What they don’t realize is that being toned means having a good percentage of muscle mass and a small percentage of body fat.
The only case when you can become bulkier than you were before is if you don’t change your poor diet! So stop using the weight as the only method of measuring progress and use fat calipers or body fat scales as well. After and intense session of resistance training (aka lifting weights), your muscle will tear itself down and then start building itself back up, bigger and stronger than before.
So make sure you include weight training in your program and a lot of protein in your diet (these two are the main conditions for building muscle). While some of these aspects may not apply to highly overweight people that need to lose A LOT of weight, they will work really well for those in a pretty good shape that just want to “get toned" for the summer. Aspects related to Cholesterol can be quite technical but keeping in mind the audience and philosophy of this Blog, I will try to keep it as non-technical as possible but to drive the message home there will be an element of technicality. Separately, not everything related to Cholesterol has been figured out despite what people have been led to believe.
The one thing I can reasonably confidently say is that mothers never do or produce anything that harms their offspring intentionally.
Cholesterol is so essential to our survival that Liver and most cells can manufacture Cholesterol from raw ingredients. Cholesterol is an organic molecule which is a steroid alcohol (but does not behave like a normal alcohol). There are only two types of Cholesterol – Free or Unesterified Cholesterol (UC) and Esterified Cholesterol (called CE). These are different types of Lipoproteins that carry the Cholesterol. Last time I read, there are five major types and many sub-types of Lipoproteins. The main types of Cholesterol are Chylomicron, VLDL (Very Low Density Lipoprotein), IDL (Intermediate Density Lp), LDL (Low Density Lipoprotein) and HDL (High Density Lipoprotein) in ascending order of density.
The following picture shows the density and typical cargo for a given Lipoprotein type (or class).
A couple of Observations: LDL has more Cholesterol in general compared to HDL and VLDL and Chylomicron has the highest amount of Fat (Tri-glyceride).

As mentioned earlier, Cholesterol is measured by breaking open the Lipoproteins and measuring the underlying Cholesterol. Foods I avoid when loading clean:  All regular sugar sources, fruit, all grains, nuts very sparingly.
But I also had a couple other ideas in mind when deciding to load clean and the cool thing was things panned out just as I had planned- I did some research on getting into ketosis, etc, stuff like that, and decided to eat low carb for a week and half prior to starting hCG, then load low-carb, then hope to be in ketosis (fat burning mode) right away- and guess what I was!
That all said, loading however you want is a free choice and you should be entitled to load how you want with no guilt!
Keep track of your body fat and muscle percentage and also take before and after pictures for a better appraisal. And this process requires a lot of energy, meaning that you will burn calories long after you worked out. People are still doing significant amount of research and putting together all the pieces of the jigsaw.
Most of this group also thinks that higher Cholesterol levels are caused by consumption of saturated fat.
They think that something that is causing Heart Disease is also perhaps causing the Cholesterol levels to up (but not all the time and in all the people). The reason why there is good amount of Cholesterol in an egg and mother’s milk is because it is very useful and essential for the babies. Approximately 75% of the Cholesterol is produced within the body with around 25% coming from food sources. Altogether I counted 16 different types of Lipoproteins as per the picture below (courtesy Dr.Peter Attia). Despite the number of tests performed and the amount of medication prescribed based on the tests, the most used Lipid Profile test uses a degree of estimation and approximation in identifying Cholesterol levels associated with various Lipoproteins. I used to have a binge eating disorder and that load set me off on a 9 week binge eating rant.
Don’t compare pictures made a few days or weeks apart, but compare them on the long term (for example 3 months apart).
And it also means that you can eat more food and still lose weight, so you won’t need to starve yourself with a diet that is very low on calories.

Entire books have been written on this subject and trying to do justice in a 3-4 page post is a significant ask. In their words there is perhaps an association to some extent in some people between high Cholesterol and Heart Disease.
Just to give you some perspective, the entire amount of Cholesterol in our body is approx 30-40 gms and the daily need is around 800-1200 mg (milli-grams). There were a couple of reasons for my decision and why I’ve done it for 3 rounds now. After that I realized that never again could I EVER binge on those types of foods for any reason whatsoever. I started out doing hCG expecting just a little, then realized how far it could get me, so I started getting more scientific and strategic about it. But if you followed the diet and the training program carefully, you probably lost a few pounds of fat and gained a few pounds of muscle instead.
If you eat 600 mg, your body will produce 600 mg and if you eat 1200 mg body will produce none. Those huge bodybuilders you see in magazines have been lifting heavy weights for many years and most of them are also using anabolic steroids. So your weight is the same but your body composition is totally different (and you definitely look better now).
Blood tests measure or estimate the cargo – the actual cholesterol but technically you cannot have a Cholesterol in the blood directly. So the human body will produce whatever Cholesterol is necessary whether you eat it or not.

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