The 4 essentials to fat loss: Number 1………


We live in a world of information overload, & the birth of social media has provided many individuals and self-proclaimed ‘experts’ or ‘gurus’ with a voice…

Often, these voices tell you that they have THE answer, and that they have THE secret, and that ultimately, their way is THE way.

When it comes to fat loss & getting in shape, there are many ways to train and many ways to set up a nutritional plan….

…..however what works for someone else is not guaranteed to work for you.

The work that is required to achieve any goal is always obviously dependent on the specifics of the goal in question, that been said, I believe there are 4 basic areas that apply to ANY fat loss related goal…..

Today, we are just going to look at number 1, I’ll be in touch over the next few days with the rest…

1) Eating and understanding calories:

Nutrition is a MASSIVE topic and probably THE most confusing area of fat loss.

>However, in simple terms, fat loss ultimately comes to down to creating a calorie deficit.

This is ESSENTIAL, please don’t let anybody tell you calories don’t count. Too much of ANY food can result in weight gain.

A deficit can be achieved in a variety of methods and no one approach suits everyone.

What I will say is that when it comes to a creating a calorie deficit consider the following:

>What is the highest (not lowest) number of calories you can consume to achieve your goals? This will prevent you from starving yourself, setting unsustainable targets and stop you from burning out and giving up on your goals… remember that by definition, calories are a unit of ENERGY.

>The biggest influencing factor on fat loss is the TOTAL amount of calories you consume on a continual basis, not the time of day that you consume your calories.

Eg: let’s say you need to eat 2500kcal, but you have a busy day and it gets to 9pm but you still have 500kcal left to consume, then eat!!

It is the total figure that you hit by the end of the day that counts.

Start with the basics first, if you reading this and you are struggling with losing body fat, I suggest you start by logging your daily food intake.

You can easily do this by downloading the myfitnesspal app on your phone.

Its free, its simple and very user friendly.

Don’t worry about the targets the app sets you with, just use it as a log, this will help you to assess exactly where you are at with your intake.

It will also educate you on the true calorie content of certain food choices!

I’m not saying that you need to log everything, every day for the rest of your life, but if what you are doing isn’t working, then perhaps it’s time to try something new?

That’s all for today, if you get stuck with anything, then give me shout,

Tristan ‘calories DO count’ Buttle

Ps – part 2 with you tomorrow, if you are lucky!


Confused about Creatine?


Understanding supplemention:

1) Creatine Monohydrate

We now live in an era of supplementation………………

This can be confusing, as there are many conflicting reports/articles all giving you a different perspective/opinion. It’s hard to keep up, am I right?!

I will be addressing several different supplements over the next few months; however I will only base any of my work on supplementation that I have personally used.

The aim of this article is to try to examine the nature, the role, and the benefits of supplementing with Creatine.

In turn you can hopefully feel more informed & make the right choice for YOU.

You’ve probably heard about, read about or maybe even used creatine before…over the years I’ve seen it labelled a ‘steroid’, I’ve read allegations by doctors that it will kill destroy your kidneys, and I’ve seen allsorts of praise/indifference along the way.

Firstly, it is essential to establish that you have a balanced diet containing all the necessary nutrients (macros and micros) before introducing any potential supplement into your routine.

It is far more beneficial to get your diet on track first for you to notice any tangible results and also for you to make vast improvements in your health.

There isn’t a supplement invited that will transform you or help you if the rest of your eating pattern is poor.

Remember that, by definition, a supplement is ‘Something that completes or enhances something else when added to it’.

The use of any supplement is also dependent on your individual goals. I suggest before committing to purchasing any supplements, you discuss your goals and current lifestyle with a fitness professional, alongside doing your own research.

So let’s dive into Creatine:

Creatine is a totally natural occurring substance in your body.

For example, the average 70kg human will already have an average of 70g of creatine in their body, 95% of which is stored in the skeletal muscles & the remaining 5% found in the brain, heart & the testes. It is produced naturally, mainly by the liver.

