Monthly Archives: November 2015

Hamstring Exercise with Chicago’s Jenny Milkowski

Chicago Weight Loss Coach Stephanie Mansour and TV Personality Jenny Milkowksi demonstrate a dynamic hamstring exercise you can do as a partner workout. Grab a ball and check out the video to learn how to stabilize your core, improve your posture, and increase power and mobility all by strengthening your hamstrings!

You know those ‘ol hamstrings you never think about? Turns out they are good for more than you realize! Got lower back pain? It’s probably a sign of tight hamstrings! Get stretchin’! Prone to leg injuries or poor posture? Build hamstring strength.

The clients in my weight loss programs for women get more than just support to shed their extra pounds. As a weight loss coach, I know that to feel great about your body you need to be able to move freely in your body. If you want more flexibility and more strength to do the activities you love or have always wanted to try, small daily practices go a long way!

Hamstring Exercise with a Workout Ball

Grab a friend and try to this dynamic hamstring workout! It’s an easy and fun exercise that will help lengthen and strengthen your hamstrings (and your glutes! Bonus!).

1) Hold your ball in front of you and face your partner.

2) Pull your abs in tight and extend your arms out in front of you with the ball.

3) Extend of leg back to work the hamstrings and glutes.

4) Bring the leg back to center.

5) Repeat with opposite leg.

6) Do a set of 10, and if you’re up for it—challenge yourself to do three sets!

If you want more tips on how you can lose weight and keep it off, make sure you join my FREE 21 day challenge at stepitupchallenge.com.

Photo of Steh and Jenny working t

Why Type A Women Often Struggle With Weight Loss Programs

Chicago weight loss coach Stephanie Mansour shares her insights on why Type A people often struggle with weight loss programs for CNN.com.

why type a women often struggle with weight loss programs

Women with Type A personalities tend to be very competitive and driven. On the upside, their ambition and determination often fuel their success. Having a go-getter attitude helps them reach big career and life goals. They tend to be movers and shakers — executives, entrepreneurs, committee leaders, and moms who run their households like a tight ship. They like to get things done and make things happen.

But on the flip side of the coin, their tendency to strive towards goals, check off accomplishments, and get it all done can cause high levels of anxiety and frustration. They may struggle with a constant sense of urgency and impatience. Type A women are often overachievers, perfectionists, and workaholics who expect nothing but the best from themselves and others, which can cause an excess of stress.

So their Type A tendencies work both for them and against them.

But what does this have to do with my work as a weight loss coach?

Many of the clients I work with privately in my weight loss programs for women are Type A people. They have been able to achieve success in their career and other areas of life because they were driven and focused and did whatever it took to make it. But when it comes to their weight, they struggle. It’s frustrating for them because no matter how hard they try, they either can’t lose stubborn weight or they can’t maintain their weight loss.

But here’s the thing. Your body is not on your schedule. It has its own rhythm. It doesn’t respond to your deadlines. You can’t always control it or make things happen on your timeline. Following a diet and exercise plan to a T and checking off a to-do list could be a waste of time. And if you do try to push it, your body will sometimes push back.

In a recent article for CNN, I wrote about Why Type A People Often Struggle With Weight Loss Programs. You can read it here.


For more weight loss 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.

Ball Squats Partner Workout with Chicago’s Jenny Milkowksi

Weight Loss Coach Stephanie Mansour and TV Personality Jenny Milk pair up for a super fun partner workout. Learn how to do this ball squat exercise and reap the benefits of a full leg workout!

Partner workouts are a sure way to make exercising way more fun. I am a weight loss coach and encourage women in my weight loss programs to think outside the box when it comes to exercising. It helps them get the most from their workouts and enjoy time at the gym again!

Since weight loss is about creating a lifestyle of health and fitness, it’s important to keep things interesting and fun. So grab your best friend, a ball, and your favorite sneakers—it’s time to feel the burn with this easy ball squat exercise!

Ball Squats Partner Workout

Strengthen and tone your booty, quads, hamstrings, and calves with this super fun and easy squat workout.

1) Put the ball in between you and your partner’s back.
2) Stand with feet slightly wider than hips.
3) Lower into a squat while keeping ball steady between your backs.
4) Press down through heels to stand back up.
5) Do three sets of 10 and increase sets from there!

If you want more tips on how you can lose weight and keep it off, make sure you join my FREE 21 day challenge at stepitupchallenge.com.

