Goal setting for results
Health & Wellness Behaviour Nutrition Resources

Nutritional Skills For Maximised Results

Nutritional Skills For Maximised Results

Goal setting Nutritional Skills For Maximised Results

Goal setting is the starting point to any improvement journey. It doesn’t matter whether your aim is a promotion in work or PB in your 10km run time. 

To achieve your goal you must first understand what actions and behaviours to prioritise and then approach these in a 

Simple, Segmental, Sequential, Strategic & Supported 

manner. In the coaching world this is also known as the “5 S’s.”

This can be easier said than done. How do you you know which actions and behaviours are most important? Well this is where coaching comes in and I highly recommend employing a good coach if your to optimise you chances of success in the short and long term, it is after all part of the 5S’s.

This article should give you a better understanding about what you can think about and prioritise from a nutritional perspective. I’m inviting you to learn more about how these levels and associated skills can assist you with your own personal goals. It’s important here however, that I add some context. The provided information is a broad summary of some very intricate details. Many of which have their own process and strategies involved. It simply wouldn’t be possible to list and explain them all. That would be a coaching qualification in itself. 

Instead this script is designed to give you an insight in to some of the more important priorities to focus on in relation to your goal types and current practices. The “big picture” details take years to learn, understand and share, for best results I strongly recommend you employee a coach to help you in your improvement journey. They can help you expand and apply these scientifically based understandings.

Nutrition is natures medication and often a foundation to most personal improvements, even work promotions. If you don’t feed your body correctly, then your mind and body can’t be expected to perform at their best. As Ive said previously these skills cannot be hacked or skipped. Take time and hone your skillset before you consider more complex tasks.

The Level system

Every person can be categorised into a “level” this has little to do with ability or experience (although this does play a role), rather it’s mainly about goal type and how you structure the path to achieve your aim. 

As a coach during triage and assessment I am considering where my client might be in relation to these levels. Each client is often very clear about what they wish to achieve, but almost always less clear about how to achieve it correctly. Even those clients that have a good understanding already about nutrition and fitness may be unaware or unable to implement certain basic skills needed to see results. This is very important for both sustained and extreme results.

As a perspective client or someone who is looking for some self help guidance, understand that these levels cannot be tricked, hackled or skipped. Doing so will only result in the likelihood you create unnecessary struggle and the likelihood of falling short of your goal. These levels have been created using scientific research that have been studied and used by thousands of nutritional and fitness coaches, for 1 good reason, they work!

There are 3 levels – Level 1, Level 2 and Level 3. 

Each have their own skillset characteristics that a person must be able to do effectively if they are to impact change. Level 1 is the starting point for everyone. Levels 2 and 3 are predominantly short term set points that a person may find themselves in for specific goals. For example a level 1 client might be someone who want to stay lean fit and healthy, feel good and enjoy a healthier lifestyle. 

A level 2 client might be someone who relies on health and image to make money, and level 3 might be a professional or serious amateur with a specific and often extreme goal. Perhaps a body building show, or celebrity photo shoot. Staying in level 2 or 3 for longer than is necessary can negatively impact health in physical, mental, emotional  and relational forms. I’ll come onto this more soon. 

Level 1

Nutritional Skills For Level 1 Clients Nutritional Skills For Maximised Results

As I’ve already mentioned level 1 is for most clients or people looking to make significant health, wellbeing and physical changes. If you can master level 1 you can live a leaner, happier and easily sustained lifestyle.  

All levels require a degree of thought and effort. Level 1 overtime will feel like second nature to you but it requires effort and persistence in the beginning. As I say to my clients and fully believe, “you can do this.” Im yet to meet anyone who can’t improve their health and physique. It isn’t a matter of willpower, you’re not weak minded if you find a healthier lifestyle hard. You’re just lacking some direction. 

Remember the 5S’s and you’re on the right track. All of us (including me) need support. Someone or a group opt people who can encourage and guide us to a healthier looking and feeling life. Friends and family are great for social connections and can really help reassure and encourage. I don’t want to bang the coaching drum too much, but there is a reason we exist as people and a service. Good coaches, not only support they work in the background to keep you on track. 

