Confused about Carbs?

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Confused about carbs?

Carbohydrates, or carbs as they are often called, as in ‘no carbs before marbs’ (do people even say that anymore?), often get a lot of bad press when it comes to fat loss.

You’ll no doubt know people who have cut carbs, and as a result have lost weight?

You’ve maybe even done this yourself?

Cut out bread and lost weight?

Then reintroduced it and gained weight again?

Every now and again, something seems to get demonised in the world of nutrition and health, and carbs have certainly had their fair share of hate over the years.

All are carbs the same? Will carbs make you fat?

Should you avoid them at all costs? Do you need carbs?

Let’s nail some basic first, and look at the different types of carbs:

>Carbohydrates- the name means carbon plus water.

Carbs hold water in the body, which is why dropping carbs can result in (fairly) quick weight loss due to a loss of water weight.

There are 2 main types of carbs (dietary fibre is the 3rd, but I’m focusing on the following from an energy perspective):

>Simple Carbohydrates.

>Complex Carbohydrates.

Your brain and nervous system utilize carbohydrates for energy. In the body, carbohydrates are broken down into a molecule called glucose, which is either used for energy or stored for later use.

All of the above are made up of units of sugar, the difference between each type of carb is simply the number of sugar units it contains and how they are linked together.

>Simple Carbohydrates:

These are made up of 1 or 2 units of sugar.

Carbs with only 1 unit of sugar are called simple sugars, but their formal Sunday name is ‘monosaccharide’ (it’s Greek ha).

Fruit also falls into this category as Fructose.

Carbs with 2 units of sugar are called double sugar (no surprises there) with the fancy name of ‘disaccharide’.

Common day to day examples of simple carbs include sweets, cereals (coco pops etc) cakes, Lucozade and other energy drinks.

Simple sugars are often linked to the above processed foods (hence the bad press), but the reality is they are present in a range of naturally occurring foods such as the aforementioned fruit, but also in veggies & milk products.

What separates the two is that the naturally occurring food choices will also contain naturally occurring vitamins and minerals, making them a potentially more nutritionally dense choice.

This why many people would consider a banana to be ‘healthy’ and Skittles ‘unhealthy’.

They both contain simple sugars, both contain calories, both would have a similar effect on blood sugar, but as the banana is natural or what could be deemed as ‘real food’ it also provides the body with vitamins and minerals.

However, there is no real rational argument to support eating 5 bananas a day (even though it is ‘healthy’ and one of the ‘5 a day’) if the goal is fat loss as this can clock up around 500 kcals, which is quite a chunk out of anyone’s daily allowance.

If you are looking for a lower calorie fruit option, try pineapple, watermelon, berries, fresh or frozen (frozen are a lot cheaper).

Simple carbs are very fast acting, and quickly absorbed by the body to produce energy. Because they are broken so quickly they cause a rapid increase in blood sugar levels.

This is why it is common practice when anyone feels dizzy to give them a sugary drink or snack.

There are pros and cons of implementing simple sugars into your diet, depending on how and when these choices are made.

Before I go any further, this is probably a good place to emphasise and stress that (despite what the media will have you believe) sugar in isolation is not responsible for making you or anyone else fat!!

The single most important factor in weight loss and weight gain is the total amount of calories consumed and whether an individual is in a calorie deficit or a calorie surplus.

Excessive calories creates weight gain, NOT excessive sugar!

However, practically speaking sugar isn’t particularly filling, and as it digested so quickly this is what can make it very easy to overeat on.

Try it: eat a bowl of kids cereal and tell me you aren’t hungry again within an hour?

Does a slice a cake actually fill you up and leave feeling satisfied in terms of hunger?

Or does it just ‘keep you going’?????

However there may be times when you wish to consciously implement fast acting sugars into your routine, and placing them around your workout window can be an advantageous choice for some people. This may be time when you want to consider choosing foods that can be digested easily, as long as it fits into your total daily intake in terms of calories.

I deal with a lot of people who claim to have sugar cravings, and who also believe that they have a perceived ‘weakness’ when it comes to certain food choices.

If you feel you are craving sugar or something sweet, it’s very often down to your blood sugar levels dropping and you needing that ‘quick fix’ to bring them back up rapidly.

The easiest fix for this to simply try to eat a bit more regularly if possible. This isn’t to do with metabolism (that’s a whole other subject) but practically speaking leaving large gaps between meals can often lead to you to reaching for the quickest sugary fix.

>Complex Carbohydrates:

When these carbs are made up of 2 or more units of sugar their funky name is ‘polysaccharides’, when these carbs have 3 to 10 units of sugar they can be called ‘oligosaccharides’.