Got 15 minutes? Get a Workout in! Easy 3-in-1 Exercises As Seen on WGN Chicago

Short on time and looking for the biggest bang for your buck in your workout? Health & Fitness Expert and Weight Loss Coach Stephanie Mansour dropped by WGN to demonstrate  these easy, total body workout moves!

 

Don’t let procrastination get you down. There’s still time to sneak in a workout to get your heart pumping and your muscles strong. When you’re short on time, you naturally move faster and more efficiently! Why not use that to your advantage?

Watch the video for the full workout and to see modified versions. Read on to learn more about these and other awesome exercises featured in Steph’s Free 21 Day Challenge.

 

 

How to Stay Fit and Toned Even on a Tight Schedule

I talk a lot about efficient workouts in my weight loss programs for woman. My clients all agree—workouts don’t have to be a huge ordeal! Once they make that mental shift—and learn even one round of the following exercises can boost their mood, confidence, and health—they’re hooked!

These three easy workouts will boost your confidence and self-esteem. You got this! So jump off the couch. Close the laptop for a minute. Put on your tennis shoes and say “Yes!” to your health.

And the best part? You don’t even have to go to the gym to get these workouts in!

Lose Weight, Look Great with These 3-in-1 Full Body Workouts

Knock out three different exercises with just one full body move!
The following three workouts are each a combination of three different exercises. The goal is to do three rounds at ten reps per exercise, but hey! If you only have time to do one set or one round, that’s OK! You will feel awesome and empowered because you took the time you did have to do something positive for yourself.

The Super Side Lunge
Side Lunge, bent over row pull, then step back to center and do an overhead press. This works your legs, glutes, upper back, and shoulders.

The Plank to Push-Up
Side plank, thread the needle, then do a half push up. This works your side waist, abs, obliques, upper back, and arms.

The Power Squat
Wide leg open toe squat, side extension, and then stand up on tip toes. This works your inner thighs, glutes, upper arms, shoulders, and calves.

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For more great workouts, 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.

Pumpkin Core Strength Exercise with Chicago’s Jenny Milkowski

TV Personality Jenny Milkowski and Weight Loss Coach Stephanie Mansour teamed up to bring you this fall-inspired partner workout! Work your core stability, glutes and quads with this easy and fun pumpkin exercise.

Working out is way more fun with a friend! I encourage all the clients in my weight loss programs for women to grab their bestie and make their workouts fun and funny. When you make your time at the gym a positive experience, it’s much easier to stick to your fitness goals.

As a weight loss coach, health and fitness are my expertise but also my passion! That’s why I’m always looking for creative ways to spice up workouts to help women lose weight and make it last.

Core Strength Exercise with a Pumpkin

This exercise works your core stability to help you tone your abs after the Thanksgiving feasting! It is also a great exercise to build muscle and strength in your glutes and quads.

1) You and your partner face each other in a lunge position.

2) Stay in the lunge while you weave the pumpkin underneath and above your thighs.

3) Pass the pumpkin to your partner while lifting through your heels and standing in sync with your partner. She takes the pumpkin and you both lower into a lunge again while she passes the pumpkin over and beneath her thighs.

4) Focus on engaging your core and staying tight and stable. Smile!

Try to do at least three sets of ten passes! Go for more sets if you can!

If you want more tips on how you can lose weight and keep it off, make sure you join my FREE 21 day challenge at stepitupchallenge.com.

Cinnamon This Fall: How to Use It for Weight Loss and Health As Seen on Fox Chicago

Health and Wellness Expert Stephanie Mansour stopped by Fox 32 Chicago to share five flavorful ways to incorporate cinnamon into everyday foods to keep you healthy and happy during the holiday season. From cinnamon spiced broccoli to a cinnamon salad dressing, you’ll want these recipes.

the health benefits of cinnamon

The one thing I don’t want the clients in my weight loss programs for women to feel is—deprived! Sticking to a health and fitness plan is one of the best things you can do for your life. And guess what? It doesn’t mean your meals must be bland and boring!

One of my favorite fall spices is cinnamon. It smells like comfort and tastes like home.

Studies have shown that cinnamon is a super spice that aids in weight loss because it speeds up the metabolism and decreases blood sugar levels.

Unfortunately, most cinnamon-flavored foods are packed with sugar and calories! Think cinnamon spice donuts and cinnamon spiced lattes. So, how can you enjoy all the flavor with none of the fat?

I’m a weight loss coach always on the lookout for healthy alternatives! Here are some of my favorite ways to integrate cinnamon into my own diet:

Breakfast: Add a teaspoon of cinnamon to your oatmeal, your morning smoothie, or even your coffee!