Think of them as knowledgable friends with no agenda other than to see you succeed. A genuine coach isn’t just about money and a quick fix. They want to see you happy and healthy forever. This is partly why investing in coaching can be so important. 

Ok then let’s look at what skills are needed in order to be successful in level 1. If these can be learned and performed repeatedly with minimal effort, you will see a significant improvement to your results. If like many people you find even one of these hard then your not ready for level 2, which doesn’t matter. Some of my best clients are level 1 and have phenomenal physiques and health biomarkers. As Ive said we should all “live” in level 1. These skills are the foundations to a healthier lifestyle. 

Level 1 - Foundational Skills

Plan, Prioritise & Prepare

Use tools to help you organise yourself. Diaries, to-do lists and alarms. You’ll need to be forward thinking and preemptive about challenges. Is there something that might cause disruption? A birthday party perhaps? If so how will you increase your chances of good nutrition and avoid too much indulgence? 

Regulate Eating Behaviours

When eating do so: Slowly, mindfully, without distraction, notice sensations like fullness, emotions, behaviours etc. 

Interpret and act on hunger and fullness cues affectively. Normalise and routinise eating habits. This means eating at similar times each day. 


Match Energy Intake To Needs & Goals

Fully understand what energy balance is, how it works and what your requirements are. Use a form of tracking to monitor intake. This might be plate sizes, hand portions, tracking apps but don’t become reliant on them. Use these in conjunction with natural hunger and fullness cues. 

Chose Higher Quality Foods Often

There are no good or bad foods. Instead ask yourself how could this food choice make me feel and how might it be better (if at all). “healthy” food refers to foods that are nutrient dense, it doesn’t mean you can’t have that ice cream. 

It’s about choosing foods more often that will make you look and feel good. Generally speaking highly processed foods like kebabs are less nutritious and therefore less beneficial, but not restricted!

Consume Adequate Nutrients

Nutrients come in many types of foods. Often wholesome less processed foods are higher in nutrients. These foods tend to be better for health, body and mind. 

“Eat the rainbow” Not skittles! But colourful foods and lots of them. Variety ensures you consume a a multitude of different nutrients. 

Protein, smart carbs, good fats, and both fibre types are some of your core go to’s.  

Move More Often, Move Well

Make movement fun. Exercise,  do some gardening, walk the kids to school, repaint the bathroom you’ve been putting off. JUST MOVE MORE. 

Aim for 150 minutes of exercise per week. Intentional movement that raises your heart rate. Onto of this aim to hit 10,000 steps per day. I promise you that this combined with better eating will see you body transform. 

Get conformable being uncomfortable!

Prioritise Rest & Recovery

Many people misinterpret what rest means. It doesn’t use mean kicking back with the footie on. These days R&R needs to be a converted effort, largely because we are surrounded by stressors. Promote R&R by: Promoting better sleep, eat nutrient dense foods, get outside, meditate, hot and cold therapy, stretch, get creative. 

Create A Supportive Environment

This includes the space and people around you. Create a welcoming, warming and friendly for / workout setting and any areas you frequently use. You should enjoy those spaces. Surround yourself with positive like minded people who predominantly see the good in people and wish you well. This is a two way street.

Regulate Emotions Without Food

This is challenging for many. Our brain our closely linked with our guts. get better at separating urges from behaviours. To do this be aware of triggering stimulus that might insight seeking certain foods. Keep a journal of thought and actions in relation to food. Do a mind body scan. Simply this means thinking about hunger, stress levels, emotions, behaviours etc. 

Level 2

Level 2 Clients Nutritional Skills Nutritional Skills For Maximised Results

Avoid thinking that going to level 2 is “progress.” Going up our down levels is about adding ore tacking away complexities and septic process’s. Complex doesn’t always mean progress. 

Level 2 and level 3 are about targeted and often short term results, and thefore you may move into level 2 or 3 but should always return to level 1. Again these levels are not about achievement, intellect, graduation or any other higher status insinuation. Levels are about targeting the skills that a person can do to achieve their goals. Hopefully with me managing on about this you’re getting the drift by now. 

