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Meet Suzanne Nelson
I am here to help frustrated women who struggle with cravings, and hormonal and weight challenges. As a Certified Personal Trainer and Health Coach, Yoga and Barre Instructor I am committed to creating a community of like-minded women who desire to heal their bodies naturally through clean eating, exercise and Essential Oil applications.
5 Tips for Women to Build Lean Muscle Tone and Reduce Body Fat
If you are reading this post you are probably frustrated with your results as it pertains to building and "showing-off" those muscles that you are working so hard to achieve. Many women work very hard in the gym or studio and never really seem to see the results in the mirror. I understand that women seek to improve their fitness levels, partly for health reasons and partly for looks. When it comes to looking more toned, this is achieved by building muscle tone and making those muscles much leaner while reducing stubborn body fat.
But how is this achieved for women?
We all know that women’s bodies are different to men’s in many ways so how we build muscle is also a little different.
Generally, muscle tone improves when the muscle fibers become larger, which is often the result of consistent metabolic weight training that gets you to the "after burn" effect. Building lean muscle and reducing body fat is not all about exercise as we will soon see.
Here are the top 5 ways for women to build lean muscle tone and improve their overall appearance.
1. Increased repetitions when weight training
Weight training is the best way to improve muscle tone and to overall build lean muscles. However, there is little benefit in rarely challenging yourself, as this does not provide enough of a challenge to the muscle fibers. Each time you are weight training you need to increase the number of repetitions that you are doing to stretch the muscles further.
I am a huge fan of Barre-styled workouts. (I teach here in Detroit) Although we use only 2 and 3 lb. weights and a 5 lb. kettle bell, the repetitions create full muscle exhaustion (which is a good thing). The "burn" created in each muscle group increases Human Growth Hormone (HGH) and leads to improved body composition with leaner muscles and reduced body fat.
2. Eat more protein
We should all aim for a balanced diet, which includes a healthy amount of protein whether we are working out or not. However, if you are looking to build lean muscle tone this becomes even more important. Protein is essentially the building blocks for muscles, so quite simply, the more you consumer the more you can build upon your muscle mass. Protein is also filling so can help you feel fuller for longer and reduce the cravings to snack between meals.
3. Reduce the amount of simple carbohydrates you eat
Simple carbohydrates are usually processed and are most commonly found in foods such as bread, pasta, and rice, chips, sweets, packaged and fast foods. Although some of the cleaner versions of these are a necessary part of a healthy diet, if you are trying to build lean muscle tone you want to reduce the amount of simple carbohydrates you are consuming. Even so called healthy "whole grain" breads and crackers send your blood sugar on an out of control roller coaster and will keep your body from using your own body fat for fuel. Too many simple carbohydrates will keep you stuck in your "sugar burning" fuel source, not the "fat burning" fuel source that leads to reduced body fat, exposing those beautiful, lean muscles that you have been working so hard to show off!
This is not to say cut them out completely; they are still an essential part of a healthy diet. Carbohydrates help the body release insulin, which is needed for energy and to help with muscle repair. The best carbohydrates to consume are fruits and vegetables...which leads to:
4. Eat more vegetables
Again, vegetables are a key part of a healthy diet and should be eaten every day whether you are working out or not. When you are trying to build lean muscle tone vegetables become even more important.
Vegetables generally contain very few calories and have a high thermic effect. This means they consume a lot of energy to eat, digest, and burn through again. This helps with building muscle tone, particularly if they are eaten raw or just slightly cooked.
The most important aspect of eating vegetables is the akalizing effect that they have on our overly acidic American diets! The Standard American Diet is highly inflammatory, which is responsible for almost every disease known to man...inflammation basically ages us! However, it is not all bad news....eating 4-5 cups of dark leafy greens, kale, cruciferous vegetables, celery, onion, cucumber, peppers, etc...will alkalize the body, releasing body weight naturally without counting calories! Adopting this style of clean eating will encourage lean muscle growth and reduced body fat.
5. Minimize the amount of cardio you do
Weight training to gain muscle is a very different type of exercise to cardio workouts and achieves different aims. If you are focusing on building lean muscle tone then you need to minimize the amount of cardio workouts you do.
Long distance running or cycling workouts are particularly problematic as they encourage muscle wastage and keeps levels of cortisol highly elevated during and after long duration runs. Rather than eliminate all cardio workouts, you will help build muscle tone by including very short bursts of high intensity runs or cycle workouts. However, this is the absolute maximum cardio that you should do, as it will not help with building muscle and does not promote the "after burn" that High Intensity Interval Training (HITT) offers, giving your body that extra metabolic boost to burn fat for 24-48 hours after the workout! Wow, give me some of that!
Are you ready to discover the benefits of adopting these 5 Simple Tips and a few more?
Aside from the benefits discussed above, detoxing is an incredibly effective way to identify if you have any food sensitivities, balance your hormones, and establish healthy habits for the long term.
After completing the FREE 7 Day Challenge, you will be readyto learn more about how your diet can affect not only your ability to balance your blood sugar and cravings, but hormones, toxicity and weight management. I start a new21-Day Cleanse and Clean Eating Challenge every other month, and we focus on Clean Eating and creating a better environment for health.
As an extra bonus to get your ready for the FREE 7 Day Healthy Habits Challenge, get started today by downloading your FREE copy of "5 Foods That Will Help You Lose Weight Naturally"!