Extreme Weight Loss – How it adds up & what to do instead

Everybody wants extreme weight loss in as short a time as possible, yet very few people see these results last much longer then their 2 week summer holiday.

I’m sure many people know the situation, you start a 6 week diet in the hope of losing weight for holiday, Christmas, birthday etc. So you start an extreme diet and end up cutting down on your calories by more than half, you’re currently consuming 2000 calories and you know about the guidelines about cutting down by 500 calories a day is ideal weight loss, but surely the more calories you cut down the better results will be?

Of course dropping more calories will result in greater ‘weight’ loss but why don’t the experts advise cutting calories down to lower and lower calories?

This is because the ‘weight’ lost during these diets causes us to be further from our true goals, and leads us to a dangerous recoil back to obesity.

What the heck am I talking about?

First let me paint the situation for you…

You want to lose weight so you weigh yourself…

Say the weight comes in at 14st 4lbs (91kg)

But lets look even deeper…

  • That’s 2.5st (16kg) body fat
  • 11.5st on lean active tissue

Then we start the 1000 calorie diet…

and we see great results losing 5lb in the first week, 4lb in the 2nd week and 3lbs for the remaining 3 weeks, we achieve our goal and lose an incredible 21lbs

  • After 6 weeks we now weigh 12st 11lbs (81kg)

But when we look deeper and break down what we’ve lost the story changes…

The 21lb weight loss breaks down like this…

  • 9.5lbs (4.3kg) from body fat
  • 11.5lbs (5kg) from lean active tissue.

Less than half of our weight has come from fat, with more coming from lean active tissue such as muscle. We’re actually unhealthier, less fit, weaker and less active.

Our metabolism has gone done, our activity levels have reduced and we barely move around anymore. We’re primed and ready for our weight to spring back up and more when our diet returns to what it was before the diet.

This is why more than 95% of people fail to achieve their goals for any length of time.

What can we do to stop the trend?

We need to play a different game. We need to LOSE FAT / NOT WEIGHT, Burn The Fat, Not Starve The Body.

This is where Protein and Weight Training are so important. By increasing protein we preserve muscle and avoid the body breaking it down, by weight training we’re able to burn the fat and increase our active tissue to burn MORE calories. We need to cut the food down little by little so that we don’t end up burning the wrong kind of weight. By cutting down by 500 calories or so, we’re not wasting time, we’re succeeding in the long run. Imagine if you followed the REAL experts (who have exercise science degrees, who have spent over 10 years learning and educating with SCIENCE and not hearsay) advice the first time instead of what the popular diets suggested. Clearly the popular diets don’t work for the long run if ultimately we’re going backwards over the years.

Set Yourself Up To Win…

Most weightloss diets require extreme sacrifices and giving up of many “bad” foods:

  • Set yourself a long term goal (next summer)
  • No Sugar
  • No Carbs
  • No Alcohol
  • Low Fat

Amongst many other suggestions to give up on. If you’re cutting things out with no date set for them to be re-introduced then you’re going to binge and end up feeling guilty for having the ‘bad’ foods which then leads to giving up altogether and leaving you feeling like you’ve failed.

In my opinion this is no way to live and certainly no way to lose weight or diet. Cutting so many foods out of your diet – that you like and enjoy – is never a recipe for successful weight loss.

Set yourself up to WIN.

Instead of cutting out foods, feeling bad for having a set-back at the weekends set yourself accountable with smaller easier to manage tasks such as allowing yourself these foods in small quantities once per day – keeping yourself accountable means that you’re unlikely to over-eat these foods by having a friend or coach keeping you on track and making sure you’re doing the things you need to achieve your goals.

Focus on ONE thing.

By focusing on ONE aspect instead of trying to change everything at once means that we can manage it easier and are more likely to succeed. In my experience changing portion sizes has lead to the biggest improvements as most peoples plates are too large leading to eating more calories than they need. So changing your portion sizes could be the perfect start to your new healthy weight loss plan.

  • Start with a palm sized portion of protein (meat, fish, eggs etc)
  • A cupped handful of carbs (rice, couscous, pasta, potatoes etc)
  • A minimum of fist sized amount of veggies
  • A thumb sized portion of fats (butter, cheese etc)
    (for men double these measurements).

This often see’s a reduction in the amount of calories our clients eat and provides fantastic results within the first week.

