do this efficiently by having the perfect cardiovascular combination of high to low intensity workouts.
Interval training is well known for its “afterburn effect”. After only 20 minutes of a cardiovascular workout, you can still be burning fat when you’re sat on your sofa.
This is known as “excess-post-exercise oxygen consumption” (EPEOC). The more exercise you do, the more oxygen you consume. This causes your metabolic rate to be higher because the more you are using up energy and hence calories. This energy is taken from the quick breakdown of fats as they are more calories dense, leading to fat loss.
To find out more about interval training, check out our challenges and blog.
Can you tone up in different areas?
Let’s firstly dispel the myth that you can tone up in certain areas, otherwise commonly known as “spot reduction”. There are loads of tummy, bottom and thigh “tone up” exercises out there to chose from.
Here’s why they don’t work:
1. The muscle areas that you work upon does not reflect the fat areas your are trying to lose to tone up and look leaner
Fat cells are made up triglycerides which cannot be directly converted energy for the muscle cells to keep functioning. Fat loss occurs through the breakdown of triglycerides into free fatty acids and glycerides. these fat components are then let loose into the bloodstream and are then used as energy.
Forget about the specifics, research shows that fat loss can come from any part of the body leading to a reduction in your total body fat.
2. Many of the spot reduction tone up techniques do not allow you to burn many calories compared to other workouts.
To lose fat, you need to burn more calories than you consume within your food. If you cannot exceed the calorie levels of your food, then you will either stay at the same weight or even gain weight. Calories are the energy components of your food that if left unspent during inactive times are stored as fat within your cells.