The purpose of a body sculpting diet is to shape the body by toning the muscles and reducing body fat. The goal is to create a sculpted look where the muscles are well defined and easily seen. These types of diets recommend eating small, healthy, balanced meals throughout the day and engaging in stretching, cardiovascular, and strength-training exercises.
One of the main principles of a body sculpting diet is the need to eat five to six small meals over the course of the day. The idea behind this is that eating several smaller meals instead of three large meals will keep blood sugar levels steady and boost the metabolism. It also helps the dieter avoid hunger, which can lead to overeating. Overall calories consumed should be less than what is burned each day, but not significantly less, as this can cause weight to drop too quickly and trigger the body to go into starvation mode.
Body sculpting diets also promote eating healthy foods to help decrease body fat. Lean meats, fish, low-fat dairy and other forms of lean protein are an important component of these diets, to aid in building muscle and keeping the dieter's appetite satisfied. Whole grains are also important, as they provide fuel for the body. Saturated and trans fats should be avoided, while monounsaturated fats are encouraged. Leafy green vegetables and fruits should also be included.
In addition to dietary changes that promote reduction of body fat, the other main component of a body sculpting diet is the exercise regimen. Perhaps the most important part of the exercise plan is the strength-training routine. Weight training and resistance exercises are key to shaping the muscles and giving them the desired definition. These diets recommend doing strength training at least two times per week using all of the major muscle groups. Dieters may train three to four times per week to get faster results, but are encouraged to allow the muscles to rest and recuperate at least one day between sessions.
Cardiovascular and stretching exercises are also important parts of a body sculpting diet. Moderate workouts that elevate the heart rate are necessary to burn additional fat and help bring out the definition of the muscles. Stretching keeps the muscles lean, long, and flexible as they are toned. Both types of workout should be incorporated into the dieter's routine several days per week.