Look Long Term

Many people starting a diet will want to lose 2 stone in 3 weeks before a holiday. Sorry to break it to you but this rarely happens, on the occasions it does, it leads to a miserable few weeks leading up to your holiday followed by an almost immediate bulge and regain of weight within days of eating on holiday.

Think about how many times people have tried this approach, only to drastically yo-yo diet and this is why 95% of people who diet weigh more 2 years after the diet than BEFORE they started the diet itself.

Instead give yourself time to succeed, by looking longer term you give yourself time to really make some changes. As with any successful plan it starts with a long term plan that is broken down into smaller more manageable chunks of 6-12 weeks. This way you’ll see continuous changes starting to appear within the first few weeks and then by the time you get to your holiday you’ll be in amazing shape and will be able to look that way throughout the whole holiday.

To Do

  • Break it down to 6 – 12 week chunks to keep you motivated (Christmas, birthday, weekend breaks away etc).
  • Get accountable – Tell someone what you’re going to be doing.
  • Get people around you to support and guide you – whether that’s Next Level Performance, friends of family.
  • Start easy with 1 improvement instead of overhauling your entire diet.

Any questions please feel free to email or find us on Facebook – Next Level Performance Runcorn

It’s Easy To Quit, It’s Harder To Succeed

Why I feel like quitting DAILY.

I get the struggle of trying to achieve something with our lives! It’s tough going, especially when everybody is tempting you to go the opposite way. The pressure to be just like them and stay exactly where you are right now, not moving forwards, not getting better, not leaving them behind or showing them up with what can be done in the right mindset. This is why it’s easy to quit and why so many people give up failing to achieve their goals.

The thing is, we’re not doing it for these people, we’re doing it for ourselves, for our family and to inspire our children to maximise their lives. These people who want to hold us back are not helping our situation. It can be difficult to plough through these situations and continue to move forwards. More often we’re sat wondering how we lapsed on our progress in the situation, but it’s rarely the fault of our own. In order to out-stay these temptations our motivation has to come from a much deeper place (see 7 reasons why article) than the superficial.

The Struggle Is Real

Most days I consider jacking everything in, getting rid of the gym and getting a ‘proper’ job as my parents and those around me once called it (probably in a call centre or something as that’s where I’ve been before). The struggle to achieve your goals is most definitely real. Whether your goal is weight loss, strength, fitness or like mine in creating a successful business (alongside my body & fitness goals). Each DAY there’s a set-back, there’s a kick in the ‘balls’ that takes the wind out of you.

Whether it’s a business software issue or a client issue struggling to take the right actions to get results. It could be some ‘hater’ online that’s talking crap about other trainers trying to do well, or trainers trying to build up their own ego’s by knocking down other trainers. Yes, some junior trainers may be miss-guided (maybe instead of calling them all kinds and de-motivating the rest of the good quality trainers you should keep your damn mouth shut) as my mum said “if you’ve got nothing good to say, keep your mouth shut!”

Y’see I’ve seen this first hand, hell I’ve even done this before. As years go by you grow up and learn and realise that the only thing that’s happening by calling other trainers, is keeping those who have something good to say quiet, because we didn’t have the balls to say out loud – just in-case things were taken the wrong way.

What I’m trying to say is, like you on your diet having friends try to persuade you to have another drink or saying “you look great just enjoy the cake” trying to make themselves feel even less guilty in having it. I have set backs and things trying to pull me down DAILY like your work colleagues, friends or family may be pulling you back from your goals.

Where Would Giving Up Get Us?

If I were REALLY to let all the crap get to me I wouldn’t be here writing this. I’d be living a life without influencing or motivating anybody. The same way you wouldn’t achieve anything if you didn’t take action on your goals. You’ll stay where you are eating the cake and unlimited drinks, and continue to be un-motivated by the day-to-day, struggling to find purpose or even to live for YOU, instead hiding behind your children, your job or whatever other excuse you could muster up. I’m doing this FOR my future family, so that they can have better, I want to be fit, strong and mobile to be able to have ZERO limitations on what I can do with my kids… Children love superheroes, and I’ll be damned if I’m not my child’s biggest superhero!!!

If I were to give up on my goals, where do you think I’d end up, I’d be a disappointment, I’d be working the struggle instead of bringing up my children and living a life full of inspiration.

Getting back up is not an option, it’s THE ONLY option, because of what I’ve set my personal beliefs as.

