This article is inspired by a recent conversation with Ian, a long term 1:1 Personal Training client at the RISE Studio in Buxton, Derbyshire. Ian is a cow nutritionist. A very good one too by all accounts. He was nominated for Farm Advisor of the Year last year at the Farmer’s Weekly Annual Awards ceremony, which is probably the highest honour someone can receive in his line of work.


We were talking about the difference in approach when an animal gets fat (and unwell) versus when the same thing happens to a human. If Ian was informed by a client that he had a cow that was gaining weight (or had some other problem) the first thing he would do would be conduct a number of assessments with one of these being blood work. From this blood work he would be able to determine what hormonal imbalances were causing or contributing to what was happening to the cow. Consequently he would be able to recommend adjustments to that cows nutrition, including the nutritional breakdown of it’s food (fats, proteins, carbs, etc). He wouldn’t just tell the farmer to give the cow less food or make it do more exercise.

It astounded me at the time, and continues to do so, that the average cow gets  better advice for it’s weight loss then the average human does from their doctor. The same applies with vets and the animals they treat – do blood work (or other assessments), determine the problem and address it. The majority of doctors (and other ‘experts’ such a gym instructors, average Personal Trainers and some nutritionists and dieticians) still tell overweight patients to ‘eat less’ and ‘burn more calories’.


That’s why we at RISE are such big fans of the Bio Signature Modulation assessment (click here for more info). For those that don’t know, the Bio Sig system was originally derived in conjunction with blood tests. It has been proven beyond what I would call reasonable doubt that elevated levels of certain hormones cause differing distributions of body fat. The reason one person stores more on, say, their arms and someone else on their stomach is due to differing hormonal levels. And how those hormones are instructing the various systems that determine how much of what’s in your system is diverted into stored body fat. In development of the Bio Sig system thousands of blood tests and body fat distribution measurements were compared to determine the balance of hormones that cause certain distributions. Therefore, using the system, we can use you body fat distribution (how much you store in different levels) to determine your (in)balance of hormones and recommend what you need to do to adjust these levels to allow the energy stored in your accumulated body fat to be released.


As a slight re-cap for those that might not have read earlier articles and are currently saying something like ‘you can’t create or destroy energy’ or ‘it’s just calories in vs’ calories out’, it’s worth restating that we are not claiming that the calorie model does not apply, just that it is usually put at the wrong end of the equation. The amount of fat we accumulate is dictated by hormone levels, so when we are storing some of our consumed calories as body fat, we then have to eat more or do less to make up for this. Why else are people who are gaining weight often low in energy? If they were just consuming too many calories, they should have plenty of energy, which just then got turned in to fat when not used.


For those that would like to get even more precise, the RISE Doctor (a real, UK trained doctor with over 15 years practicing experience, with whom we are affiliated) is available to take blood samples when we perform our clients’ Bio Sig assessments on the first Saturday morning of the month. We then take these samples to the local hospital (again, a real one, with real doctors, etc) for analysis and can run you through what the results mean and what you might need to do to change them for the better.


So, if you would like to upgrade the nutritional advice you receive to something more in line with that of the average cow email us on for more information. Or, at the very least, stop counting calories and just eat real food!

Jon Hall
Jon Hall

When not helping people to transform their lives and bodies, Jon can usually be found either playing with his kids or taxi-ing them around. If you'd like to find out more about what we do at RISE then enter your details in the box to the right or bottom of this page or at - this is the same way every single one of the hundreds who've described this as "one of the best decisions I've ever made" took their first step.