The Student Room Group

How to shape/tone body

Hi guysss, I’ve been meaning to start my fitness journey as I do have body dysmorphia😔 few years ago I’ve been wanting to gain weight, get that hourglass figure but I just couldn’t stand the excessive eating and heaps amount of protein I’ve got to consume. It all became expensive too. So I just stopped working out completely. I grew up being quiet skinny and as I’ve gotten older, I’ve naturally put on some weight and afraid to workout in case I lose my chest size - not huge lol but it’s the most I’ve had and makes me feel feminine.

I have up to 50kg weights - dumbell & barbel at home and do have a few workout programs at home. I know diet is key here and can truly shape you to whatever desired physique.

I’ve come to the point where I’m happy where I’m at now - slight medium - but looking to tone body and extenuate the curves I already have. Key- tone arms, make hips/glutes lifted and rounder. How can I do this without losing chest size - I know you can’t spot reduce but I just want to tone mostly my arms and lower body without doing bunch of cardio and lots of extensive workouts.

Are low impact workouts like Pilates good for this? I don’t have those big Pilate boards but I can follow videos off YouTube? Or is that a form of cardio which could make me lose more than I’d want? All advice will be appreciated
Reply 1
Weight lifting seems perfect i think? Focus on exercises that target the muscles/ area u want to tone. Ofc to make things rounder, you’ll have to consume a bit more protein as protein is essential in muscle development. Pilates can definitely tone! But it’s more of an overall tone. It also gives nice lines if you do it right, but I’m not sure whether it can build glutes etc. It’s good though, do give it a go! As always, losing weight is due to less calorie intake than use. So if you want to maintain your weight, you will definitely have to eat more if you decide to increase the amount of calories you burn. You gain weight by eating more than what you burn. Either way, exercise will definitely tone, but these things can really be spontaneous, just like how you can’t spot reduce, you also can’t spot build or control how your body reacts to the exercise/food. You can target the muscles you want to build but it will still have an overall affect on your body.

Do correct me if I’m wrong though, I’m certainly no expert in this area.
Original post by Maris499
Hi guysss, I’ve been meaning to start my fitness journey as I do have body dysmorphia😔 few years ago I’ve been wanting to gain weight, get that hourglass figure but I just couldn’t stand the excessive eating and heaps amount of protein I’ve got to consume. It all became expensive too. So I just stopped working out completely. I grew up being quiet skinny and as I’ve gotten older, I’ve naturally put on some weight and afraid to workout in case I lose my chest size - not huge lol but it’s the most I’ve had and makes me feel feminine.
I have up to 50kg weights - dumbell & barbel at home and do have a few workout programs at home. I know diet is key here and can truly shape you to whatever desired physique.
I’ve come to the point where I’m happy where I’m at now - slight medium - but looking to tone body and extenuate the curves I already have. Key- tone arms, make hips/glutes lifted and rounder. How can I do this without losing chest size - I know you can’t spot reduce but I just want to tone mostly my arms and lower body without doing bunch of cardio and lots of extensive workouts.
Are low impact workouts like Pilates good for this? I don’t have those big Pilate boards but I can follow videos off YouTube? Or is that a form of cardio which could make me lose more than I’d want? All advice will be appreciated