The Perfect Weight Loss Diet

There are countless of weight loss diets out there, it is in fact a multi-BILLION-dollar industry. Yet with so many different diets and “authority” figures sell thing their diets it can be confusing to us in trying to find the perfect weight loss diet that’s best for us. So how do we find the perfect weightloss diet for our lifestyle and goals.

  • Low Carb
  • Low Fat
  • Paleo
  • Atkins
  • Mediterranean
  • Slimming World
  • WeightWatchers
  • Juice Diet
  • Vegetarian

This never ending list.

Diets can be confusing, yet NONE of these are the perfect diet for you. They all provide well meaning guidelines to follow, yet offer very little in terms of structuring them around your lifestyle, you should not need to change your lifestyle to it the diet in. If you’re a busy mum working at a high level you’re going to be struggling for time so spending a ton of time preparing foods, weighing your chicken to count your macro’s probably isn’t the right plan for you, yet juicing your meals leaves you feeling tired and grouchy – not to mention the health concerns with not ‘eating meals’. There are very few diets that factor in work stress, time restraints, hungry children or even family meals (anything that requires weighing your foods to count calories, macronutrients etc.).


The Perfect diets needs to work around YOUR lifestyle and encourage family time together, not you trying to adjust your life to the diet, that will only lead to frustration and short term changes. It will also not only get you the weight loss results you’re after, but leave you feeling energised, vibrant and confident. The perfect diet will provide countless health benefits and reduce your stress levels by working in your environment.

Why the typical diet doesn’t work?

The more traditional method of cutting our or limiting certain food types, we end up reducing our food options and  this means we “should” end up eating less food as a result. The average person will stick to around 25 food types (chicken, fish, certain vegetables and fruits alongside plenty of junk foods such as chocolate, sweets and calories in drinks). The problems comes when reducing our carbs, or fats actually reduces our nutrients and/or leads to replacing them with other foods. Through advising to reduce certain foods types these diets fail to identify the true cause of your weight loss – reduced food intake – instead

focusing on one aspect that they say is causing weight gain. The


re are many research studies and evidence supporting the fact is not reduced carbs, fats or any food type that causes weight loss, but reducing food intake is actually the magic potion in these diets and why sometimes they succeed, more often they fail because we replace the food types with more of the others.

Counting Calories – Limiting Food Intake

This is where counting calories comes into play as a diet option however, does this fit in with your lifestyle and belief patterns? If you’re rushed for time and want to eat with the family (counting calories requires weighing food uncooked) then this is going to impact for life. Therefore although you may start with the best intentions ultimately these plans are often short term and highly stressed.

What is The Perfect Diet

The perfect diet is different for each and every person and it doesn’t have a ‘name’.

We strongly believe small adjustments are required over the long term to succeed. This is why We provide empowering methods to allow you to make the right choices in situations where you’re having to choose what foods to eat. Through providing information, recipes and guidelines for our clients to make the best choices for them in any situation. We feel that by empowering our clients with the tools to not only make the right choices when rushed around and stressed but also at home with the family.

Social Factors

These play a major role in the success of our diet. If your program limits social aspects such as meals out, parties (consuming alcohol or BBQ’s) then these diets will be useless, unless we live the life of a hermit. Therefore we need to take these factors into consideration when looking at the adjustments we can make to our diet to allow us to succeed, many diets fail to do this.


Working With Your Strengths

This simply means that the perfect diet will help us win with our goals, social aspects and our overall health. We provide tips and guides for eating out such as steak, chicken and fish to help with protein and healthy fats, limiting un-necessary calories through sauces, and having starters instead of desserts to help improve the calorie balance and drinking low (or zero) calorie drinks alongside your meals to help you feel satiated. These mean that we can continue doing what we enjoy and socialising without the need to stress or worry about putting on weight, or falling off the weight loss wagon.



The perfect diet is not a quick fix option that you’ll likely give up quicker than seeing any results but a diet that provides the nutrients, energy and balance that we need in life to achieve our goals and enjoy our lifestyle. Therefore the perfect diet is completely individual and always changing as our lives do.


If you want to maximise your health, weight loss, performance and energy levels here’s a list things you can do to maximise your diet.

> Portion Control – We like to use our hand size as our guide but you can use anything you want to quickly determine the size of your portions

> Limit Liquid Calories – There’s nothing beneficial from drinking your calories, unless excessive caffeine, alcohol and sugars are your goal.

> Reduce Snacking – the snacks we eat are mostly emotionally driven. We need to take control of our lives and determine whether we’re eating for health, emotion or environmental factors.





