Body Sculpting Diet


A body sculpting diet aims to trim fat and enhance lean muscle mass. A lower body fat percentage makes your muscles appear more defined and your body look lean and toned. In order to obtain a sculpted appearance, eat adequate calories more often and focus on foods that are minimally processed and high in nutrition.


A body sculpting diet asks you to eat several small meals throughout the day. If you need to drop weight, you will need to consume less calories than you burn in a day. Keep it to about 500 calories less a day, or risk dropping weight too quickly and losing important lean muscle mass along with fat. Divide your daily calorie needs by five or six meals (usually each contains between 300 and 500) and make each meal contain a healthy carbohydrate and about 15 to 20 g of lean protein.


Keeping your appetite sated and preserving energy levels are only two of the impacts of these small meals. By eating every three hours or so, your metabolism is continually stoked and your blood sugar remains level. Mini meals help prevent you from overeating because of hunger and deprivation. Allowing yourself an adequate number of calories per day also convinces your body that you are not trying to starve it, and your metabolism continues to burn. Try not to drop below 1,200 total in a day or risk slowing your burn and overall energy levels.

Types of Food

Focus on fat-burning, whole foods to sculpt your body. Whey protein, lean meats, low-fat dairy, fish and eggs should feature prominently. Try almonds as a snack, because a 2007 study in in the “British Journal of Nutrition” showed that eating the nuts provides nutrition, helps lower LDL cholesterol levels (the bad kind) and does not contribute to weight gain. Women who added 344 calories worth of almonds to their diet felt satisfied and seemed to adjust their food intake elsewhere throughout the day. Researchers also surmise that almonds somehow block the absorption of some fat.

Whole grains in the form of brown rice, sprouted grain breads and quinoa are important to fuel your brain and muscles. Lead author Heather Katcher reported in a Pennsylvania State University study published in a 2008 issue of the “American Journal of Clinical Nutrition” that when dieters replaced refined grains with whole grains, they not only lost weight, the lost fat targeted at the mid-section of the body.

Avoid trans and saturated fats which promote weight gain, but go for monounsaturated fats found in olive, canola and sunflower oil. These heart healthy oils discourage fat accumulation as shown in 11 obese subjects in a Spanish study published in the journal, “Diabetes Care” in 2007, and do not contribute to higher cholesterol and heart disease.


A body sculpting diet alone will not cause you to develop muscles without a resistance training program. As recommended by the American College of Sports Medicine, perform a strength training routine that addresses all major muscle groups of the body with eight to 10 exercises on at least two non-consecutive days per week. Try taking in a serving of whey protein shortly after your strength training routine. The National Dairy Council confirms that this protein is readily absorbed and contributes to building and maintaining lean muscle. Cardiovascular exercise is also critical to help you burn fat so that you can show off those muscles—so try to incorporate at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise five times per week. For faster results, strive to strength train as many as three or four times per week, but leave a rest day between these workouts.


Genetics play a role in your ultimate results. Instead of comparing your body to some unattainable ideal, consider your own body type and potential. Sculpting your body takes time and diligence—do not expect it to happen in a matter of days.

About this Author

With degrees from Princeton and Columbia University, Andrea Cespedes is also a professionally trained chef and has focused studies in nutrition. With over 20 years of experience in the fitness industry, she coaches cycling and running and teaches pilates and yoga. She is an American Council on Exercise certified personal trainer.