Absolutely no clue about Pilates sorry! However if you REALLY want to avoid cardio, which I really do suggest doing, you're simply gonna have to cut back on calories. Do this gradually, otherwise you just feel tired constantly. Maybe don't eat a snack when you get home from school / work once a week for the first week, then twice for the 2nd etc. On top of that, realistically to keep muscle you need to put stress on it and supply it with protein, so worrying about losing your beautiful chest is not needed! Just make sure to keep working out consistently while lowering your carbs and keeping the protein the same. Please do some cardio too its super good for you and you don't need to do it that often, it really helps speed up the process!!!
Original post by Maris499
Hi guysss, I’ve been meaning to start my fitness journey as I do have body dysmorphia😔 few years ago I’ve been wanting to gain weight, get that hourglass figure but I just couldn’t stand the excessive eating and heaps amount of protein I’ve got to consume. It all became expensive too. So I just stopped working out completely. I grew up being quiet skinny and as I’ve gotten older, I’ve naturally put on some weight and afraid to workout in case I lose my chest size - not huge lol but it’s the most I’ve had and makes me feel feminine.
I have up to 50kg weights - dumbell & barbel at home and do have a few workout programs at home. I know diet is key here and can truly shape you to whatever desired physique.
I’ve come to the point where I’m happy where I’m at now - slight medium - but looking to tone body and extenuate the curves I already have. Key- tone arms, make hips/glutes lifted and rounder. How can I do this without losing chest size - I know you can’t spot reduce but I just want to tone mostly my arms and lower body without doing bunch of cardio and lots of extensive workouts.
Are low impact workouts like Pilates good for this? I don’t have those big Pilate boards but I can follow videos off YouTube? Or is that a form of cardio which could make me lose more than I’d want? All advice will be appreciated

I’m an exercise professional and I wouldn’t take on a client with BD. It’s a serious mental health condition.
Some of the advice in this thread is absolute rubbish, and shows no understanding whatsoever of the condition, or its potential for impact upon a client’s physical or mental well-being. It is not written by people qualified in mental health, nutrition or exercise.
My advice is to speak to your GP and get a referral for a specialist support service.
Original post by KitCat13
Absolutely no clue about Pilates sorry! However if you REALLY want to avoid cardio, which I really do suggest doing, you're simply gonna have to cut back on calories. Do this gradually, otherwise you just feel tired constantly. Maybe don't eat a snack when you get home from school / work once a week for the first week, then twice for the 2nd etc. On top of that, realistically to keep muscle you need to put stress on it and supply it with protein, so worrying about losing your beautiful chest is not needed! Just make sure to keep working out consistently while lowering your carbs and keeping the protein the same. Please do some cardio too its super good for you and you don't need to do it that often, it really helps speed up the process!!!

What a load of clueless rubbish.
Reply 5
Original post by Coeoe
Weight lifting seems perfect i think? Focus on exercises that target the muscles/ area u want to tone. Ofc to make things rounder, you’ll have to consume a bit more protein as protein is essential in muscle development. Pilates can definitely tone! But it’s more of an overall tone. It also gives nice lines if you do it right, but I’m not sure whether it can build glutes etc. It’s good though, do give it a go! As always, losing weight is due to less calorie intake than use. So if you want to maintain your weight, you will definitely have to eat more if you decide to increase the amount of calories you burn. You gain weight by eating more than what you burn. Either way, exercise will definitely tone, but these things can really be spontaneous, just like how you can’t spot reduce, you also can’t spot build or control how your body reacts to the exercise/food. You can target the muscles you want to build but it will still have an overall affect on your body.
Do correct me if I’m wrong though, I’m certainly no expert in this area.



Original post by KitCat13
Absolutely no clue about Pilates sorry! However if you REALLY want to avoid cardio, which I really do suggest doing, you're simply gonna have to cut back on calories. Do this gradually, otherwise you just feel tired constantly. Maybe don't eat a snack when you get home from school / work once a week for the first week, then twice for the 2nd etc. On top of that, realistically to keep muscle you need to put stress on it and supply it with protein, so worrying about losing your beautiful chest is not needed! Just make sure to keep working out consistently while lowering your carbs and keeping the protein the same. Please do some cardio too its super good for you and you don't need to do it that often, it really helps speed up the process!!!