I would also recommend our relevant articles below:

10 Tips To Get Rid Of Your Belly Fat

Low Fat Diets: why they work and why they don’t…

Losing Weight: The Most Important Thing You Need to Know (and what you must forget)



Finding Your Why

They say you should Start With Why…

But why?

Most of the time we decide that we want to lose weight, tone up or get lean and strong. We even know the weight we want to lose, or the dress size we want to get into.

But less often we know exactly the reason why we want to achieve these goals… we’ll often come up with ‘surface’ level reasons such as I’m tired of being overweight, i want to lose weight because I want to look better for our summer holiday etc.

Then we struggle to get results and wonder why we yo-yo our weight, why we don’t stick with a program long enough to get the results we wanted in 3 weeks.

Our deeper level ‘Why’ could be the missing piece of the puzzle.

We often forget to establish the REAL reason “WHY” we want these goals.

Most of us believe it will make us happy, much like winning the lottery will make people happy, yet those who have achieved these goals often find it is not enough to make us happy… we just renew our goals and continue to reach for more. I believe the reason why could be the missing piece of the puzzle to achieving and keeping our goals.

But HOW do we find our reason why?

I ask ALL of our clients why they want to achieve their goals and why they are going to do what’s need to achieve their goals.

Yet all-too-often we get surface level responses such as “i want to lose weight” or I want to feel better” but we need to go deeper to really understand why. Finding the deeper level of why will allow us to carry on when times get tough such as rainy days, or feeling a little tired and things start to take over, when this happens, most people will give up without any result or even worse, just short of seeing the results they want to get. Even if the task was as easy as just turning up each day – regardless of the work most people will fail to turn up each day if their reason why isn’t big enough. We need to lead our action to our goals, not be lead by our actions away from our goals. I can tell that you’re not the type of person who wants to stay where you are, by reading this far you want results and want to delve deeper into your why.

You want to improve and get more from your life, whether that’s weightloss, shape, or all of these factors, you want more than the ordinary person.

It can sometimes be difficult to find the ‘real’ reason why we want to lose weight or why we want to be leaner, fitter & stronger. But it doesn’t have to be difficult we just need to go 7 levels deep.

I’ve tried this many times with clients and even family members and each time it’s worked an absolute treat each time.

So what does it actually mean?

First of all we set our goal, then each level develops based on the previous answer such as

Goal: I want to lose get in shape…

Why… I want to lose weight because… etc

Most of our clients want to lose weight, even i want to get in better shape, so why do I want to be fitter, stronger and leaner?

Goal: Get in better shape

  1. I want to get in shape because, I want to inspire others to do the same.
  2. I want to inspire others because, I believe it’s important to lead by example.
  3. I want to lead by example because, I have always been lead before by friends/coaches who haven’t had my best interests.
  4. I want to give people the best chance they have to succeed
  5. I want people to get results from working with me and to leave a legacy
  6. I want to be remembered with a legacy because I was a nobody growing up that very few people cared about and was effectively bullied by friends who would run off.
  7. I want to prove to people that I am worth more than that!

These are the reasons why I want to achieve my goals and get into better shape – notice it actually has ZERO to do with being in shape, health or fitness but all to do with emotions and feelings. Once we tap into these feelings and emotions our goals become bigger than excuses and we are able to push through hard times or challenges and continue moving forwards to achieve our goals.

These are very clearly my reasons and my goals. Go through the process and explore your own reasons. I would love to hear your 7 reasons why, but if you feel they’re too personal to share at least you will have the power to commit and continue moving forwards more than any excuse to stop.


Back pain when moving – is your posture to blame

Is sitting down all day causing you pain?

Have you ever noticed that you can ignore all the safety advice on posture guidance regards manual handling and sitting safely at the desk – until you cant ignore the pain in your shoulder, neck, back or wrists anymore?

Most of our clients never cared for manual handling or office safety until they realised their pain and posture limitations were all linked to the way they carry the posture whether sitting down or picking up their kids.

Our bodies need strength, stability and mobility to function and hold our posture, otherwise our bodies fall apart leading to poor movement patterns, reduced mobility and increased pain

The Problem is, the pain only comes when we’re moving so it seems it’s actually the movement that causes the pain…right… wrong.

Here’s what most people’s day looks like.