Common day to day examples of complex carbs include: porridge oats, rice, pasta, bread, potatoes, and beans.

The key to complex carbs is in the name, as they are made up of many many units of sugar, this is what makes them ‘complex’.

This is why complex carbs take a lot longer to digest than simple carbs. This results in glucose being released slower and at a steadier rate than simple carbs.

Opting to fuel your body on complex carbs may help to provide stability in your blood sugar levels and potentially help with those cravings. For example, a bowl of porridge oats will leave most people fuller for longer compared to a bowl of coco pops.

If you feel you giving in to cravings, I always advise noting at what you have eaten on that day in question and looking for patterns linked to the choices you are making.

 How many carbs do you need? When should you have them? What if you are ‘sensitive’ to carbs?

The subject of carb consumption and when/where you should eat them can be a very confusing topic, and there are many strategies that can be utilised, all to a potentially positive effect.

You may have heard or read about the following:

>Cycling carbs (using low & high carb days).

>Nutrient timing (placing majority of carbs around the workout).

>Carb back loading (eating most of carbs on the evening or later in the day).

>Intermittent fasting (consuming all your daily calories within a set timeframe each day).

All of which have their place, based on activity levels, training intensity, lifestyle and personal preferences.

I’d just like to reinforce the fact that THE single biggest factor in fat loss is ensuring you are in a caloric deficit. The subject of when you place the carbs and how many you have/need is irrelevant if you are not in a deficit.

The most important factor is your overall net energy balance opposed to where you place the carbs in your diet.

How many carbs do you need?

A very simple way to look at this is to consider that:

Carbs are fuel, but are you using the fuel?

If you have a busy/active job, have a high daily step count, on your feet all day AND you are training hard consistently, then the chances are you may need more carbohydrates than a sedentary inactive person.

If you are sitting on the sofa all day having a lazy movie day and not training, do you need as much fuel?

There are ALWAYS medical exceptions to everything that I have stated, and some people will have issues in tolerating certain macronutrients. Just as some people will have genuine hormonal issues that will create issues with carbohydrate consumption.

If this is the case then medical advice/guidance is the best step forward. Blood testing can be done to help assess genuine issues.

Practically speaking carbs can be easy to overeat on, a big factor in this is often cost.

For example, rice, bread, potatoes, & pasta are all relatively cheap options that provide larger quantities of food compared to protein sources like fish & meat.

However, for a LOT of people, when it comes to claims of carbs being their enemy, they are simply NOT doing the following:

>Ensuring they are in a caloric deficit.

>Matching their carb intake to the demands of their day (ie they are simply not moving enough on a daily basis).

>Training hard consistently and progressively (this is all relative.)

If you consider all of the above factors, it becomes clearer how some people appear to handle carbs better due to better due to activity levels and training intensity.

If you are reading this and have no idea of your current daily caloric intake, start by tracking your foods:

Download MyFitnessPal, it’s a free app that’s pretty easy to get your head round and will help you log your daily intake.

Start by looking at the TOTAL daily calorie intake, before deciding how many carbs you are or are not going to consume.

Remember: If you overeat on ANY macronutrient (protein, fat or carbs) you will NOT achieve your fat loss goals.

As ever, if you need any help in putting any of this into practice, give me a shout.

Tristan ‘carbs, carbs, carbs’ Buttle.

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Guess how many days are left in 2016??

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………….111.

That’s it.

Just under 70% of this year has gone!

Already!

It’s gone quick hasn’t it?!

Too quick!

We have just over 30% of 2016 left, before we know it we will be singing the ‘auld lang syne’ & ringing in 2017!!

If you cast your mind back to January, how did you start 2016?

Did you set any resolutions? Did you set any goals?

Perhaps something along the lines of a ‘New Year, New You’?

>How has that worked out for you?

>Have you done what you said you would do?

>Has this year been different?

>Are you on the path towards achieving what you TRULY desire?

I genuinely hope you are.

However, sadly a lot of people I see are still in the same position, facing the same obstacles, the same barriers, the same fears, and the same doubts as they were at the beginning of the year.

I get it, I understand that change can be scary…..

If you are struggling, I want to remind you today that there’s still time, and that you CAN achieve your goals. You can still turn this year around.

However, to do this something NEEDS to change.

If you are tired of ‘putting it off’, always ‘starting again on Monday’, self-sabotaging yourself, and generally beating yourself up….perhaps it’s time for a change?

