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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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…………….

 

 

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

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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!

15 reasons why………………………….

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If you are currently struggling to lose body fat or change your body shape,  I’m willing to wager one or more of the following reasons will cover it:

1) You have no idea how many calories you are consuming on a daily basis.

2) You don’t overeat but you eat the wrong things often at the wrong times.

3) You eat too little during the day, then go mad after work, often picking at foods whilst you prepare or await tea.

4) You don’t drink enough water.

5) You don’t eat enough protein.

6) You have tried ‘diets’ in the past, as a result your weight has fluctuated, and you’ve never found a truly happy medium.

7) You eat emotionally for comfort, to combat stress, or due to fatigue.

8) You eat unconsciously at times, e.g. sat watching a film on the sofa…one biscuit becomes a whole packet.

9) You don’t plan or prepare your meals.

10) You are afraid or carbohydrate.

12) You are afraid of fat.

13) You believe that eating ‘healthy’ is boring & bland.

14) You get strong overwhelming cravings.

15) You don’t eat enough calories to support your level of training.

If you are guilty of any of the above, don’t beat yourself up, you are human. I’ve been there with number 7 myself………The first step is to assess what area you need to work on & develop a strategy to overcome this…

As ever, give me a shout if I can help you out, that’s all for today,

Tristan ‘craves pizza when tired’ Buttle.

P.S – The true answer to all of the above, as ever, is balance. The best plan is one that you can and will stick to.

 

 

Birthday Cake ISNT bad for you…………………….

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That’s what I told her earlier……
It’s true…..
I did however follow it with ‘if it’s 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.
>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 which will effect the end result/goal.

Thats all for today, until the next time,

Tristan ‘I want cake now’ Buttle.

PS – The only food I WOULD label as ‘bad’ is Turkish delight! That is the devils work!

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

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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…..by 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:

>ACTING QUICKER WILL QUIETEN YOUR FEAR.

>ACTING QUICKER WILL RELIVE THE DOUBT IN YOUR MIND.

>THE FASTER YOU TAKE ACTION OR ‘PULL THE TRIGGER’ THE QUICKER YOU FACE FEAR.

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…….