Tag Archives: healthy eating

What to Eat Before a Workout

Health & Fitness Expert and Women’s Weight Loss Coach Stephanie Mansour shares advice on how to choose the right foods to eat before a workout on Fox 32 Chicago.

what to eat before a workout

Do you ever wonder what to eat before your workouts? You don’t want to workout while you’re hungry because you will run out of energy quickly. But you also don’t want to feel full while working out because you know it will weigh you down.

One of the most important parts of my job as a women’s weight loss coach is helping my clients create an eating plan that works for their busy lifestyle. There’s much more to creating a healthy nutrition plan than coming up with a list of foods to eat. It’s also important to eat the right foods at the right times to fuel your body for energy and fat loss.

As I always tell my private weight loss coaching clients, you should be thinking of food as fuel. Whether you’re preparing to hit the gym first-thing in the morning or after a long day, your body is hungry for fuel. So to get the most out of each workout, you’ll want to feed that hunger with sufficient carbohydrates to provide a burst of energy and plenty of protein.

While I advise you to steer clear of empty calories and sugary snacks that will cause your energy to crash fast, don’t shy away from allowing for extra calories in the form of protein and healthy fats.

A few snacks I recommend to eat before a workout include:

  • Protein bars rather than regular granola bars
  •  Greek yogurt instead of regular sugary yogurt
  • A good quality protein shake, such as Vega
  • Quinoa with veggies

And one of my new favorite pre-workout foods, when I’m on the go, are Nourish Snacks by nutritionist Joy Baur. They’re low in calories with good quality carbs for fast energy and healthy fats. Plus, they’re delicious!

I stopped by the Fox 32 Chicago studio to share some tips about what to eat before a workout. Watch the video below.

Want more guidance on what to eat when, for healthy weight loss? Join the FREE 21-Day Challenge with weight loss coach Stephanie Mansour for a simple but powerful workout plan, an easy-to-follow eating guide, and fun confidence-boosting exercises.

The Hoda Show: How to Step It Up Physically and Mentally to Boost Your Confidence and Reach Your Weight Loss Goals

Weight loss coach, Stephanie Mansour, stopped by the Sirius XM Radio studio to chat with Today Show host, Hoda Kotb, live on The Hoda Show .

Stephanie Mansour and Hoda Kotb

As a weight loss coach for women, one of the most important messages I’m passionate about spreading is that weight loss is not just about fitness and it’s not just about watching what you eat.

While it is important to step it up with your nutrition and workouts, it’s equally, if not more, important to step it up mentally. If you want to reach your fitness and weight loss goals, first you have to believe that you deserve to hit those goals.

If you don’t feel like dragging yourself off the couch, you have to change your thinking first.

If you’re too embarrassed to walk into the gym because you haven’t worked out in over a year, you have to build your confidence first.

If you want to stop binging on a whole row of Oreos every night, you have to believe you deserve to treat yourself better first.

There’s a mental shift that has to happen in order for you to value yourself so much that you want to do healthy things for yourself. I know this because I experienced this mental shift myself over a decade ago and it made all the difference — I finally lost the weight and kept it off for good! Plus, I’ve helped my private weight loss coaching clients and the women in my community do the same. 

Once you shift your thinking, you’ll skip the emotional eating, pass over junk food, and enjoy moving your body. Instead of rewarding yourself with a milkshake or zoning out on the couch at the end of a long day, you’ll begin to reward yourself with a healthy salad or a fun walk around your neighborhood.  

Then, after you’ve made this powerful mental shift and you’ve created healthy new habits, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with eating a few Oreos occasionally if you want — everything in moderation!

Recently, I stopped by the Sirius XM Radio studio to chat with Today Show host, Hoda Kotb, live on The Hoda Show. Listen to the interview HERE to hear my story about how I struggled to lose weight, the mental shift that turned it all around, and the strategies you can use to shift your thinking too.

