11 Foods that will tone up your body. Say goodbye to jiggly arms, thighs and booty.

“When you talk about ‘toning,’ ‘enhancing,’ or ‘shaping’ certain areas of your body, what you’re really talking about is muscle. Put simply, muscle creates the shape of your body, and therefore more muscle equals more muscle tone. You can’t build a perkier, rounder, or sexier anything without building muscle”. Mick Tumminello

For you to tone up your body and build muscles you need to adjust your diet.  Dumbbells, barbells and kettlebells cannot do the work alone. Your kitchen has a big role to play in toning and building muscle. If you only lift weights and not eat right you will look bulky.

Cardio alone will make you lose both muscle and fat. Muscles being that thing you do not want to lose now. Supplements will also make you lose fat and muscle resulting in a flabby, soft and saggy look.

Toning vs. building muscle

They are the same thing. You lose fat and have a more firm and defined body that has zero tolerance for the jiggle dance. The difference is what YOU want.

Do you want this kind of muscle ?

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or do you want that kind?

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If you want option A, that is what we will be talking about. What of my age? It is still possible for you to have toned body or start off the toning path in your 40s-50s.

Be consistent

When you exercise, it has to be consistent to work; the same thing applies when you want to tone. You should not eat to lose weight and tone your body for 4 days and the other 2 weeks you eat whatever your mouth finds. Then you come to your senses, and go back to your toning diet. For you to see that definition in your body, you have to eat healthy food consistently. Find a nutrition expert to help you draw up a diet plan that is right for your body type and goal.

Eat healthy

Do not starve yourself. There should be a balance in your food intake. It has to be just right. When you eat too much, you will have surplus calories and this will lead to weight gain, too little and you will lose both fat and muscle.

Eat clean not cleanse

Eat foods that are as close to the way nature made them as possible. That means reducing to as close to zero as you can, all processed food and drinks. Processed foods are filled with calories and they are not filling. Most times you may finish a doughnut and ice cream and after 10 minutes you will get hungry again. The calories from the doughnut and ice cream is still in your body and when you eat again, the calories starts adding up. This does not help your desire to have a toned body.

Stop dieting

Diet food do not work, if it did there will not be new diet book coming out every day to claim it is the one. As long as people will want a quick fix, diet scams will keep sprouting every day with fantastic claims.

Eat often

Do not wait till you are very hungry before you eat. Pace yourself. Try and have healthy snacks and ingredients for a healthy smoothie available at all times. When you cannot eat immediately, you can drink a healthy homemade smoothie or eat an apple or carrot. Shy away from prepackaged powders that may be filled with the same ingredients you are running away from, but hidden in names you do not understand.

Prepare your food

You must learn how to pre-prepare food.  When you prep your food and keep in the fridge, getting something to eat will no longer send you on a mental journey. There are certain food items that should not be missing in your kitchen if you really want a toned body. Stock up on vegetables, cut them into your preferred size and shape and keep in the fridge. You can easily use them for stir fry or as salad.

Eat healthy protein

Your body needs protein for muscle building, muscle function, healthy bone and a healthy immune system. Protein helps to repair your body tissue and in the process it helps build muscles.

According to a new research, eating the right amount of protein at the right time is an effective aid in weight loss and muscle building.

 

Foods to help you on your way to a toned body:

Fish

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Fish contains protein and omega 3 fatty acids which is necessary for your heart health. The protein in fish helps to prevent your muscle from breaking down. Fish that are good include mackerel, sardines.

Potato

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sweet potato

Potato is rich in fiber and good carbs. The fiber protects you from hunger pangs and overeating. Potato also contains Vitamin A which helps your body to synthesize protein

Egg

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A medium size eggs contains 6 grams of protein and all the essential amino acids. They help in building muscle mass. They also contain Lutein which is important for your eye health

 

Beef

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Grass fed beef is one of the most accessible protein sources for muscle growth. Grass fed cattle is abundant in Nigeria. However, go easy on the beef, if you have cholesterol issues

Black Beans (Akidi)

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A cup of black beans contains 12 grams of protein and 8 grams of fiber. The fiber helps you feel full for a longer time, thereby helping in weight loss. The protein and healthy carbohydrate helps in building muscle.

Pinto beans

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Pinto bean is a good source of protein, vitamins and minerals. The fiber in pinto beans not only aids in weight loss by keeping satiated for a longer period, it also stabilizes your blood sugar and gives you energy.

Vegetables

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Vegetable stir fry

 

 

Vegetables contain fiber and minerals. This supplies your body with vitamins, and helps in keeping your digestive system healthy.

Chicken

The chicken breast is the part if the chicken with the highest quantity of lean protein. Use the breast or other parts for a muscle building boost

Nuts and nut butter

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Walnuts, almonds and peanuts

A study printed in The Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition found that the L-arginine in almonds can help you burn more fat and carbs in the gym. So, eat some almonds before hitting the gym for your workout. Do not miss out on the benefits of other nuts. Grab a handful of mixed nuts and enjoy their muscle building and fat burning power. You can also make homemade nut butter and use it for your cucumber and garden eggs.

Oil bean seed Ukpaka

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Oil bean seed with tomato sauce and Avocado

Oil bean seed, Ukpaka or Ugba is a good source of protein, amino acids and vitamin.

Yogurt

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Yogurt with banana and weetbix

 

Yogurt not only provides protein for your muscle for muscle growth. It also contains calcium for stronger bones. The probiotics adds that little extra that your digestive system needs to keep it healthy and regular. When buying yogurt make sure it has live active culture.

The timing of your food after your workout is also very important. You should aim to eat 30 mins after your workout to help your body start the toning process.

Now we have got your food settled, what of exercise? On Saturday we will talk about the exercise you need for a firm sculpted body.

Bellisima gym offers personalized fitness and weight loss program. Visit Bellisima gym and start your fitness journey with the right information.

References

What the Hell Does “Toned” Mean, Anyway?

Author: Nkeoma DND Agu

Nkeoma DND Agu is a certified personal, group, and corporate fitness trainer. She is also a certified fitness and nutrition coach. She has been in the fitness industry for more than 10 years. She holds certification with one of the highest certifying bodies in fitness and wellness in USA, National Exercise and Strength Training Association (NESTA) She is the Director of Bellisima Fitness And Health Studio Ltd. She helps individuals and corporate bodies in Nigeria and all over the world to achieve personal and company fitness and health goals.

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