First, you will need to eat at a calorie surplus to gain muscle. Approximately 100-300 cals daily above your maintenance needs to gain up to 1/2 lb per week. You will have to feed the muscle in order to grow it. Some of the gain will be fat but if you gain slowly and eat clean, as a beginner you should experience some serious muscle growth over fat.
You will need a diet that mainly consists of complex carbs and lean protein. You will have to give your body a constant supply of protein (divided between meals/snacks every 2-3 hours) because protein cannot be stored by the body for later. The general rule of thumb is 1g of protein per pound of body weight daily. Always eat your protein with a complex carb; whole grains, vegetables (both startchy and fibrous) and legumes. Ensure your fats are mainly from healthy fat sources; nuts/natural nut butters, seeds, olives/olive oil, cold water fish, avocados, eggs, chicken etc.
Incorporate both heavy lifting (a weight/resistance you reach muscle exhaustation in 4-6 reps) to build strength and a moderate/heavy weight/resistance that you reach muscle exhaustation (you cannot possibly lift/repeat the exercise in good form for another rep) in 6-12 reps to build mass. Hit each muscle group twice a week with 48 hour rest periods before working the same muscle group; arms and shoulders, legs and hips, chest, abs and back. I personally prefer an upper/lower split. 2 days a week upper/core and 2 days a week lower.
Include: deadlifts, squats, lunges, dips and pull ups
You can use this website for reference but ignore all the product placement for supplements, you really don't need them: http://www.simplyshredded.com/the-ultimate-female-training-guide.html
Take your focus off the Marshmallow. www.leangains.com/2010/01/marshmallo
"Toning" is marketing muscles to women who are afraid if they pick up a barbell, they'll leave the gym looking like She-Hulk. If you don't want to get bulky, lift heavy!
I can bench Nicole Richie, eat more than she does in a day before noon, I have a good 20 lbs on her but could still wear her pants.
All that matters is that you be the healthiest you, you ca
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