This process is completed by the conversion of 3 amino acids – Arginine, Glycine & Methionine – to form creatine.

Creatine is not only produced naturally in the body, but is also found in foods such as beef, chicken and some fish.

For example: there is typically 4 g of creatine per kilo of tuna, & 5g per kilo in salmon.

For this reason, research has indicated that supplementation of creatine can have a greater effect on vegetarians due to the typical lack of creatine in their existing diet since it is only found in trace amounts in fruit and vegetables.

Creatine is responsible for increasing/ replenishing ATP in the muscle: high energy molecules with 3 bound phosphates, when a phosphate breaks, energy is released, Creatine provides phosphates to replenish and keep energy running.

Supplementing can provide a volume of available fuel to keep driving this process.

Supplementation is available in a variety of forms, with lots of weird & wonderful creations & ‘enhanced’ versions.

In terms of keeping things cost effective & for ease of use, I’d advise simply sticking to monohydrate (ideally creapure).

This is the most common version of this supplement (in America alone, it racks up 400 million in annual sales) and is easily the form with the most scientific studies and research use to back it up.

Creatine is not only one of the cheapest supplements available on the market, it’s also one the most researched supplements available, unlike more modern/newer products that can often lack data & available research. The first mainstream of creatine use in athletic performance dates back to the 1970’s in Russia.

Benefits of use can include:

>Increased explosive power

>Increased endurance, strength & speed.

>Can aid in the recovery process.

>Can enhance muscle cell volumization by helping to drive water into the muscle.
>Research has also shown that Creatine supplementation has a significant positive effect on working memory (especially short term), and on intelligence whilst improving cognitive function.


You may notice that many suppliers of Creatine advise you to first use a “loading phase” (often an average dose of up to 20g per day for the first week of use), before switching to the “maintenance phase” (typically 5g per day for the following 8 to 10 weeks).

This initial phase isn’t always necessary (it’s also not absolutely wrong) and many studies have shown there is no significant benefit of taking more than 5g-10g per day. By not adhering to the loading phase you will also make your investment far more cost effective!

Depending on body weight a typical daily serving can range between 3-10g per day, with larger people tending to go with the higher dose.

Be sure to maintain an adequate water intake whilst taking creatine as it is hygroscopic, which is a fancy word for saying that it has the ability to move water from your cells into your blood, so hydration is the key when supplementing.

I’d also advise remembering to dissolve your creatine fully into enough water before use.

Hopefully this gives you a clearer picture about what creatine is and its application to performance/training.

As ever, any questions please do give me a shout

Until the next time,

Tristan ‘crazy about creatine’ Buttle.

I stopped going to Mcdonalds after the gym……………….


That’s what she told me…….


Last year I was working with a girl called Sarah & her goal was to change her body shape, lose fat, & get her confidence back…

After deciding & planning what was the best route for her to tackle with her training, we got down to it. Sarah trained hard & completed all of her workouts as planned, despite being a busy woman working long shifts as a nurse.

8 weeks passed and Sarah looked pretty much the same… that’s right, no significant changes, despite training hard & consistently.


HOWEVER, here’s the thing, between weeks 8 & 10……….. MASSIVE CHANGE!

So I asked what she had done differently during this 2 week period?

Her reply?

‘I stopped going to McDonalds after the gym………’

To which I laughed, & replied ‘no seriously’?

She wasn’t joking!!

Due to her long hours, work stress, & training commitments, the lure of those golden arches on the way home proved too much for Sarah to resist.

Turns out she had frequented good old Ronald Mcdonalds house a couple of times a week, each week throughout her training plan, but didn’t want to confess!!!

The lessons here are clear:

1) Honesty. YOU have to be honest with YOURSELF. Your body does not lie, & you shouldn’t lie to yourself.

2) You cannot out train a poor eating pattern.

3) Lack of planning, convenience, fatigue, & stress will lead you to temptation every time; this is exactly the same for myself. We are all human, developing strategies to combat this is the key.

