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EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT TONING

For many, there is a fine line between “toning” and “losing weight”, and it can often quickly become blurred by those who are not familiar with the differences of each. Last week, we shared 10 Things You Need To Know About Weight Loss, this week, it’s everything you need to know about toning.

1. What is toning?

Toning is the process of losing fat and building muscle at the same time, to ultimately alter our body compositions, resulting in a leaner, more defined (or “toned”) look.

2. What are toning exercises?

Any resistance exercise can be classed as a toning exercise. Resistance exercises cause tiny tears in the muscle, which then heal and rebuild stronger, leading to muscle growth. To enhance the “toning” properties of resistance exercises, you need to try to perform them as part of an intense session. This will increase the amount of total energy expended in the session, which will help you to also lose fat at the same time. An example of this type of exercise would be having back to back exercises with very little rest or completing HIIT circuits as a great way to increase intensity and start toning.

3. Is toning the same as losing weight? 

When people refer to losing weight they usually mean losing fat, however, most low calories diets lead to both fat loss and muscle loss. The trick to maintain muscle mass when dieting is to combine a high protein low-calorie diet with resistance exercise. This will protect your muscles when the body is under the stressful condition of dieting (where you are not feeling your body as much). When toning, you are losing fat but also actively trying to build muscle at the same time. This might result in a slower weight loss in terms of decreasing numbers on the scales, but you won’t necessarily be losing fat at a slower rate, as you’ll be increasing muscle (which weighs more than fat).

breakfast porridge outside
full breakfast

4. How does toning help weight loss?

Building muscle at the same time as losing weight, or “altering your body composition” is always going to be a great thing, as having more muscle mass has so many amazing benefits. For example, if you have more muscle mass, you require more energy to live and maintain weight, so you have to eat more to merely maintain your weight, and you’d have to eat a lot more to gain. Muscle also acts as a sink for carbohydrates. We store a small amount of carbohydrate in our muscles, when we work out we use this store, then when we eat carbs we refuel it. So, having more muscle means you can get away with eating a little more carbs to fully refuel – and who doesn’t love carbs?!

5. Can you tone without losing weight?

Yes, depending on the rate at which you are losing fat and building muscle you may not lose any weight. The good news is it may still look like you have lost weight, as you will appear firmer and fitter despite being the same weight.

6. Why is toning so hard?

Toning is hard as it is usually a longer process than simply trying to lose fat or gain mass. Building in extra resistance exercises and workouts to your daily routine can be tough, as it requires knowledge on how to do it properly. Classes such as body-pump and cross fit are great full body resistance workouts that also work on getting the heart rate up.  If you have some disposable budget in your life, investing in a good PT is also a great help. They should be ready to look over and correct your form when performing exercises, ensure you’re doing the correct amount of reps and could potentially push you further than you would go on your own.

blue workout clothes

7. How much protein do you need to tone?

Let’s get technical here, I would recommend a very high protein diet, which would be any intake between 1.6 - 2.4 grams per kilogram of body weight! If you want to simplify things slightly, I would suggest having a source of protein in each meal, as well as having a protein rich snack when hunger cravings hit between meals. This will easily result in four protein feedings throughout the day. A study by Longland et al., (2016) compared two diets, which contained the same number of total calories, but with different protein contents (1.2 vs 2.4 g/kg). Both diets resulted in the same amount of weight loss, but individuals in the higher protein group lost more fat and built more muscle (effectively losing the same amount of weight, but toning more), even though both groups performed the same resistance exercise routines. Therefore, eating more protein can be a simple way of maximising the “toning” potential of your gym sessions.

8. Can toning reduce stretch marks/ cellulite?

Cellulite occurs when fat deposits push through the connective tissue beneath the skin, making it appear slightly dimpled. Toning will help to reduce cellulite because you are reducing the amount of fat that is directly under the skin and replacing with muscle mass which is firmer. Stretch marks result from our skin being stretched too rapidly for its elastic nature to cope.  This will result in markings or fine lines appearing on the skin. Toning is unlikely to actively reduce stretch marks; however, I would suggest toning in comparison to rapid weight loss (of both fat mass and muscle mass) is less likely to result in loose skin.

9. Can you tone without weights?

You can tone without weights, as there are plenty of body-weight workouts that will provide the resistance exercise your muscles need to grow. That being said, the most effective way to build muscle is to use both lighter and heavier weights to provide different stimulus to the whole muscle. The downside of training using bodyweight exercises is that you are limited to just the weight of your body, and it may also be harder to hit all muscle groups equally.

10. What is the difference between toning and gaining?

Both toning and gaining are a deliberate alteration of your body composition. Toning tends to be building muscle whilst losing fat mass, whereas gaining is typically building muscle whilst maintaining or even gaining fat mass to help bulk up.