So level 2. Who might this be fore and why? 

  • A level 2 client must have mastered all level 1 criteria’s.
  • A person who may need or want to take these level fundamentals and push forward with more specific goals
  • A person who requires a more specialised and involved approach. 
  • A person that has the multidimensional deep health, psychological stability and emotional maturity to advice into and sustain this level. Using more advanced techniques and strategies.

Typical people who find themselves entering or needing level 2 are: higher athletic performers, dedicated amateurs and internationally competitive sportsmen. Goal types include: Specific competitions like a body building show, MMA fight, sustaining a very lean muscular physique, or improve tolerance to demands of specialised active jobs such as firemen, armed response and RAF pilots (for example).

A level 2 clients knowledge of nutrition and fitness will be moderate to high, try will workout at least 6 hours per week and be able to stay consistent in their approach to bespoke neutron and training demands. 

From a psychological perspective level 2 clients should be confident, able to identify impactful priorities, look “above average” in terms of physique, and have a growth mindset “failure is feedback, setbacks are opportunities.”

With that in mind let’s break down some of the necessary skills associated with level 2. 

Level 2 - Necessary Skills

Maintain Foundation Level 1 Behaviour

Everyone need level 1 behaviours. If you try and become level 2 without mastering these fundamentals first you’re on a certain road to eventual short falls in achievement.

Set Clear Goals Appropriately

Be able to honestly identify personal potential and possible limitations. Set achievable and challenging tasks with your coach. With aims in mind; have a good idea what to do and how to do 

Precisely Observe, Measure & Analyse

Level 2 requires much more data collection and analysis. You will be comfortable and proficient doing this regularly. And have a healthy attitude towards facts and findings.

Consistently Meet Energy & Macros Needs

More precisely target nutrients required to fuel performance and recovery. A specific body composition requires specific nutrition. Understand and use macros in relation to goals. This includes using protein, fat and carbs to achieve a purposeful outcome. This will undoubtedly involve a more precise level of tracking intake. 

Plan Workout Nutrition To Fuel Performance

Understand when and why to feed yourself. And consume foods to fuel activity, growth and repair. 

This will likely involve strategies such as nutrient timing, carb loading, specific hydration, foods to reduce inflammation, promote sleep and more. 

Adjust Nutritional Intake According To Need

Be able to eat regularly for health and continued wellness but understand when to increase or decrease macro nutrients based on activity and upcoming events. Have the understanding and ability to reduce and increase calories based on performance and not necessarily natural hunger cues.  

Understand & Use Rest And Effective Recovery

Level 1 sees clients need adequate recovery. Level 2 clients need to ensure this is factored into their day. This may include the use of mediation, mind / body scans, stretching, cold / hot therapy, RICE, using compression garments, taking intentional micro naps and more. 

Adjust Meal Frequency In Relation To Purpose

Eating regularly in a similar pattern is a foundational skill in level 1. Level 2 however may see you needing the ability to seamlessly, without issue use different meal frequencies for enhanced results. This may include fasting, chrono nutrition (sleep wake cycle eating), re-feed days and more.

Effectively Prepare For Events & Competitions

Level 2 clients are often competitive in their fields of interest. Whether professional or serious amateur. This undoubtedly means preparing fro events. This might mean deliberate sacrifice of some areas of health such as social or relational interactions. Lighter foods, caffeine, pre and post event meals etc may all need to incorporated. 

Use Supplementation Effectively

At level 2 the use of supplements may (or may not) be the difference in a win or loss. 

Any supplement use should be understood, have a purpose and be continually reviewed. 

Any sports people should ensure chosen supplements are permitted within their sport.

Move In And Out Of Phases - Transition With Ease

Most level 2 / 3 client goals aren’t permanent. You should be able to cycle back I to level 1 once your objective has been reached. This requires high levels or physical, emotional and cognitive maturity. Staying in these levels for too long can cause many types of harm . Including psychological and physical issues. Eating disorders and metabolic issues to name but a few. 

