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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Improve the next 12 hours of your life…………………….

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When we talk about the effects of training, we can all be guilty of becoming focused on ultimately one thing: changing how we LOOK.

However, today I wish to quickly encourage you to consider the other factors involved in training with particular focus on changing how you FEEL, not just how you LOOK.

Let’s have a simple look at the effect that physical activity has on your brain, with particular reference to your mood……….

When you exercise or participate in regular physical activity (the key being on the word regular) your body will release chemicals called Endorphins.

Here’s the science bit, I’ll keep it quick because it’s the weekend…………..

Endorphins are neurotransmitters which pass along signals from one neuron to another. They are made in the pituitary gland, sections of the spinal cord, and the brain.

They mainly interact with the receptors in cells in the region of your brain that can block pain and control emotion, by having an analgesic effect, in turn helping you to combat potential stress.

Accordingly to one study (university of Vermont, USA) a mere 20 minute session can be enough to elevate your mood for up to 12 hours!

In some cases exercise has been proven to be as effective as medication for treating depression.

> Imagine how you would benefit in ALL aspects of your own life if your mood was lifted for the next 12 hours?

> What would you tackle differently?

> How would you and others around you benefit?

> Would you see things differently?

> Would others see you differently?

Depression & mood swings can very often be linked to feelings of not having control in life. If an individual starts to take control of their body, they may in turn start to control other aspects of their live.

It would be completely wrong of me to suggest that exercise can solve or cure all things to all people, as we are all very complicated individuals.

However, what I am suggesting is that by starting with small regular bouts of physical activity you certainly begin to elevate your mindset to a greater place to help you tackle any issues in your way.

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

Tristan ’12 hours’ Buttle.

P.S – If you are unsure about how to get started, give me a shout.

Christmas Shopping -HELP!

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Christmas Shopping……….

There I was…. wandering around the shop aimlessly

……..trying to find what I was looking for…

No joy……

I popped into town last week to get a gift for someone, but couldn’t find it anywhere in the shop!

I didn’t even know where to start……

So I asked the first shop assistant I saw….she didn’t know, but she suggested another girl may know……

Still no joy……

So girl 2, asked girl 3 &……….SUCCESS!

Hallelujah, a Christmas miracle!!

My point today is that you get where you want to be far quicker by simply asking the right person the right questions……

If you don’t know the answers (like girl 1 & girl 2), that’s ok, you just need to find somebody that does!

I could of spent/wasted far more of my time attempting to find what I was looking for and I may or may not have got there eventually but what’s the point when I can accelerate the results by getting advice & seeking the right person to help me?

This is EXACTLY the same with your health & fitness goals.

You are NOT expected to know all the answers, you just need to ask the right questions…

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

Tristan ‘sign me up to amazon prime’ Buttle

P.S – it’s always better to confidently not know something, than to under confidently try to know something………

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…………….

 

 

I tried to make it sexy…….

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So, on Monday I changed the format of my emails that I send out to help people…..

I changed the layout.

I changed the colour scheme.

Why?

I had convinced myself that my usual format was boring, that it was bland, that it needed spicing up, and needed to be sexier!

So I changed it…

The result?

The general feedback was that it detracted from my words and was ultimately harder to read.

If it’s harder to read, it’s harder to digest and therefore it’s harder to action.

One person (whose opinion I really value) actually said it hurt her eyes!

So from today, I have gone back to basics, and back to my original layout.

This whole situation reminded me of the fitness industry….

All too often, I see trainers and companies trying to ‘dress up’ a training style or a particular approach to nutrition, and in the process they forget the basics.

It doesn’t matter how ‘sexy’ a training plan is, if you can’t follow it or stick to it, what’s the point?

Same with my email design, it doesn’t matter how much I try to make it stand out, if it doesn’t get read, what’s the point?

Everything with my approach to training and nutrition is NOT sexy and it is NOT revolutionary.

It is simple, it is progressive and it is consistent.

Why?

Because it works.

It really is that simple.

If the world of health & fitness has left you confused, if you are struggling to find an approach to nutrition that you can TRULY stick to (long term), if you have been misled and sold false hope by certain companies or individuals, or if you are always looking for the next big thing, perhaps you need to simplify your approach?

Give me a shout.

That’s all for today, until the time,

Tristan ‘back to basics’ Buttle.

P.S – if you’re not already on my email list click the link below to subscribe for regular content:

https://tristanbuttlept.wufoo.com/forms/zu7g1ph0d3o374/

 

 

 

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.