We get up and sit down eating breakfast (if we have time) then we drive (sat down) to work where we sit down at the desk and work on the computer and phone half way through the day we have lunch where we’re sat down to eat, drive home and then prepare dinner before sitting down to eat and watch TV to wind down.

Throughout the day it’s safe to say most people are sat down for roughly 8 – 10 hours at least.

Imagine what that’s doing to your body, you’re bent as the knee, hips are shortened due to the bend at the hips and most people’s hips are tucked forward underneath, on top of that it’s more than likely your shoulders are rounded over as you type away.

This creates tight and short muscles and tendons around the back of the thighs, the front of the hips and places high pressure on the lower back and those rounded shoulders are causes all kinds of shoulder problems.

The facts are…

  1. We don’t move well.

This is possibly the most obvious, yet our body can withstand plenty of abuse over time this will take its toll. Moving well comes down to using the body (it’s muscles and joints) at its optimum. Yet we tend to move in the laziest and often more demanding (on the body) way to do things – most often because it will shave off a few milliseconds of time.

2. We are not moving enough.

Possibly a good thing considering the first point, yet as we mentioned earlier our days are spent sat down for far too long. this takes it’s toll and changes our posture and muscular patterns – leading to tightness along side weak muscles.

3. We are not performance basic maintenance & mobility on our bodies.

We may even move around and exercise regularly but it’s all pounding the body and we don’t take the time to move around, de-stress and relax our body to release tension in tight muscles and allow our bodies to move freely.

But that’s the bad news.

All 3 of these factors can be placed into one principle. Moving more and well with exercises that promote strong posture, increases range of movement to optimal, reduces pain and creates improved overall movement patterns.

The Good News is… Our Bodies are incredibly versatile.

One of the reasons this causes problems for our movement is also our greatest weapon. Our body will move, and adjust to the demands we place upon it. Therefore it’s pretty easy to reverse any/all of these issues.

We just need consistency.

Our bodies weren’t tight and in pain the 1st time we sat or moved incorrectly, so it wont be fixed by doing some mobility work once. A small amount of exercise and mobility done consistent and regularly will help you move pain free in a relatively short time.

All you need to do is spend 5 minutes performing some simple mobility exercises on a daily basis.This 5 minutes spent whilst the adverts are on, or adding it into your morning routine will enhance your life.

These exercises can be found here…

I get it, 5 minutes is enough time to forget all about it. You’ll probably only remember to do these exercises when there’s pain stopping you doing something, yet the moment you stop feeling it, you’re posture, your movement will all revert back to it’s previous habits. Therefore setting these exercises into your morning and night time routine.

Here’s a few exercises and movements you could fit into a 5 minute routine to relieve your back pain

Back and Shoulder Pain Due to Sitting For Long Periods

Each day we place “environmental loads” onto our bodies, whether that’s running with incorrect technique (do you know anyone who runs that’s had coaching on the running technique?), or whether it’s due to the physical demands of our jobs.

What most people don’t realise is that sitting down could be one of the worst physical demands for our bodies.

It’s likely that we spend 8 hours or more sitting each day, whether that’s whilst eating, driving, working or relaxing in front of the TV.

Sitting for long periods (6 hours or more) can cause serious mechanical issues for our joints. Simply put, we aren’t designed to sit down for long periods of time. Our posture begins to falter and our joints begin to pinch, tighten and become weak and tight altogether leading to mechanical joint problems and issues we need to work around to carry out our day to day activities.

Sitting can lead to multiple issues with our joints

  • Tight Hips – Sciatica
  • Low Back Pain
  • Neck Pain
  • Shoulder Pain
  • Frozen Shoulder
  • Shoulder Restrictions
  • Carpel Tunnel Syndrome

Correcting these issues in the gym can be short term because the other 23 hours a day are working against what we’re doing in the gym, think of it as 1 step forwards and 3 steps (or 23 steps) backwards.

Even elite level athletes suffer, athletes can spend 3 – 4 hours training and going through tactical challenges on field but they can also spend 12 hours or more sat down playing video games, at school and other activities.

Our bodies are able to handle all kinds of abuse, but it also has it’s limits and daily repetitive habits will eventually take it’s toll. It’s often slow and unnoticed similar to adding those extra few lbs creeping on over the years.

Our bodies adapt to the environment we place it in whether that’s stressful, or stress-free our bodies will find a way to adapt and survive. If we spend most of our days in certain positions our body will adapt . So if we’re sat with rounded upper backs and tucked hips our joints will adapt and our muscles & tendons will adjust to our demands becoming shorter & tighter, opposite to longer and weaker muscles.

