You Can't Out-Exercise a Bad Diet

If you’re serious about exercising, you might think you can wolf down a couple of donuts, go for a run, and cancel all those calories. But that’s actually pretty hard to do.

For example, there’s about 600 calories in three donuts, and most of those calories come from carbohydrates and fat. Protein, not so much. Plus, you’d have to run six miles in an hour to burn that many calories.

If you don’t run those miles, your body won’t use those donut carbs for energy. Instead, those carbs will be converted to glucose and stored as fat. If the rest of your food choices throughout the day look similar to this (high in carbohydrates and fat, low in protein), it’s a recipe for weight gain. And that’s not what you want.

“What you do in the kitchen weighs heavily on your results whether it be muscle gain or fat loss,” says Australian personal trainer Cristian Angeli. “When losing weight we want to lose body fat not muscle.”

More protein, less sugar

Lose weight, get lean, build muscle. Whatever your fitness goal is, eating more lean protein and fewer sugary foods and refined carbohydrates will tip the scale in the right direction and have a big impact on your physique. Good lean protein sources include:

The American College of Sports Medicine recommends eating 0.5 to 0.8 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight for active people. Adequate protein in your diet helps repair muscle damage from a hard workout, preserves existing muscle mass (important when you’re trying to lose weight), and helps promote growth.

Healthy protein sources include foods like:

  • Turkey
  • Chicken
  • Fish
  • Lean beef
  • Low-fat dairy products
  • Eggs
  • Legumes
  • Peanut butter
  • Nuts
  • Tofu

Need help with healthy, high-protein meals to support your fitness goals? Many of our MagicKitchen.com meals include high-protein sources from the list. And they’re all made with fresh ingredients, take only minutes to prepare, and seconds to clean up.