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Tone

 

EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT TONING

 

For many, there is a fine line between “toning” and “losing weight”, and it can often quickly become blurred by those who are not familiar with the differences of each. Last week, we shared 10 Things You Need To Know About Weight Loss, this week, it’s everything you need to know about toning.

1. What is toning?

Toning is the process of losing fat and building muscle at the same time, to ultimately alter our body compositions, resulting in a leaner, more defined (or “toned”) look.

2. What are toning exercises?

Any resistance exercise can be classed as a toning exercise. Resistance exercises cause tiny tears in the muscle, which then heal and rebuild stronger, leading to muscle growth. To enhance the “toning” properties of resistance exercises, you need to try to perform them as part of an intense session. This will increase the amount of total energy expended in the session, which will help you to also lose fat at the same time. An example of this type of exercise would be having back to back exercises with very little rest or completing HIIT circuits as a great way to increase intensity and start toning.

3. Is toning the same as losing weight? 

When people refer to losing weight they usually mean losing fat, however, most low calories diets lead to both fat loss and muscle loss. The trick to maintain muscle mass when dieting is to combine a high protein low-calorie diet with resistance exercise. This will protect your muscles when the body is under the stressful condition of dieting (where you are not feeling your body as much). When toning, you are losing fat but also actively trying to build muscle at the same time. This might result in a slower weight loss in terms of decreasing numbers on the scales, but you won’t necessarily be losing fat at a slower rate, as you’ll be increasing muscle (which weighs more than fat).

toning shake with veggies and fruit
tone and shake

 

4. How does toning help weight loss?

Building muscle at the same time as losing weight, or “altering your body composition” is always going to be a great thing, as having more muscle mass has so many amazing benefits. For example, if you have more muscle mass, you require more energy to live and maintain weight, so you have to eat more to merely maintain your weight, and you’d have to eat a lot more to gain. Muscle also acts as a sink for carbohydrates. We store a small amount of carbohydrate in our muscles, when we work out we use this store, then when we eat carbs we refuel it. So, having more muscle means you can get away with eating a little more carbs to fully refuel – and who doesn’t love carbs?!

5. Can you tone without losing weight?

Yes, depending on the rate at which you are losing fat and building muscle you may not lose any weight. The good news is it may still look like you have lost weight, as you will appear firmer and fitter despite being the same weight.

6. Why is toning so hard?

Toning is hard as it is usually a longer process than simply trying to lose fat or gain mass. Building in extra resistance exercises and workouts to your daily routine can be tough, as it requires knowledge on how to do it properly. Classes such as body-pump and cross fit are great full body resistance workouts that also work on getting the heart rate up.  If you have some disposable budget in your life, investing in a good PT is also a great help. They should be ready to look over and correct your form when performing exercises, ensure you’re doing the correct amount of reps and could potentially push you further than you would go on your own.

Emily maturo

 

7. How much protein do you need to tone?

Let’s get technical here, I would recommend a very high protein diet, which would be any intake between 1.6 - 2.4 grams per kilogram of body weight! If you want to simplify things slightly, I would suggest having a source of protein in each meal, as well as having a protein rich snack when hunger cravings hit between meals. This will easily result in four protein feedings throughout the day. A study by Longland et al., (2016) compared two diets, which contained the same number of total calories, but with different protein contents (1.2 vs 2.4 g/kg). Both diets resulted in the same amount of weight loss, but individuals in the higher protein group lost more fat and built more muscle (effectively losing the same amount of weight, but toning more), even though both groups performed the same resistance exercise routines. Therefore, eating more protein can be a simple way of maximising the “toning” potential of your gym sessions.

8. Can toning reduce stretch marks/ cellulite?

Cellulite occurs when fat deposits push through the connective tissue beneath the skin, making it appear slightly dimpled. Toning will help to reduce cellulite because you are reducing the amount of fat that is directly under the skin and replacing with muscle mass which is firmer. Stretch marks result from our skin being stretched too rapidly for its elastic nature to cope.  This will result in markings or fine lines appearing on the skin. Toning is unlikely to actively reduce stretch marks; however, I would suggest toning in comparison to rapid weight loss (of both fat mass and muscle mass) is less likely to result in loose skin.

9. Can you tone without weights?

You can tone without weights, as there are plenty of body-weight workouts that will provide the resistance exercise your muscles need to grow. That being said, the most effective way to build muscle is to use both lighter and heavier weights to provide different stimulus to the whole muscle. The downside of training using bodyweight exercises is that you are limited to just the weight of your body, and it may also be harder to hit all muscle groups equally.

10. What is the difference between toning and gaining?

Both toning and gaining are a deliberate alteration of your body composition. Toning tends to be building muscle whilst losing fat mass, whereas gaining is typically building muscle whilst maintaining or even gaining fat mass to help bulk up.

 

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