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IN
SIGHT

INSIGHT. Noun. The capacity to gain an accurate, deep and sometimes sudden understanding of someone or something.

Knowledge is power. We want everyone to have access to the experts in the room. Get to know what’s real and what’s a gimmick with our in-depth articles, and start bossing your health and fitness today.
INSIGHT. Noun. The capacity to gain an accurate, deep and sometimes sudden understanding of someone or something.

Knowledge is power. We want everyone to have access to the experts in the room. Get to know what’s real and what’s a gimmick with our in-depth articles, and start bossing your health and fitness today.
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Growth And Goals With Innermost Insider Amy Costello
Hi Amy! Can you tell us a bit about how you got into your fitness journey? Hey my Innermost faves! I was always involved in sports at school and loved running, but it was on my travels to Sydney, Australia, that my passion for fitness as a real, positive, daily part of my life, kicked off. I love the lifestyle in Sydney. Everyone is really invested in their health and fitness and that fuelled me to get my Personal Training qualification and start going to the gym (I’d never stepped foot in a gym before this!), where I learnt absolutely everything I could about functional and resistance training. I read books, I watched technique videos, and I put all of it into practice in my own training and programming. But this was just the beginning! How did your passion for fitness begin to translate into your full-time job? Whilst living in Australia, I met Mike, who is now my fiancé (woo) and my business partner in the fitness empire we are building!  It actually started when my Aussie visa was due to expire, and we were game-planning ways that we could stay together and avoid doing the long-distance relationship thing. At the time I was coaching at an F45 studio in Sydney, and after a bit of research, we realised there was only one F45 studio in London - so Mike got thinking - why don’t we see if we can open one!  It then all happened very fast - within a couple of months we had signed with F45 to open our own studio, had packed our bags and were moving to London. 4.5 years later and we've built an incredible member base and community at F45 Tottenham Court Road, and also launched our own fitness retreat company, Salt Escapes, where we run fitness holidays at various beautiful destinations around the world!  View this post on Instagram A post shared by AMY COSTELLO (@amykcostello) What was more challenging, opening your F45 Studio or launching Salt Escapes?  I would have to say F45. It was our first business so there was a lot to learn and a lot to prove. We made a heap of mistakes and knew next to nothing about business, but we worked our little asses off to build our gym into what it is today.  When we launched Salt Escapes, we already had an engaged, interested customer base in our clients at the gym, so it wasn’t SO terrifying to launch! Also, with it being our own brand and company, there were no limitations like with F45. Instead we were free to branch out, be adventurous and see what works. This is how we like to do things! How has your business evolved through lockdown?  Wow, it’s been a testing year. We lost a lot of members throughout the past year. Being located in central London was a huge advantage for the first few years of business, but when lockdown hit, everyone just disappeared!  It’s almost as though we’ve had the chance to start from scratch, which has meant we’ve had the opportunity to re-evaluate everything from our finances, processes and sales strategies, to our membership offering and client-relationships.  From that perspective (and ONLY that perspective), it’s been great for us. We’ve been given the opportunity to build our business back stronger. Nine months of closure allows you to do a lot of reflecting.  How have you personally evolved throughout the last year?  Well I’ve managed to avoid packing it all in and moving to a tiny island in the middle of nowhere - does that count?!  Haha, no but seriously - I guess for me, it’s been the year I’ve actually understood what it means to look after your mental health. It’s been a really challenging year to own a gym and a travel business, and my sleep and mental health has taken a battering.  Realising the importance of “self-care” (sounds cheesy, but it’s a whole vibe) has been a game-changer. For me, it’s walks in the park, my daily 10 minute Calm, switching my phone to Do Not Disturb, and prioritising learning (books, podcasts, journals).  View this post on Instagram A post shared by AMY COSTELLO (@amykcostello) What does the word ‘growth’ mean to you? Aside from #gains? Ha.  In the past couple of years - Mike and I have started saying to each other, and our team, “we like solutions, not problems”. Look, in work, training, life, there are always going to be problems, difficult people, and tough days. I used to obsess over the problems to the point they’d keep me awake at night. Now the minute a problem arises, I start thinking about the solution. Because there’s always a solution if you look hard enough, so what’s the point in stressing over things you have the power to do something about?  