The idea of the perfect body shape or size changes ever so often with each passing decade. This stands true for both men and women, but the societal stresses to conform may affect one gender more depending on the culture in question.
For example, in North America the ideal woman is tall and very slim with small and effeminate features, the same can be said for European and some Asian countries. South America, parts of Africa and the Middle East all prefer a curvy woman with voluptuous features. In some cultures, being morbidly obeseis seen as a sign of health and wealth therefore that is preferred.
Looking at men throughout history one point to note is the relative simplicity to women; there have been cycles between being lean vs muscular, being well toned and defined vs having limited tone and definition, being hairy vs clean shaven or hairless. There have been two constants, one of which is height; most cultures prefer a tall man. The other constant for the ideal man is the person with access to vast resources and great power to influence happenings in his society.
In modern societies due to influences the world over, both genders are being pushed to one ideal.With this pressure, many persons are dieting but without one key bit of wisdom. The ideal body type is a figment of the imagination; this is validated by the mere fact that is changes with the ages. The best approach is to first understand and be comfortable with yourself. There may be genetic and other limits which may prevent the generic ideal for you.
If the goal is weight loss or muscle mass and definition, using a meal replacement can help especially for those with ridiculously tight schedules.One secret to successful dieting goes against conventional wisdom and that is one does not have to eat less. The key is to provide the body with enough fuel for energy while maximizing the amounts of nutrients being added in the process.
Starving forces the body to conserve energy; this happens because the body thinks food is scarce and the next meal may be days in coming. When a meal is then had, most of it will be stored as fat instead of being converted to energy. That process causes weight gain instead of weight loss and an additional kicker is that sustained starvation triggers a natural defense in the brain which leads to binge eating. The combination of your body wanting to save itself and constantly having low energy is why many diets end in failure.
Another secret to successful dieting is easing the body into the process. A sudden jolt may force the body into shock therefore a plan must be fully ironed out before you go on a diet. A quick run to the nutritionist can help in proper meal planning with nutrient maximization being the goal. Another tip is to have a workout regimen tailored to your body type and goals. This ensures the entire body is engaged and symmetrical sculpting can occur.