Watch a quick the behind-the-scenes peek below:

Want to start shifting your thinking so you can finally reach your weight loss goals? Join us for FREE guidance and support! Sign up for the FREE 21-Day Challenge for a simple but powerful workout plan, an easy-to-follow eating guide, and fun confidence-boosting exercises.

Healthy Eating Tips: Healthier Ice Cream Options

Chicago weight loss coach for women, Stephanie Mansour, stopped by ABC 7 Chicago to dish out some healthy eating tips and give the scoop on healthier ice cream options that you’re sure to love.

What kind of weight loss coach tells you to eat ice cream? I do!

What I’ve learned over the years is that nobody wants to go on a diet that requires cutting out all of your favorite foods. It’s a sure way to set yourself up for failure and disappointment. That’s why I don’t believe in diets or deprivation. Instead, I want to set you up for success;  so I encourage my clients to make the healthiest choices possible as often as possible. And you know what? It works! (Check out some of my client success stories  here).

My private weight loss coaching clients are often shocked to find out that they don’t have to give up the things they love to eat. And my advice to you, too, is that you don’t have to give up what you enjoy eating if you want to reach your weight loss and wellness goals.

In some cases, you may choose to indulge in moderation. But in most cases, you can find healthier options that are equally delicious and satisfying that you can substitute for your go-to treat.

And here’s a secret–there’s a good chance that you’ll end up liking the healthier option even better!

Once you cut the junk and start focusing on getting more nutrient-rich foods in your diet, you’ll be able to taste the difference and feel the difference in how your body responds to low-quality foods.

I recently stopped by ABC 7 Chicago to dish out some healthy eating tips and give the scoop on healthier ice cream options that I think you’ll love.

Want more guidance and support in making healthier choices when you eat, so you can finally lose the excess pounds that are holding you down? Join the FREE 21-Day Challenge with weight loss coach Stephanie Mansour for a simple but powerful workout plan, an easy-to-follow eating guide, and fun confidence-boosting exercises.

How to Avoid Emotional Eating

Discover the science behind emotional eating and learn how to avoid emotional eating with weight loss coach and health and fitness expert, Stephanie Mansour.

how to avoid emotional eating

Have you ever wondered how to avoid emotional eating?

If you sometimes find yourself scarfing down a bag of chips at your desk while you’re trying to meet a deadline or mindlessly eating a pint of ice cream at the end of a long stressful day to numb out, you’re falling victim to emotional eating.

In my experience as a women’s weight loss coach, I’ve found that emotional eating is one of the most common problems that my private weight loss coaching clients struggle with daily. I also find that as soon as I mention to someone during a conversation that I’m a weight loss coach, the conversation about emotional eating comes up immediately.

Everyone wants to know how to stop reaching for a candy bar when the going gets tough or turning to cookies when they’re feeling sad. Emotional eating is nothing to be ashamed of, but it is important to learn how to avoid emotional eating.

Unfortunately, emotional eating is not harmless and it doesn’t help you feel better or improve the problem that caused you to want to eat in the first place. When you let emotional eating get the best of you, you’ll tend to choose poor-quality foods that are low in nutritional value and high in salt, sugar, fat, and calories.  It can lead to binge eating disorders, food addiction, health problems, obesity, low self-esteem, and difficulty losing weight.

Recently, I visited Fox 32 Chicago and sat down with Sylvia Perez to discuss the science behind emotional eating, the physiological triggers that cause emotional eating, and what you can do to avoid emotional eating.

Tips I cover include rewarding yourself with healthy choices and indulgences that feel good — anything from a kale salad at your favorite restaurant instead of eating at home to scheduling a wellness-centered vacation or staycation.

I recently had an amazing trip to Miraval Resorts in Arizona and I’m looking forward to an upcoming Katanga Fitness Retreat getaway. Treating yourself, changing your scenery and pace, and staying active will help you focus on your well-being and shift your thinking away from turning to food for comfort.

I often suggest that women visit a local spa or manicurist, or even paint your own nails, take a bubble bath, and do some self-care at home. Go to the park, visit a museum, call a friend — anything you enjoy to change your frame of mind away from food as a default.