This is why a (honest) food diary coupled with a sensible & realistic nutritional plan that caters for YOUR lifestyle is at the heart of my approach.

If it rocks your boat, McDonalds should be a treat, not a habit.

A huge part of our approach at Cottingham Parks is lifestyle assessment.

Without taking an honest look at your lifestyle alongside your training; your results will be limited.

Working together, we can help you to help yourself.

Until the next time,

Tristan ‘hamburgular’ Buttle.

Not feeling myself, Steroids, & My Organs ‘packing up’.


‘I don’t feel like myself’.

Historically I never used to understand this phrase, I mean how can you not feel like yourself? Who do you feel like? Someone else? However, as is often the case, experience can change your beliefs and recently I haven’t been feeling like myself.

You know when you just feel a bit off and something isn’t quite right? Anyway, this blog isn’t really about how I feel, I’m just setting the scene. My feelings of being off and not myself resulted in me deciding to have some blood tests done to tick certain boxes and help me to begin to feel more like me and not like someone else!

Fast forward and there I am, sat down in front of the nurse to have my blood tested, on this particular day I was wearing a hoody and wearing my standard work polo shirt underneath.

Now bear in mind that this lady in front of me is simply there to take a sample of my blood, I had discussed all confidential matters as to why I felt this maybe a good idea the previous week with my GP. As a local guy, I’ve pretty much had the same GP all my life meaning my doctor knows my full history, my job, my lifestyle, etc.

So upon removing my hoody, the nurse’s opening line to me was:

‘You don’t take steroids do you’?

This wasn’t asked in a professional manner of ‘Hello Mr. Buttle we need to ask you a few questions before we start, do you use recreational drugs etc etc’ this was 100% reactionary to what she believed was steroid use.

I responded -‘No, I personally do not take steroids’.

Nurse’ it’s just that you are quite broad and you work in the gym’.

Me: ………… (This symbolises that at this point I was speechless).

Now I admit I am not a skinny minny, and at 6ft 1, and around 16/17 stone, I’m aware that I’m not small but steroids? Really? That’s the opening question from a medical professional? Anyway, this isn’t a blog about steroid use as it didn’t stop there…….

Nurse proceeds: ‘what about those shakes’?

At this point I thought ‘ok, so we’ve gone from steroids to protein shakes in 5 seconds, should be interesting’ so I played dumb……

Me: ‘What shakes do you mean’?

Nurse: ‘Those protein and creatine shakes they all take'(not sure who ‘they’ are I guess us ‘gym’ lot).

Me: (playing even dumber) ‘I’ve heard about those shakes, I know people who take shakes….’

Nurse (interjecting): ‘Shakes are no good for you, your liver & your kidneys will pack up’.

Me: (almost laughing out loud by this point) ‘Ok, well I best stay away from those shakes then’.

Part of me wanted to ask her:

Why she believed this claim?
What grounds did she think it is ok to blanket prescribe advice that ‘shakes are no good’ and my internal organs will ‘pack up’.
What about professional athletes?
What would she recommend I did instead of these devil shakes?
What was her own eating pattern like?
Instead I just smiled to myself and allowed her to focus on the task in hand and take my blood, by the standard of advice I was given I figured I was lucky to be alive and that my organs hadn’t failed me just yet!

I have spoken before about perception of supplementation, particularly shakes in previous blogs and how to an inactive person you may as well stick a needle in your arm. However I did start to believe that things where moving forward in 2014. I would like to think this is the case and that this lady was sadly misinformed.

I wasn’t annoyed or angered; I just felt that the industry had failed her on this occasion.

Upon swiftly and efficiently taking my blood sample, I was done, quick and easy.

I put my hoody back on, and thanked her for her time, and got up to leave.

‘Don’t forget’ the nurse said as I walked out the door ‘stay off those shakes’.

I walked out, smiling to myself, happy that my organs hadn’t ‘packed in’!
Thank you for taking the time to read my blog,

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