One of the goals you may have when toning is to be able to show off the results of your hard work. A toned body requires a dedication to regular exercise. For the results to be visible, you should also eat a healthy diet with a caloric intake to match your activity level. Otherwise, you will mar the results of your workouts by adding extra pounds and inches to your body.
High-fat foods such as fried foods contain significant amounts of calories. High consumption of these foods will undermine your fitness efforts. For example, a roasted chicken breast contains 193 calories and nearly eight grams of fat. A fried chicken breast contains nearly double the amount of calories at 364. The fat content spikes to over 18 grams. To keep your calories in check while toning, opt for low-calorie choices such as baked or broiled meats and poultry rather than sautéed or fried.
Your active lifestyle will increase the amount of calories you can consume. However, your diet should focus on nutrient-dense foods rather than the empty calories found in items such as baked goods or snack chips. These foods offer little nutritional value and may contain significant amounts of calories. The “Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010” estimates that added sugars account for about 16 percent of the total caloric intake in the average American diet. If you reduced your consumption of the major sources such as soda and baked goods, you can make a dent in your caloric intake that can translate into a lean, fit and toned body.
Energy and Sports Drinks
When you work out, your body uses the glucose circulating in your bloodstream to fuel your exercise. With glucose depleted, the body turns to the sugars stored in your muscles and liver. These sources provide enough energy for you to exercise 60 minutes, explains the Iowa State University Extension. If you regularly consume energy or sports drinks during your toning sessions, you might add an unnecessary source of calories to your diet. Some sports drinks contain high amounts of sugar and carbohydrates. Unless you are an endurance athlete, you might be better off sticking with water at zero calories.
You should limit your consumption of salty foods when toning to avoid water retention. This can add pounds to your regular weigh-ins. When you consume salt, you throw off the chemical balance in your body. Normally, it maintains tight control over the fluid balances and concentrations. Eating foods high in sodium will cause your body to retain water to dilute the internal fluids and restore a normal balance. To keep your salt levels at an even keel, stick with the recommended 1,500 milligrams a day, advises the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. By following a healthy diet, you can complement your physical activity.
- U.S. Department of Agriculture Nutrient Data Laboratory
- USDA Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion: Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010 - Foods and Food Components to Reduce
- Iowa State University Extension; Training Diet; March 8, 2011
- "Principles of Anatomy and Physiology"; G. Tortora et al; 2005
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Americans Consume Too Much Sodium (Salt); February 24, 2011