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LOVEMOUSE82 SparkPoints: (3,788)
Fitness Minutes: (2,976)
Posts: 349
4/13/13 7:20 P

So one more question about the gaining a few pounds of lean muscle....if I in fact should be eating a bit more to tone up, how do I make my range reflect that? I am of course over my range again today and knowing what I know now that doesn't bother me especially since I have been very mindful of filling up with lots of healthy foods (and I've gone 5k in the woods plus a couple extra miles this afternoon- lots of cardio) Tomorrow will be a strength training day!!!

Anyway, what should I then set my range to so it reflects a bit of a higher healthy range? I know a couple of you have said to play around with it a bit but I wonder if there is a good starting point. Even though I know it's really ok given my situation, the perfectionist in me still cringes when I see the numbers technically being "over" what spark says my range should be....

SLIMMERKIWI SparkPoints: (246,678)
Fitness Minutes: (41,336)
Posts: 26,770
4/13/13 6:13 P

THAT I can answer :-)

When I was a teenager I was a sprinter - a competitive sprinter. I was a bit heavier than you but the same height. I was practicing for the trials for the Commonwealth Games. My weight never affected my speed ............ instead I met a guy and THAT affected it - I stopped training :-)


LOVEMOUSE82 SparkPoints: (3,788)
Fitness Minutes: (2,976)
Posts: 349
4/13/13 8:43 A

THANK YOU! All of that info makes a lot more sense, I am not in any way trying to lose weight at all...I am now using spark trackers to fuel my runs adequately,and yes I do do strength training like 3 or 4 times a week (should i do more often?) I use resistance bands and usually some of coach Nicole's videos as well as some of the Pilates videos. I would be ok gaining a few pounds - it makes sense that I will be increasing muscle. I just wonder how it will affect my running speed (this tiny competitive part of me is all like, NO the lighter you are the faster you are, I guess that's probably not necessarily true)

This info has been super helpful!

ARCHIMEDESII SparkPoints: (196,969)
Fitness Minutes: (294,073)
Posts: 27,057
4/13/13 6:39 A


If you want to increase your lean muscle to give your body some definition, then you're going to have to increase the amount of food you eat. Are you doing any sort of strength training ? If you want to "tone" up, that means increasing muscle. Which in turn means increasing your weight.
I know that's something most women don't want to hear. But in order to increase lean muscle, you're going to have to accept the fact that the scale may go up by 5 or so pounds.

In order to gain muscle, you need to engage in a regular strength training program combined with a healthy diet that has a surplus of calories. How many extra calories should you eat to increase lean muscle is the holy grail of weight training. This is NOT an exact science. You are going to have to experiment with your diet to find the right amount of calories you need to eat in order to add a bit of lean muscle.

How long does it take to gain muscle ? Once again, there's no exact answer because there are many factors involved. Genetics is the big one. If you're not genetically predisposed to have muscle, you may find it difficult to tone up. The reason why men can add muscle fairly quickly is because they have a higher percentage of muscle by body weight than women do AND they have more testosterone.

I've been strength training for years and it really has taken me that long to get my body to a point where I am seeing definition and shape.

I know this really is all very confusing because there are a lot of different opinions on the subject. If you want to increase your lean muscle to give your body some shape, you're going to need to increase the amount of food you eat combined with some regular strength training. Adding five pounds to your scale weight may give you some definition.

And what you eat is key. The body builders will tell you that strong ABs are built in the kitchen. Eating more doesn't mean eating cheesecake every day. It means eating more of highly nutritious food.

What are your specific fitness goals ? Saying you want to tone up is a very general question. Try to be more specific. If you can narrow down your goals, that will give you a better idea of what you need to do to achieve those goals.

4/13/13 12:08 A

I have seen you here before.


The truth of the matter is, at 5 foot 6 inches tall, you are exactly one tenth of a point above "underweight," according to your BMI. You may need to talk to your doctor about any concerns you are having.

If you are here to lose weight, it's time to stop. If you are here to get fit, again be sure to talk to your doctor, or perhaps a nutrition specialist to make sure you are getting enough calories.

Be well.