Thank you both. I overthink a lot when it comes to this and have been for years which has essentially put me off from sticking to a routine in the first place.
Back then of course I’d want the big glutes, legs etc and would try to stuff my face but it was getting too much and just seemed so unrealistic for me. Especially living at home with parents, it’s hard to completely change my diet and not eat food at home. Buying crap tonne of protein is expensive asf too. I think I was also losing weight back then while trying to gain because I wasn’t eating enough and burning much more. I have to do research on calorie dense foods damn

So my goal has been to maintain/put on a tiny bit of weight but essentially tone my arms, legs and lift & round my glutes -Basically have nice curve lines as you mentioned without the typical BBL look 😂 and wanting to look huge.

How can I calculate what I burned in order to eat more than it? How do I increase protein without relying on shakes and spending so much on protein yoghurts and chocolates etc & overfilling my plate.
Crazy but I think the diet part of this is much more difficult than the working out bit lol.

With chest size I know I shouldn’t care so much about it and not let the thought of them getting smaller as I workout bother me but it’s difficult to get my head round it as I’ve not always had them, and this is the most I’ve ever had and felt comfortable. Just my damn lower body that needs shaping!!!

Also really stupid question but if I have a barbell for example and pack 20kg on both ends, does that mean I’m lifting 20kg or In total 40kg? Thank you
Reply 6
Original post by Maris499
Thank you both. I overthink a lot when it comes to this and have been for years which has essentially put me off from sticking to a routine in the first place.
Back then of course I’d want the big glutes, legs etc and would try to stuff my face but it was getting too much and just seemed so unrealistic for me. Especially living at home with parents, it’s hard to completely change my diet and not eat food at home. Buying crap tonne of protein is expensive asf too. I think I was also losing weight back then while trying to gain because I wasn’t eating enough and burning much more. I have to do research on calorie dense foods damn
So my goal has been to maintain/put on a tiny bit of weight but essentially tone my arms, legs and lift & round my glutes -Basically have nice curve lines as you mentioned without the typical BBL look 😂 and wanting to look huge.
How can I calculate what I burned in order to eat more than it? How do I increase protein without relying on shakes and spending so much on protein yoghurts and chocolates etc & overfilling my plate.
Crazy but I think the diet part of this is much more difficult than the working out bit lol.
With chest size I know I shouldn’t care so much about it and not let the thought of them getting smaller as I workout bother me but it’s difficult to get my head round it as I’ve not always had them, and this is the most I’ve ever had and felt comfortable. Just my damn lower body that needs shaping!!!
Also really stupid question but if I have a barbell for example and pack 20kg on both ends, does that mean I’m lifting 20kg or In total 40kg? Thank you

Regarding diet-- I know there are apps out there that can help you track calories. Just have a good fulfilling meal every mealtime. Make sure to have your veggies, carbs and protein. To increase protein intake, make sure you have protein every meal. Have more meat, seafood, beans, eggs etc. whatever has protein. Don't overload either though, it's not particularly good if you eat too much protein but then don't use it.

I've heard that soya milk, or honey can help increase chest size so if you're afraid of it shrinking, maybe you can try them out. There's not exactly scientific backing for this though.

Honestly I'm not too sure as I actually don't go to the gym😂 but logically you would be lifting 40kgs... I'm not sure what gym ppl call it tho.
Original post by MissTeee
What a load of clueless rubbish.

Sorry to say but I think you're the one who doesn't know what they're talking about
Original post by Maris499
Thank you both. I overthink a lot when it comes to this and have been for years which has essentially put me off from sticking to a routine in the first place.
Back then of course I’d want the big glutes, legs etc and would try to stuff my face but it was getting too much and just seemed so unrealistic for me. Especially living at home with parents, it’s hard to completely change my diet and not eat food at home. Buying crap tonne of protein is expensive asf too. I think I was also losing weight back then while trying to gain because I wasn’t eating enough and burning much more. I have to do research on calorie dense foods damn
So my goal has been to maintain/put on a tiny bit of weight but essentially tone my arms, legs and lift & round my glutes -Basically have nice curve lines as you mentioned without the typical BBL look 😂 and wanting to look huge.
How can I calculate what I burned in order to eat more than it? How do I increase protein without relying on shakes and spending so much on protein yoghurts and chocolates etc & overfilling my plate.
Crazy but I think the diet part of this is much more difficult than the working out bit lol.
With chest size I know I shouldn’t care so much about it and not let the thought of them getting smaller as I workout bother me but it’s difficult to get my head round it as I’ve not always had them, and this is the most I’ve ever had and felt comfortable. Just my damn lower body that needs shaping!!!
Also really stupid question but if I have a barbell for example and pack 20kg on both ends, does that mean I’m lifting 20kg or In total 40kg? Thank you