For me - that’s growth. Pushing forward, maintaining a solution-driven outlook whatever is thrown at you, and working out how to move past problems - adapt, reflect, learn.  How do you push past plateaus? I think the most important thing is that you recognise you’ve hit a plateau. Whatever it is you’re trying to change, be it weight loss, muscle gain, fitness levels, or whether it applies to work and productivity. I love to track everything. I write down all of my workouts, including the reps I’ve done, the weights I’m lifting, and even notes about how I felt during and after the session. This helps me clearly see when I’ve plateaued in my training, and encourages me to then reassess my goals and make a plan to push forward.  There are so many ways to mix things up. If it’s a training plateau, maybe try hitting the gym with a friend, trying out a different class, or getting a PT for a few sessions to give you some fresh ideas and perspective.  What aspect of your life do you struggle to develop most?  For me, it’s definitely finding balance. Running two businesses doesn’t usually allow for much down time, especially as I work with my fiancé, which means that we’re always either at work or talking about work. I really love working for myself, but it’s definitely had a big effect on my social life. Any 'time off' I do get, I usually feel like I just want to chill out alone. I definitely find it a struggle to maintain or build more meaningful friendships these days. Don’t get me wrong - I have a whole heap of wonderful people in my life - I’m just not that hot on messaging back or letting my hair down and going for a night out these days.  View this post on Instagram A post shared by AMY COSTELLO (@amykcostello) Do you set yourself goals? How do you make sure you achieve them? All the time! But I read a great book recently, Atomic Habits by James Clear, which taught me about the importance of goals that are specific and actionable. He says goals are good for setting direction, but systems are best for making progress. I can resonate with this from my own experiences, and from watching so many clients set themselves goals, and then feel like they’ve ‘failed' because they’ve been so focused on the end goal, as opposed to making small, actionable, daily changes to get them there.  So for example, a small goal of mine at the moment is to drink more water as I’m generally pretty bad at this. I’m making this a habit by setting out my bottle of water before I go to bed each night, so I see it first thing in the morning. I tell myself I can’t leave the house for work until I’ve had 600ml water. I also use a water tracker app, which sends me little push notifications throughout the day. System in place, and so far it’s working and I feel great!  What is your greatest life accomplishment? It’s got to be building Salt Escapes. Mike and I have been on the same page since we met. We wanted to create a life where we could work for ourselves and travel the world. We’ve achieved that with Salt Escapes, and there’s a lot more to come!  On top of that, I don’t think there’s any greater feeling than being in a beautiful part of the world, with a bunch of amazing people who have just had the week of their lives, and have been inspired beyond measure, and realising that you made that happen.  What’s one goal you’re going for now? Work goal: Building my businesses back up in a post-pandemic world. We’ve got 9 Salt Escapes trips on the schedule for this year and I’m going to do everything in my power to make them all happen. I just need Boris to play ball!  Personal goal: Mike and I want to buy our first house by the beach. It’s definitely a longer term goal, but everything in our foreseeable future is now driven by this end goal. We’re focused on a future of beach walks, BBQs and puppies!  What are the benefits of having a growth mindset? The opportunities! Personally, I didn’t do too well at school. I didn’t get the point of learning for the sake of learning. But I’m pretty proud of the fact that through hard work, applied knowledge and a lot of determination as an adult. I now own two businesses, work for myself and get to travel the world.  Natural talent or academic intelligence is one thing, but a growth mindset allows you to experience success, build resilience and overcome challenges, all through a simple shift in your perspective.  To keep up with Amy, follow her on Instagram and on Salt Escapes.  Read more
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Woman reading book on beach
Claire Fountain posing on the beach for Innermost
4 Ingredients To Avoid In Supplements To Maximise Your Results
