Why your hairdresser is right…….

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Have ever looked in a magazine, seen a pic of someone and thought to yourself:

He/she looks cool, I LOVE their hair…….I want that hairstyle……

You book your appointment and strut into the salon all ready & fired up for your new look, and after your discussing it, your hairdresser tells you……………

It’s not for you!

Gutted!

This is often because your professional stylist knows that you simply cannot reproduce the same look yourself.

It’s perhaps just not a manageable style for you to have to deal with on a daily basis.

So if you did go for this new style, you’d maybe look great for that day (with the help of your stylist) but what would you do when left to style/maintain it yourself?

>Would you end up in a worse position in terms of your lovely locks?

The same logic applies to your health & fitness goals:

I pretty confident I could get you to do A LOT more than you may currently be doing in the gym in terms of intensity, and you would definitely step out your comfort zone, however:

If you can’t consistently reproduce this yourself, what’s the point?

>Anyone can train hard once.

BUT:

>Nobody got in great shape by doing just one intense workout.

If the intensity cannot be matched/reproduced, I’d suggest you’d be better scaling it down to a more manageable level.

You need a find a level of intensity that challenges you but also allows you to build a foundation of progression.

Your hairdresser and I have your best interests in mind, and we are both thinking about your long term happiness and success.

If you need a hand in establishing a routine that you CAN stick to, give me a shout.

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

Tristan ‘have you got your holidays booked?’ Buttle.

P.S – What’s the worst haircut you’ve had?

P.P.S – I’ve had some absolute shockers ha

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.

Supplementation: are you wasting your cash?

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The supplement industry is truly MASSIVE, you name it, there’s a supplement for it………

It can all get very confusing, and understanding supplementation can be made increasingly difficult by public perception and branding.

For example, if you were to ask the average person what they think of protein shakes, a typical response could be “you don’t know what’s in them; it can’t be ‘good’ for you”.

In their mind, you may as well be publicly sticking a needle in yourself!

The exact same person probably wouldn’t have the same reaction to somebody drinking  a ‘sports based’ energy drink, which are extremely widespread and available from just about every shop/supermarket. Despite these drinks very often being highly calorie dense and containing a wide range of stimulant based ingredients, they are for the most part socially acceptable……….

Lucozade for example, is actually marketed, endorsed, and supported by athletes, yet is purchased and consumed by an often inactive demographic, without any secondary thought being given.

What do you need to consider when it comes to supplementation?

Firstly it is essential that you have a balanced diet containing all the necessary nutrients (macros & micros) before introducing any shake or supplement. It is far more beneficial to get your diet on track first for you to notice tangible results and also for you to make vast improvements in your health & performance (both in and out of the gym).

Remember that there isn’t a supplement invented that will transform you or help you if the rest of your diet & lifestyle is poor!

By definition a supplement is ‘Something that completes or enhances something else when added to it’………………..

The use of any supplement is also obviously dependent on your individual goals. I always suggest that before you commit to purchasing any supplements you discuss your goals with a professional, and do your own research.

I do acknowledge that supplements can play a role within your routine and can definitely help in terms of reaching your goals, however, I would encourage you to consider the following pointers with regards to your existing diet & lifestyle before buying and committing to any supplements:

>Are you aware of your average total daily calorie intake?

>Are you aware of what is potentially lacking in your diet in terms of micronutrients?

>If your goal is fat loss, are you in calorie deficit?

>If your goal is to increase muscle mass, are you in a calorie surplus?

>Are you eating sufficient amounts of protein/carbohydrates/good fats to support the level of training you are performing at?

>Are you eating at regular intervals to avoid potential binging? This doesn’t have to always mean 5 meals a day, I’m merely encouraging you to question your existing patterns, are you consistent in your approach?

>Do you plan ahead and prepare your meals, if and when required?

>Do you drink sufficient water for your bodyweight on a daily basis? (https://tristanbuttle.wordpress.com/2014/01/20/are-you-drinking-enough-water/ – have a read to find out how much).

