Exercise vs. Nutrition

On Saturday I attended another canfitpro virtual conference which was yet again, amazing. My favourite seminar this time around was Dr.Marc Bubbs presentation on stress and thyroid function. I’m not going to dive deep into his teachings on this subject here but would like to break down some facts he addressed.

This information in particular I have learned time and time again. The main message being that the ONLY way, we as a species can lose weight, is through calories in/ calories out. BUT there are sooo many complex details to this that I am going to attempt to break down. Hoping to make things easier to understand, and also so you know what you need to do!

I’m going to focus on the “calories out” portion, as these things are VERY important to know so you save yourself from the exhausting “over exercise” sessions, or the “I will just walk these calories off later” mental talks.

Here we go!

Fact: There are four ways that humans burn energy

  1. Resting metabolic rate – the energy our bodies need to operate all vital organs

2. Intentional Movement – exercise, walks, yoga sessions, bike rides etc.

3. NEAT -all other movements that are not meant to be intentional (for more info read my blog on NEAT – Non Exercise Activity Thermogenesis)

4. TEF or Thermic Effect of Food – protein being the macro that burns the MOST calories through the digestive process

So what are the ratios in which we can utilize these things to effectively get ourselves into a caloric deficit for weight loss? (Keep in mind these are approximate and not exact numbers).


10% of calories burned comes from TEF. Not a significant amount but, there are 101 more reasons to eat more protein so get your protein in!

About 20% of calories are burned from NEAT which is almost a quarter of our energy. Still doesn’t seem like a lot but here is the shocker…

Only 10% of calories are utilized for intentional exercise. So while many of you may believe the more exercise you do the more food you can eat this is not a great mindset to have. This does not mean that exercise isn’t important but from this fact alone to me proves that NUTRITION is more important than exercise (in my opinion based off of my own research).

Here is where exercise comes back around to prove to be an important factor:

60% of our calories are allocated for our resting metabolic rates (RMR). When we have a higher RMR we essentially need more calories to operate our bodily functions, more so to operate muscle tissue. This is where we can justify eating more food, to keep our lean body mass (muscles).

So how do we increase our RMR you ask?

Building muscle through resistance training!

In the wise words of Jen Widerstrom “muscle pays for the party“. These means the more muscle we have, the more fuel we need to operate the muscle.

So based off of this information, here is what you need to think about when trying to lose weight or improve your overall fitness for that matter:

  1. NUTRITION FIRST – focus on improving your nutrition and hone in on portion control. Not only will this help you with weight loss goals but it will improve your overall health, energy, brain function skin etc. Reading your labels and keeping a food diary are two ways you can start.
  2. Eat your protein! 1.2g/kg per day is a great place to start.
  3. Resistance Train – I know not everyone likes to lift weights but doing SOME form of weight lifting or resistance training (using bands, machines, step benches etc), is important not only for improving your physique but for preventing aches, pains, and injury.
  4. Park your car in the furthest spot from the door, do an extra set of stairs bringing up the laundry, play with your kids more. Increasing NEAT or your daily steps can really impact your goals in a positive way.

Last but not least… Enjoy whatever it is that you’re doing! FIND healthy ways you can be compliant with when it comes to food and exercise. After all compliancy and sustainability are the name of the game.


By frecklefit

Health and fitness enthusiast. Believer in seeing all things as energy. Mission to inspire and transfer positive energy to elevate peoples lives. Actively practicing autosuggestion and manifestation.

2 replies on “Exercise vs. Nutrition”

I’m trying hard to incorporate protein into every meal, I find lunch most challenging. Breakfast are my steel cut oats with all the extras (chia seeds, flax seeds, walnuts, etc) supper time always starts with meat, and then sides. But lunch time protein I find more difficult. I don’t want to eat sandwiches anymore (too much bread), and salads just don’t cut it for me. I guess I just need some new ideas. I need to plan more for my lunches, instead of looking in an empty fridge and saying “well, I guess it’s eggs and toast again!”

-greek yogurt parfaits
-cottage cheese and fruit
-protein shakes or smoothies
-soups with legumes or different meats
-cheese board with different veggies, hummus, and deli meats or beef jerky
-change it up from bread to wraps, pitas, naan bread
-stir frys with edamame beans, chickpeas, or black beans
-homemade protein balls or bites

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