Is ‘healthy’ food making you gain bodyfat?



‘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……………………..


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:


>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



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??



That’s it.

Just under 70% of this year has gone!


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?


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.

a quick one on training……..


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.

Birthday Cake ISNT bad for you……..



It’s true…..

However its only true IF its your birthday.

Think about it……would anyone judge you or form an opinion on you for having cake on your birthday?

It’s almost like a given isn’t it? Birthday & cake, hand in hand, totally normal.

It’s not deemed a ‘bad’ thing.

It’s also totally normal & acceptable to join in & eat cake when you are celebrating a friend/loved ones bday.

I turned 38 last Friday ( I know, I don’t look it……)

Did I have a treat? Yes
Did I eat cake? Yes.

>However, what about having cake when it isn’t your birthday?

……you are not celebrating?

It’s just a ‘normal’ day?

Perhaps it’s just a little occasional treat that you just fancied?

Is this acceptable? Probably, yes. Is it ‘bad’ for you? Not necessarily…..

>However, what about eating birthday cake every other day?

Is this ‘bad’ for you?

The thing here is that, the cake hasn’t changed, what has changed is your choice.

It’s not about the cake being ‘bad’ for you, it’s about making good or bad choices, choices which in turn help determine your outcome.

Eating cake on a birthday isn’t bad…eating cake every day becomes a bad choice..

Try not to label foods as ‘ good’ or ‘bad’, doing so can often lead to negative relationships with certain foods, but instead consider that there are only good or bad choices..

As with all aspects of life, its your choices that will effect the end result/goal.

Thats all for today, until the next time,

Tristan ’38’ Buttle.

PS – The only food I WOULD label as ‘bad’ is Turkish delight! That is the devils work! Seriously, who eats that stuff?!

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


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.

I wanted to put my fist through the screen………


I’ve been wrestling with technology this past week……

Computers are great aren’t they?

………when they work!

I managed to mess up my email lists on mailchimp.

After shouting at the screen, talking to myself, and at one point threatening to smash the monitor, I appear to have now resolved the issues………..

Turns out that the devil is in the detail and I was having bounce & omnivore issues (whatever that means)…which I’ve kind of been ignoring for a while….

I also hit my limit on total subscribers I can enter without upgrading to the premium version….

There’s some clear lessons here that you can apply to your health & fitness goals.

Don’t ignore the obvious signs that things maybe aren’t right. I had notifications, but I CHOSE to ignore them and just kept on hammering away; convincing myself it will be OK.

> Don’t do this with your body… if you are getting feedback listen to it…if you are experiencing regular pain (not just soreness), get it looked at by a professional.

> Don’t do this in life…..try not to ignore what needs addressing.

> The devil IS in the details…are you tracking what needs to be tracked for your goals? Your food diary & training logs are your friends, but only if you log accurately & consistently.

> Very often the ‘free’ or cheap version of things isn’t always your best option…try to think long term…

All too often, if it sounds too good to be true…you know the rest…..

Until the next time,

Tristan ‘mailchimp master’ Buttle.

P.S – if you are suffering with any pain, please do have it looked at, speaking from experience, you need to listen to your body. Life is too short to be living in pain.

The 3 Second Rule/What’s holding you back?


A few years back I read a fascinating book called ‘The Game’….

Not sure if you have read or not?

It’s a true story about a journalist named Neil who dives into the world of pick up artists, self improvement & self discovery….

Along the way into his investigative reports he realises that he is himself in need of ‘the game’ in order for him to battle his own insecurities, & become more confident & content.

We learn that historically Neil had always been very unsuccessful in love & had immense fear when it came to even attempting to talk to a woman, as he always feared the worst….he was always full of nothing but doubt….

One of the ‘rules’ of the game that Neil learns is the ‘3 second rule…..’

……… in basic terms, the whole concept is to approach somebody who you wish to interact with within 3 seconds….

……this can be applied to anyone or anything, could just be saying hello or initiating full conversation.

Think of it as simply pulling the trigger… doing so you are killing fear. The theory here is that the longer you leave it (like anything) the less likely you are to act, due to the fear.

Fear that IS holding you back.

You can apply this theory to all aspects of life, not just chatting to women (or men)!

What would you do if fear didn’t stop you? If fear didn’t paralyse you? Who would you be?

Whatever you apply this to:




The longer you leave it, the more time you have to question yourself & to doubt yourself.

I’m going to leave you with one question today:

What is the one thing that you KNOW you need to take action on, but are you not, and as a result it’s creating fear, doubt & insecurity in your life?

That’s all for today, until the next time

Tristan ‘3 seconds’ Buttle.

PS – I’ll tell you all about ‘peacocking’ sometime, another rule…….

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 just embarrassed myself……………


There I was working in the gym, catching up on some program writing, when in comes Donna, one of our top freelance instructors………

We got chatting with one of our of longstanding members/regular attendees of Fitness Pilates, about some rather challenging leg/glute class content……

This prompted me to rather stupidly ask:

‘What’s all this about?’

‘Is it tough?’…

First lesson here is be careful what you ask for my friend!

Next thing, I’m laid on my side doing allsorts of contorted movements, my leg up in the air, swinging around, kicking, squeezing & generally gasping for my breath all whilst Donna keeps calmly saying ‘8 more’!

It’s amazing what pain/discomfort can be inflicted using only your own body weight!

I freely admit, my hips are not the most mobile & I’m not the most flexible guy, but even so, this was tough!

After completing just one side, I was done!

Rolling around like a baby…………..embarrassing!

>If you apply this to yourself, when was the last time you did something for the first time?

>Tried a new approach to your training?

>Tried a new class?

>Changed your approach to your eating pattern?

Even the smallest, newest change can have a big impact………..

And these changes DON’T get easier…YOU get stronger…..

Until the next time,

Tristan ‘sore glutes’ Buttle.

P.S – Pilates, Yoga, & any class that promotes mobility/flexibility provides a great contrast to the usual ‘gym’ workout…It can actually help your gym progression, especially from a postural point of view…..