Monthly Archives: November 2015

Avoiding Workout Mistakes As Seen on WCIU TV Chicago

fitness expert stephanie mansour on the jam

I teamed up with Jordan Cornette of The Jam to coach him through some common workout mistakes. Like many of the women who inquire about my weight loss programs for women, Jordan wants to drop a few pounds before the holidays. As a weight loss coach, the last thing I want my clients to do is injure themselves as soon as they start a new workout program!

Here are three simple tips to make sure you get the most out of your workout and are ready for a fit and fun holiday season. And don’t forget to watch the video to get some sweat-spiration from Jordan himself!

Three Tips to Step Up Your Workout:

1. Squats

The Mistake: Improper Alignment

The Fix: Open feet a little wider than the hips and stick your booty back. Turn toes forward so they’re in alignment with your heel. Pull abs in and relax your shoulders. Now, stand up while pressing into your heels and squeeze your tush. The booty squeeze works wonders, believe me.

2. Lunges

The Mistake: Knees over toes

The Fix: When you lunge, don’t let your knee go past your ankle. To keep them in proper alignment, focus on going straight up and down, and make sure to push through your heels as you stand. Remember to keep your head up, and—smile!

3. Bicep Curls:

The Mistake: Too heavy weights

The Fix: Avoid getting overly ambitious by pushing yourself with weights that are too heavy for you. The goal is to get through three sets of ten reps. If you’re getting tired from a heavy weight, then your form suffers and your arms flare! Once you’ve determined the right weight, hug your elbows into your body, put your shoulders back, and curl up. Nice!


Looking for more ways to step up your workout? Join me for a FREE (and FUN!) 21-day crash course on how to finally break through the mental roadblocks getting in the way of your goals, gain the confidence you’ve always wanted, and discover the secret to designing a healthy lifestyle you love.

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.

Life Takes Guts! Take Care of Yours with These Probiotic Rich Foods

stephanie mansour and ellie krieger

As a weight loss coach, I’m obsessed with feeling good! There is nothing within reason I won’t do to feel good and reap positive, long-lasting results. My clients in my weight loss programs for women know I always encourage healthy eating plans instead of quick-fix diets, and they know my number one secret for a flatter tummy—probiotics!

Hear me out here: probiotics are not a miracle cure, but my goodness, do they keep you “regular” and reduce bloating. Probiotics help restore and balance the positive bacteria in your gut, which is crucial for energy and vitality. Sounds good, right? You bet.

That’s why I sat down with Ellie Krieger, of Ellie’s Real Good Food on PBS, to talk about the importance of gut health for feeling great and losing weight. In her own words, Ellie whips up “good food that happens to be good for you!”  

You can watch the interview here:

Ellie praises four foods rich in probiotics and recommends building them into your life and meal plans. They are:

  • Yogurt: make sure to buy a brand low in sugar that contains L. acidophilus
  • Kefir: a super yummy drinkable yogurt high in probiotics
  • Kimchi: a savory fermented Korean condiment loaded with vitamins and probiotics
  • Sauerkraut: crunchy, zingy, and sour…I love sauerkraut, but the good stuff is found in the refrigerated section of your grocery store! Probiotics are live cultures and need to be kept cold. That means, if you’re buying shelf sauerkraut it won’t be chock full of the mighty microbes your gut needs.

Eating well all day long is key. It isn’t just about filling up on probiotics; it’s also about feeding those probiotics what they like best—fiber!

Load up on fresh fruits and veggies and whole grains. Don’t worry about being super regimented. Enjoy some yogurt or kefir in the morning, put a little sauerkraut on a sandwich at lunch, and kimchi on your rice bowl at supper. It’s that simple.

I like to keep kimchi and sauerkraut always on hand in my fridge. It keeps for a long time, and it reminds me to add some to a salad, on a sandwich, or in a stir-fry.

I agree with Ellie, “Feeling good in your gut helps you do all the things that take guts in life!”

Keep your digestive tract in its best health and consider adding a probiotic supplement to your diet as well. Renew Life offers excellent probiotics in multiple strains that help keep your gut balanced, your immune system going strong, and your digestive system regular.

Life takes guts. Make sure to take care of yours!

Rev Up Your Running Routine with this High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) Workout

How to rev up your running routine with HIIT, demonstrated by Chicago Weight Loss Coach for women Stephanie Mansour and Jenny Milkowski of Fox 32.

Running is one of the best overall workouts you can do to get fit, lose unwanted weight, prevent chronic disease, and reduce stress.