Cut your addiction to morning sweets like donuts and frappuccinos, by getting your sweet fix in with cinnamon and a bit of honey. It will satisfy your cravings, but give you an energy boost instead of a sugar crash!

Snack: Regular almonds too boring? Add some cinnamon to your nuts and even onto your apple slices!

Tempted by the candy jar at the office? This will help cut down on sugar cravings.

Lunch: Make this cinnamon dressing recipe to make your salads really pop!

¼ cup maple syrup, ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon, 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, pinch salt

If you think salads at lunch are boring, you’re not having enough fun with the dressing! Get creative and mix it up. Keep your taste buds entertained with exciting spices like cinnamon, and you’ll get all the nutrients your body really craves from those dark, leafy greens.

Dinner: Spice up veggies like broccoli with a cinnamon stick!

Add a cinnamon stick to the pan when you’re cooking vegetables. Here’s one of my faves:

4 cups broccoli florets, 2 tbsp olive oil, 1/2 tsp salt, 1 1/2 tbsp lemon juice, 3 garlic cloves minced, 1/8 tsp cinnamon

After Dinner Treat: Cinnamon tea

Looking for comfort foods or something to make you feel cozy at night? Try tea! Warm liquids after dinner keep your digestive system on track. Cinnamon tea is super yummy and it strengthens your immune system.


For more healthy eating 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.

 

Partner Push-Up with Chicago’s Jenny Milkowski

Jenny Milkowski and Chicago weight loss coach, Stephanie Mansour, demonstrate a new kind of push-up that works your core, chest, and shoulders all at the same time! 


The hilarious Jenny Milkowski and I teamed up once again to share one of our favorite workouts with you. This fun partner push-up builds amazing upper body and core strength all at the same time. Watch the video to get the technique then grab your BFF and get ready to spice up your workout.

Life is short, we all know that! That’s why we want to make the most of it by staying healthy (and also having fun!). But is it possible to have fun and be healthy at the same time? Yes. Definitely yes.

In my weight loss programs for women, my clients learn to lose the weight and feel great—for life! They learn early on that long-lasting results depend both on feeling positive about healthy lifestyle choices and having fun in the process.

Breaking out of routine keeps your mind and body fresh. If you feel like you’ve hit a plateau with your workout, a little more play can go a long way for your motivation! So mix it up! Keep your workouts fun and fresh, and don’t forget to bring along a friend.



For more fun 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.

 

Interview with Felicity Huffman and Stay Healthy & Energized with Probiotics!

Stay Healthy & Energized with Probiotics! (Interview with actress Felicity Huffman)

If the name Felicity Huffman doesn’t ring a bell, I bet “Lynette Scavo” does! That’s right. The Desperate Housewives star sat down with me for a few minutes at the Renew Life luncheon in New York to chat about how probiotics turned her health around.

As a weight loss coach, I jump at any opportunity to talk about health and fitness and get useful insights from women to share with the clients in my weight loss programs for women. Huffman stays in shape and treats her body well not only for the cameras, but to feel healthy and energized for herself and her family. You can watch our chat here:

Here are some highlights from my interview with Felicity Huffman:

Never Eat from the Craft Service Table

Not everyone has this problem! But I bet, even if you’re not in the entertainment industry and on set all the time with enticing displays of free food, you’re still tempted with free pizza and donuts in the breakroom and invited to luncheons, galas, potlucks, and other fun events that test your commitment to weight loss.

How does Felicity Huffman do it? She avoids the treats from these tables by bringing her own lunch or choosing a salad. If she can, she eats a big breakfast to help sustain her throughout the day, and if a craving is intense, she drinks tea until it passes.

Don’t Buy into This Common Probiotic Misconception

Some people think a probiotic will send them running to the bathroom and keep them there all day! Felicity says that’s not how they work at all. Probiotics are gentle on her digestive system and keep her in great health.

Always Sick and Run Down? Probiotics will help!

When Felicity was doing Desperate Housewives, and filming her new movie, and being mom to two small toddlers—life was hectic, to say the least! She was sick every two or three days and always felt run down. She tried going dairy free, sugar free, and wheat free, but none of those things completely solved the problem. Then her friend suggested a probiotic and she’s never looked back!

Probiotics boost the immune system and keep your guts healthy. She finally found the energy and vitality she wanted out of life and has maintained it to this day.

How Many Probiotics Should a Woman Take?

For Felicity, going through menopause didn’t change the number of probiotics she took. “It’s more based on my travel schedule and how hard I’m working rather than my age. I’ll take less when I’m on vacation.”

