Your body shape is determined by 3 factors. The primary reason most of us start an exercise program is to “look better”. While there are more important reasons to exercise, there is few things more motivating than wanting to improve our physical appearance. While we should exercise for our health, we probably wouldn’t unless we look better in the process.
The three elements that determine our body shape….
- Our skeleton, the skeleton is just the framework upon which the other two elements hang. While it is critically important, it cannot really be altered.
- Our muscle, every desirable shape on the human body is accounted for by the underlying muscle.
- Body fat, every undesirable shape is accounted for by body fat
We can see that the major way we can produce an improved appearance would be to add muscle mass and lose fat mass. A toned appearance will never be possible without increasing muscle tone. Proven time and time again, is that the best type of exercise for this is slow movement high intensity resistance training. Proper strength training will provide the body with the ability to add as much muscle as a person’s genetics will allow (and our skeletal structure play a major role in the amount of muscle that can be added).
Now, some people simply build more muscle than others but it is extraordinarily rare for women to gain large amounts of muscle mass as we simply don’t have the right hormones, genetics and skeletal features. But having the correct amount of muscle mass is what we all need to strive for if we are going to achieve the goal of “looking good” and feeling toned.
The 3rd factor, fat loss, is largely going to be achieved by correct nutritional behaviours. In essence, for fat loss to occur, the body needs to burn more calories than it gets through the diet. It is a simple calories IN vs OUT equation. While the production of muscle is the only real method by which to increase the bodies metabolic rate (ie calories burnt, or the OUT side of the scale), controlling how many calories we actually eat is the only way to control the IN side of the equation.
Portion appropriate sized meals of nutrient rich foods is the only way to provide the body with good calories in controlled quantities to ensure more calories are burnt than eaten. This does not mean starvation diets – those are dangerous and counter-productive.
The body needs good nutrition to build muscle but only enough to ensure fat loss can occur. As the layers of fat start to be shed, your calorie intake needs to adjust and eventually attain an equilibrium to maintain your healthy, toned, muscle-based physique.
Come and see team at 101 Fitness we will help you to achieve your goals.