If you’ve decided that it’s time to tone up as you’ve never toned up before, the last thing you want is to waste your time on diet and exercise regimes that really don’t work. If you want to find out a few things that will work and have worked for me, read on…

Eating Enough

A lot of ladies think that, in order to tone up, they need to go on the latest fad diet or cut their consumption to a minimum, this simply isn’t true! It’s perfectly possible to eat little, be skinny and not toned, and actually eating less than your body needs to support itself will actually cause your metabolism to slow down. To burn fat and get into better shape, you need your metabolism firing on all cylinders, and that means eating regular healthy meals, not starving yourself. Fad diets just don't work!

Practice Yoga

A lot of people think that yoga is a very gentle form of exercise; a practice of stretching which might make you feel good, but doesn’t exactly do much to build muscle and tone the body. Have they ever seen a dedicated yogi? Sure, yoga is all about stretching the various muscles in the body, but you know what? It can be quite a workout, and when practised regularly it will almost certainly help you to tone up and build the kind of long, lean muscle that makes you look fabulous. So why not spice up your body with some yoga workout? You’ll be amazed by the results you can get in such a short time. I always find my body is aching in all the right places after a yoga class.

Lift Some Weights

Lifting weights scares many women. They think that, after a few weeks down the gym they’ll emerge looking like a female version on Arnold Schwarzenegger! This is really not the case. Lifting weights will help you tone up faster than almost anything else, and unless you’re doing something silly like taking steroids or other substances, there is literally no chance that you will ‘bulk up’ in the same way bodybuilding males do. What’s more, when you’re lifting regularly, your metabolism will be stoked, you’ll burn more calories, drop fat, and best of all you’ll be able to eat more (healthy) food. What’s not to like?

Kettlebell Training

Another thing that can very quickly help you to lose fat, build muscle and tone up is the humble kettlebell. This fabulous piece of equipment, which looks (and feels) a bit like a cannonball with a handle, can help you to burn well over 1,200 calories per hour, and give you a full body workout in just 15-20 minutes. If you want to be in peak condition, you need kettlebells in your life.

Cut Out Bloating Foods

One thing that can prevent you from achieving that lean, toned silhouette you’re after is bloating. As well as working to increase your fitness, you should try to eliminate as many of the causes of bloating from your diet as you can. Some things which commonly cause bloating include salt, beans, onions and fizzy drinks. If you can remove your triggers, you’ll instantly look a bit slimmer, and you’ll definitely feel a whole lot better too.

Other than trying some or all of the above, to be the most toned you’ve ever been, all you need is patience and determination.
It doesn't come easy, but making small changes and sticking to them can make big changes to your body!

What do you find work's best for you?


**This post is a brand collaboration**

Do you know what? This is something that has been bugging me for a while now so I am going to write a blog post about it.

We, as women, are all blessed with difference. We have different hair, skin, eyes, faces and body types. Body type is something which is highly debated in the media and what is a ‘desirable’ body shape for a woman can change seemingly from day to day.

I used to really, really stress over my body. A few years ago I was feeling down about my weight and how I looked. So, I decided to change it. A combination of regular work outs and cleaning up my diet resulted in me losing two stone of body fat. HOWEVER, even though I had lost a fair amount of weight, I still did not have the leggy, slim, super model body I was dreaming about. This is when I realised that I was just not built for that kind of body. I am 5ft3, stocky and although I’m now fairly lean I’m definitely not what you’d call skinny. I’m just not built that way. The more I worked out the stronger I became.

Strength in women is something that comes with quite a stigma. I love progressing my weights every week at the gym and I get a real thrill out of lifting heavy, as I know many girls do. But I often get women (and men actually) asking me things like, ‘Aren’t you worried about getting too muscly?’ and ‘Oh, I don’t like really muscly women. It’s not attractive.’ Um, I don’t care. I don’t do it for you. I do it for me. I like being strong and I’m proud of my muscles. And also – would you say that to Jessica Ennis?? Or any of the other super inspirational and STRONG female athletes? No. Why does a woman have any less of a right to be and look strong than a man, based on what society believes to be ‘attractive.’

I am lucky enough to attend a gym which is bursting at the seams with super strong women who lift in the free weights area and put some of the guys to shame which is really inspiring. But I know a lot of gyms aren’t like this. I hate the stigma attached the women using the free weights or working out in the ‘men’s area’. What rubbish!

So, I guess the moral of this rant blog post is; LADIES, be proud of your strength.  Don’t let anyone, male or female, dictate what is or isn’t acceptable for you and LOVE YOURSELF tall, small, slim, curvy, muscles, no muscles, body builder WHATEVER. You’re amazing.

GIRL LOVE