As a weight loss coach, I often advise the clients in my weight loss programs for women to add running to their health and fitness routine. And if they’re ready to step it up to get fit even faster, boost their results, and burn even more calories, I suggest they add high-intensity interval training (or HIIT, for short) to their running workout.

High-intensity interval training alternates a series of intense movements with short periods of rest. So to add HIIT to your running workout, you would incorporate bursts of high-impact movements into your routine.

The benefits of adding HIIT to running include:

  • Getting a more effective full-body workout in as little as 10 minutes
  • Boosting your strength and endurance faster than running alone
  • Fueling your energy with the afterburn effect that high-intensity activity brings
  • Improving overall muscle tone

Many of the clients in my weight loss programs for women have high-demand careers and hectic schedules, including a lot of business travel. HIIT workouts do not require any equipment or a lot of space, so this can be done almost anywhere.

I teamed up with my favorite workout partner and media personality Jenny Milkowski to demonstrate how to rev up your running routine with a HIIT workout.

 


For more workout tips, join me for a FREE (and FUN!) 21-day crash course on how to finally break through the mental roadblocks getting in the way of your goals, gain the confidence you’ve always wanted, and discover the secret to designing a healthy lifestyle you love.

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.

How to Align Your Body to Become Happier (as seen on Today.com)

Everyone wants to be happy. But even if you’re generally a happy person, you may sometimes feel a little low. If you’re looking for a pick-me-up, you may turn to exercise, healthy foods, time with friends and loved ones, listening to upbeat music, or making time for your favorite hobbies or activities.

But did you know that your posture actually affects your mood? You may have noticed that when you’re feeling down you tend to slouch or slump, but what you may not know is slouching and slumping can actually contribute to feelings of sadness.

The truth is, managing your posture can help you feel happier and more confident. According to Beverly Hills-based chiropractor, Dr. David Tannenbaum, “good posture is when your ears, shoulders, hips and ankles align in one straight line. When you look in the mirror, you should look like you are serving in the military.” It’s this kind of good posture that can instantly boost your mood and self-esteem.

As a weight loss coach, the success of the clients in my weight loss programs for women depends largely on their mood. Learning how to boost confidence and manage emotions is key to their ability to lose weight effectively and improve their overall wellbeing.

In a recent article for Today.com, I covered How to Align Your Body to Become Happier.

Here’s how to practice good posture while sitting or standing to create a more positive mood:

  • Do a shoulder roll: bring your shoulders up towards your ears, roll your shoulders back, and then pull your shoulders down.
  • Arch your upper back by puffing your chest out.
  • Pull your navel in towards your spine so that your lower ribs draw down to settle the arch in your back into a neutral position.
  • Lift your chin while keeping your abs engaged.
  • Smile!

Until you are comfortable practicing good posture, try doing this routine in front of a mirror to make sure your body is in alignment. Pay attention to the shift in your mood as you move your body and notice how good posture boosts your happiness.


For more healthy lifestyle tips, join us for a FREE (and FUN!) 21-day crash course on how to finally break through the mental roadblocks getting in the way of your goals, gain the confidence you’ve always wanted, and discover the secret to designing a healthy lifestyle you love.

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.

The best yoga mats and accessories to stretch your abilities (as seen on Today.com)

steph- The best yoga mats and accessories to stretch your abilities

Yoga has tremendous health and wellness benefits. Not only does it have the physical benefits of increased flexibility, strengthening, and toning, it also strengthens your cardiovascular and circulatory system. In addition to physical benefits, developing a yoga practice will also help you improve your mental sharpness and emotional wellbeing.

As a weight loss coach, I often suggest that the women in my weight loss programs for women incorporate yoga into their healthy lifestyle. While you may believe high-intensity workouts are the only way or best way to burn fat and lose weight, yoga may actually be the activity that helps you reduce emotional eating, reduce stress on your adrenals, and balance your metabolism.

If you’re going to practice yoga, why not have the best yoga mats and accessories available? In a recent article for Today.com, I shared some must-have yoga gear and clothing that will help you feel as prepared and inspired as an experienced yogi.

You can read the article here: The best yoga mats and accessories to stretch your abilities

Whether you’re a novice or old pro, practicing yoga at home or in a studio, you’ll find the best yoga mat, yoga mat carriers, yoga mat cleaner, yoga towel, yoga pants, sports bra, and more.


For more healthy lifestyle tips, join us for a FREE (and FUN!) 21-day crash course on how to finally break through the mental roadblocks getting in the way of your goals, gain the confidence you’ve always wanted, and discover the secret to designing a healthy lifestyle you love.

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.

