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…………….



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.

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.

It was a crazy party………………


I went to an awesome party over the weekend………..

It was crazy…

Batman was there….

Iron Man was there…

Superman was there, I think I even spotted Wonder Woman.

It was one of my best mates sons 3rd Birthday party, & I loved it!!

They had hired a soft play area at Haltemprice, and when I arrived the party was in full swing!

Pretty much the entire group were all getting involved in the inflatable action & party games….the kids (and parents) were all loving it!

This got me thinking about group dynamics…

If one or two kids  had started saying that they ‘didn’t want to play’ or they were scared/nervous about getting involved,or the parents behaved in a reserved manner, then this may have influenced the rest of the group to believe and act the same…

However, because EVERYONE got involved, it was totally normal to just go with it, and normal to be part of it. As a result the group all helped each other, drove each other, and indirectly motivated each other.

Think about how this relates to you and your goals…..Are you around people that are helping you?

Are they encouraging you or holding you back?

Are they willing to get involved with you when you need them?

Are they encouraging, undertstanding & supportive of your goals?

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

Tristan ’37 year old child’ Buttle.

P.S – there’s A LOT to be said for the true TEAM focus of group exercise…you should try it sometime…

P.P.S –One kid actually asked me if I was the Hulk………..True story.

‘She doesn’t need to train…’


‘She doesn’t need to train…’

…..That’s what he said to me earlier……..

I was chatting a young guy (I say young guy; he’s in his mid twenties, so that’s now young to me, ha!) & we got to discussing his goals…

He’s set himself an 8 week target to get in beach body shape, so I got asking the usual but important questions about his lifestyle, so I can help him out.

He lives with his girlfriend, & she does the majority of the cooking. She pretty much opts for whole food choices the majority of the time, all good stuff. ……

I asked if she trained herself (support from those around you is huge when achieving your goals) & his reply was:

‘She doesn’t need to train, she’s naturally really toned, she could eat rubbish and never put weight on’…

I guess she’s just lucky?! She cannot put weight on….

However, this got me thinking, we very often only ever associate the gym/working out with aesthetics…not with health……..

The gym is often considered the place where you got to change how you LOOK and not necessarily to change how you FEEL…

The health benefits of training and exercise are pretty much endless…in a materialistic world where image is often everything; these benefits are simply forgotten…

I get it, its not sexy, that’s why…

Increased lung capacity & a stronger skeletal system isn’t as sexy as ‘toned six pack abs’ or a ‘j lo’ bum….

What I would invite you to consider is what is going on mentally when a person trains, forget how they look, forget what ‘shape’ they are…

……..their confidence, their inner strength, their energy, their feelings of self worth, their self belief are ALL hugely influenced by their actions in the gym…

Whilst I totally 100% understand the young mans statement, I politely disagree, there isn’t a single person on the planet who doesn’t need to train……..

Until the next time,

Tristan ‘sanity over vanity’ Buttle.

P.S – nothing today, but thanks for checking…….

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…..

You like that word don’t you?


…got asked this by a client earlier…he was referring to one my key words I use a lot…& that word is ‘optimal’ my friend….

……..In the gym world, I agree, that to a point, anything is better than nothing………and it’s rare that something is absolutely wrong (don’t get me wrong I’ve seen some shockers in my time) it’s just that very often its not optimal and not the best use of your time…

Is sitting on bike pedalling on a low level for 20 mins, a few crunches, and then go home wrong?


>Is it optimal?


You’ve heard the expression ‘anything is better than nothing’ right?

I agree with the notion of any movement is better than no movement & EVERYONE has to start somewhere…..however……


>Your job?

>Your relationship?

>Your kids?

Would you approach these areas with the ‘anything is better than nothing’ or would you desire & strive for more? Would you aim higher?

I want you to get the most out your time in the gym, I want you to get the results you TRULY want, and I want you to do what is optimal for you…..

Your time is valuable, I get it, I understand, as we grow older we get more responsibilities, we have more stuff going on, so why not use that time in the most effective way possible my friend?

Until the next time,

Tristan ‘optimal’ Buttle

Ps –optimal.