Stress plays a key role in our susceptibility to sickness, and when we’re stressed we often make poor food choices. Taking a daily probiotic helps combat stress and fatigue, keeping your body energetic and your mind clear.


For more healthy lifestyle 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 Model Healthy Body Image and Eating Habits (as seen in Chicago’s Daily Herald)

Chicago weight loss coach Stephanie Mansour spoke with Colette A. Harris a correspondent from the Daily Herald and shared some of the most important steps women can take to build healthier eating habits and a positive body image for themselves.

We all want our daughters to feel confident, in control, and in love with themselves, but these are hard traits to teach! The best way to instill health and hope into the future is to model these traits to your children yourself. Think that’s easier said than done? Read on!

I spoke with Colette A. Harris, a correspondent for the Daily Herald, and shared some of the most important steps women can take to build healthier eating habits and a positive body image. Read the article Modeling Positive Eating Habits for Our Daughters, here and check out the highlights below.

When you take back control of your life, you give permission to your daughter to take control of hers!

Here are the powerfully effective ways the clients in my weight loss programs for women make the shift to self-love and empowered living that supports their own healthy habits and body image and their ability to instill positive habits  and self-love for their daughters as well:

  • Modeling positive eating habits and how to lead by example.
  • The importance of acknowledging your own long-standing beliefs about food and nutrition.
  • Rethinking food as fuel instead of as a reward.
  • Talking about media images, messages, and marketing together.
  • Cooking together for a great way to bond and a fun way to explore healthy recipes together.
  • Teaching self-love because the words we speak and think have power. Change your words, change your life!

I’m more than just a weight loss coach. I help women feel more committed and connected to themselves, which helps them see that healthy choices actually make them feel better, and know that they’re worthy and deserve to feel good.

Want more tips to look great and feel even better? 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 Keep Your Skin, Hair, and Nails Healthy This Fall As Seen on ABC Chicago

healthy hair skin and nails

We all look forward to the beauty of autumn leaves that this season brings. What we don’t look forward to are the brittle nails and rough skin that also come with dropping temps. Have no fear. I’ve got a few simple tips that will keep you glowing from the inside out all fall long.

I stopped by the ABC 7 Chicago studios to share some of my favorite tips and products for looking good and feeling good when the weather changes.

See it. Believe it. Achieve it!

Here’s something I tell all my private weight loss clients—it’s all about mindset. So with the changing season, learn to let old habits and negative thought patterns “fall” away! My holistic mind and body workbook 30 Days to Love Your Body & Your Life is a great place to start if you’re ready to improve body self-esteem and claim confidence for life.

What You Put in Your Body

Four Amazing Foods that Improve Your Complexion, Hair, and Nails:

These foods are high in omega-3 essential fatty acids and work wonders on your hair, skin, and nails.

Flax: Sprinkle on your oatmeal or add it to a smoothie, flax seeds are an easy way to get your omega-3 fatty acids and a healthy dose of fiber!

Brazil Nuts: The benefit to eating brazil nuts is they also contain high amounts of selenium which promotes hair growth.

Leafy Greens: All leafy greens are good for you, but let’s talk spinach. I love this superfood! It is chock full of goodies like vitamins B, C, and E, potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium and all of these promote healthy hair growth.

Fish: The omega-3s found in fish give your body an extra boost because they help keep skin-cell membranes strong and elastic!

(If buying and cooking fish scares you, or you just don’t have the time, I found the yummiest and easiest solution: Love the Wild frozen fish makes dinner super simple with filets ready to bake in a seriously awesome sauce. Plus, check out their blog for amazing recipes like their Barramundi Poke Bowl!). Find them at your local Whole Foods Market.)

What You Use on Your Body

Two Great Body Products with Health Benefits:

Yes, I’m a weight loss coach, but it’s always been about more than just shedding the pounds. It’s about feeling great and living a healthy, beautiful life from the inside out. That’s why I love beauty products that do double duty as health products! These products also provide instant gratification, which just makes you want to do more healthy and positive things for your body.

Spray Away: This amazing, first-ever, acetone aerosol nail polish remover just hit Wal-Mart shelves last month. Nail Aid’s Spray Away removes polish fast and actually hydrates your nails at the same time. Tell me that isn’t awesome.

Dry Brush: Use a dry brush once or twice a day to exfoliate your skin, giving it a healthy glow. On top of that, dry brushing stimulates your lymphatic system which helps release toxins. It’s a beauty-body win!


Looking to lose the weight and feel great? 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.