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How Women Tone Muscle Without Losing Weight

author image Kim Nunley
Kim Nunley has been screenwriting and working as an online health and fitness writer since 2005. She’s had multiple short screenplays produced and her feature scripts have placed at the Austin Film Festival. Prior to writing full-time, she worked as a strength coach, athletic coach and college instructor. She holds a master's degree in kinesiology from California State University, Fullerton.
How Women Tone Muscle Without Losing Weight
Women can build tone and avoid unwanted weight loss. Photo Credit: XiXinXing/iStock/Getty Images

Women possess significantly fewer amounts of testosterone and growth hormone than men, which is why females are unable to build as much muscle mass. Typically females will increase their muscle tone and also lose weight. However, with the appropriate training program and making nutritional adjustments, women can increase their muscle tone while avoiding weight loss.

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Building Muscle

Lifting weights is the method used to build muscle tone. Muscle building occurs when the muscle fibers are broken down and then have a period of rest to heal and make adjustments, growing in size and strength. Consistent weight training sessions and subsequent rest periods will result in increases in muscle tone.

Function of Weight Loss

You lose weight when you burn more calories than you consume over a period of time. Cardiovascular or aerobic exercises, such as running and swimming, are exercises that are effective in burning a high volume of calories. Therefore, to prevent losing weight, you need to limit the frequency, intensity and duration of aerobic exercise. Get three days of 30 minutes of low to moderately intense cardio to maintain a healthy heart.

Training Program

To increase your muscle tone without losing weight, incorporate weight training into your routine three to four days per week focusing on different muscle groups each day. Follow a muscle-building or hypertrophy lifting program, which consists of four to six sets of eight to 12 repetitions of each exercise.

Nutritional Impact

The amount you eat and don’t eat will have direct effects on whether or not you lose weight. Use a calorie counter to calculate how many calories you should eat to maintain your current weight. Make sure that you’re eating enough to prevent a caloric deficit. Consume lean protein every day, which facilitates muscle building.

Additional Considerations

Building muscle tone will increase your resting metabolism, meaning you’ll burn more calories at all times, even at rest. While women don’t see as high of increases in metabolism as men, the increase in metabolic rate is typically a very beneficial component to weight loss for those that are interested in losing weight. If you’re not interested in losing weight, make adjustments in your nutritional habits and consume enough healthy, low-fat foods to keep your calorie count slightly higher than what you’re calculated with the calorie counter.

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