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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Does your ‘diet start again tomorrow’?

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Does your ‘diet start again tomorrow’?

In your mind, have you been ‘bad’ or ‘fallen off the wagon’ this weekend?

Starting tomorrow, is this week going to be different?

> What changes are you going to make?

> Most importantly, what changes are you going to be able to stick to?

How is this week going to be TRULY different to any other week?

What action can you take to put yourself one step closer to achieving your goals?

Consider this, what is greater?

The pain of change?
OR
The pain of remaining the same?

What will happen if you don’t change?

Why not make this week truly different?

Trust me when I say you CAN change.

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

Tristan ‘believe in yourself’ Buttle.

P.S – doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will…………………

 

You DON’T know………..

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> You don’t know that the 25 stone person you see in the gym used to be 35 stone……

> You don’t know that the person struggling to lift the 10kg weights started by lifting 2kg…….

> You don’t know that the person you judge for being ‘arrogant’ or in ‘love with themselves’, simply because they are leaner than the average person, used to be obese & has had to work their arse to get where they are right now……….

> You don’t know that the person who ‘never speaks’ in the gym & keeps their head down is just as insecure & intimidated as the next person………

> You don’t know that guy who is always ‘checking his phone’ in the gym is a doctor who is constantly on call, and is directly responsible for the lives of others………..

> You don’t know that the ‘naturally skinny’ guy/girl is just as self-conscious as the overweight person……….

> You don’t know what injuries/illnesses a person may have when you see them doing an exercise in what you deem to be an in an ‘unconventional’ manner……….

> You don’t know that the tired & stressed mother of two, who has literally been up all night, is fighting every day to do all she can to regain her confidence….

> You don’t know that the guy next to you the gym who you judge for grunting is going through hell with a messy divorce, and the gym is his only release………..

We ALL judge at times & we are ALL capable of casting our fears & insecurities onto others, just try to remember:

EVERYONE has a story…….

Everyone has their own pain, their own doubts & fears, their own issues & their own hang ups….

That’s all for today, until the next time, have a great weekend.

Tristan ‘nobody knows’ Buttle.

P.S – nothing else today, I’ll catch you next week.

Is ‘healthy’ food making you gain bodyfat?

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‘It’s good for you’……………….

You’ve heard it before, somebody is describing or selling the benefits of a certain food group to you and they tell you how ‘healthy’ it is……

I’m not denying the health properties of certain foods, and the inclusion of these foods can be of benefit to you.

However some foods can become over hyped and all too often one MAJOR factor becomes lost in transaction……………………..

CALORIES!!!

I’ve said it before and I will keep saying it: calories DO count!

It doesn’t how ‘healthy’ those calories may happen to be, an excess intake will STILL cause weight gain.

Foods that typically fall into this bracket include:

>Nuts

>Coconut Oil (and any other oil for that matter)

>Nut butters (doesn’t matter how ‘natural’ or ‘organic’ it is, calories STILL count…)

>Dried Fruits

>Honey

>Granola

The list goes on, but these are the typical choices that I see the most of.

Nuts are a classic example, 25g of walnuts equates to a small handful but typically gives you around 175kcal.

If you aren’t careful, ‘snacking’ on nuts can easily rack up an additional 500 -600kcal a day!

Keep in mind, that all of the above choices are also very easy to overeat on…

I’m not saying these foods are bad, far from it, I am saying that you need to be mindful of the caloric value when you include any of them into your diet.

Remember that too much of ANY food choice will result in weight gain….

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

Tristan ‘had to stop buying peanut butter’ Buttle.

p.s – I’ve been using powdered peanut butter recently, but more on that another day…………….

 

 

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.

 

 

a quick one on training……..

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In order to achieve your health and fitness goals, you simply MUST train!

When it comes to training, rarely does one size fit all, and if you were to ask 10 people (who have got results) what they do, you may get 10 different answers…

How I train is specific to ME, how YOU train needs to be specific to YOU.

Training age/experience, injuries & limitations, personal likes & dislikes, frequency & time are just some of the factors that need to be considered when looking at what is the best approach for you to take.

There is no such thing as the ‘best exercise’, only the best exercise for you.

However, I do believe there are two factors that apply to ALL forms of training:

1) You must train with relative intensity.

Training ‘hard’ is all relative, but remember that training needs to place a stress on your body for it to change. Training NEEDS to be intense, otherwise we would all get in shape from simply going shopping or cutting the grass.

How do you know if you are training hard?

Ask yourself this:

When did you last truly step out of your comfort zone in the gym?

Or imagine this:

On a scale of 1 to 10, 1= laid on the sofa doing nothing, and 10=being sick out of your eyeballs (not literally ha) where would you currently place your sessions?

2) You must train progressively.

Put in very simple terms, you need to beat or improve what you do every time you train.

No matter what style of training you adopt, you need to log your workouts and come into the gym with a clear plan of action.

You need to log all reps and all weight lifted and create targets.

Your body will adapt very quickly to the stress of exercise, therefore progression is an essential factor in helping to ensure that your training continues to provide the correct stimulus for change.

Chances are you do this in all other areas of your life: for example, your relationships and work life both progress, this what keeps things moving forwards, this is how we grow and develop.

Please note that both of the factors above have nothing to do with age or the ‘amount’ an individual may currently be lifting.

e.g. – Lets say I’m lifting 100 kg on an exercise, but I’ve been doing so for the last 2 months, I haven’t increased in either weight or reps performed….

…..and Mrs Smith was lifting 3kg 2 months ago and is now lifting 6kg, then Mrs. Smith has progressed more than I have.

Where you start is irrelevant, intensity and progression is relative to you and your goals….

That’s all for today, until the next time, keep moving forward

Tristan ‘log book’ Buttle.

P.S – Adding weight to an exercise or increasing reps should NEVER be done at the expense of poor form!

P.P.S – If your performance isn’t progressing then you need to ask yourself why?

P.P.P.S – Give me a shout if I can help you out with any of the above.

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.