exercise and diet

You cannot compare yourself to what you were when you were 17 and in high school. At that time you could eat whatever you wanted and still stay thin as a rail. Today, if you’re inclined to eating high-fat foods and sweet treats then no matter how much you work out, you cannot transform your body. The fact is that flat abs are made in the kitchen!

“Consume excess calories and you have to counterbalance them,” says Sara Haas, RDN, spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. “And it’s hard to get enough exercise in to undo the calories you’ll get in a double cheeseburger with French fries and a milk shake.”

Check out the ways to align your nutrition plan with your exercise routine to get well sculpted and toned body:

You’re not a professional athlete.

You cannot frequently eat fried chicken or pasta dinners if your exercise schedule comprises two-mile jog around the block. A calorically dense, high-carbohydrate meal or snack is OK for a competitive cyclist about to endure a 100-mile road race, for you it’s POISON!

Opt to eat a healthier form of chicken such as grilled or poached instead, and save the spaghetti for a post-race meal.

You won’t be able to hit your peak if you’re overdoing it with the wrong foods.

Reese’s Pieces and soda may give you a sugar high but will not supply you the energy you require to push through tough workouts. Also, if you’re eating high-fat foods in the evening, they’ll hamper your sleep, and will leave you too tired to go all out at the gym. For rapid recovery after a workout you need to consume a combination of carbohydrates and protein.

You won’t have the energy to exercise if you’re not eating enough.

A diet that’s super-low in carbs or calories is equally harmful to your workout plan as having a high fat one. A very restrictive eating plan, paired with hardcore exercise, could leave you leaning on muscle mass for energy, says McDaniel. If you’re not getting enough fat (fat-soluble vitamins, like vitamins A and D, and essential fatty acids, like omega-3s, in particular), you’ll not be able to produce energy and grow muscles.

You won’t want to exercise.

Unhealthy food choices like too much fat, too many calories or not enough of either will kill your motivation to do exercise, and likely make you feel slow. “Diet and exercise are a feedback loop,” says McDaniel. “When you eat well, you are motivated to move, and when you move, you are more motivated to eat better.”

You won’t be able to tone your target areas.

If you’re consuming excess calories, & unable to burn them through workouts, they accumulate in various places of your body. “It’s dependent on your specific body type,” says Haas, “but generally, women tend to gain weight in the hips and thighs, while men pack it on around their midsection.” That calls for keeping a check on your diet, because to become truly toned, you’ll need to build muscle and burn more calories than you’re consuming at the same time.

You could get sick — or hurt.

Low-carb and low-fat diets can drain you mentally and badly impact the health of your heart, says McDaniel. “Following a chronic low-carb diet may lead to micronutrient deficiencies and increased inflammation throughout the body, which both make you more susceptible to injury,” she adds. As per studies not taking enough healthy fats lead to overuse injuries, such as stress fractures and tendonitis. Moreover, if you are teaming a low-fat diet with intense exercise, that can lower your immunity even further.