Oh my goodness the dreaded phrase I don't like women to tell me is this: " I want to be toned". Ok so i am putting this out there for you to answer for me. What does being toned mean to you? If you are comparing yourself to IG photos or celebrities, you need to remember that those photos are enhanced and altered in some way to showcase certain body party, hence all the booty and ab shots you see. So what is toned? Are you thinking more muscle? Less muscle? Skinny waist? Big butt? There has to be something that you see that you are trying to attain.
It is important to understand the effort behind the physique you are looking for has a whole lot of hard work behind it. Many of which are concepts like heavy lifting, eating to support your goals and training for more than 30 min a day. I want to talk about some of those concepts below.
First one, heavy lifting does not make you big and bulky. Nope, it just won't happen the way you think it will. There are two sides to every concept. Many women who embrace the heavy lifting are not focusing on nutrition as much and are just eating to perform the best. This is why I always talk about knowing your goals. To be strong, you need to eat more to fuel your workout. That is the goal. However, flip side, even if you are lifting heavy weights, you will not get bulky if you are in a caloric deficit. I know this from experience. Patience is going to be your best friend throughout the fitness journey to build muscle mass. The experience should teach you to listen to your body and feed it proper nutrition to promote recovery.
Food is fuel. Yes food is fuel and if you deprive your body of fuel, you will not see the changes you want no matter how hard you train. Why? Your body is so smart. It will not let you die, so it kicks into survival mode to try to ensure that you have enough fat to survive. Isn't that nice of your body?? Great for survival, bad for dieting. Proper nutrition can increase your metabolism and burn fat more efficiently. I have worked with many clients that we proved this concept to be true. Eating ENOUGH healthy calories will fuel the body to be better than it already is. Fats (including saturated fats), complex carbohydrates as well as protein are all needed to aid in bulking muscle, weight loss and overall health.
Last but not least is the scale. Please don't correlate your success to the number on the scale. It is a tool for your weight loss journey. If you are working out hard, eating right and your weight is maintaining, so what if the scale isn't moving. The idea that a number on the scale vs. how you look in real life is the determining factor of your success is so outdated. You need to focus more on body composition and the most important, gym performance. If your body is suffering to keep up with you in the gym, what good is it to diet? There is a time and place for you to be dieting to get lean but there needs to be muscle under there to get the results you want. In order to get muscle, you need to fuel your body with the healthiest diet of protein, carbs and fats on the daily. This along with training consistently will get you the results you are looking for.
Let's stop using "toned" as a thing. I would much rather you tell me you want to be strong!