If whatever ‘diet’ plan you have been following has been unstainable….perhaps it time for change?

If the world of training and nutrition has left you confused….then perhaps its time to try something different?

You CAN change, it’s NOT too late, you don’t have to write yourself off and give up on your goals.

That’s all for today, until the next time,

Tristan ‘111’ Buttle.

P.S – If you need anything please give me a shout, it’s never too late.

 

 

Do YOU need to change?

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If you are truly happy & content with your current situation and your current reality in all areas of your life, then the answer is probably no, and you can stop reading now.

However, if you are honest with yourself and you feel you need to embrace change, then please read on………

We often KNOW that we NEED to change, but we fail to apply what is necessary to get where we want to be….

Very often change will only happen if the pain of staying the same exceeds the pain of the change…

↑↑↑↑ read that again.

Here’s what I want you to do, and it’s very important that you are honest with yourself, I want you to answer the following questions & apply them to your goals.

It doesn’t have to just be health & fitness related. This applies to all areas of life, whether its in business or in relationships, the questions remain the same………………

>What is your current reality?

>Why has this happened?

>What will happen if you don’t change?

>What do you TRULY want?

>Why do you want it?

>What needs to be done?

>What have you learnt from these questions?

If you have answered those questions honestly with yourself, you should now have a clear understanding of your current reality.

You cannot move forward without understanding where you are starting from.

I genuinely hope this helps you to understand yourself and what you truly want.

That’s all for today, I’ll leave you with one of my favourite quotes:

‘If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always got’.

Until the next time,

Tristan ‘questions’ Buttle.

P.S – would you keep driving down a dead end, in the hope that one day it wasn’t a dead end?

P.P.S – Give me a shout if you need some honest advice, change doesn’t have to be as painful as you may think.

The best ab workout I’ve had was in Magaluf……..

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I went on a stag do last weekend………

………in Magaluf!

Yep, that’s right, 22 of us all descended on Magaluf for 3 days.

Leading up to the event I was slightly apprehensive: I was a Magaluf virgin, throughout 2016 I had consumed a total of 4 alcoholic drinks (not 4 nights out, just a total of 4 individual alcoholic drinks), and I had committed to a 3 day event…

The first lesson here is to know what you are signing up for: this was a stag do with 22 guys in Magaluf, it was never going to be the healthiest of weekends, so I just accepted that and went with it.

Complaining or objecting would be like booking into a Spinning class, turning up but saying you don’t want to pedal a bike. You know what you are signing up for, it is what it is. If you don’t want to ride the bike you are in the wrong class.

In terms of nutrition, the trip was hands down the unhealthiest I have been in a very long time. I often went hours & hours without eating, and when I did eat it was sub-standard to say the least and often at ridiculous times.

On top of a somewhat below par nutritional set up (that’s me putting it politely), hydration was poor, and sleep was far from optimal, sharing a room with a pal of mine who snores like a dying animal didn’t help!

However, I honestly cannot tell you the last time that I laughed as much as I did over the course of the 3 days!

I’m talking actual pain in my abs and ribs from laughing that hard, it was pretty much constant relentless fun and banter…..

They say laughter is the best medicine, which is probably why despite the above pointers about poor nutrition, I would argue the weekend WAS healthy……….. It was healthy for the soul.

For example, when was the last time you laughed uncontrollably and hysterically? Isn’t this what life should be about? Isn’t this part of having a truly healthy mind? Life should be fun!

As we all get older (it happens) we all get more commitments, more responsibilities, more duties, and we are often slaves to time.

We become governed by diaries & our phones, and our days are mapped out for us………pretty much every hour of the day becomes accounted for.

There were times during last weekend where I often had no concept of time…..when did you last feel like this?

People gravitate to holidays, stag dos, hen dos, & weekend breaks because it’s one the few times you don’t HAVE to do anything, you don’t HAVE to be anywhere at a specific time(other than the beach or the next bar!) and your time becomes exactly that…YOURS…………

Going away also reminded how much my close friends mean to me and how I’d missed seeing them, I also made some new (if not slightly odd) friends!

Again, this is what life should be about, solid friendship is essential and an integral part of having a successful life.

Every now and again having a break from everything is a healthy thing, we all get caught up in the day to day stuff, the commitments, the meetings, the job, the stress & the worry.

I’m not suggesting that you live every weekend like we did in Magaluf, and the chances are you couldn’t and shouldn’t want to! Doing this regularly would become old very quickly and pretty much kill your progress, however as ever, the answer is balance. This was 4 days out the year for me…balance.