Want more guidance on how to avoid emotional eating and get on track to finally lose the weight for good and step it up for life? Join the FREE 21-Day Challenge with weight loss coach Stephanie Mansour for a simple but powerful workout plan, an easy-to-follow eating guide, and fun confidence-boosting exercises.


Weight Loss Coach for Women: Eat Fat to Get Skinny

Up next, our Weight Loss Coach Stephanie Mansour from Step It Up with Steph is here to share with us why we need to eat more fat…to lose weight!

That’s right, as Chicago’s top weight loss coach for women, I’m telling you to eat more fat to get skinny.

And I’m using the term “skinny” very loosely here. It’s just a little catchier to say “eat fat to get skinny” but really I mean we need to eat fat in order to get stronger, healthier, and lose weight.

The body needs healthy fats in order to help reduce cravings, create glowing skin and hair, among other things. Here are some easy ways to incorporate fats into your diet:

Cooking oils
Healthy fish

Add these foods into your daily diet (except aim for at least 2 times per week of fish), and you’ll be fending off cravings and on the road to weight loss in no time!

Stephanie Mansour is Chicago’s best life coach and Chicago’s best weight loss coach for women. Steph is a corporate wellness speaker and a health and fitness expert in Chicago. Steph is a health and fitness on-air correspondent and coaches women in Chicago on how to lose weight fast and maintain weight loss.

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Ask Steph: How to Celebrate the Holidays with Dietary Restrictions

Are you gluten-free or lactose-intolerant? The holidays can be extra difficult if you suffer from restrictions that your family may not necessarily agree with!

Today I’m sharing how you can celebrate the holidays with dietary restrictions and without the stress of questions from relatives and stomach-aches:

If you liked this video, you’ll love my free guide:

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Pic of Security Guard + On-The-Go Healthy Snacks

Eating healthy on the go can be challenging…but, one person at a time, I am showing how easy it can be to be healthy anytime, anywhere!

Check out my fabulous security guard from my building – we talk about being healthy and fit all the time. And, he whipped out this bag of hard boiled eggs from his jacket pocket! How cool is that! All it takes is a little planning.

When I was visiting my sister at Harvard, I ate dorm food with her. There was a delicious veggie soup, so I decided to add in an extra serving of broccoli. A great source of fiber and a nutritious veggie. While I do not recommend “scarfing” food, I was able to eat this bowl of veggies in under 3 minutes as we were in a rush. It was pre-made and quick to eat.

This is how I work with my clients – we take a look at their daily life and see what is realistic for them. Here are some snack options:

  • Pre-peeled and packed hard boiled eggs. Make 12 at the beginning of the week and peel them the morning you take them to work.
  • Pre-made bean & veggie dip with corn shells for tacos. Mix together a can of beans, corn, salsa, and raw kale. Bring this mixture to work with a few corn tortilla taco shells. You’ve got a healthy taco in less than 30 seconds, with barely any prep time.
  • Nuts. Make your own single-serving bag or buy them pre-packed from the grocery store. Look out for any added ingredients and try to stay as simple as possible. You can even mix in some baked kale with your nuts and keep them in the fridge!
  • Celery and almond butter. Cut a stick of celery in half, and smear almond butter onto each half. Place in a bag and bring with you on the go.

Do you have any other snack ideas? Let me know by leaving a comment below!


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Quick Fat Blasting Tips

Change up your cardio.

– Look at your cardio workout in intervals: sprint as fast as you can for a minute, then back off but increase your incline. If you’re on the elliptical, increase resistance, then pick up the pace for a few minutes.

– If you are in love with the treadmill, instead of walking for a few minutes to warm up, try out the bike or another cardio machine for your warm up and to move your muscles differently. Muscles have memory and soon, they will be conditioned to your favorite form of cardio. Avoid this by making your muscles guess what’s coming next!

Change up your full body workout.

