Three reasons why you don't look toned
- Rachael Attard, from Sydney, said you won't see results if you focus on cardio
- Need to incorporate regular weights and eat right for your shape to look toned
Rachael Attard, from Sydney, said in order to have the appearance of being fit, you need to have enough muscle and a low enough body fat that you can see your muscles.
Rachael attributes a lack of overall body tone to three reasons and said she saw a huge difference with her own body when she started paying attention to them and doing something different.
The first thing the PT said you absolutely have to stop doing is relying on only cardio to keep you fit and looking good.
'If you only do cardio, you won't build muscle and you will never look toned,' Rachael wrote on Instagram.
'Tone is muscle, you don't need lots of muscle to look toned, but be sure to add some resistance training into your workout routine.'
Rachael said she sweet spot is between three and four sessions of weights or body weight exercises like planks and mountain climbers each week.
You can then supplement this with a couple of cardio sessions, which can include walking.
Rachael is a huge fan of walking and aims to get 8,000-10,000 steps every day. She said it's one of 'the best' exercises to tone your legs.
2. Stop eating incorrectly
The second thing Rachael said you need to stop doing if you want to look toned is eating either too much or too little - both of which will result in a less-than-ideal physique.
'If you eat a lot more than your body needs, then you'll likely have too much body fat for your muscles to be visible,' she said.
'On the flipside, if you eat too little, then you're damaging your metabolism (and hormones) and making it harder for yourself long term.'
If you want to work out how many calories you should be eating on an ideal day for weight loss, Rachael recommends you look at the Harris-Benedict equation.
The formula is: 447.593 + (9.247 x body weight (kg)) + (3.098 x height (cm)) – (4.33 x age in years) - which for her height, weight and age means if she lay in bed all day without exercising, her basal metabolic rate would be 1329 calories.
For fat loss, Rachael explained you should be eating in a deficit (so less than you expend).
Ideally, this would be somewhere between 200 and 500 calories.
3. Embrace your body
Finally, Rachael said even if you want to look a certain way, it's important to just 'embrace the body you have' as you'll never look like anyone else.
'Be realistic about your goals and expectation and be happy with what you have while working towards what you want,' Rachael said.
Rachael shared why 30 minutes three or four times a week is the 'magic' number of workouts you should do each week for a toned body - and why any longer than this is just a waste of time.
Rachael said she used to 'go to the gym for an hour or more six days a week', and favoured 'super intense workouts' and hard sessions.
She has since discovered that a more gentle and balanced approach to exercise is far better for staying in shape.
These days, Rachael favours Pilates, yoga, short (high intensity interval training) sessions and light weights.
She also doesn't work out more than five times each week.
'Overtraining, plus high stress from work, lack of sleep and no down time didn't do my body any favours,' Rachael recalled.
'Now, I really only work out for 30 minutes three or four times per week, plus I try to walk as much as I can, and I have never been in better shape.
'I also have so much more energy,' she added.