You might ask yourself “when do these bad habits start to take effect and, when do our bodies start to adjust?”

We’ve seen this in children as little as 9 years old – Think about when children start at primary school our children start to spend more and more time seated than playing, running etc. This is a striking similarity to when children start to use poor movement mechanics.

Why don’t we notice these changes?

If sitting with a C-shaped spine or heal striking whilst running was immediately painful we would immediately stop and avoid it in future. Yet like those few lbs of fat that have crept on we barely notice these changes until it’s too late or glaringly obvious to us that something is wrong. By that time our body has adapted to our mechanics and weaknesses have occurred.

What can you do?

The following system is designed to provide all the help you need.

If you we could rely on our 3 or 4 gym training sessions each week to get our posture fixed and sort all our issues out it would be great.

Unfortunately this is not the case, as mentioned previously elite level athletes suffer with these problems too so the gym is not enough. We need to start thinking of how we spend the other 23 hours of our day.

Imagine someone who drinks alcohol every day but can manage a run each morning, you wouldn’t consider them healthy or fit, yet we think we can out train our bad habits. Which is not to say that working out won’t help, it will certainly help strengthen our weaknesses and get us healthier, but it’s not enough on it’s own.

We need to consider our daily habits and posture when we’re seated to allow us to be pain free and move freely. Here are some of the things we can we do to help improve our movement;

  • Stand More – Getting a standing desk (at least ask your H.R. or Occupational Health team before you rebuff the idea) will help improve the amount of calories you burn as well as activating your muscles in positive ways that will result in reduced your pain.
  • Ensure your work space is optimised for your posture and performance needs. Click here for guidance on how to set up your work space.
  • Spend 5 to 15 Minutes Mobilising Each Day – Too many people work out hard in the gym but will neglect to spend 5 – 10 minutes on mobilising and lengthening their joints and tendons. Here’s a Youtube video to mobilise your shoulders.
  • Just move more! Set a reminder for every 30 to 60 minutes (set the timer on your phone to vibrate) and take a walk (you’re due a brew anyway) or stand for just 2 minutes to help your body.

Simply standing throughout the day will not only allow you to reduce aches and pains, but also improve your mechanics, whilst you also burn plenty more calories by increasing your daily activity level. Therefore standing will also provide some assistance in avoiding weight gain for those who take on board the advice here. Using a standing desk can allow you to burn up to 1000 calories MORE than sitting, when you consider that we should aim for a 500 calorie deficit per day when wanting to lose weight, simply standing up more during the day will burn enough calories to successfully lose a significant amount of weight.


Fat Loss Supplements – Do They Work

Fat Loss supplements are a million-dollar business, however this can be seen as preying on the vulnerable and possible desperation to lose weight.

It can be extremely tempting to jump onto the bandwagon with any media reports suggesting certain fat loss supplements help with results.

However, from our background in sports science we have access to multiple research reports to allow us to make informed decisions.

Here’s a list of the fat loss supplements that we’ve seen people buying in abundance and what the research suggests.

This is not our views but the reports from the scientific research.


Glutamine is one of the 20 naturally occurring amino acids in dietary protein. specifically it is a conditionally essential amino acid (being elevated to essential during periods of disease and muscle wasting typical of physical trauma). It is sold as an isolated amino acids, but is already found in high levels in dietary meats and eggs. It is also found in very high levels in both whey and casein protein.

Glutamine is a very effective intestinal and immune system health compound, as these cells use glutamine as the preferred fuel source rather than glucose.

It is generally touted as a muscle builder, but has not been proven to enhance muscle building in healthy individuals; only those suffering from physical trauma such as burns or muscular wounds (knife wounds) or in disease states in which muscle wasting occurs, such as AIDS. In these individuals, however, glutamine is effective at building muscle and alleviating a decrease in muscle mass typical of the ailment.

Glutamine also seems to make news in fat loss media. Yet research has shown zero link between glutamine and fat loss. If glutamine had an effect on muscle building it could help increase metabolism. However, this would not surpass diet and exercise as the biggest reasons for adding muscle to increase metabolism.

Having amino acids in single form (they’re the building blocks of protein – of which there are 20), often means that nutrients are missed or may not be fully utilised in the body. It would be strongly advised to continue with wholesome meats and fish, and wherever needed in protein powders.


