Category Archives: Healthy Lifestyle Tips

Best Workouts for Weight Loss, Celebrity Workouts, and Cardio Workouts for Beginners!

As a private weight loss coach for women in Chicago and across the country, I contribute as a health and fitness expert for many online publications. I love helping women take celebrity workouts created by trainers and integrate them into their own workouts! Check out my most recent articles below.

Parallel Bar Workouts That Celebrity Trainers Love

I loved writing this article because doing a fun workout can really help to change things up. I analyzed upper body and core exercises that you can do on the bars whether you’re a beginner or advanced!

A Quick Equipment Free But Workout

This article talks about ways to work your booty without any equipment, even in a hotel room! As a private weight loss coach for women, many of my clients are corporate executives who travel a ton. This butt workout is awesome because it’s quick, efficient, and provides great results.

Why Doing Jumping Lunges Has Powerful Strength & Cardio Benefits
As seen in Self online, I dissected the jumping lunges that a celebrity trainer designed for one of Hollywood’s best known celebrities! While these jumping lunges are a bit advanced, you can try one or two out while holding on to a bar or a chair for extra support and stability!

Different Types of Cardio Workouts for Beginners & Advanced Plus the Benefits of Cardio Workouts
As seen in Healthy Way online, I created cardio workouts for beginners and also cardio workouts for advanced exercisers. I also discussed the benefits of cardio workouts, and talk about the best ways to do a cardio workout in your living room. Check out the different types of cardio workouts in this article now!

Quick Leg, Cardio, and Agility Workout
Celebrity trainer Simone De La Rue created this fun dance-inspired full body workout that her celebrity clients love! I gave my two cents on this workout, and talked about how you can modify this no matter what your fitness level.

Exercises for Sleep and How to Reduce Anxiety and Insomnia
Finally, if you’re looking for tips on better sleep, there’s an amazing article in which I’m quoted for Natural Awakenings. I talked about my favorite exercises for sleep, and how to reduce insomnia and nighttime anxiety. Check out the article here!

A Celeb’s Dumbbell Raises to Sculpt Your Shoulders

This Self online article provides great shoulder exercises that you can do with dumbbells. A well-known celebrity was doing this shoulder routine on instagram. Many of my private weight loss clients love sculpting their shoulders too! As a wellness coach for women, I love providing simple exercises (such as these) that my clients can do at any gym!

Exercises to Master a Pull-Up
One of my latest articles for the Today Show is about how to do a pull-up! I have step by step photos of how to do exercises to help you master this challenging workout move. As a personal trainer for women in Chicago and beyond, I love helping women reach their fitness goals!

Many of my private weight loss clients are busy and successful. As a private weight loss coach and a private fitness coach for women, I specialize in helping successful women lose weight.

If you’re looking for a life coach, a wellness coach, or a confidence coach in Chicago and beyond, you’ve come to the right place! As a certified personal trainer for women, Yoga Instructor in Chicago, Pilates Instructor in Chicagoland, and certified professional life coach in Chicago, I work with successful women across the country as a private weight loss coach for women.

For more inspiration, join our FREE 21 Day Challenge at stepitupchallenge.com

5 Ways to Get a Jump Start on Your NY Resolutions (As Seen on Fox 32)

The New Year is the perfect time to take a moment to analyze what’s going right in your life! Health and Fitness Expert Stephanie Mansour dropped by Fox 32 to share how getting mentally prepared before setting resolutions sets you up for success all year long.

As a Weight Loss Coach, I know that a confidence boost is the first step toward a healthier lifestyle. Whether your goal is weight loss or toned arms, it all starts with a commitment to yourself—so make sure YOU know what YOU really want!

Here are five steps that help you get clear on what you want in 2018.

Step 1: Take Advantage of More Time on Your Hands
During a holiday break from work, we have more space to reflect on ourselves. Take a personal inventory of how you’ve been feeling lately.

Tune into those feelings. Pay attention and listen. What is your inner dialogue and self-talk? Is it “I feel disgusting. None of my clothes fit.”? Well maybe a weight loss resolution is right for you!

Once you know how you feel know, you can determine how you’d rather feel in the future! Use that as your true north when writing resolutions.

Step 2: Assess Your Daily Routine
How do you feel when you pick out clothes in the morning or do your makeup? Does it excite you or does it make you feel worse about yourself?

Consider the areas of life you beat yourself up about and write them down on a piece of paper.

