Toning Up Your Muscles

These days as many women want to tone up their muscles as well as lose weight. A toned body can carry off holding a little more extra weight while still be pleasing on the eye. Slendertone reviews is a website that reviews toning belts and these are a great way to tone specific muscles without having to put too much hard work in!

Exercise is another option if you are prepared to put a bit of elbow grease in. By combining short intense cardio sessions with light free weight exercises then you will not only tone up but begin to burn excess fat as well.

Lastly, but certainly not least is your diet. You are what you eat is the old saying that couldn’t be more true in this case. Watch what you eat and stick to unprocessed clean nutritional foods and try to do your best not to over indulge.

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High Protein Diets Explained

A lot of people always ask me “why is protein important?” The answer is the same every time! Protein is the building block of the body and without protein we cannot repair our cells, muscles or tissue. The reason people who exercise regularly and workout at the gym consume large amounts of protein is so that their body can recover faster and build new muscle mass.

Protein for Weight Loss: High protein diets are a good way to strip off fat but keep muscle mass. If you are dieting to ‘tone up’ then this is the way to do it, you will cut away the fat leaving the muscle behind. Some conventional diets can result in unhealthy muscle loss.

An extreme example of a high protein diet is the infamous Atkins diet. We would not recommend following the Atkins diet but eating lean meats such as chicken, turkey breast and fish paired with complex carbohydrates such as grains and wheat.

Protein to build muscle: If you are consuming protein to gain muscle then the rule you should be following is 1.2-1.5g of protein per lb. of bodyweight. In example, if you weigh 165 pounds and want to build muscle then you should be getting at least 198g of protein per day. Getting this much protein from food can be a bit of a nightmare so your diet should be filled with protein enriched foods such as:

  • Fish (Tuna is a good source)
  • Milk
  • Chicken breast
  • Turkey breast
  • Nuts and seeds

As well as protein rich foods you should be eating clean carbohydrates and plenty of fruit and veg.

This could mean splitting your daily food intake down into 6 smaller portions per day and having a small amount of carbohydrates for breakfast and then again in the middle of the day. Consume protein shakes throughout the day to keep your body fueled with protein. The best carbohydrates to eat on a diet like this are things like wholemeal pasta, shredded wheat, Weetabix, wholemeal rice, sweet potatoes, boiled potatoes etc.

Eating this much in one day will be a challenge at first and you will need to split your meals down in to 6 smaller portions per day and try to have a good amount of protein and carbs with each while keeping fat to a minimal.

Things like tea and coffee are still ok to drink just use skimmed milk instead of full fat. Supplements such as protein powder, protein bars and protein shakes can help you to reach your daily target of protein.

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Weight Loss and Weight Gain

Diet is an extremely important factor when it comes to exercise! Get it right and you will see the results you have always wanted, get it wrong however and you will be left wondering why all your hard work in the gym isn’t paying off. The old saying goes 80% diet and 20% gym, it couldn’t be more true.

Losing Weight: The thing you need to be aware of firstly is calorie control. If you want to lose weight then obviously you need to restrict the amount of calories you eat per day. This does not mean you have to stop eating, that could even have the reverse effect and you may put weight on as the body goes into starvation mode so you have to make sure you’re getting the right nutrients. Dieting isn’t about feeling hungry so eat protein rich foods such as chicken, turkey breast and fish. These high protein foods will keep you feeling fuller for longer. Pair these up with some complex carbohydrates such as wholegrain and you will find that meals will keep the hunger away for longer.

Gaining Weight: If you want to gain lean muscle then you still need to follow a fairly strict diet. On the flipside however, you can be more generous with the portions and protein is your new best friend. Chicken, turkey, fish and high protein foods should be at home in your fridge and to make sure you’re getting enough protein to repair your muscles after a workout supplement your diet with protein shakes and/or protein bars.

Breakfast is extremely important when trying to gain weight. This is because you have been without food for the entire time you have been asleep, meaning your body is desperate for nutrients. A good breakfast should consist of fruit, wholegrain and protein.

Exercise: Whether your goal is gain weight or to lose weight, either way you need to sit down and work out a plan. A good gym routine is vital and by spending some time researching books or the internet you can find a tried and tested method and then see what works for you.

One of the hardest parts about exercise is missing sessions, we all do it and it can be extremely demotivating so do not let one missed session ruin the rest of your week.

Exercising doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom, try and get a friend to exercise with you and change your routines often so you do not get bored. Think of this more of a change of lifestyle and you will be on the right track. Remember – Rome wasn’t built in a day!

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Protein and Muscle growth

Protein shakes contain nutrients that are needed daily by the body. It is vital for muscle growth and repair in the body. Although other vitamins and nutrients are required by the muscles, protein is directly responsible for muscle tissue growth.  If you are looking to build muscle, a regular intake of protein is necessary as the body expels any excess protein as waste that is doesn’t use.

Protein, like other nutrients, has a recommended daily intake amount for the averageindividual. This is the minimum quantity of the nutrient that should be taken per day. This can vary due to the weight of the individual. For the average size person the recommended daily amount is about 50g.

This amount may increase if you are trying to significantly increase your muscle mass. It is best if you start the day with protein. The body will focus on burning fat instead of the protein due to the state the body will be in early in the morning.

To maintain the level of protein in the body, it is wise to drink protein shakes in between meals. This will help to keep the protein at a good level for the muscles. For maximum muscle growth, you can have a protein shake after a workout. As a rule of thumb, the additional protein should be consumed within 30 minutes of the end of exercising for maximum benefit. The easiest way will be in the form of a shake.

Before going to bed is also a good time to replenish your nutrients with a protein shake. As you sleep, you body will recover from the day and not expend any of its nutrients until the following day.

It is always important to always pay attention to and be conscious of your diet. This is a prudent thing in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle. So if you are looking to develop more muscles, the focus has to primarily be on the nutrient, Protein.

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