#wisdomwednesday – Things I wish I knew before I started training.

Have you ever had that moment where you think if I knew what I knew now, I would do things different?

Two things we say a lot; being strong makes everything easier! Girl’s, lifting weights won’t make you massive!

Here’s the things I wish I wish I’d known before starting training.
– Sean

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Meet our team: Jordan’s story

Next Level Fitness _WIP6252

Age 22, I was 17 stone. Someone close to me had a heart attack and it was a huge wake up call. I didn’t want to be in a box before I was 40 and I could see my life headed that way if I carried on.

I came to Sean at Next Level Fitness as a client, and Sean helped me to turn my life around.

Now I want to help others turn their lives around. The reason I love Next Level Fitness is because the focus is the same as mine – looking after people emotionally and psychologically as well as physically.

I love knowing the science and the technicalities behind nutrition and workouts, so if you’re ever curious as to exactly what your workout is doing for you, or why you should be eating certain things, I should be able to enlighten you!

Although my icon is Arnie, my ideal client isn’t a shredded bodybuilder looking for gains. If you don’t fit into life’s cookie cutter, the chances are, we’ll get on, because neither do I. I’d rather hear about your weekend playing Overwatch than listen to someone telling me how trashed they got when they were out clubbing.

I want to help people, especially people who want to lose weight, turn their fitness from a negative to a positive, build their confidence from doing that and show them how to apply what they’ve accomplished to other areas of their life. I feel like I can really relate to this and get results for people because I’ve been through an identical process


Do you have any questions for Jordan? About his journey, training, how he works with clients? Comment in the blog below 


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Why is protein important for weight loss? 

Why is protein important for weight loss?

1: It fills us up! Protein is the most filling food group. It slows the release of food from the stomach and helps stave off snacking.

2: Helps reduce calorie intake. Due to feeling fuller it is easier to hit our calorie goal.

3: Reduces cravings. Protein balances blood sugar levels which stabilises energy levels throughout the day and halts craving for sugary foods.

4: Promotes muscle growth and repair. This doesn’t mean you’ll end up bulky, it means you can get shape to your body that you’re after!

5: Increases metabolism. Protein actually burns calories to digest through a process called TEF (Thermal effect of food). It’s estimated you burn 1kcal for every gram of protein you eat.

Couple an high protein diet with a resistance based workout to get the toned look you’re after.

If you want more information feel free to drop us a message and see how we can help you achieve your goals this year!

Why vodka is the go to for losing weight.

We’re all going to go out and have a drink at some point and alcohol is a big stumbling block for a lot of us, especially if you like to switch off with a drink at the end of a day.

Like a lot of things a drink at night can be an habit.. Habits take 21 days to make and you have three options; swap, limit or avoid. For me it’s much easier to change a habit than remove it entirely. I try not to look at things as good or bad, simply are they working for my goals and if not is there a way to make them do so.

I want to compare the calorie content in different drinks and then you can make your own decision.


Drink Calories per serving Food Equivalent Total calories over 4 drinks
Cider (Magners)






Lager (Carling)







250ml glass



Mars bar  






14 Jaffa Cakes  



120ml glass





Alcopop (avg)

330ml bottle





Vodka Coke




Vodka Orange





That’s the main ones most of us have on a night. Individually these will fit into a balanced lifestyle. An average man with us might be eating 2000 kcal a day and a woman 1700 kcal.

Once you start having one or two every other night or if it’s a good night out it can make a big difference, it really depends if 4 is a lot to you or not.

This is where spirits and diet mixers are a much better option. Swapping to spirit and a diet mixer can save 600 kcal over a few drinks and you’re going to feel it just as much.

Spirit Shots or with Diet Mixers which don’t add calories

(35ml shot))






(35ml shot)






(35ml shot)






Remember there is 3500 kcal in every pound of fat and the cartergood infographic below.


In perspective all things the same, just swapping to a gin and slimline tonic a few days a week could burn an extra 1lb of fat each month or an extra stone over the year without doing any exercise.

There’s no harm in having a drink but if it’s going to be a regular thing look I much prefer the cake and eat it scenario where you can do so and not be offsetting what you’ve done at the gym to do so.

8 exciting ways to liven up your morning oats without ramping up the calories!

