Thank god the days of the heroin addict looking supermodels are past us. Today, a more healthy looking beauty standard has emerged, and even thanks to the (dis) likes of the K sisters (sorry cant say the name without cringing) Jennifer Lopez (who started the trend) and others, curves are a welcome improvement, in the search for the perfect body.
Today I would like about the importance of muscle tone and toning for everyone, but specially in people that are following a weight loss diet or are in a calorie deficit regime.
There is something some people don’t seem to understand and it is that certain fast working diets, such as juice fasting and intermittent fasting, even though they could offer you some quick pound dropping, they will do so by eating on your muscle mass.
If you do not maintain an appropriate level of protein intake in your diet, you will be compromising your muscles, which is, what ultimately, give your body a lovely shape.
I have seen people on diet feeding on some small lettuce platters, thinking that was doing wonders for them and then stuffing themselves later on with excessive or the type of carbs or highly fatty foods.
Muscle, my friends, is your biggest ally in the journey to a more active, healthier lifestyle and a better body and actually It burns more calories than fat tissue thus increasing your base metabolism, which is the amount of calories your body uses just to keep you going during a given day, which results in the following easy assumption:
More muscle = higher calorie consumption = less weight gain at the same calorie intake
Some people wrongly assume that if they want to improve the way they look, they need to spend one hour a day on a treadmill, or an elliptical trainer, but toning exercises such as weight training, increase your fat burning for far longer than a cardio session would do. When you run (or are on an elliptical trainer) you are burning calories as a result of the exercise, on the spot and while you are at it, but when you activate your muscles with strength training, they will be active and recovering up to 24H, increasing your far burn, improving circulation for far longer than the cardio alone.
What comes with improving circulation is a series of really interesting side effects that have to do with ageing. You only need to have a good look at Madonna for example, and other famous toning experts in the celebrity world. They possess the best defying gravity bodies. Chest, arm and glute muscles, which are the first to suffer with age can be easily recovered with some daily routine of toning moves such as squats & push ups.
Cardio is very important and it is definitely very helpful in fat loss/weight loss processes, but ensuring a correct muscular performance and increasing your muscle mass, will help you not only achieve your goals, but also to keep them in the long term.
My advice is not to be scared of the weights ladies, go to a gym and ask a cute personal trainer to give you an induction on weight training, you will see some stunning results you never thought you would!