Level 3

Level 3 skills Nutritional Skills For Maximised Results

Many people will never need, nor should ever enter level 3. This is 100% a temporary skillset range. Clients I support who may be in this category are firstly very rare, and secondly extremely specific in their end result. For example, professional / contesting body builders, movie stars with a specific role to play, fitness models etc. In essence this level is for extreme aesthetic results for a particular moment of event. 

Extreme conditioning like this should never be maintained. It’s not healthy and potentially comes with many physicals, emotional and psychological risks. This level involves finer detail for elite results.

Men in level 3 would be looking for sub 8% body fat, whist women would be aiming for a result below 17% body fat. A typical training load would be between 6-10 hours per week or more. Independent knowledge would be very high, but these people will often have (or should have) a team of professionals supporting them. Doctors, trainers, nutritional professionals, psychologist etc. 

The consistency needed in this level is very high. In excess of 90% consisetant and clients / people should have level 1 and 2 skill sets dialled in. A typical mindset of this type of person would be “just do / don’t ask” “I get paid to do this” “This is my ultimate priority, nothing else matters.”

Attributes for this person / client will include:

  • A sane and balanced mindset with associated behaviours.
  • Calm, cool and collected.
  • Highly organised
  • Love details and precision.

Level 3 - necessary Skills

Maintain Level 1 & 2 Behaviours

A level 3 client must be masterful in their training and nutrition. Having this base is crucial. 

To ensure this is the case level 3 clients should regularly refer to level 1 and 2 to make sure the fundamentals are being met. 

Set Clear Goals Appropriately

Level 3 clients will do this with their coaches as well as have a clear understanding about the direction themselves. 

Timelines and measurable improvements become essential to ensure progress is being made. Therefor, shortfalls can be adjusted quickly.

Precisely Observe, Measure & Analyse

This is a considerable step up from level 2. Every piece of food and water in will be measured and their affects will be monitored. This will certainly include food tracking and may include, the use of callipers, dexa scans, sweat loss calculations, sleeping monitors, blood pressure etc. The finer details are essential. 

Follow A Highly Detailed Meal Plan

The level of detail here is very important. Clients in level 3 will follow a specific eating regime, one tailored by a coach or team of professionals. 

Food becomes only a tool to maximise physique, little to no unnecessary nutrients will not be consumed.  

Use Calorie & Carb Cycling

Because we are taking a clients body to the extreme, we need to preserve muscle and maximise fat loss. As you become leaner this becomes much harder. 

Calorie and carb cycling, may reduce catabolism, encourage fat loss and assist performance. 

Be Able To Manipulate Fluid

Be able to manipulate the body’s natural fluid regulation in favour of a leaner looking physique or for rapid weight loss (not fat loss). This process can dramatically increase a persons aesthetics, but it comes with risks to organs like kidneys, heart, liver etc. In fact in severe circumstances these actions can be fatal. 

The Run Down

The run down image 45

As a current or possible client, or perhaps someone pursuing self help, this article should help you understand what skills you need to be able to repeatedly action your behaviours to promote both short and long term achievement.

Remember one of the most important take aways here is that most people are level 1 clients, even if they happen to be more advanced in their knowledge and experience within nutrition and fitness.

Level 1 is about the core fundamentals to better nutrition. Without these understood or practiced regularly with minimal ease progressing to level 2 or 3 will likely cause significant problems. This may not be the case right away, but problem will almost certainly arise eventually. Before I progress any client, or if you are considering level2 or 3 associated skills I strongly advise you are proficient in levee 1 skills. Many of the most important ones have been listed above.

Remember this article is a broad encapsulation of a much wider approach to improvements. Designed to give you a decent insight but not a robust analysis by any means. The levels concept and how to use all of the associated skills and strategies is around a third of a nutritional coaching qualification. For help, support and best results I strongly encourage you to work with a qualified nutritional therapist to ensure a greater understanding.

Some of these skills seem and are very basic, they are. Avoid however overlooking how these small changes can make a huge difference. I first hand understand the realms of disorder eating. Following a period in level 3, I developed bulimia which whilst I overcame I still manage to this day. I was able to overcome this largely because I understood I had to get back to basics. 

