Toning Up Isn’t Just About Exercise

Toning Foods

Toning starts with the right food at the right time in the right amount!

You’ve probably seen them on social media with hash tags that obviously allude to leading the fit and toned lifestyle.

But although their social media pages are filled with workout images, these tight and toned ladies aren’t just about exercise.

In order to get those supple arms, a shapely back that cantilevers into well-rounded buttocks and a pair of firm legs, these ladies eat enough food to support their level of physical activity.

We’re not talking about carrot and celery sticks or a piece of cracker for an entire day.

If you want to get a toned body, you must eat the right foods in the right amounts at the most optimal times to fuel your workout and jumpstart the recovery process.

Nutrition And Toning

When trying to get healthy, fit and in beach-worthy shape, nutrition often becomes the difference between succeeding and falling short.

If you ask anyone who is in a quest to get a toned body, chances are they will tell you exercise is the easy part.

Proper nutrition requires knowing what to eat and when. The first place to start is your kitchen.

Open your pantry and fridge then gather all the processed foods.

You can donate them to charity or any well-meaning organisation that addresses global hunger but keep them away from your home!

Processed foods are manufactured with excessive amounts of sodium and refined sugars.

Many of the products people regularly buy like soft drinks, energy drinks, cookies and chips contain high fructose corn syrup which has been linked with enlarged organs, certain types of cancer and type II diabetes.

Read the labels closely and these products also contain artificial sweeteners, colours and flavourings.

Artificial ingredients have no nutritional value and will seriously compromise your health and wellness.

What You Should Eat

If you want your efforts in the gym to be justly rewarded, choose foods that are from natural or organic sources.

These are safe to eat and offer higher nutritional value than processed foods.

Here is a short-list of foods that should be on your grocery list:


  • Organic Wild Rice
  • Oatmeal
  • Quinoa
  • Cruciferous vegetables
  • Green, leafy vegetables
  • Fruits of different colours


  • Grass Fed Beef
  • Organic Poultry
  • Tuna
  • Greek Yogurt
  • Mushrooms
  • Soy Beans


  • Olive Oil
  • Avocado
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Fatty Fish

You do not have to buy all of these ingredients at the same time. The first thing you should do is to plan your weekly menu. It is always better to cook fresh ingredients.

How Much To Eat

Another question that befuddles those who want to get fit is how much to eat. Understandably, there are fears to overcome.

After working out hard, you could be fearful of gaining back the calories that were burned.

To quell the fears, you must determine your body type:

1. Ectomorph – Lean; hard time putting on muscle
2. Endomorph – Heavy set; tendency to put on body fat
3. Mesomorph – Athletic build; puts on muscle easy

Before you go out to buy groceries, you should know what your baseline numbers are so you can buy the right quantity of products:

Somatype Calories Carbohydrates Protein Fat
Ectomorph 39 kcal 4.4 gms 3.0 gms 0.85 gms
Endomorph 26 kcal 1.65 gms 3.0 gms 0.60 gms
Mesomorph 33 kcal 3.0 gms 3.0 grms 0.75 gms

Thus, if you weigh 70 kilos and plan to lose weight, your daily baseline numbers should be as follows:

Calories:  1,820 kcal

Toning Nutrition

Remember to juice for a healthy on-the-go snack!

Carbohydrates:  115 gms
Protein:  210 gms
Fat:  42 gms

When To Eat

Optimising the nutritional value of food comes down to timing. There is nothing complicated about timing your food intake.

Here are 3 simple guidelines on scheduling your meals:

1. Ectomorphs should time 60% of their carbohydrates before exercise because they have little stores of body fat.

Endormorphs should time 40% of their carbohydrates after exercise where 95% will be used to replenish glycogen storage.

2. Space your meals every 2 to 3 hours; never go hungry.

3. Have protein with every meal.

There you go! Eating to get a toned body is not difficult and is good for your overall health. It all starts with the food you eat. Everything else will just fall into place.

And don’t be misled into thinking good, clean and healthy food tastes bland.

When people say that, they are merely giving in to their weakness.

A bowl of fresh chilled watermelon, apples, berries, pineapples and kiwi with a dash of chili powder, a squeeze of lime is perfect for a sunny day and tastes great!