What I am suggesting is if you can find the time to have some time off now and again, where you are not a slave to your job and/or your phone and you do so whilst truly having fun & laughing with people who are closest to you, then you, my friend, are winning………….

That’s all for today, until the next time,

Tristan ‘straight back to the gym on the Monday’ Buttle.

p.s – if you need any help on bringing balance into your routine, give me a shout.

How to eat porridge without feeling like Oliver Twist……………………….

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Eating clean/healthy is bland & boring………………..

Is it?

This is the typical perception, am I right?

Bland, flavourless, beige food, with no colour & no flavour, just eat, chew, repeat……… This is especially true when it comes to breakfast, particularly with reference to good old porridge oats………

This doesn’t have to be the case my friend………….

First up, I’d just like to start by saying that personally, I’m not keen on labelling ANY food as GOOD or BAD…I don’t believe that’s healthy……

…..think of it as good or bad CHOICES opposed to good or bad foods.

………For example, having birthday cake on your birthday isn’t bad is it? But having birthday cake every day becomes a bad choice……………Anyway, I digress…

So basically you CAN eat whatever you decide/desire…but when it comes to condiments/sauces/flavours, you may find that banging a load of your fav sauce on your meals may create a larger dent in your total daily calorie intake that you realise.

But if you want to be able to stomach your porridge without feeling like Oliver Twist, read on…………

Firstly, you may think me about talking about porridge oats is a bit typical/cliché/boring?

Perhaps, however: 1) Oats are a great source of carbohydrate.2) Oats are cheap. 3) Oats are quick.

By the way, for the sake of this, I’m talking about actual porridge oats, not the pre flavoured stuff which will quickly ramp your daily sugar content up….

If I’m having carbs as part of my routine with breakfast, I personally weigh out the oats I need the night before (I typically have 100 grams, you will probably not need this much)…this makes my morning routine easier……tip: get some digital scales.

I don’t soak them or any of that business….just a dry measure in a bowl, ready for the following morning….

Add water, stir, microwave for 90 secs- done… simple…

Now for the flavour:

I personally mix in 1 scoop of whey protein (you may not need a full scoop, especially if you are having fewer oats) into the cooked oats…I’m a chocolate flavour kind of guy….. Always look for quality, & a reputable brand when choosing your whey.

Next up, sprinkle some cinnamon into the mix…. Massive health benefits, tastes like Christmas, what’s not to like?!

Nearly there….meant to say earlier, you need to purchase some frozen berries (cheaper than fresh, won’t go off & some actually have lower kcal count than their fresh counterparts)…measure out what you need the night before & leave to defrost overnight in the fridge…

Chuck the berries into the porridge & you have yourself a meal!

No beige, lots of flavour & colour greater nutritional value, higher protein & higher antioxidant content… bang on!

Give it a whirl; let me know how you get on…

That’s all for today, until the next time,

Tristan ‘quaker’ Buttle.

P.S – if you’ve got any ideas yourself, let me know……………..

DAD BOD: heres what I think………………………..

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I thought I’d weigh in on the whole ‘dad bod’ debate that seems to have recently sparked interest all over social media.

The original blog post can be found here:

http://theodysseyonline.com/clemson/dad-bod/97484

It was posted by a girl named Mackenzie Pearson.

I’d like to quickly share my thoughts & opinions. Im doing so as a guy who has spent the majority of his adult life working out, & as a trainer I have helped 100s of others take their life back, regain their confidence, improve their health, battle depression, & generally feel like they have become a better partner/husband/wife/parent.

One thing that leapt out at me is that the whole ‘dad bod’ blog predominantly presents one side; I guess this to be expected. I’m not sure how young this girl is, however she deals primarily with the aesthetic side of training throughout her blog…there isn’t a single reference to health, well being, and or mental/physical harmony….

I would like to start by emphasising that vanity & sanity are two VERY different aspects of training.

Training/working out or however you wish to define it, is very often extremely therapeutic…more so than ‘drinking heavily on the weekends & eating eight slices of pizza at a time’, that is a form of sedation. I’m not tee total and I LOVE pizza, but it’s a treat, that’s not me preaching, that’s what works for me, does this make me less of a man?

In her opening paragraph she states:

“The dad bod is a new trend and fraternity boys everywhere seem to be rejoicing.”

If these guys have the dad bod at this young age, where will they be in 5/10/15 years time? Again, I’m talking about health here, not aesthetics. If you had to place a bet on who will/wont have health issues/complications later down the line, who would bet on? There are no guarantees in life, but surely as a girlfriend/potential lifetime partner you would want your lover to live as long & as healthy as possible?