T3 is one of the two circulating Thyroid Hormones and is the more metabolically active one (relative to T4). Used as therapy for hypothyroidics, T3 may hold some promise as being a short-term fat burner and cognitive enhancer vicariously through the effects of thyroid hormones. T3 increased the thyroid activity and therefore may improve metabolism for short term weight loss.

Caution should be taken as overdosing through T3 and/or T4 can lead to symptoms of hyperthyroidism, which range far wider than just an increased metabolic rate.

Caution should be taken to avoid overdosing in both dosage and duration.

A much safe and cheaper option would be diet, exercise and even the use of caffeine as a metabolic enhancer.

Raspberry Ketones

Raspberry ketone is the compound responsible for many flavouring and aromatic qualities of cosmetics and processed foods.

When present in high doses, raspberry ketone can exert fat burning effects on various areas of the fat cell. These effects may be similar to those of ephedrine and synephrine.

It should be noted that all evidence for the effects of raspberry ketone has only been observed in vitro (in a test tube). Though researchers are able to raise the concentrations of ketones in a single cell during studies, these same high dose concentrations cannot be replicated in the human body, particularly through oral supplementation.

Therefore research support for raspberry ketones is severly lacking in human trials. Therefore, it is impossible to say that they will have a benefit due to the concentrations used in test tube labs compared to those that could be ingested.


It is claimed that CLA reduces appetite and therefore leads to improved weight loss.

However, human studies on CLA are very unreliable and the overall effects seen with CLA are not overly potent as well as sometimes contradicting. CLA’s usage as a supplement for personal goals is quite lacklustre.

CLA is considered ineffective for weight loss to the high degree of unreliability in the results, with most evidence suggesting no effects and some sparse evidence to suggest both increases and decreases.

It may be effective for morbidly obese and sedentary individuals but even then, results are still unreliable and often ineffective.

We believe more needs to be done to promote the disuse of such products that can cause severe side-effects and/or zero effect on your fat loss. We advise you to save your money and ask us or check out and/or as two credible sources of evidence based reviews for such supplements.



Emotional Eating

Food and Emotions


Food is often linked with our emotions. Whether we’re stressed and need a “pick me up” or whether we’re happy and celebrating with “a few drinks” we’ve been conditioned to eat and drink based on how we’re feeling.

The Relationship Between Food and Emotions

Take a quick look back on your last three days of your food. Do you notice any trends at all?

Maybe you eat at a similar time each day. Maybe you eat similar foods for lunch every day. Search out and try to find an anomaly. Look for something that is not typical for you to eat, either in food choice or quantity.

Hopefully the last three days are still current enough in your mind but really think hard back to that outlier meal and try to remember what was going on at that point in your day.

Were you stressed out about something at work?
Did you just receive some bad news?
Were you feeling anxious about your finances?
Did you just have a fight with your significant other?


There can be a major link between emotions and your food choices. This is something to try to be very aware of and an act that you can train yourself to control.


Emotional Eating

We tend to turn to food for comfort, stress relief or even a reward. However, emotional eating never actually fixes our emotional problems. Most of the time we feel worse afterward.

Here are seven quick questions to determine if you are an emotional eater:

  • Do you eat more when you’re feeling stressed?
  • Do you eat when you’re not hungry or when you’re full?
  • Do you eat to feel better (to calm and soothe yourself when you’re sad, mad, bored, anxious, etc.)?
  • Do you reward yourself with food?
  • Do you regularly eat until you’ve stuffed yourself?
  • Does food make you feel safe? Do you feel like food is a friend?
  • Do you feel powerless or out of control around food?


If you answered YES to at least three of these questions, you might be stuck in an unhealthy emotional eating cycle. The best thing to do is recognise it and use your food journal as a way to break this habit.

By requiring yourself to write down your choices, you can help recognise whether you are actually experiencing emotional hunger or physical hunger.

Try to recognize your emotional triggers and keep track of them in your food journal. This will make it even easier when looking back to see if there are common patterns going on.


Emotional hunger is not satisfied by a full stomach.


  1. Emotions have a major impact on our food choices.
  2. You can use your food journal to help recognise these patterns.
  3. Take the 7 question quiz to see if you are an emotional eater.

10 Tips To Get Rid Of Your Belly Fat

Belly fat is more than a pain in the belt-line, it can also be severely harmful to our health, with visceral fat being linked to type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

Losing fat from this area can often be difficult and long-winded, we’ve got 10 effective tips to help you lose the un-wanted belly fat to look and feel your best.

