Women who want a sculpted body focus on burning fat and building lean muscle. Healthy dietary practices, cardiovascular exercise and strength training make up a well-rounded female body sculpting program. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends a minimum of 30 minutes of cardio five days a week and at least two days a week of strength training. Many female athletes perform much more than the minimum recommended amount when trying to sculpt their bodies, and 60 to 90 minutes of exercise a day may be necessary, according to the ACSM.
Reduce your caloric intake while trying to shed body fat. Try a moderate caloric reduction of 20 to 25 percent, recommends Tom Venuto, author of "Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle." A 25 percent reduction equates to eating about 500 fewer calories a day for most women. This will enable weight loss but provide enough energy to adhere to an exercise regimen.
A female body-sculpting diet consists of healthy, whole foods, which are also referred to as clean foods. Focus on foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean protein sources, according to the Weight-control Information Network. Protein, an important macronutrient in a body-sculpting diet, helps repair and build muscle. Adult females should consume approximately 46g of protein a day, according to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies.
Perform regular aerobic exercise and strength training exercises to burn calories and build lean muscle. Work each large muscle group of the body at least twice a week on non-consecutive days, according to the American Council on Exercise. Perform eight to 12 repetitions of your chosen exercises, and increase the amount of weight by 5 to 10 percent when an exercise becomes too easy to perform, ACE recommends.
Decreasing body fat, building muscle and maintaining a healthy body weight provide numerous health benefits in addition to a lean physique. Weight loss can help prevent diabetes, heart disease, some types of cancer and high cholesterol, according to the Weight-control Information Network. Strength training increases muscle and bone strength, reduces the risk of injury, increases metabolism and improves the quality of life, according to ACE.
Consistency remains key to losing weight, so stay committed to your body-sculpting diet for long-term benefits. Consider motivation techniques such as working out with a partner, joining a support group or obtaining health coaching to increase weight-loss success. Health coaching may dramatically increase long-term weight loss and help you improve eating habits and physical activity levels, according to Stay Well Health Management.
- "Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle"; Tom Venuto; 2006
- Weight-control Information Network: Weight Loss for Life
- American Council on Exercise: Strength Training 101
- Institute of Medicine of the National Academies: Dietary Reference Intakes