Don't feed fear

Donuts vs Exercise: Do you Really Need to Worry About This?

Read Between the Lines

When you see this sign, know that I am going to try and change the way you view food and nutrition.

Not in the traditional sense of making you feel guilty or ashamed of your eating habits but as a way to free yourself from guilt. Nutritionists study the science of food and are very good about telling you what to eat and what not to. They speak in terms of fact and logic. This would be fine if we were robots and could just re-program our brains.

But it never works like that, does it? we are emotional creatures and a majority of our decisions are based on emotion not fact.

Whether that is good or bad doesn’t really matter. That is what we do. There may not be anything in our lives as emotionally charged as food. It works on all five senses, comforts, nourishes, brings back memories…you name it. Food works on many levels of our consciousness at once. So if we can’t separate emotion from food, we need to re-frame our attitude towards it.

So kindly take a look at this infographic.

donuts vs exercise

You may have seen these on social media. What does it really mean? That is a trick question because it is going to mean different things to different people.

What popped into your head first?

“I could really use a donut and coffee about now!”

“I can’t believe I ate a couple of donuts the other day.”

“That is a lot of exercise!”

“Why does everything that tastes good have so many calories.”

For most people, this infographic will have a negative connotation. Donut=bad.

So let me ask you, is this true?

Could you in fact eat donuts and drink lattes and lose weight?

Most nutritionists would say no, I say yes.

A quick overview of my philosophy on food before we get into the science.

My job as your nutrition coach is to help you either gain or lose weight. My real goal is to help change your perception of food so you can stay at the weight you want for the long term and still enjoy your favorite foods. Why? because it doesn’t work the other way. What would happen if I tell you that in order to lose 50 pounds you will never eat another donut? You may agree at first and you may have the willpower to avoid donuts…for a while. And I say for a while because you are using willpower as your fuel source. Willpower is a precious commodity. We don’t have a lot of it and when it runs out, you break down and binge. Everyone has a breaking point.

So the idea is not to base your eating around willpower. Instead, change your view on food and eliminate guilt.

The Science

Dieting Composition

Thanks to the nice people at RP for this graphic.


This is a chart that 99% of nutritionists would agree with. It shows that 80% of your success will be based on portion sizes and combination of fats/proteins and carbs.

50% will be based on calories. So let’s take a look at a 150 pound women.

Caloric needs

This is a general estimate of calories based on a simple formula.

150 pounds x 10= 1,500 calories a day with no activity.

1,500 calories x an activity factor of 1.3 = 1,950.

What does this mean?

A women weighing 150 pounds who is moderately active can consume 1,950 calories a day and not gain or lose weight. The only asterisk I am going to put on this is for people that are yo-yo-dieters. Chances are your metabolism is way off from starving yourself. But once you start eating enough food again, you will find these figures are pretty accurate.


Add in an hour of working out and you will have burned 500 calories, give or take.

  • I burn 180-200 calories a mile running. I am also a big guy. You will burn less so maybe 140-150 will be a more accurate number. Run 3 miles and you are close to 500 calories.
  • Working out with weights will give you 400-500 calories in 45 minutes if you minimize breaks.
  • High intensity weight circuit training will be in the range of 600-800 for 45 minutes.


If you add in exercise, a 150 pound woman could eat close to 2,000 calories a day and actually lose weight.

2,000 calories – 500 from exercise= 500 calorie deficit.

That is the healthy way to lose weight and get healthy at the same time.

Back to the donuts

donuts vs exercise

You could eat the donut and drink the latte and still have 1,600 calories for the day and lose weight.

So if you can accept the fact that you can eat 2,000 calories, exercise and lose fat at the same time (if not please re-read the above or email me), then this infographic looks a little different, doesn’t it?

That being said, the rest of your meals need to be more nutritionally sound. There have been studies where people have eaten nothing but junk food and lost weight because they paid attention to portion size but I would never advocate that. The idea is to eat clean but you can have the occasionally treat.

Hopefully your mind is blown because this changes everything.

We go from a negative view of food to a positive one.

If I tell you, as your coach, you can’t eat a donut, what food pops in your head? Donuts? Guilt? Sadness? A test of willpower?

Please don’t live that way and please don’t let these fear mongers make you feel bad about yourself.

M Factor Fitness is all about re-framing how you view food and exercise and integrating them into your life.

It is about making you feel good about yourself and making change.

You don’t have to make drastic changes but you will have to put in the work.

If this sounds interesting to you, call me or fill out my consult form for a free 30 minute chat.