1 – Eat Plenty on FIBRE

Fibre absorbs water and forms a gel-like covering that slows the food absorption through your digestive system. Therefore you are more likely to feel fuller to longer as your tummy takes longer to empty. As a result you’re more likely to reduce the amount of calories.

  • Flaxseeds

  • Brusssel Sprouts

  • Avocados

  • Legumes

  • Blackberries

Are all GREAT sources of FIBRE.


2 – Avoid Trans-Fats

These are un-natural fats found in margarines and some spreads. These fats have been linked to increased inflammation, heart disease, diabetes and abdominal fat gain – with one study showing increases of 33% more abdominal fats on a diet high in trans-fats.

This does NOT mean going ‘low fat’ but thinking about the

Look out for labels with trans-fats or partially hydrogenated fats on and avoid these.


3 – Alcohol

I know – you want to enjoy life and enjoy a

drink or 6. Actually, alcohol can have some health benefits, in small amounts. But it’s been observed that heavy alcohol consumption and binge drinking can lead to an increase in belly fat. In a study of over 2000 people those who averaged less than 1 alcoholic drink every day had less belly fat than people who consumed alcohol less often but had more alcohol on the occasions they drank.
Cutting down (not cutting out) can help reduce your waist size (ever heard of a beer belly).


4 – Eat More Protein

Protein is mentioned a lot a round weight loss, this is because much like fibre protein can increase the feeling of fullness (just for different reasons). Not just that but protein will also increase your metabolism and help you hold on to more toned muscle during weight loss as it helps protect against the breakdown of muscle for energy.

Good srouces of protein should be included in every meal (at least a palm sized portion) such as lean meats, fish, eggs and even whey protein powders.



The stress hormone cortisol can be responsible for a reduction in energy burnt during the day.
Stress can make you gain belly fat by triggering the adrenal glands to produce cortisol, also known as the “stress hormone.”

It was also found that women who have a bigger waist also produce more stress hormone leading to a double whammy as research has shown that high stress levels can increase appetite (ever had the urge to binge eat on high sugar foods when stressed? – I know I do).

Therefore, it is vital that you engage in activities that you enjoy and allow                                                                                          you to de-stress.

6- High Sugar Foods

As mentioned above, stress creates a desire for high sugary foods, these are lacking in nutrients but contain high calorie values. What’s more, high sugar diets will leave you feeling hungry much quicker than high fat, or high protein therefore you’ll be reaching back into the cupboards much quicker and eating even more calories (and often you won’t even realise it).


7 – Weight Training

Despite the fat that it’s called weight training and most people want to lose “weight” most people avoid this type of training to reduce their weight. However, research shows that strength or weight training will preserve muscle mass (THE leading cause of a loss of independence).

Resistance training at high intensities can create a HUGE calorie deficit that allows your body to burn more calories for HOURS after the workouts finished. This is through an increase in muscle temperature, whilst having more toned, stronger muscle not only looks sexier, but also allows you to increase your metabolism to burn more calories when resting.

8 – Sleep.

Sleep is important for many health benefits including your weight. Research studies indicate that people who don’t get enough
sleep, or have poor quality sleep, end up eating more calories throughout the day and gain more weight.
Aim for 7 hours sleep per night to reduce the risk of over-eating (as a way to get more energy into our body).


9 – Avoid calories in drinks

Whether it’s fruit juices, fizzy drinks or even alcohol these calories add up and we don’t realise how much it’s making us gain weight.

Consuming calories in liquid form is even worse than high sugar foods, as our brain doesn’t realise we’re taking on calories and we don’t get full by having a can of coke etc.

To drop weight it’s best to avoid calorie drinks altogether, although it can be difficult in social circumstance to avoid alcohol we have some awesome mocktail recipes that are super low in calories, just email


10 – To get where you want to be – you need to alter your lifestyle

You’re where you are right now because of decisions and actions you’ve taken that have got you here. If you wish to be
somewhere different we need to make the necessary adjustments in our lifestyle as well as our diet.

This is why we focus on habits here at Next Level Performance, and why most diets fail to create results.

Create positive habits like going for an evening walk instead of sitting in front of the tv, or reward yourself with actions or items that are calorie free.

If you would like help with any of these please feel free to contact us at or on our facebook page @NextLevelPerformance