Looking to maximise your results when it comes to those all-important fitness goals? Wanting to make sure the products you're using are safe? Of course you are. When choosing the ideal fitness supplementation, it can be pretty overwhelming. Not only are you choosing the correct supplementation for your fitness goa, but you’re then navigating which ingredients to avoid in protein powder, and any other supplementation you may be taking. It can be a minefield. Don’t let this put you off, though. Don’t ignore the ingredients on your products. If anything, take extra care when reading them. They’re more important than you may have even already thought. When it comes to the top ingredients to avoid in supplements, you’re looking for a few key things. And we’re going to break them down for you. From added sugar to unnecessary fillers, here’s your one-stop guide to ingredients to avoid in supplements, by yours truly, Innermost.  Without further ado… Innermost’s top ingredients to avoid in supplements Whilst we could spend all day talking about the benefits of natural supplements such as nootropics and adaptogens, this isn’t the time. Sticking to natural products will help you to avoid fillers in supplements and other ingredients to avoid in supplements that we’re going to mention, but firstly, let’s list our top four ingredients to avoid… Added sugar Unsweetened protein powder can taste pretty bland. This is when some wellness brands turn to sugars to help out. And whilst it’s important to maintain recommended glucose levels in your diet for energy boosting purposes, added sugar is quite frankly, unnecessary. You should try and cut down your sugar intake where possible, so any fitness supplements that use added sugars should be avoided. Added sugars are also highly addictive, and should be avoided for this reason alone. Check the ingredients of your supplement to see what sweetener has been added here. Added sugars have been linked to obesity and heart diseases, so are best to be avoided. There are plenty of healthier alternatives to added sugars, such as natural sweeteners… for example. Xanthan gum (and other fillers) One of the absolutely key ingredients to avoid are fillers in supplementations. Common fillers in supplementations include: Cellulose Gelatin Starch Talc Silicon Dioxide Titanium Dioxide …just to name a few. Sometimes referred to as bulking agents, fillers in supplementations are used for a number of reasons: To keep manufacturing costs low To achieve a desired supplementation texture To up the amount of product a customer receives Whilst you may be under the impression that your protein powder only includes protein, that is not the case. Make sure none of the extra ingredients are any of those harmful fillers mentioned above, as the presence of these can not only reduce the quality of your supplementation, but can cause bloating, gas and gastric discomfort – amongst other health issues (that we will go into later). Not what you want. Here at Innermost we are committed to not using these harmful fillers in our products. You can be sure of it. Vegetable oils and fats Often included to increase the richness, texture and taste of fitness supplementations, these oils can actually wreak havoc on your intestinal system. These oils are harmful to our diet in large quantities, so including them in fitness supplementations is entirely unnecessary. Not only unnecessary, but harmful. They also add a large quantity of calories to your supplement, so if your fitness goal is to lose weight, these are definitely to be avoided. Skimmed milk powder Used to bulk up powders that are lacking in quality, skimmed milk powder can be a nightmare for anyone with a lactose intolerance. Skimmed milk powder should be avoided due to their high lactose sugar content, which can be pretty harmful to your gastrointestinal system. Think bloating, constipation, and gas. Not pleasant. Excess lactose and sugar can also cause acne and nausea… even to those that don’t have a particular aversion to lactose or dairy. Why should I avoid these supplement ingredients? All in all, every ingredient we have listed above has been linked to detrimental effects on users health. Whether that effect is organ damage, risk of acne, weight gain, heart defects… or even death. Now, that may sound pretty serious (and it is), when using supplementations with these harmful ingredients in them every day, you’re really putting yourself and your body at risk. Instead, opt for natural ingredients, from reputable brands. The less ingredients the better, and if they’re backed by research, that’s the goal. That’s what we call a well and truly clean protein powder. Summary If you spot any of the above ingredients in a potential protein powder or supplementation, no whey should you be adopting the product into your routine. Cheesy protein puns aside, though, it’s important to track what you’re putting in your body. Read more
Woman posing with healthy apples falling
Everything You Need To Know About England’s Newly Relaxed Genetically Modified Food Laws
