I often get asked by clients, family and friends how to get ‘toned’ in which I gather they mean, lean with a slight muscle definition. I think the most important thing to state here is that you don’t get ‘toned’ over night, it can take months and months of hard work. Most people have already given up as they lack motivation. Set your self some goals, work hard, don’t give up and be persistent – trust me it will pay off!
The following tips are my top tips on how to drop body fat and gain some lean muscle mass:
- Weight Train – A lot of people stay clear from weight training, especially women as they are scared it will make them look ‘bulky’. Don’t be scared of weight training, not only does it make you stronger and help to build lean muscle mass it also helps to increase your resting metabolic rate (the rate in which you burn calories when you are doing nothing) and preserve muscle mass. Try and train large compound movements such as squats, deadlifts, pull ups, rows and step ups to get the most bang for your buck!
- Nutrition – A lot of people go into severe calorie restriction when trying to lose weight which can cause havoc on the body. Don’t drastically restrict your calories. As I mentioned above losing weight and getting lean can take a little while so create a lifestyle change rather than a quick fix diet. Start eating protein at every meal and make sure you are eating a nutritious diet with lots of variety of nourishing foods. Avoid alcohol, sugar and deep fried foods. It really is as simple as eating real food that our ancestors would have consumed. No crazy crash diet here!
- Interval training – Try incorporating some sort of sprints program or High Intensity Interval Training into your workouts each week. It is a really effective way to work out when you have limited time. Intervals help stimulate muscle whilst burning fat – what more could you want?!
- Manage your stress and sleep – I have a lot of clients that completely overlook this when they are trying to lose weight yet stress and sleep play a huge role in getting lean and weight loss. When your body is lacking sleep or is stressed it releases you stress hormone – Cortisol. You could be eating a healthy diet and training every day however if you don’t manage your stress levels then your body will store fat, breakdown muscle and increase your hunger.
- Hydration – Drink water and then drink a whole lot more. Keep your body hydrated always. It will improve your awareness, physical activity and general wellbeing. The average percent of water in the human body can range from 50-75% which is why we need to consume a lot each day to guarantee optimal health. I like to aim for 3 litres a day however this will vary on the individual.
- Supplements – I am a huge advocate of taking a good quality probiotic to make sure my gut is at optimum health and is full of good bacteria. If you find that all the above isn’t working then you may have a more serious problem or you could be deficient in certain vitamins and minerals – I would then highly recommend you see a qualified nutritionist or dietician to seek some professional advice.
Let me know if this helped you at all and please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you have any queries.