Oats and fitness go hand in hand. When you’re clearing out your shelves to start your new fitness plan an oats so simple porridge pot is a common sight but what else can we do with oats? Can we make them better? Below are 8 tasty ideas for your morning oats:

1. Cinnamon and Apple

40/80g Porridge Oats
Almond / Soy Milk (unsweetened)
1 heaped tablespoon Cinnamon
Grated Apple / 1 teaspoon Apple Sauce.
Apple is a little higher on the GI scale than blueberries and raspberries later on but we don’t have to use the full thing. Try grating a quarter of an apple into your oats to add lots of flavour without ramping up the calories or sugar content. You can also use a teaspoon of apple sauce if you want to be super quick. Cinnamon is also shown to help regulate blood sugar and keep your cravings down.

2. Protein Porridge​ [strawberry / banana/ chocolate / vanilla]

40/80g Porridge Oats
Almond / Soy Milk (unsweetened)
30g Scoop Flavoured Protein Powder
This is a staple and easy to make. Mix up your usual protein powder into your oats. You can use any flavour so there’s lots of variety in this option. Chocolate, vanilla, banana, strawberry or there’s even more wild flavours out there like double chocolate mint. Check out my protein (click here) to see what offers are available

3. Blueberry Oats
40/80g Porridge Oats
Almond / Soy Milk (unsweetened)
Fresh Blueberries

Fruit is a great addition to porridge but depending on it’s glycemic index it’s the difference between adding some nice flavour and a sugar overload which isn’t good for cravings especially at breakfast. Fortunately, blueberries are really low down the GI scale and are rammed full of anti-oxidants. Keep an eye out for frozen blueberries in your supermarket. They’re much cheaper and last. I boil a kettle and run them under boiling water before adding them to my porridge to quickly defrost them. You also find the juice runs and mixes great into your oats.

4. Chocolate Mudslide Porridge

40/80g Porridge Oats
Almond / Soy Milk (unsweetened)
Walden’s FarmsSyrup

Have you ever heard of Walden’s farms? If not check them out. They’re an American brand gaining popularity here in the UK. You’ll probably have to order online but they’re well worth it. They make lots of syrups and dressings which are relatively calorie free (20kcal in a jar). I recommend chocolate for this recipe but you can also get maple syrup, caramel and lots more. You can also add this to your protein porridge or any of the other variations.

If you don’t like shopping online sweet freedom is an alternative that’s stocked in most supermarkets in the free from section. They’re a little higher in calories (15kcal per serving) but unless you’re going crazy you’ll struggle to do damage.

5. Peanut Butter Oats
40/80g Porridge Oats
Almond / Soy Milk (unsweetened)
Powdered Peanut Butter
Stevia Sweetener

Keeping the theme of new products here, powdered peanut butter!! There’s a few different brands but PB2 / P.B Fit are the ones you’ll see most often. They’re available in Holland and Barrett and supermarkets again in the free from aisle. Why’s it so great?? Because they’ve skimmed off all the fat which is where 85% of the calories comes from in peanut butter. That means all the taste without the damage to your gut. Been powdered it mixes great into porridge. Add a bit of sweetener if you like to brighten the flavour up.

gingerbread-2_orig6. Gingerbread

40/80g Porridge Oats
Almond / Soy Milk (unsweetened)
1 teaspoon ground ginger
Stevia sweetener.
(optional) ½ teaspoon. ground cinnamon
(optional) ¼ teaspoon nutmeg (just a hint)
(optional) ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

The key here is using the spices and non of the black treacle which keeps the calories down whilst adding lots of flavour. Great for the winter months and just like gingerbread.

7. Raspberry & Yoghurt
40/80g Porridge Oats
Almond / Soy Milk (unsweetened)
Fresh Raspberries
1 or 2 tablespoons fat-free yoghurt.

Back to the fruit Raspberry is another great low-gi fruit. Like blueberries you’ll also find them in the frozen fruit section. Here we add some low fat greek yoghurt for a creamier texture and to up the protein. Total 0% is our favourite brand but for how much you’re using and supermarket brand will do. You could also use strawberries instead for this one. ​

​8. Overnight Oats

Last but not least overnight oats!! If you’re not in on the whole fitness thing these are a thing right now. Use any of the recipes above here but the trick is to prepare your oats the night before. Cover the dish or jar in cling film and leave them to soak in the fridge overnight. While you sleep the oats will soak up all that milk for a really creamy refreshing texture in the morning. Also saving you time if you have to rush out the door and eat them at work. Give it a go.

Finally, protein. If you’re going for fat loss, protein is the most filling nutrient and a staple in most fat loss plans. Oats should pack a good 15g punch but a small shake mixed again with soy or almond milk would be a great addition alongside your morning porridge to help towards a fat loss goal.

Any questions? Drop them in the comment box below or drop us an email via the contact box.

​Sean – Next Level Fitness