Besides the health benefits, being in shape can improve your physique. Getting a lean, chiseled look involves a combination of proper diet, cardiovascular exercise, and weight training. It can be challenging, but with the right technique and adequate amount of dedication, you can shape your body in the way you want. Doing so may be especially challenging because of the lifestyle changes it sometimes necessitates, but such changes can be well worth it.
Eliminate refined sugars, processed carbohydrates and high-fat foods from your diet. Processed carbohydrates include such things as white bread and white pasta. Replace those foods with whole grains such as brown rice and whole wheat bread. Cut down on sugary foods and drinks such as desserts and sodas.
Eat a diet rich in lean protein and fiber. Emphasize foods such as poultry, fish, tofu, eggs and yogurt. These foods are high in protein and contain relatively little fat. Also, consume a lot of fresh vegetables and fruits.
Perform regular cardiovascular exercise, such as jogging or riding on an exercise bike. Cardiovascular exercise is a function of intensity, frequency and time. Aim for workouts of at least twenty to thirty minutes, and perform them several times a week. Try to get your heart rate up during these workouts. The more energy you expend, the more fat you burn, and the more your body will take on that lean look.
Build muscle tone in your upper body. If you want a lean and chiseled (rather than beefy and muscular) look, perform four to six sets of eight to twelve repetitions. Work all the muscle groups in your upper body, including your back, biceps, triceps, chest and abs.
Develop a corresponding weight-lifting regimen for your lower body. Again, aim for higher-rep sets to slim down and look more chiseled. Do four to six sets of eight to twelve repetitions for each exercise. Work all the muscle groups in your lower body, including your calves, quadriceps (thighs), adductor muscles (inner thighs), the peroneus muscles (located near the ankles) and hamstrings.