Edited by: LILLIPUTIANNA at: 4/13/2013 (00:09)
KOOSHKY SparkPoints: (7,509)
Fitness Minutes: (3,159)
Posts: 104
4/12/13 11:27 P

Listen to your body. If it is telling you it is hungry, and you don't feed it, that is when things will backfire and you could gain weight. Just be selective about what you feed it.

SLIMMERKIWI SparkPoints: (246,678)
Fitness Minutes: (41,336)
Posts: 26,770
4/12/13 11:04 P

I don't see that you are eating too much at all. Altho' BMI's are only a rough guide, yours is at the very low end of healthy, bordering too light. What is it that you are afraid of by gaining a little bit of weight? I wouldn't be worried too much, but rather play around with it until you find your happy balance. I keep a spreadsheet with all my daily calories and exercise etc. and every now and then I average the calories out with the Autosum function. By doing this I have found where I maintain, where I gain and where I lose.

You mention being hungry. After looking at your Nutrition Tracker I note that most days you have a snack, whether it be muffins, or Chocolate Bunny or cupcakes, etc, and these account for around 200 calories. Altho' I am by no means saying 'don't eat them', perhaps eating them a little less frequently and in their place adding some fruit will help to keep you full for longer. You could have 2 medium bananas which would last the distance much more than the others. Unfortunately it isn't just the calories consumed, but in this case it can boil down to where some of the calories come from as in food type.

I hope that you find what works best for you.


LOVEMOUSE82 SparkPoints: (3,788)
Fitness Minutes: (2,976)
Posts: 349
4/12/13 10:42 P


I've started several different posts regarding some of my diet and fitness questions and some of you will no doubt recognize me. After reading everyone's answers I feel more confused than ever and not sure if I'm doing this right because some things don't seem to make sense. Here's the scoop, so you know all the info and then please feel free to look at my trackers, give me some advice and insight about my questions....I really appreciate it!!

I started spark the first of February. Since then I have worked up to being able to run a 5k in half an hour, and I enjoy doing this around 3 times a week. I also run other shorter runs throughout the week and do some strength training with resistance bands. I am a 26 year old female and I burn 1000 calories a week. Lots of times I go over this 1000 goal but probably nothing significant enough to change my calorie range...

I've posted a couple threads regarding questions on my calorie intake/fitness, and some members have stated that they believe I am not eating enough to fuel my new running habits. My current range with all updated info that I have just shared is 1500-1850. There are times (and lately several times) that I have been over that range. (Feel free to take a look at my shared trackers). So, here is what doesn't make sense:

All my information is correct, including calories burned and fitness, and this is the range that spark gave me according to that info. BUT some of the members think that it's really not enough, especially if there ARE times I go over that 1000 calories burned each week. So, where is the middle ground here? How then do I know what IS remaining in a good range that is not overeating and yet is still enough to fuel the exercise I am doing? And by the way, when I set my calorie burn goal to 1400, it raises my range up to 1910, but that's really only 60 calories more than before so it's not much of a difference.

My ultimate goal is to tone up, to increase my running speed, and to remain at a healthy weight. I am 5 feet 6 inches according to my latest measurement, and currently at 115-118 pounds depending on the day and water weight. I'm no longer trying to lose weight, I have my goals set to maintenance but that makes me a little nervous, because then I really am in danger of gaining weight if I am over that range, which, as I said, I have been quite often recently. So, my ultimate question here is, am I eating too much??? if the answer is simply YES I can fix that. But as some have had the concern that I wasn't eating enough for my runs,I wanted to clarify because now I'm confused about it. I have been quite hungry since doing so much running, but it's one of those things that I don't know if that makes it ok to eat more or if its just my body getting used to running. The last thing I want to do is gain weight from the running making me overly hungry and then I overcompensate. I just can't tell at this point what overcompensating would be as opposed to actually eating what the body needs....

THANK YOU immensely for reading and replying. Sorry to be so long winded. I just wanted to clarify my question and explain why I've become so confused about this. I really really appreciate anybody that took the time to read (because I know I made this one long) and hopefully responds with some good advice, insight, thoughts, etc. THANK YOU! I love spark!

Edited by: LOVEMOUSE82 at: 4/15/2013 (20:53)
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