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Is Butter a Carb?

“Is butter a carb?”

If you’re not familiar with this iconic dialogue from the 90’s teen comedy and pop culture phenomenon that was Mean Girls I suggest you click open a new tab and bookmark the Amazon Prime or HBO page for Mean Girls right now. You my friend are missing out on a whole lot of pre-Beach Club Lindsey Lohan and Tina Fey from the ‘good old days’.

In the movie Mean Girls, Regina George played by Rachel McAdams is attempting to lose weight via a high-carb diet. She famously asks her clique if butter is a carb to which Cady Heron, played by bright-eyed Lohan, the frenemy responsible for her misguided nutritional plan, replies in the affirmative.

Cady was being a jerk: there's no research supporting high-carbohydrate diets for weight loss, and any real friend would let you know that butter is indeed a fat.

In the spirit of asking friends (and not frenemies) the real questions, I turned to my high-school bud Tarryn Macleod - a long term fitness enthusiast and now Nutrition and Dietetics major at Acadia University in Canada. Keeping up with Tarryn meant swiping through her ‘body-goals’ worthy photos on social media and commenting three words frequently: “you look AMAZING.” So frequently did we interact that she ultimately caved in giving me her hard learned fitness and nutrition lessons and the secrets that keep her looking fab.

Lucky for you - here’s the run-down on everything you need to know about Tarryn and how she got and maintained that bod:

Hi! I'm Tarryn and I enrolled in a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics (minor in Biology, Psychology and Chemistry) at Acadia University. Acadia is located on the East Coast of Canada, in the vineyard surrounded town of Wolfville. I am currently in third year and will be graduating in the year 2020. My favorite thing about being in nutrition and dietetics is getting to talk about something that we are all so connected to; food. Food is not boring and is constantly changing. I am very fortunate to be able to learn how to translate scientific food and nutrition terms to the general public and inspire them to make healthier food choices. I am the Wolfville Farmer’s Market Coordinator and love spending time volunteering at the market and supporting local and community based establishments. I am also President of a club called the Canadian Association of Food Service Professionals (CAFP), which is a nationally recognized organization helping students to network with dietitians and food service professionals in Canada. Finally, I am also part of the sports nutrition club at Acadia which has allowed me to work with sports teams and help individual athletes on their nutrition goals and their meal planning. I have to say that I am definitely a very outgoing, social and empathetic person. I love helping people with just about everything and anything, whether it be advice in terms of nutrition, school work or how to resolve a problem or situation.

How has school helped you understand how to stay fit and eat healthy?

I have learnt a vast amount of information from all the nutrition courses I have taken at Acadia University. Being able to implement all the information I have acquired into my daily life has been incredible. From understanding about different types of fat, how they are absorbed and digested into the body, and then the health benefits or detriments certain fats bring, I have been able to use this information in my own diet.

What is your workout schedule?

I used to play sports in Singapore, which allowed me to stay fit there but moving to Canada has been a huge change in my workout schedule. Since moving to Canada, I usually spend 45min-1.5hrs (depending on the workout/time I have available) at the gym every day. I start with 10 min on the Stairmaster or on an uphill walk (at level 12). My workout schedule looks something like this:

Lower body: Glutes

Upper body: Shoulders/Chest/ Abs

Lower body: Glutes/Hamstrings

Upper body: Back/Bi’s/Tri’s

Lower body: Glutes/Quads

Cardio (10-15min Stairmaster/walk after as well) and abs after every workout for about 5 min as well. An optional 6th and 7th day of workout if I am feeling up to it. I don’t always stick to this on days I feel less motivated, there is usually one day of the week I go in and do whatever it is I feel like doing, which may end up being more a full body workout.

What are ALL your tips and tricks to staying consistent with your workout schedule?

  1. Find your motivation to want to workout; being healthy and feeling good after my workout is my main motivation. I feel so motivated to continue studying or doing my school work after a good workout break.

  2. Do exercises and gym workouts you actually enjoy.

  3. Write down a schedule/workout plan of what you are going to do at the gym on your phone or in a journal (makes you feel more reliable and productive).

  4. Make time in your day and week for it, block off and make time to go – make it a required thing to do in your day. Either in the morning/evening/afternoon or a mix, WHENEVER you have time – yes that sometimes means waking up before class if you have a crazy schedule.

  5. Know that when you are done your workout, you will NEVER regret it because you will always feel so much better afterwards.

  6. Get dressed for the gym, even if you don’t feel like it, before deciding whether or not to go… (I do this often when I am really unmotivated to go and it helps me).

  7. Get a workout buddy! I have 2-3 friends who I love to go with and making it a weekly thing to go with them makes you more accountable to go

  8. Ease into it, start with something you can manage and things you are comfortable with doing before moving on to more complicated workouts

What are ALL your tips and tricks to having energy during your workouts?

  1. Having pre-workout/coffee before I go to the helps me to get some energy before my workout (my fav pre workout being PeScience berry blast)

  2. Having a small carbohydrate rich snack before going to give me energy (peanut butter with banana, slice of bread, egg or a homemade energy ball)

  3. Blast music in the car or in my room before I go to get super excited/hyped up

  4. Getting a friend to pick you up/walk with you to the gym to get you motivated to go workout

  5. Wearing something you feel confident and happy to workout in also gets me energetic for the gym… This might seem stupid, but putting on those cute GymShark leggings and looking good can make you feel happy, confident and motivated and sometimes that’s all you need to get motivated for the gym. I’m not saying it’s required to do this… But on occasion it helps me feel motivated, especially after a long day of class and studying.

How do you vary your workouts/ keep them fun?

  1. I follow a bunch of Instagram gym pages which help me to vary my workouts and try new plans and exercises (@ashleigh_jordan (my personal fav) @kk_fit_ @madlymish @roballenfitness @minibutmighty_ ) (Healthy food accounts: @mason_woodruff @nourish_naturally @minimalistbaker @itslivb )

  2. I set small challenges for myself for the day, like squat 10 x 10 (with 80-95lbs), set a PB or go on the stepper for 20 min after leg day…

  3. Always include a full body compound exercise into my workout (bench press, squat, deadlift, overhead press, pull up etc)

  4. Sometimes going to a workout class like a HITT/plyos/crossfit workout or a kickboxing class helps me to change it up a bit and keep me motivated.

Image courtesy @ashleigh_jordan


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