The standard advice seems to be that gentle exercise (brisk walking etc) is good, anything that makes you sweat is a no-no. I've seen some posts that say "no new exercise". From my experience really active stuff isn't possible, you don't have the stamina on SS. I would say anyone who wants to do strenuous exercise should be doing AAM or 790 to get that extra fuel.

So walking, cycling, stretching and floor exercises that you take at your own pace would be fine and help with toning. Swimming is always good too. Choose yoga or pilates rather than aerobics, and if you want to go to the gym ask for a program which concentrates on toning and flexibility (low weight, high repetition) and doesn't try to build muscle, you cannot build on a VLCD. Whatever you choose, make it something you enjoy. If possible go with a friend or do a class so you are with other people, the social side makes exercise much more fun.

I don't find that my exercise makes me hungry, but my body was always used to it. It does make me thirsty though, but then it always did. Make sure you take water to class with you so you can grab a quick drink if you need to.


Full Member
I have just started so I am not speaking from experience, just what I plan on doing...

Have you considered pilates? It is kind of like yoga, but with more emphasis on toning and core strength. There are exercises where you get on the floor and use basically very large rubber bands to stretch and tone both the upper and lower body. Last time I was in Britain, TK Maxx had a starter set for £7. I like the idea of pilates as you do it at your own pace, is not too demanding, and you can do it at home while you are watching tv. To be honost, I am the biggest baby. I lived in Glasgow for 6 years and now live in Sweden. I know that I will find every excuse not to go out in the cold, wet, dark winter days for a walk, jog or bicycle ride. The pilates bands will allow me to stay nice and warm and dry inside while still doing some form of exercise.


Full Member
Hi Big Muma!
I also wanted to start exercising to limit the left over flab! I joined Curves, a ladies only gym, no mirrors, full of ladies all ages and sizes (that goes 4 the staff as well!) It gives you a full body workout in just 30 mins! (plenty 4 me!)
It's a circuit of resistance machines with a resting pad in between each, you go on each machine for 30secs then move onto the next for 30secs, you do the circuit 3 times, do your cool down streches and off u go!
I love it and i feel like i'm really toning up!
You can find out more at Curves International - Home
Hope this helps!:) x


Big Mumma, now that you're in your third week you are in a good position to start exercising (as Clairejen says, you mustn't start anything new in the first two weeks) but make sure you start slow and keep the intensity low while you are on a VLCD. Resistance exercise is excellent, as is any kind of low intensity cardio (aerobics, swimming, walking etc.) and flexibility work (pilates, yoga etc.). A combination of all three types will give you a well-balanced regime, but the most important thing is to find something you enjoy, because if you hate it, you won't stick to it, and why put yourself through something you hate?

As for getting hungry, that's why you must make sure you don't overdo things - if you overexercise then your body will NEED more food, so you have to strike a balance. Anyone who wants to do a lot of high intensity exercise needs more in the way of calories than SS, AAM or 790 can provide - to be honest, for strenuous exercise, you should be on at least 1500 calories.

You absolutely must drink extra water before, during and after a workout - take a drink at least once every 15-20 minutes during exercise and make sure you drink about one and a half times what you have lost e.g. if you lose one kilo during exercise, drink a litre and a half of water to rehydrate.

Just a couple of things I need to point out, too:

Sweating is your body's way of cooling you down. Some people sweat loads, some hardly at all. Quite often, the harder you are working, the warmer you are and the more you are moving, the less you seem to be sweating because it's evaporating almost immediately. On the other hand, while doing something like yoga you may sweat loads because you're staying in one place and the air isn't moving around you. Please don't use sweat as an indicator of when to stop, because it's no indication of how hard you are working. Being able to comfortably hold a conversation during a workout is probably a better guideline.

"Toning" is a myth - there is really no such thing. "Toning" is just a combination of losing fat and gaining muscle. There are effectively three types of resistance training - endurance, strength and power. When people talk about "toning" they generally mean endurance training, which is the type where you use lower weights and do higher reps. If you are taking in sufficient calories and protein this will still result in building muscle (as clairejen rightly states, this isn't possible on a VLCD), but you will improve your endurance rather than your strength (ETA: actually you'll improve both but the focus is on endurance with this type of training). As women we do not produce enough testosterone to build muscle quickly anyway, so without the help of steroids or an incredibly intense training programme, we are never going to "bulk up".
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Thin People Only
that's some good info there. Thanks!


Yo-yo dieter here for the gazillionth time
S: 12st4lb C: 11st5lb G: 9st10lb BMI: 26.1 Loss: 0st13lb(7.56%)
All useful stuff - I am starting the gym (it's free at work) on Monday on 1000 cal but have never really excercised before and am nervous about pushing myself as I still get dizzy when I stand up sometimes. My BMI is about 22 now so I am definitely OK to do it but I shall remember low weights, high rep for then!! Good luck everyone with the new fit and healthy regimes!!


Full Member
"Toning" is a myth - there is really no such thing. "quote]

A myth? Then why is it that 4 the first time i can feel my muscle and actually see definition in my arms?
I wasn't like that before it's since i've been going to the gym. I'm not building new muscle, i'm toning and strengthening the excisting muscle thats been hiding under the flab.
It's disheartening to think i cant tone myself up!:(


Kate, I must have too much testosterone then, I built muscle appallingly when I started going to the gym! I don't do it anymore, I stick to dancing and walking.


CJ, yes, you're probably strengthening the existing muscle. It's not that you can't "tone up" - it's just that "toning" is simply a combination of building muscle and losing fat. I keep hearing people say they want to "tone instead of building muscle" but this is impossible - they're the same thing. While you can't build muscle right now, you can certainly improve strength and endurance and maintain the muscle you already have.


I've been trying to think of the best way to explain this clearly and I think this is it:

Basically the only things you can do to your muscles are hypertrophy (increase in size) or atrophy (decrease in size). You can't make your muscles longer or change their shape. You can "tone" your body as a whole by losing fat and gaining muscle, but you can't "tone" a muscle. The only way to get more definition is to lose body fat so that you can reveal the sexy muscle underneath.

So you *can* tone - and it's as simple as losing fat and building muscle :)

Big Mumma

Thanks everyone i think i will try pilates, can anyone recomend any good dvds?

sorry i'm trying to type with one hand as i have a very wriggly baby in the other!


To be honest if you are going to try Pilates it would be better to attend a local class so that an instructor can check and correct your form. After that you could do it from home (as for DVDs there are loads around but Lynne Robinson is particularly good and really knows her stuff...beware of buying "celebrity" workout DVDs) but it's best to do your first class with a "real" instructor.

If any of your local gyms have Body Balance classes, those are well worth checking out too (best class since Body Combat IMHO!). They're a combination of Pilates, yoga and tai chi.