How Women’s Studies Research Inspired Me to Become a Weight Loss Coach

Chicago weight loss coach Stephanie Mansour sat down with Karen Rhodes and Jonathan Freeburg at WCMY AM Radio to discuss why she strives to share positive messaging about women’s health, wellness, and weight loss in the media.

WCMY Radio Interview

When I was an undergrad at the University of Michigan, I studied communication with an emphasis in women’s studies and psychology. While analyzing how women’s health was depicted in the media, I came across a great deal of negative messaging about body image and weight.

While this was not surprising, when I really dug into the data and uncovered how powerful this messaging was, it inspired me to want to create more empowering messages for women about health and wellness.

It was during this time that I also began having my own struggles with weight and body image. But dieting worked against me. It wasn’t until I learned to accept myself that I was able to overcome emotional eating, drop the excess pounds that were weighing me down, and improve my overall health and fitness.

Much of the messaging we see about weight loss in the media is based on body shaming, restriction, deprivation, and negativity. As a weight loss coach, I work with the clients in my weight loss programs for women to help them embrace their bodies as they are and boost their self-confidence right now. The aim is to help them love and respect themselves enough to make healthier choices and feel empowered to reach their goals.

I also strive to share positive messaging about health, wellness, and weight loss in the media. I recently sat down with Karen Rhodes and Jonathan Freeburg at WCMY AM Radio to discuss…

  • how to end emotional eating
  • the importance of positive self-talk
  • the #1 mistake people make when they “go on a diet”
  • and more…

You can listen to the interview here.

There’s nothing wrong with wanting to lose weight, but it is never okay to beat yourself up because you are not the size you want to be. Rather than put yourself down for eating a cookie, for example, I want you to lift yourself up for doing what’s best for your health.


For more health and wellness tips, join us for a FREE (and FUN!) 21-day crash course on how to finally break through the mental roadblocks getting in the way of your goals, gain the confidence you’ve always wanted, and discover the secret to designing a healthy lifestyle you love.

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.

Chicago Fitness – Join me for 101.9 Michelob Ultra Fitness Parties

Join Chicago weight loss coach Stephanie Mansour for a 45-minute fun and fat-blasting full body workout. She’ll combine high-intensity interval training, Pilates, and yoga! Afterwards, cool down with the clean, refreshing taste of Michelob ULTRA!

Space is limited so RSVP for your spot HERE!

Michelob ULTRA is teaming up with Melissa McGurren from THE MIX Morning Show to help you stay fit, before having a little fun on Thursday, September 21  from 6-8PM at the Park Tavern in Rosemont.

steph - Michelob Ultra Fitness Parties


For more workout tips, join us for a FREE (and FUN!) 21-day crash course on how to finally break through the mental roadblocks getting in the way of your goals, gain the confidence you’ve always wanted, and discover the secret to designing a healthy lifestyle you love.

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.

How to Stretch Before a Run with Chicago’s Jenny Milkowski

How to stretch before a run, demonstrated by Chicago Weight Loss Coach for women Stephanie Mansour and Jenny Milkowski of Fox 32.

how to stretch before a run

Running is an effective way to increase your overall health. By committing to running, you can lower your risk for potential health problems, such as diabetes, osteoporosis, high blood pressure, and heart problems.

As a weight loss coach, I often advise the clients in my weight loss programs for women to give running a try. Even if you’ve never considered yourself a runner, you may be surprised at how much you enjoy it as you build up your endurance. Many people who run consistently begin to crave a good run rather than dread it and create healthy habits that support their love of running.

Running can also help you lose weight or better manage your weight. And one of the benefits that you may be overlooking if you haven’t yet incorporated running into your lifestyle, is that running can be an excellent way to reduce stress, anxiety, and depression.

Before a run, it’s always important to properly stretch. Stretching helps you prevent soreness and injuries and improves your performance.

I teamed up with my favorite workout partner and media personality Jenny Milkowski to demonstrate how to properly stretch before a run.

Always begin with dynamic stretches. Don’t hold the stretches for too long because the purpose of dynamic pre-run stretching is to warm up your body and increase blood flow.

For more workout tips, join me for a FREE (and FUN!) 21-day crash course on how to finally break through the mental roadblocks getting in the way of your goals, gain the confidence you’ve always wanted, and discover the secret to designing a healthy lifestyle you love.

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.

How to Sneak in a Workout Wherever You Are (as seen on Kathie Lee and Hoda on the Today Show)

stephanie mansour - kathie lee and hoda - 091317

Does your job keep you tied to your desk? Do you have other commitments that require you to stay glued to your seat? Or do you simply find yourself spending a lot of time lounging on the couch at the end of a long day?