I dropped back into level 1 and made a concerted effort to ensure these skills were truly embedded. With some added distraction techniques I began to have a healthier relationship with food, my hormones and emotions became more stable and from there was able to eat in relation to my needs and succumb to overwhelming urges. An anecdotal example but one that illustrates how using level 1 skills affect timely can quite literally change your life.

Level 1 is where real growth and development occurs. For those looking for “the secret to success” or perhaps the ideology of a more sexier, biohacking and revolutionary approach; I’m sorry to inform you but these don’t work. Sure you may know someone who lost 3 stone on a juice diet, but I’d bet a lot of money that somewhere along the line this caused problems or they regained the weight and more. 

Hacks, shortcuts or even cosmetic surgery won’t change your life in the long run. The skills listed in each level involve all concepts of health and have been proven to actually change your life. The kicker is, you need to be ready willing and able devout time, patience and effort. In doing so you are giving yourself the best chance to truly transform your health, body and happiness forever.

Level 1 Summarised

Categorised for those who need to build solid nutritional foundations and essential life changing skills.
  • Most people even athletes should stay in level 1 endlessly.
  • Is about making nutritional changes one at a time until you can manage all of them effectively.
  • Is about developing high quality routines that are solid and repeatable.
  • Continually looking to take on small tasks to enhance abilities. This might be learning how to take a 5 minute action, keeping a food journal, utilising and elimination diet and so on.
  • These skills whilst simple can be much harder to repeat over and over. Don’t put unnecessary pressure on yourself by biting off more than you can chew. Take 1 or 2 skills and get good at them. To a point they can be easily sustained. Only then consider actioning new skill practices.

Level 2 Summarised

Categorised for those wanting to boost performance or body composition 
  • Most clients / people don’t need to go further than level 1.
  • Level 2 is about increasing complexity with process to achieve more specific goals.
  • Going into level 2 should systematically come after being able to consistently apply level 1 skills and behaviours.
  • Clients / people entering level 2 do so to achieve more specific body and performance goals.

Let me make this absolutely clear level 2 skills do not make a person healthier or happier and therefore tactics should only be adhered to for a short, set period of time.  For example a person looking to compete in a particular event, or achieve a physique for a specific reason.

Level 3 Summarised

Categorised for those wanting or needing extreme body composition changes.
  • For a very small group of people who require an extreme aesthetically looking physique.
  • Level 3 should only be considered once a person can repeatedly and successfully execute both level 1 and 2 skills and behaviours. 
  • Level 3 certainly isn’t about health, only extreme visual changes to a persons body. Often extremely muscular and lean,
  • For the most part Level 3 skills an behaviours should only be adhered to for a short, purposeful period of time. 
  • Level 3 clients should have trained professionals for support. This may include coaches, therapist, doctors and more. Monitoring them daily, taking data and analysing this to ensure effectiveness and safety. 
  • Level 3 is associated with extremes in every way. That include extreme sacrifices. Often to relational, social and emotional health. 
  • Level 3 skills can often put people at significant risk to physical and mental health issues. It’s important people understand this before hand, and have a robust and understood strategy to limit these should the arise. 

As a coach talking to you directly I’m encouraging you to deeply think about what it is you want to achieve. As an individual you have the absolute right to peruse any goals or interests. A coaches role is to ensure a client takes the safest, most optimal path to their personal chosen endeavours. It is not a coaches role to influence or decide on a persons behalf what they should do. However a coach can absolutely explore this with you to help you make a decision.

Think of a coach as a guide dog and you are the visually impaired person. A guide dog will ensure you are kept safe and avoid any potential pot holes along the journey. As a person you are in charge of which path we are taking, even if the guide dog thinks avoiding the pub on the way home is better for you, they will not deviate from the path you want to take. Rather, should you choose that stop, the guide dog will make sure you get home safely when you ready to do so. 

Which ever path you take, I hope this article has helped and encourage you towards every success. Everyone can achieve an improved health, happiness and better looking body. Go for it! 

For help or support please get in touch for a free discover chat to explore available options and strategies to you.