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25 Nov 2004

Put on weight and then tone myself.
Hi Doc,

Ok, so I'm thin (age 25, weigh 48kg) and short (1.64m).

Anyway, I want to tone my body and in order to do that, I need to put on some weight. I've heard that in order to put on some weight, I need to have more carbo's, like whole wheat, bread and eggs? Please also note that apart from chicken, you can call me a vegetarian.

What do you suggest I eat?

Secondly, I need a workout plan on what exercises to do and how many of it. Because this is a Universal Forum, I'd prefer if you could recommend me something!

My first priority is to put more weight on my legs (which are thin) and then tone it so I can be confident when wearing shorts in public. Note, I dont necessarily want strength in my legs but more tone/shape (after I put on some weight in it). Are there any quick ways to put on weight in my legs without the rest of the body taking it?

Lastly, I want to try and avoid this but will only use it if it is 101% necessary. Do I need to take supplements? Or will a strict and proper eating plan work for me?

Really appreciate it.

Muscle-to-be Guy

PS I am hoping to see DEFINITE results in 6 months. I am dedicated to making it work so if a proper eating plan will suffice without taking supplements, then thats gr8 for me!
Answer 595 views

01 Jan 0001

Hi MrMuscle

The good news is that you have a realistic goal - 6 months is about what you can expect before you start seeing some results. Just how good they will be is hard to say, because everyone responds differently, but you should certainly see something.

To start with diet, let me be the first to say that DietDoc is certainly the better person to ask about this. She will be able to recommend specific foods that you need to eat. The most important principle is that you have to be in positive energy balance. What this means is that you must be taking in enough energy to replace what you use, and then some. So, you must aim to get enough energy so that the body can start to store it, and then the training you do determines that you can develop muscle and not fat. For someone wanting to lose weight, the opposite applies - you reduce energy intake, increase energy output and should lose weight.

So, diet must provide you with the overall energy you need, as well as the correct nutrients. In terms of nutrients, you must ensure that you are eating enough proteins and carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are important as the body's main source of energy during exercise. Feelings of fatigue, lack of energy, tiredness are all indications of a lack of carbohydrates in the diet. Foods that contain carbohydrates include rice, potatoes, pasta, bread etc. Any starchy food is a good bet.

Then, in terms of proteins, you must try to eat meats, fish, eggs etc. as good sources of proteins. Ideally, these types of foods should make up 30% of your diet, with carbohydrates about 60 to 70%. Fats should be kept to a minimum of about 10 to 20%.

Then finally, keep in mind that you must train properly to increase mass, and eating well is not enough on its own.

If your aim were to build muscle, the following guidelines will help you:
• Perform 6-10 reps at a high intensity - use a weight that you could lift 12 to 15 times
• Perform 3-4 sets
• Rest 30-60 seconds between reps
• Train each muscle group at least once or twice a week
• Allow 48 hours rest between each muscle’s workout

If your aim were to tone muscle, the following guidelines will help you:
• Perform 10-15 reps but at a much lower intensity - use a weight that would allow you to lift the weight at least 25 times.
• Perform 4-6 sets
• Rest 30-60 seconds between reps
• Train each muscle group at least once or twice a week
• Allow 48 hours rest between each muscle’s workout

If you were to exercise three times a week, you will increase your toning but to a much lesser extent compare to training 4-6 times per week. The volume of your training is much more important than the intensity of your training, bearing in mind your aim is to build muscle.

Your improvement will depend on your initial fitness level. The greatest improvement will be during the first few weeks of your training due to the adaptations of your muscles. A training program is individualized and every person will progress differently. It is hard to tell exactly when you will see changes, but generally after two weeks you will feel stronger and after six weeks you will be able to see an improvement.

A really good website that you can go to to find out more about weight training is the following:

It contains good advice, explanations and assistance with the different types of exercises for different body parts, and even programmes for different types of people. Well worth a look

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical examination, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.
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