The dad bod says, “I go to the gym occasionally, but I also drink heavily on the weekends and enjoy eating eight slices of pizza at a time.”

Has she considered that you can eat & pizza/drink beer in moderation, still be in shape and still be happy?

Some of her other supporting points as to why girls love the dad bod are as follows:

>’It doesn’t intimidate us.’

Ok, I get this, to a point, however surely this is down to your man to make you feel special? He needs to make you feel secure, to make you realise that you are what he needs. I would also suggest that insecurity can breed insecurity, maybe he can be strong for you, and lift you up? This is connection; this is emotional, not physical.

>’We like being the pretty one.’
I agree that the girl should be, but doesn’t the girl in question also want to be proud of her guy? Don’t they want to show him off?

>’Better cuddling.’
Don’t some girls want to feel safe & protected?

>’Good eats.’
You can train hard, stay focused, get lean, get results all whilst still enjoying a cheat meal, however doing something everyday/consistently isn’t a cheat it’s a habit……..one that WILL effect your health….

>’You know what you’re getting.’
This is possibly the biggest issue I have with the whole blog……..The point here is that supposedly girls know they are getting into when he’s got the dadbod already at age 22 opposed to 45, in that it’s a visualisation of how the guy will look when he’s older……BUT if the guy is started at 22 with a dad bod, this is only a sign that he will potentially get worse and HEALTH (there’s that word again) WILL deteriorate…….

What about what you can’t see?
How a man enters the room, how he walks, how he sees himself, how he conducts his business, how he talks, how he is with his kids, how he performs in the bedroom are all directly effected by training.

Do you think men don’t suffer with body issues?

Do you think we don’t beat ourselves up?

I’ve lost count of the amount of times when a guy has confided in me & muttered the words ‘I don’t want to be a fat dad’… this takes courage, its not easy for us guys to open up & admit our insecurities. We hide behind humour, behind banter, but we ALL have feelings, we ALL have issues… We often feel the pressure to be ‘the man’, not only in relationships but in life, we want our lovers to be proud of who we are, but WE also want to be proud of who we are.

If this girl or any girl for that matter is looking a guy as a long term partner, ie marriage, kids, the whole lot, then SURELY part of this involves living life with energy & confidence and passing these traits onto their kids?

Wouldn’t Mackenzie want her partner to be a HEALTHY role model to their kids?

Why not aim higher than the ‘dad bod’? Why settle? Why not be more?

This doesn’t make the man vain; it doesn’t reflect his skills as parent, or his judgement of others. If a man wants to take control of his life and channel himself through training then that’s his choice.

The aesthetic results of strength/resistance training are only a bi-product of continuous dedication, passion, focus & consistency….. There are simply far too many to health benefits to list….

NOBODY, man, woman or child should be obsessed with their looks, self obsession will only close you off from the world and ultimately exclude you from happiness.

Remember that if a guy is an arsehole, but he happens works out, he’s just an arsehole who works out. No amount of muscle will change that, just like no amount of beer or pizza will change that.

All I invite you to consider today is that there is FAR more to consider from a ‘working out’ perspective.

Nobody should be judged or put in a box, everyone has the right to do what is right for them.

Thanks for taking the time to read this blog, please share with anyone who you think will find it useful.

Tristan ‘I could kill a pizza now’ Buttle

He forgot his trainers…………………

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It happens, I get it… you come to the gym straight from work, get changed, unpack your gym gear, realise you’ve forgotten your trainers….and there’s nothing cool about wearing shorts & work shoes is there my friend?

Anyway, last night one guy forgot his trainers, as you do, so he asked if he could borrow any, fair request….however I’m a size 11, he’s a size 8, yet he was determined to fit into my spare pair…..

I appreciated the desire to train, and other than looking like a clown, for an upper body only session, it was fine as a one off…….however this got me thinking my friend…

We all do this with our health & fitness goals…we try to fit into other peoples shoes……

How many times have you wondered what the person next to you does in the gym?

>How do they organise their diet?

>How many carbs do they eat?

>How do they train?

>What classes do they do?

>Etc, etc, etc….

The thing is these answers are ALWAYS specific to the individual… the ‘one size fits all, cookie cutter approach’ simply doesn’t work, it’s not that easy…

Success does leave clues, but what works for one, is not guaranteed to work for another….

The body and mind can be very complex and everybody is unique, this is why treating everyone as an individual is at the heart of my approach………..

Until the next time,

Tristan ‘big shoes, big feet’ Buttle.

Ps give me a shout for a program you that YOU can stick to…..