The truth about toning is probably very different than what you have read, heard and even think!
When I think about getting toned - or USED to think about it - I thought about aerobics and fast-paced, high-rep small dumbbell routines...workouts that make you think and feel that you may be getting fit but in reality, the jiggles and cellulite are still there.
I put a photo of Jennifer Nicole Lee, now-famous fitness model that has a very, very inspiring story of a weight loss and finding-the-path-to-fitness.
She doesn't jump around in leotards and wave around dumbbells (even though she's posing with one!). This lady lifts weights and challenges her body in so many ways and has learned how to eat clean, one of the most important ingredients to looking like this!
So, then, how to firm up the jiggle, get rid of the fat, get the tight look?
There are three main ingredients:
1. Resistance or weight training. And the heavier you can go the better. Not so heavy that you can't do more than 5 reps. 5-8 reps is good. Check out my page on weightlifting for more guidelines.
2. Clean diet. This is my biggest challenge...eating a diet of unprocessed, unpackaged foods. For the most part anyway. Here are some more tips for creating a healthy diet.
3. Cardio. Can't lose fat without cardio - at least you can't lose fat in a healthy way. Cardio is its own monster. You don't just want to jump in and max out the first couple of weeks doing the treadmill or cycle. Click here for more on cardio.
All of this firming up is because there is an increase in muscle mass and a decrease in fat which gets rid of the cellulite and 'jiggle' that we complain about and lets us see the muscle definition underneath.
And by the way, muscles don't get soft or turn to fat; they just shrink in size or grow bigger based on how you use them and what you feed them. You have to stress a muscle, or place a heavier demand on it, to make it increase in density and size. One of the best ways to do this is to do body weight exercises or to lift weights.
Creating a calorie deficit in your diet is also key - not starving! But replacing cakes, cookies and french fries with yogurt, fruit, sweet potatoes and other healthier diet choices.
Check out my page on abs, strategies to speed up the fat loss and specific exercises to building the muscles to tighten your abdominal area.
It's not easy being lean! Try some of these tips for increasing your motivation:)