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Last Updated on March 17, 2021
When embarking on a fitness journey, women often get told how to avoid getting bulky, but who said that muscles aren’t for women? Society is comfortable placing the stigmatized heavyweights of misogyny and childcare on women’s shoulders, but in the same breath it reprimands feminine muscle gain.
Striving to be healthier is generally a fulfilling goal, but solely relying on the benefits of water for health and insurance isn’t enough to keep you fit.
If you have ever been excited about a new workout, a new activity, or gym gains only to be lectured about becoming too skinny or too muscular, this article is for you.
Are muscles on women attractive?
Who cares? You do not need anyone’s validation. You are the beholder of your physical and health goals, which means if you think your routine is beautiful, then it is.
From a young age, we get introduced to the narrow views of gender roles that portray strength as masculinity and daintiness as femininity. We see this in all forms of media such as television and advertising when women come in a variety of shapes and sizes in real life.
In fact, what we find physically attractive goes in and out of style like fashion, meaning there’s never been a perfect figure. What body type is considered “ideal” is strongly influenced by modern culture at any time period and geographical location.
Whether you’re looking to gain weight or lose, building muscle is a healthy goal that improves your health and boosts your confidence. So gal, set those gain goals.
What to Eat to Gain Muscle
Now that that’s out of the way, let’s dig into how to get those gains. What and how you eat is 80 percent of the battle. Despite how much you exercise, you can guarantee that what you do in the kitchen will either make or break your progress.
Any dietitian will tell you to be mindful of your sweets and sugar intake, but knowing what not to eat doesn’t help as much as knowing what does. Here is a breakdown of healthy foods that can boost your well-being; you can not only eat them but also enjoy them.
Don’t Count out Dairy
Lately, dairy has been given a bad reputation, but don’t let the negative press fool you. Dairy is healthy and doesn’t deserve to be shunned entirely. A list of some dairy items not to exclude is:
- Greek yogurt
- Ricotta cheese
- Cottage cheese
The Best Snacks: Fruits, Seeds, and Nuts
Whether you incorporate them with your meals or use them as a pick-me-up during the day, here is a list of foods to keep you going:
- Chia seeds
What Carbs Not to Cut
Despite being the punchline in dietary jokes, carbohydrates are needed for muscle gain and a healthy diet. Carbohydrates help keep you full and rejuvenate your energy to fuel your workouts. Depending on your goals, your intake should be moderated, but here are the best carbs for your diet:
- Oatmeal / Granola
- Potatoes / Sweet potatoes
- Brown rice
Veggies Are Unsung Heroes
In the age of a pandemic, vitamin C is an element we should all be seeking. Oranges aren’t the only way to get a natural source of vitamins, and frankly, vegetables are delicious. A list of healthy vegetables includes:
- Butternut squash
Proteins for Ultimate Gains
The best part of muscle-building is all you get to eat. Forget the skimpy plates because a woman’s plate is full. When building muscle, protein is vital for the amino acids needed to support muscle gain, and these are the top tasty sources:
- Lean beef
- Whey protein
Herbs and Oils Because Food Needs Flavor
All those yummy ingredients won’t do well without some spice. Spices have been used as medicine for centuries because of their anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. To keep the flavor and the benefits, look up recipes with these ingredients:
- Green tea
- Avocado oil
- Flaxseed oil
- Olive oil
What are the Benefits of Building Muscle Tone
For all physical goals, finding a fitness regime and sticking to it is the key to success. Muscle gains may seem to come slowly, but they are worth the dedication.
The best way to gain muscle is by doing slow, heavy, controlled reps. Increase the number of reps and rounds you do to increase your strength.
The average woman can healthily gain roughly half a pound to one pound of muscle in a month. It is possible to build more muscle in that time, but beginners should expect to start seeing results within eight to 10 months of dedication.
A few benefits of increasing your muscle mass are:
- Improves your stamina – Your goal probably isn’t to become an all-star athlete, but stamina for your weekly routine and even the bedroom will be increased.
- Allows you to eat more carbs – Consuming carbohydrates are as American as baseball. Foods we love tend to be ones not so good for us, but increased muscle mass means a higher tolerance for carbs. So eat up.
- Muscle eats fat – Muscle burns calories faster than fat cells, so if your goal is to lose or maintain building more muscle, it will help you get to your goal.
- Muscles fight off diseases – Muscles promote healthy blood flow, which has been studied to correlate with reduced health risks such as heart disease, heart attack, and blood clotting.
Where are the best places to build muscle?
Overall, muscle building will help you obtain any fitness goal you have, and there is no wrong place for women to have it. There is a lot of pressure to have an “instagramable body type” and compete with unrealistic body images, and honestly, it is tiring.
In a society where you are lectured if you do and whispered about if you don’t focus on the lifestyle and body image that makes you happiest. However, keep in mind that being healthy has multiple benefits, and having more muscle than fat can even impact how much life insurance you need.
You cannot lose or gain weight in one targeted area of the body. Knowing the muscle groups used in weight training will help you build muscle where you want it. It is easy to get trapped in by the ideals of what a woman’s body should look like, but healthy is always in style.
Danielle Beck-Hunter writes and researches for the insurance site, InsuranceProviders.com. Danielle is a healthy living advocate and enjoys studying the psychology behind how body images affect the psyche.