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 4 essentials to fat loss: Number 1………


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………………………….


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.



I’ll have Fish & a Rice Cake………………….


>At 8 o’clock I’ll have fish & a rice cake…………

>At 10 o’clock I’ll have fish……

>At 12 o’clock I’ll have fish…………… & a rice cake

>At 2’clock I’ll have fish………

>At 4 o’clock before train I’ll have fish & a rice cake…………

After I train I’ll have my fish, then I’ll have some more fish with a rice cake……………..

>Then I’ll have some fish before I go to bed…………….

No, this is NOT my daily routine!

……. It’s an excerpt from an old documentary on aspiring bodybuilder Danny Andrews that has since become a bit of an internet sensation!

The above run down was Danny’s answer when asked about his nutrition/diet at the time…………


& a rice cake.

Or fish………

Or a rice cake.

Bit much?

Ha, definitely!!………..

Anyway, I’m using this somewhat extreme example to highlight how there can be a huge misconception that eating ‘healthy’ or ‘clean’ has to be boring or monotonous…..this simply doesn’t have to be the case!

I want to tell you today that you categorically do not have to live on the same meals on repeat day in, day out!

You can have variety, and you can mix it up!

Leaving on the SAME meals, MULTIPLE times a day is sure-fire recipe to boredom, driving yourself insane and is totally & completely unrealistic………

Get creative: there is NO need to simply live on chicken and broccoli (or fish & a rice cake) 4 times a day!

My advice would be to learn how to cook in different styles & try new things. Try to embrace change in the kitchen, get social and involve your friends/partner/husband/wife and kids in the creative process.

If you are stuck for ideas or ways to increase your protein content in your diet, give me a shout, I’ll fire you some ideas to keeps things fresh.

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

Tristan ‘& a rice cake’ Buttle.

P.S – here’s the link to the original excerpt, so you can see Danny giving us his rundown:

Are you drinking enough water?


Water – The facts and the application.

Whether your goal is to lose bodyfat, improve your strength, to enhance performance, or to help off set some of the signs of the aging process, drinking sufficient water on a daily basis should be an essential part of your daily routine. You can dial in your nutrition and training but without sufficient water, your gains and progress will be limited.

Water constitutes two thirds of your total body weight and is the single most important nutrient we require, without it you wouldn’t survive more than a few days! In a survival situation, water is more important than nutrition,as all of your cells and organs require water to function efficiently and effectively on a daily basis. We obviously obtain water by drinking it directly but also from our food.

The human body will lose water through perspiration, respiration and urination so keeping a regular intake is essential for optimal performance, especially when exercising regularly. Studies have shown that dehydration reflected in a 1-2% reduction in body weight can reduce our ability to concentrate, our cognitive and physical performance, and increase feelings of aggression or irritation – water rage!

As a general rule an active person who is training consistently should aim to consume 1 litre of water per 25 kg of total body weight.

Therefore a 65 kg person should drink: 2.6 litres per day (65 divided by 25).

Remember that this amount should be drank throughout the day in regular intervals; the average standard water bottle is 500ml, so using the above example this would equate to be just over 5 bottles per day.

Also remember that fizzy drinks/sports drinks/and tea/coffee shouldn’t be included in the above total!

Action tips:

-Take a water bottle or shaker with you to work and fill it up at regular stages throughout your day. If you spend prolonged time travelling through work/business, always have your water on hand in your car.

-For every cup of coffee you order/drink get into the habit of ordering/drinking a glass of water to supplement the coffee. From personal experience, very often the water is forgotten about and you may have to make a polite reminder! I feel this is not only a reflection on the obvious importance of the hot drinks, the fact it’s a ‘coffee’ shop, and that water doesn’t run a cost (unless bottled), but also that the average person doesn’t consume sufficient water and probably doesn’t order water regularly therefore it is not a habit formed by the serving staff. On another personal level I feel water should be served as standard in all coffee shops, café bars, and restaurants without request, but that’s my rant over!

-Don’t go crazy and start to increase massively your intake within the first few hours of your day! Gradually build up to your requirement (formula above), especially if you are already considerably below your target requirement.

-If you feel like drinking a fizzy, carbonated, often sugary drink, just spare a moment to consider why. Very often it can be full of Aspartame, unnatural sweeteners, dyes… and a variety of other strange often unpronounceable ingredients! Whereas, within reason, water is water. You also won’t run the risk of drinking extra pointless calories. Yes, certain fizzy drinks can be a better choice than others in terms of calorie and sugar content; however the hydration properties of these drinks (with the exception of certain electrolyte based products) will be inferior to basic water.

-Yes you will initially start to urinate more frequently (politely speaking) as your body adapt to the increase in liquid, you will get used to it!

-Stay very clear of flavoured water drinks. For example, the ‘touch of fruit’ products by Volvic can contain up to 27.5 g of sugar per 500ml bottle.

sugar in drinks

Stay hydrated and stay happy.

Water is your friend.


Lieberman HR (2007) Hydration and cognition: a critical review and recommendations for future research. Journal of the American College of Nutrition 25, 555S-561S

EFSA Journal 2011: 9(4):2075 Scientific Opinion on the substantiation of health claims related to water and maintenance of normal physical and cognitive functions (ID 1102, 1209, 1294, 1331) maintenance of normal thermoregulation (ID 1208) and “basic requirement of all living things” (ID 1207) pursuant to Article 13(1) of Regulation (EC) No 1924/20061