Step 3: What Do You See?
Do you like what you see when you look in the mirror? If there is something you don’t like, then slow down and write it on that piece of paper we talked about above! Get specific.

Many clients in my weight loss programs for women share that they don’t like their “flabby arms, spare tire, muffin top, or double chin.”

Step 4: Re-imagine Whatever You Don’t Like
Use all the things you don’t like as motivation for your New Year’s resolutions! Imagine if everything was different! What would that look like to you? Write down the words that come to mind.

Turn “muffin top” into “tight tummy” for example!  It’s important to name something positive that you can hold in your mind rather than continuing to think only of the negative.

Step 5: Act Like You’ve Already Achieved Your Goal
Write down a new, beautiful, and confident vision for yourself. Write down how you’re going to feel when you look in the mirror and what you’re going to look like even if it’s six months down the road.

Then, act like it’s true NOW. This is going to help you stick to your vision and your resolutions. Ready to silence the negative self-talk and take back control of your life? Try my 30 Day Confidence Workbook!

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.

5 Ways to Fool Proof Your New Year’s Resolutions (As Seen on WGN)

Health and Fitness Expert Stephanie Mansour dropped by WGN to share her top New Year’s tips for keeping your weight loss resolutions. Learn five easy ways to fool proof your New Year’s resolutions to lose the weight and make it last!

As a Weight Loss Coach, this is my busiest time of year and definitely my favorite! You’re feeling fired up and I’m here to help. Let me show you how to fool proof your New Year resolutions so you can lose weight and feel great all year long.

1. Make your goals smaller
Take a realistic look at your New Year resolutions. Most women set too lofty of goals and in doing so actually set themselves up to fail.

Are you trying to defy the norm and lose more than the average 1-2 pounds per week? Don’t do it! Unless you have the accountability and support from a weight loss program and a coach, it’s impossible to lose 20 pounds in a month.

So instead, create small action steps that you can accomplish over time to achieve your big weight loss goal!

2. Leave room for error
Don’t go into the New Year with an all or nothing mentality. Mistakes happen. Life happens! Leave a little wiggle room for the unexpected party or the extra crazy work week that throws off your health and fitness schedule.

When you get thrown off track simply take a breath, adjust your plan and pick the next healthiest option available to you!

The private clients in my weight loss programs for woman learn that doing damage control and adjusting their goals on a weekly basis supports their health and weight loss goals much better than throwing in the towel for the week on healthy eating and thinking they can just “start over” next week.

3. Reward yourself
With New Year’s Resolutions it’s best to stop treating yourself like an adult! That’s right, treat yourself like a child and you will go far.

In your career and with your family, you act lik an adult and you meet the goals you have in those arenas. With weight loss and health, things work a bit differently. Buy yourself some stickers and put a sticker on your calendar every time you go to the gym or attend that yoga class you committed to!

Reward yourself with new workout clothes or treat yourself to a more expensive salad than you normally eat at lunch.

4. Tell everyone about your goals
Write a list of the names of people you can call and share your weight loss and fitness goals with. Don’t keep your resolutions quiet!

Accountability and support is crucial as you form new healthy lifestyle habits. Social media can be huge. If you follow my free 21-day challenge, we will personally respond to you and you can connect with other women on the same journey as you!

5. No results? Change it up
There are so many diet plans and workout programs out there. If your plan isn’t getting you the results you want, you might have the wrong plan!

Give yourself permission to adjust your original New Year’s resolutions and take a new direction that could better support your weight loss goals.

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.

3 Ways to a New You This New Year! (As seen on HLN)

Health and Fitness Expert Stephanie Mansour delivers strategies to make your New Year’s resolutions for weight loss a success! Steph chatted with HLN to share lifestyle tips that help reality check your resolutions and show you how to foster a positive, happy YOU in the New Year.

It’s easy to feel motivated and in charge heading into the New Year! Want to keep the momentum going and make your big goals a reality?

Then, take a look at my top three New Year’s resolutions tips that I share with all my private weight loss clients.

Success is all about realistic and attainable goals. Find out how to stay motivated all year long and make 2018 your best year of health and fitness yet!

Reality Check Your Resolutions
A super common New Year’s resolution is to lose 20+ pounds. But how long do you think that should take? The average woman can only lose 1-2 pounds per week.

Unless you have the help and accountability of a weight loss coach, this is the norm. In other words, it’s nearly impossible to lose 20 pounds in one month, so instead go week by week and break your big goal down into smaller and more attainable chunks.