>Do you feel you get sufficient sleep and recovery? (See my blog https://tristanbuttle.wordpress.com/2015/07/28/struggling-with-your-sleep-read-this/

>How much stress do you have within your current lifestyle and how do you combat it?

Before you part with your hard earned cash, I would suggest avoiding:

>Any product that claims to have ‘steroid like’ effects or benefits! The only products that have steroid like effects are steroids!

>Any product that relies solely on buzz words, such as ‘super lean’ or ‘shredded’.

>Any product you are potentially buying solely because someone else is the gym also happens to be using the same product.

>Any product that hides the active ingredients behind the term ‘propriety blend’. This can be very misleading and can often mask the active ingredient quantities, save you hard earned cash and don’t get conned!

>Any product that is promoted/endorsed exclusively by the latest reality TV star!!!

>Any product that encourages you to regularly replace meals with shakes.

What supplements would I recommend you do use?

>A quality whey protein powder – this can prove to a convenient source of protein for some. I tend to favour using it in conjunction with other foods such as oats or yoghurt.

>Creatine – this is a supplement that has been around since the 70’s, and has been proven to have many benefits, to read more click here: https://tristanbuttle.wordpress.com/2015/06/07/confused-about-creatine/

>ZMA – this one of my favoured supplements for aiding with sleep.

>Fish Oil – this boasts a huge number of benefits, including the contribution of normal/healthy function of the heart.

>Vitamin D – if you live in sunny old England, it’s worth considering that exposure to sunlight is responsible for Vitamin D synthesis, and is responsible for the majority of Vitamin D intake in the body.

>Vitamin C – this contributes to normal function of the immune system.

That’s it, it may not be the sexiest selection, but I guarantee they will have a greater impact on your health & performance opposed to the fad/false hope supplement on the market. It will also prove to be far less damaging to your bank account!

I suggest that you consider addressing all the above points before introducing any form of supplementation into your routine.

Doing this will not only improve your health massively, but also place you on the right path to achieving your goals.

Thank you for taking the time to read this, if you found it useful please like and share with others.

If you need any help or further advice, give me a shout.

Tristan ‘keep supplementation simple’ Buttle.

Going all out on Valentines Day

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‘Don’t worry about it’…….

That’s what I told him…..

It was my reply to a question about coconut oil & its health properties….now before we go any further, let me explain myself………

I see many people (too many people in fact) sweating & worrying over what I consider to be the small stuff….

>Should I switch to coconut oil?

>Should I drink green tea?

>Should I only drink bottled water?

>Should I take supplements?

>Should I go gluten free?

The list goes on……………………..

Now whilst there’s an argument/health benefit to all of the above & all have their case & application for certain people, but only if (and it’s a big, huge ‘if’) lifestyle supports these choices…

So if you happen to be someone who is stressed out, not getting enough sleep, with a diet that lacks sufficient protein, you have no idea how many calories you consume, & you struggle to plan past your next meal, then I would suggest not sweating the small stuff, like whether to switch to coconut oil or not…..

There’s a lot more you can do that will give you FAR greater results & FAR greater change……

Nail the basics first, get consistent in your approach, then add in simple ‘finer details’ as you progress….

Not mastering the basics first but sweating over coconut oil (or other smaller details) is like ignoring your partner all year round, forgetting their birthday, but then going all out on Valentines Day!!

Trust me when I say you can make change with simple, realistic, & consistent steps.

As ever, if you need anything give me a shout

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

Tristan ‘I’ve never actually forgot anyone’s birthday’ Buttle.

P.S – Honest…… 

 

She ignored me at first…………….

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I’m currently taking part in a 12 week challenge to myself to get leaner….

As part of my quest involves increasing my activity levels, I have included some morning walks before breakfast into my daily routine…

I simply get up, quick shower, black coffee, grab my water bottle and go for a stroll….. typically just around the block, lasting between 20-30 minutes…

I’ve done this Monday to Friday, pre breakfast, pre work….