The latest guidance around genetically modified foods and genetically modified food laws are changing. Farming regulations have been eased, and this means that costs of production and rules around the creation of genetically modified foods have been altered to make the production of these foods easier… and this has major implications for the food market. So far, the relaxation of these rules and regulations only relates to England, but it’s rumoured that these changes are not far behind for the rest of the United Kingdom. Genetically modified food laws in the United Kingdom With the recent announcement of the relaxation of genetically modified food laws in England, here at Innermost, we felt it was important to dive into the facts, gain all the information and evaluate what this means for our food produce in the United Kingdom and on our supermarket shelves. These changes have sparked wide-spread debate and discussion around the pros and cons and genetically modified foods, so as a brand that produces our products with non-genetically modified ingredients, our interest in the progression of genetically modified food laws and the pros and cons of genetically modified foods is a key priority. First, let’s get the basics out of the way. What are genetically modified foods, what are the current genetically modified food laws in the UK, and how are they changing? Here we go… What are genetically modified foods? Genetically modified foods are foods that have been defined as those that have had their genetic material (aka, their DNA) altered in a way that natural development would not include. This modification is commonly achieved through the addition of genetic information from another organism (simply, another living thing) and can have drastic consequences for the production and longevity of food products such as fruits and vegetables. What does this mean for food production? Genetically modified foods can lead to greater quantities of production and a reduction in food prices. Not only this, but genetic modification can lead to a greater reliability of high-quality food produce due to the decrease in risk from disease. Winning! The story so far: genetically modified food laws in the United Kingdom The current (pre-relaxed) rules and regulations around genetically modified foods in the United Kingdom are pretty complex, we’re not going to lie. Broken down simply, though, the laws state that any genetically modified foods cannot be farmed without prior approval from regulatory agencies such as The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (or DEFRA, for short). It’s not easy to be approved, either, as since 1992, only 2024 applications have been approved. And after this, any foods that have been approved, that may contain a genetically modified organism (or, as it’s often abbreviated to, a GMO), must be accompanied by written documentation. Not to mention, this process is incredibly expensive, with a £5,000 application fee. As the rules currently stand, thousands of crops have to be thrown away due to their susception to disease such as Blight’s Disease. Whilst genetic modification could easily eradicate this issue and bring thousands more crops to our supermarket shelves, the rules around this method make it so that these foods go unapproved. And therefore, to waste. The proposed genetically modified food law change Whilst a change to these rules looks to be tricky, it’s doable. Scientists are backing the change, with reports stating that a relaxation of these rules would be a welcome change from EU laws, and allow greater, healthier production of crops for our consumption. This change would allow production of GMO foods to be in line with our American counterparts. The pros and cons of genetically modified foods To many, the ideology of genetically modified foods is hailed as fantastic scientific advancement. With the ground-breaking growth in technology that allows us to create a surplus of food to consumers at a low cost, high-yield outcome, many would argue, “why wouldn’t we take advantage of these abilities?” We could go on all day about this debate, but to sum up years of back-and-forth between scientists, farmers, the law and everyday consumers, here’s some of the main arguments towards integrating genetically modified foods into our lives. The pros of genetically modified foods Reduced use of potentially harmful pesticides The creation of drought-resistant foods Accelerated growth speed Better tasting food Less food waste Longer shelf life for food Now, looking at the above list, you’re wondering how anyone can object to the introduction of genetically modified foods. Lower food prices, greater taste, a drop in food waste and a longer shelf life? Sign me up! Well, not everyone feels that way… The cons of genetically modified foods The potential of allergic reactions Genetic modification is a relatively new process The potential for resistance against illness Could lead to the production of harmful toxin Potential loss of nutritional value Summary In light of this proposed relaxation, we thought it was important to mention that all of our products are non-genetically modified, as we prioritise natural, effective ingredients. More information around genetically modified food laws and the current changes are a hot topic at the moment, and something we are keeping a close eye on here at Innermost. We’re big believers in trusting the science. It’s something we’ve always done, are doing, and will continue to do, and keeping you (and ourselves) in the loop when it comes to big changes like this is something we feel super strongly about. Read more