Well, you’re not alone. Sedentary lifestyles have become far too common. But there’s something you can do about it. You can sneak activity into your day, no matter how hectic your schedule is.

The problem is, sedentary lifestyles aren’t harmless. Physical inactivity can lead to serious health problems. Even if you work out throughout the week, spending long periods without movement throughout your day can negatively impact your health.

As a health coach and fitness coach, the majority of the clients in my private weight loss programs for women have demanding schedules. Their work, family, and social commitments often take so much of their time that they find themselves sitting in front of a laptop, carpooling the kids around town, or taking care of other responsibilities that require being seated for hours each day. Can you relate?

If you work out in the morning and then sit on your butt for eight hours at work, then sit in traffic, then shuttle the kids around, and collapse on the couch to watch Netflix all night, that’s a problem. Yes, the morning workout is great, but sitting all day long is still bad for you.

So, I advise my clients to find ways to sneak in activity whenever they can and I encourage you to get moving too.

I stopped by NBC Studios this morning to share some tips with the Kathie Lee and Hoda on the Today Show. Learn How to Sneak in a Workout Wherever You Are (even the bathroom) to keep it moving throughout the day.

Watch the video and get step-by-step instructions for each exercise here.

Here’s what to do to keep it moving:

  • Start by getting your heart pumping first-thing in the morning with Sink Side Steps while brushing your teeth.
  • Whenever you find yourself sitting for too long, do Chair Taps to get your blood flowing and improve your range of motion.
  • Ready to step it up? Use stairs to do Step-up Steps and give your lower body the boost it needs to maintain strength and flexibility.
  • Lounging on the couch? Before you get too cozy, do some Couch Dips to strengthen your upper body.

As relaxing as it might seem to take it easy and take a load off your feet, we all know that sitting or lounging for too long can make us feel stiff and uncomfortable and cause our muscles and joints to ache. It’s also bad for circulation and cardiovascular system.

A little movement worked into your day can go a long way. So try out these exercises and be sure to let me know how it goes. #stepitupwithsteph


For more workout tips, join me for a FREE (and FUN!) 21-day crash course on how to finally break through the mental roadblocks getting in the way of your goals, gain the confidence you’ve always wanted, and discover the secret to designing a healthy lifestyle you love.

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.

Marathon Must-Haves: Tips & Gear You Need for Running 26.2 Miles (as seen on Today.com)

Health and wellness expert Stephanie Mansour shares marathon must-haves including tips and gear to help you run 26.2.

steph - Marathon must -haves
Whether you’re training to run your first marathon or you’re looking to improve on a personal record you can better prepare with the right tips and gear.

As a weight loss coach, many of the clients in my weight loss programs for women set big goals for themselves. From running their first 5k to running marathons and beyond, training for and participating in organized races can be a fun and impactful way to drop unwanted pounds, get fit, and enhance an overall healthy lifestyle.

But if you do not ensure proper self-care when training or running a race, you can open yourself up for disappointment. It’s important to do what it takes to boost your endurance and performance, avoid injury, and minimize the wear and tear long-distance running can put on your body.

In a recent article for the Today Show, I share tips on how to do the best stretches to warm up before your run and cool down after your run. Plus, I worked with the editorial team to round up a list of the top gear we suggest to improve your running game.

Read Marathon must-haves if you are thinking about running those 26.2 miles…

When your feet are pounding the pavement, your body will thank you for wearing proper foot and ankle support with Aline Shoe Insoles and the FUTURO Foot Deluxe Ankle Stabilizer.

If you’re looking to improve your overall performance and time, it helps to keep a close eye on changes in your cardio endurance and physiology with the Spire Mindfulness and Activity Tracker and the Armitron Sport Women’s Digital Chronograph Watch.

You’ll also need a place to stash snacks and other necessity, so a fanny pack made especially for runners, such as RBX Active Running Waist Pack, is a must-have for any long-distance run.

To soothe body aches and pains and foot cracking, reach for a topical cream, such as TheraGold Pain Relief Cream and Footnanny Foot Cream. Plus, reduce soreness and speed up recovery by giving yourself a massage with Tiger Tail Massage Stick.

For more tips, including specific advice on the best stretches before and after your runs, you can read the article here.


For more workout tips, join me for a FREE (and FUN!) 21-day crash course on how to finally break through the mental roadblocks getting in the way of your goals, gain the confidence you’ve always wanted, and discover the secret to designing a healthy lifestyle you love.

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.