How to Tone, for a Leaner Physique

Are you trying to lose body fat and achieve a leaner physique? Maybe you’ve tried all sorts of diets and training programs but still haven’t seen the results you want. If so, then you’ve come to the right place. Here we’ll find out that the road to health and fitness can be challenging, but it doesn’t have to be all that complicated.

And to prove this, here are 10 simple tricks you can immediately incorporate into your usual routine to not only adopt a healthier lifestyle but work toward the physique you're looking for.

Let's break it up into fitness and nutrition.

woman stretching outside

How to Tone and Get a Leaner Physique

Fitness

Kick the Intensity Up a Notch

High-intensity interval training (HIIT), where you alternate between exercises of max effort and periods of rest, is an effective way to maximize calorie burn, lose fat, improve strength, and boost overall fitness in a limited amount of time. HIIT exercises help keep the metabolism high, limit blood sugar levels, and reduce heart rate and blood pressure.

Tabatas are a simple way to tackle HIIT, and you can incorporate nearly any movement you want. The point is to give it everything you've got for 20 seconds, and then rest for 10, repeating for eight rounds (four minutes total). 

Try this: 

  • 20 s high-knees
  • 10 s rest
  • 20 s burpees
  • 10 s rest
  • 20 s jumping squats
  • 10 s rest
  • 20 s mountain climbers
  • 10 s rest

Repeat.

Add in Strength-Based Workouts

HIIT is a game-changer, and so is strength training — read: weightlifting. 

Weightlifting is vital to keep your metabolism high, burn more calories, increase strength, and build or maintain muscles. Don't forget, too, that it helps your body burn more calories even at rest. 

This is why strength training is so pivotal in staying lean. The more muscle you have, the harder it is for your body to store fat. 

Dumbbells, kettlebells, barbells, and resistance bands are all excellent tools for strength training. But don't underestimate the power of bodyweight exercises, too. You can incorporate squats, lunges, leg raises, push-ups, sit-ups, and other movements that don't require any equipment.

athlete holding kettlebell

Use Cardio in Moderation

Yes, cardio burns calories. But unlike strength training, it doesn't keep your body going once you've stopped exercising. This means that if you rely solely on cardio, you're going to burn fewer calories overall.

That's right. Too much cardio can backfire. 

We're not telling you not to go for a run or hop on the elliptical. We're telling you not to overdo it or lean on these entirely to help you tone and achieve a leaner physique.

Take Time to Recover

Recovery is just as important as fitness. Yes — we're telling you to take time away from the gym on a regular basis. 

person kicking feet up

Here's why.

Training is when you break your body down. Recovery is when it heals and rebuilds. If you don't give it that chance to rebuild, you'll never achieve your physique goals

And it's not just about aesthetics. Overtraining is serious. It contributes to muscle fatigue and burnout and it can increase your risk of injuries.

Make sure you also get sufficient sleep, as this helps regulate your appetite, maximize physical performance, improve metabolism, heal muscle tissue, and encourage weight loss.

Stand More, Sit Less

While this is something research is still exploring, many experts agree: Excessive sitting makes you gain weight

And it's not just because the more you sit, the less you burn. It also has to do with your cells' mechanical environment. The only way to avoid this is to spend less time sitting. Whether this means investing in a standing desk or taking more frequent breaks to go for a short walk, do it!

Nutrition

Fitness and nutrition go hand in hand when it comes to getting lean. Let's go over some of the most important pieces of the puzzle. 

Drink More Water — We're Serious

Drinking water is essential in weight loss and weight maintenance as it helps keep your metabolism running in a healthy way.

glass of water

Moreover, drinking water before meals reduces cravings and appetite. In fact, studies show that doing so helps dieters eat fewer calories and lose about 44% more weight. 

However, it’s important to understand that water requirements vary per person. People who sweat a lot or exercise regularly, are older, or are breast-feeding mothers will need more water than others to stay hydrated. 

This also means that you shouldn't assume that the rule of thumb to drink eight glasses a day will suffice. Some health professionals will tell you to aim for one ounce of water per pound of bodyweight. So, a person who weighs 150 pounds should drink 150 ounces of water each day.

A good barometer? Check your urine. If it's very yellow, drink more. If it's fairly clear, you're probably doing well. 

Have Eggs For Breakfast

Whole eggs are rich in high-quality protein, healthy fats, and essential vitamins and minerals. But it doesn't end there.

eggs cooking with meat in pan

Research shows that eggs help you feel full for a long time and reduce obsessive thoughts about food, so you tend to snack less between meals. Another study explains that eggs boost metabolism and help burn more calories.

So, if you want something nutritious that'll work in favor of fat loss, having whole eggs for breakfast is the perfect way to start the day.

Plus, fatty foods are good for brain power, making these an excellent meal to dig into before you start your workday. 

Drink Black Coffee and Green Tea

Both black coffee and green tea are loaded with antioxidants and nutrients that help in weight loss and overall health improvement. They contain caffeine, which boosts metabolic rate, enhances fat burning, and increases adrenaline levels to significantly improve physical performance.

person pouring coffee

They’re additionally known to reduce cravings and appetite, thus leading to more manageable cravings.

Of course, you're not going to reap the rewards as much if you load up your drink with sugar and artificial flavorings — which brings us to our next point.

Limit Added Sugar

Sauces, spreads, dressings, and processed meals are packed with added sugar that dominates one’s daily calorie intake.

Moreover, sugar-sweetened beverages like pop, juice, and flavored teas contain fructose, which increases hunger and cravings. These also cause resistance to leptin, an essential hormone that’s supposed to regulate hunger and tell the body to stop eating.

colorful cans of soda

Essentially, added sugars make it easier for you to quickly consume extra calories, which can obviously inhibit your goal to get leaner.

Get comfortable with carefully reading food labels as added sugars can be found even in unexpected products like so-called health foods and low-calorie beverages. 

Watch Your Refined Carbohydrates

Let's be clear: Most things are okay in moderation. But when we're talking about getting more tone, there's another trick you can try.

Minimize refined carbohydrates like white bread and pasta, as these can lead to hunger, cravings, and increased calorie intake in just a few hours. Rather, go for carbs that have natural fibers as these help control blood sugar, increase the feeling of fullness, and reduce your appetite.

potato chips

While you're at it, make sure you’re taking in more protein. This is because high-protein diets can help moderate hunger and appetite and promote fullness and metabolism — all of which can help in weight loss. 

One final reminder: Remember that the key is consistency. It's important to eat healthy, yes, but depriving yourself of anything completely is a good way to ruin any progress you're making. You're still human.

Wherever you are in your journey, these 10 simple tips can help you achieve your health and fitness goals. One thing to remember though is that each body is unique, so fat loss and muscle growth differ for each person.

That’s why it’s essential to have a personalized plan that makes sense for the individual to make their efforts effective.

We're here for you every step of the way. Learn how Atlas Wearables can help you get fit.