As is often the case, you tend to see familiar faces at this time in the morning, people out and about, heading to work, walking the kids to school, or most commonly walking the dog…….

So on Monday, my first day of strolling an older lady was walking towards me with her little dog in tow…… I smiled and said morning to her and she simply blanked me and carried on walking!

Now I get why this happened, she doesn’t know me, she was potentially intimidated by my presence, and I as I didn’t have a dog or kids with me,  she probably questioned what I was doing!

However, flash forward to Thursday and the exact same lady (who by this point had seen me for the previous 3 mornings) was all smiles and good mornings!

Why? What changed?

Nothing other than familiarity…she simply got used to seeing me walking in the morning, it became normal, and as a result she felt comfortable and relaxed……

This is exactly the same in the gym regarding your health and fitness goals…….

The first time you walk into the gym can be scary, it can be intimidating, you can feel uneasy as you are out of your comfort zone….even if you a regular gym user, I bet you are often guilty of sticking to what you know, and what you feel comfortable doing?

This simply makes you human!

Remember your first day at school? Your first date? Your first day in a new job? First driving lesson?

Through time, you adjust, you progress, you adapt, you grow, you develop familiarity and eventually you are facing those very fears that held you back on a daily basis….

Getting in shape is never as scary as you think it’s going to be, trust me.

If you are unsure about taking your first step, or you need to readdress your current approach, give me a shout….

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

Tristan ‘good morning to you too’ Buttle.

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………

The majority are wrong…………

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I’ve worked in the fitness industry a long time, I’ve clocked over 17 years of experience & over the last few years I’ve seen a HUGE shift in the state of things…..

The internet, Facebook, Twitter, & Instagram are all FULL of gyms & personal trainers all promising you the answers to your goals.

The fitness industry is truly MASSIVE now, with more gyms, more trainers, more internet gurus, more nutritionists, more ‘diet’ plans, more of everything…however despite all of this, the industry is FAILING…….

Why?

People in this country are sicker then ever before, obesity rates are higher than ever, and the total amount of the UK population who are members of gyms clocks in at only 13%……

My advice to you is to NOT do what the majority are doing, because the majority are WRONG…

From my experience, here is my advice on what I think you should avoid:

>Any program that gets you ‘shredded or blitzed’ in a definite amount of time, but leaves you going STRAIGHT back to your old ways & habits….often feeling even worse about yourself.

>Ladies –please avoid ANY program/routine that uses the word ‘skinny’ in a complimentary manner.

>Any program/routine where you are NOT encouraged/motivated to change ANY part of your eating patterns/habits, unless of course your habits are already perfect?

>Any program that SOLELY focuses on total body weight ONLY. This is a factor but is not the ONLY factor when getting in shape, composition is the key.

>A system that replaces food with liquid (shakes)…. Post workout shakes are an exception for some people in a supplementary manner, but replacing actual meals with shakes does NOTHING to change your relationship with food.

>Unless you are actually stepping on a competitive bodybuilding stage, the need to eat like you are isn’t necessary, so any program that encourages you to live SOLELY off chicken & broccoli multiple times EVERY DAY should BE avoided……

>ANYTHING that claims the answer is in a PILL!!

>Any trainer that CONTINUALLY boasts about their clients being sick through training!

I could honestly rant all day about this; it’s very close to my heart.

I’m passionate about this because I’ve seen good people with great intentions make bad decisions & choices due to false hope. This leaves them feeling even more fed up, angry, and depressed……….

…………Please don’t be one of these people.

……….take the time to research what is right for YOU…

YOU are individual and your routine/program should reflect YOUR needs…

You need a realistic program that YOU can stick to…

It’s confusing; I get it, that’s why I’m here to help……

You are not supposed to know the answers; you just need to ask the right questions to the right people……

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

Tristan ‘turned into a bit of a rant’ Buttle.

P.S – nothing today, I’ve ranted enough!