The key to toning your body is creating a balance in the amount of fat and muscle you have. BMI (Body Mass Index) is a measurement of the amount of body fat you have in relation to your height and weight. For example, the maximum normal BMI is 24. If you are 67 inches (5 feet, 7 inches), it is recommended that your weight not exceed 153 pounds to stay within the normal range. If you have achieved your recommended BMI and your body contains minimal fat, you can focus on strength training and eating a balanced diet. If your BMI is in excess of the recommended level and you have a bit more fat on your body, you will need to incorporate a fat burning component such as cardio with strength training. Initially you may have to eat a diet with limited fat and sufficient protein to prepare your body for toning.
Eat a diet that is balanced with lean protein, fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Avoid fried foods or foods with high fat contents. Your body will absorb the fat you eat, making it difficult for you to increase muscle tone and appear toned. Managing your diet doesn't necessarily equate to weight loss although some weight loss may occur.
Do cardio exercises three to four times per week for 30 to 60 minutes at a time. If you have minimal fat, cardiovascular activity will help to maintain your existing muscle tone and strengthen your cardiovascular system. If you have some fat to lose, cardiovascular exercises are essential for losing fat as well as strengthening your cardiovascular system. In order to appear toned, you have to minimize the fat on your body. Otherwise, you may be toning muscles that can't be seen because they're hidden behind a layer of body fat.
Drink plenty of water. It is recommended that you drink eight 8-oz.glasses per day (64 oz. total or approximately 2 liters). Try to drink an additional four glasses per day (or an additional liter). Drinking water works as an internal cleanser that washes away fat and impurities on the inside of your body the way water cleans your body externally.
Do strength training exercises three times per week. Lifting free weights or using the weight resistance machines in a gym are a good way to tone. If you prefer a more simple routine, there are exercises you can do to tone that don't require any equipment Once you become accustomed to doing strength training, you can consider an alternate form such as Pilates to keep things interesting.