I guess a diet app will probably do, or just a note where you add up all the calories / protein etc from food you eat. And yes you're lifting 40kg if you've got 2 20kg weights on!!!
Original post by KitCat13
Sorry to say but I think you're the one who doesn't know what they're talking about

Qualified Personal Trainer and Exercise Referral Practitioner. I do this for a job and would just laugh at the advice in this thread, if if wasn’t so potentially dangerous.
Would these posters advise someone with anorexia to cut down on calories too? This is the worry. There are vulnerable, clueless people reading this stuff.
Neither you or they have a clear scientific understanding of exercise, nutrition or Body Dysmorphia and its consequences.
(edited 1 month ago)
Reply 10
Original post by Maris499
Hi guysss, I’ve been meaning to start my fitness journey as I do have body dysmorphia😔 few years ago I’ve been wanting to gain weight, get that hourglass figure but I just couldn’t stand the excessive eating and heaps amount of protein I’ve got to consume. It all became expensive too. So I just stopped working out completely. I grew up being quiet skinny and as I’ve gotten older, I’ve naturally put on some weight and afraid to workout in case I lose my chest size - not huge lol but it’s the most I’ve had and makes me feel feminine.
I have up to 50kg weights - dumbell & barbel at home and do have a few workout programs at home. I know diet is key here and can truly shape you to whatever desired physique.
I’ve come to the point where I’m happy where I’m at now - slight medium - but looking to tone body and extenuate the curves I already have. Key- tone arms, make hips/glutes lifted and rounder. How can I do this without losing chest size - I know you can’t spot reduce but I just want to tone mostly my arms and lower body without doing bunch of cardio and lots of extensive workouts.
Are low impact workouts like Pilates good for this? I don’t have those big Pilate boards but I can follow videos off YouTube? Or is that a form of cardio which could make me lose more than I’d want? All advice will be appreciated

Hi OP, can I make sure of something before I reply to the other person?

U don't have to answer at all but I was wondering whether you have been clinically diagnosed with Body dysphoria or whether you just know/think you have it?
And do you think our advice will worsen your condition?

Nevermind, I've chosen not to engage with the person as it would probably be pointless. 😂
(edited 1 month ago)
Original post by MissTeee
Qualified Personal Trainer and Exercise Referral Practitioner. I do this for a job and would just laugh at the advice in this thread, if if wasn’t so potentially dangerous.
Would these posters advise someone with anorexia to cut down on calories too? This is the worry. There are vulnerable, clueless people reading this stuff.
Neither you or they have a clear scientific understanding of exercise, nutrition or Body Dysmorphia and its consequences.

Fair argument that you obviously don't want to lose calories if you're underweight, but I'm giving advice to someone who wants to be cutting, not someone who wants to lose weight even further. I'm also mildly surprised someone's given you the qualification in the first place tbh.
Original post by Coeoe
Hi OP, can I make sure of something before I reply to the other person?
U don't have to answer at all but I was wondering whether you have been clinically diagnosed with Body dysphoria or whether you just know/think you have it?
And do you think our advice will worsen your condition?
Nevermind, I've chosen not to engage with the person as it would probably be pointless. 😂

Ikr, I shouldn't be engaging but it's pretty funny 😭
Reply 13
Original post by KitCat13
Ikr, I shouldn't be engaging but it's pretty funny 😭

Hahah true 😭😭

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