– Accustomed to doing cardio then weights, or vice versa? If you implement intervals into your cardio (see above), you can do one interval, lift some arm weights or do leg exercises, then jump back into cardio.

– Moving from one exercise to another not only keeps your body guessing, but it also ensures that you’re burning more calories by moving continuously, rather than busting it on cardio and taking your time doing weights.

Pull your abs in 24/7!

– You can literally workout ANYWHERE, ANYTIME with this fat blasting tip!

– Pull your belly button in towards your spine, act like you are squeezing into a tight pair of pants, and try to flatten your belly right below your belly button.

– Engage your core to gain stability, to feel tighter, and to look smaller along your waistline.

Cut back on dairy and gluten foods.

– A lot of people are lactose intolerant and don’t even know it! After eating dairy products, a lot of us feel bloated and even lethargic. Similarly, a lot of wheat products leave us feeling like our stomach is a balloon that uncontrollably expands!

– Try reducing or eliminating your dairy and gluten intake. Many carbs now say “gluten free” if they are, as well as dairy products.

– If you eat ice cream, there is ice cream made with coconut milk. If you love milk, try rice or soy milk. If you crave cheese, try eating a protein and vegetable snack, imagining how you feel after eating cheese. That may be enough to talk yourself out of wanting it!

Get your lifestyle on track by getting your head in gear. My 30 Day Workbook can get you started!

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Replace Fattening Ice Cream with This Smoothie

My smoothie recipe was recently featured on Diets in Review: Check it out below or Click Here for the full article!

In the warm summer months, ice cream sounds more appealing than usual! Here’s a delicious smoothie you can make that is more healthy and nutritious than ice cream:

– Place a whole banana and a cup of frozen strawberries into a blender.

– Then add two tablespoons of ground flaxseed and two scoops of protein powder.

– Next, add a cup of coconut milk. Blend for 60 seconds, and you’ll have a strawberry shortcake treat!

– If you’d like to make it taste like chocolate, add some chocolate protein powder.

This is a great snack or a meal replacement because there is protein in the smoothie. If you’re just making it as a treat, you can eliminate the protein powder and just make a fruit smoothie.

Discover more ways to Step It Up with my 30 Day Workbook!

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How to Create a Weight Loss Mantra

One of my clients came to me because she made her New Year’s Resolutions list, including wanting to lose 10 lbs.  It was halfway through the year, and she was successful in all of her resolutions, except for weight loss. She was baffled. I asked her to read to me the resolutions that she had written out.  Some included: I will spend more time with my husband because I love him, I will get a raise at work because I am a good, hard worker, I will get seven hours of sleep most nights because I want to feel well rested. And this was what her weight loss resolution said: “I want to lose 10 lbs. because I hate my body.”

Obviously, this statement was in a totally different form than her resolutions that had already come true. According to her weight loss statement, the reason why she should lose weight was because she hated her body. Well, if you hate your body, why would you do anything good for yourself? How could you possibly do good things for your body to lose weight (i.e. exercising regularly, eating healthy, and taking care of your body), if you claim to hate your body?

Here are some guidelines for writing a successful weight loss mantra that have totally transformed my client’s life:

– Write down what your goal is.

– If you’ve written down a goal in a negative context, such as “lose weight, stop hating my body, avoid being seen in a bikini, etc.,” then turn this phrase into something positive.

– “I want to lose 10 lbs. because I hate my body” becomes: “I am healthy and fit because I love my body and want to take care of myself.”

– “I’m working out, so I can stop hating my body” becomes: “I work out because it makes me feel good about myself.”

– “I’m being healthy and fit because I don’t want to avoid being seen in my bikini” becomes: “I am healthy and fit because I love the way my clothes fit and look on me.”

By turning your goal into a positive one, and writing it as if it is currently happening, in the present, you are programming your subconscious to start acting like your goal is already happening in your life.

If you’re looking for more guidance, you can get into the right frame of mind, get healthy, and get fit with the help of my 30 Day Workbook!

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