Make Your Goals Reality
Invest in a simple calendar where you can track weekly goals. As a weight loss coach, I recommend scheduling three days a week to exercise.

It’s also crucial to set aside one day a week to meal plan and prep.

Then, take a look at your entire week and scale back your expectations in case there is an unexpected party or work commitment that makes it impossible to meet your goals.

When you stay flexible with your schedule but committed to making healthy choices, you will steer clear of the vicious cycle of guilt that many women enter when they don’t live up to their fitness expectations.

Remember, it’s all about learning to view your choices as either healthy or unhealthy. When you make an unhealthy choice, don’t beat yourself up about it…just get back on track with the next choice you make!

Reward Yourself
When you’ve done something positive for your body and your health, then treat yourself! (But not with sugary or high calorie foods!). Treat yourself to a new sports bra, favorite perfume, or indulge in a facial, a night out at the movies, or new exotic fruit for your morning smoothie.

Whatever motivates you, use that as your reward!

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.

2018 New Year’s Resolution Tips for Your Mind, Body, and Wallet (As Seen on the Today Show)

Chicago weight loss coach, Stephanie Mansour, stopped by NBC studios in New York to share one small thing you can do to make a big difference in staying committed to your New Year’s resolutions for good.

As a weight loss coach, the clients in my private weight loss programs for women often ask me for advice on how to set New Year’s resolutions that stick. My answer is simple but powerful:  You must be willing to make a commitment to yourself.

One decision after another has to be guided by that commitment. Each habit you instill has to be shaped by that commitment. And any time you slip up or go astray, all you have to do is get re-centered and return to that commitment.

Here’s an easy way to get started:

When you wake up each morning, use this exercise to set the mood for your day. Saying positive affirmations along with breathing and movement helps you get centered and focused. Start by reaching your arms up and stretching as you say “I am,” and then place your palms together in front of you, at the center of your body and say “committed to myself.”

Watch the video and get more tips from lifestyle experts, such as Bob Harper, Shaun T, life coach Shirin Eskandani, nutritionist Joy Bauer and more.

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.

How to Beat the Airplane Bloat (As Seen on Fox 32)

There’s nothing worse than finding you’ve gained inches on your waistline after a day of travel! Health & Fitness Expert Stephanie Mansour dropped by Fox 32 to share five ways to beat airplane bloat this holiday season.

Many of my private weight loss clients are consultants and they travel a lot for work—even more so at the holidays to visit family! As a weight loss coach, I also travel a lot for speaking engagements so there’s no way I can walk into a meeting bloated and be taken seriously!

Here’s how I walk my talk and how you too can learn to eliminate bloating and discomfort during travel.

5 Ways to Beat Bloating During Travel

1. Avoid Certain Veggies
Cruciferous vegetables, like cabbage and broccoli, should be avoided at all costs before and during travel. They are the hardest to digest and increase gas and bloating. Vegetables like these are great for weight loss, but if you’re just starting to increase your veggie intake hold off until after the busy travel season to let your body adjust.

Instead, if you’re looking for immediate flattening and debloating eat cooked vegetables as they are easier to digest. Go for sautéed leafy greens like spinach and avoid raw veggies and salad.

2. Drink Plenty of Water
Water helps decrease bloating because it flushes you out. The goal is to go to the restroom at least once for every hour you’re on an airplane. When the flight attendants come by to offer you drinks, ask for two glasses of water instead of one and you’ll be sure to stay hydrated!

3. Travel with Protein
Eat foods low in salt to prevent bloating. Protein bars or protein packets are easy to pack and open for a quick snack (I love this plant-based, low sugar protein mix!).

Protein speeds up your metabolism, helps you burn fat, and regulates your blood sugar levels so you won’t crave those salty foods and sugary airplane snacks attendants hand out!

4. Take Probiotics and Digestive Enzymes
Always keep a digestive enzyme on hand when traveling and be sure to take a probiotic regularly. Both flush everything out and get things moving so you don’t have to worry about the pain, discomfort, and embarrassment of a bloated tummy.

5. Do the Twist
Sitting for hours in a terminal, on the plane, and in a shuttle or cab can wreak havoc on your digestive system. To help keep things moving along, get up every once in a while and twist from the hips.

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.

7 Ways to Hack Holiday Meals and Maintain Your Weight (As Seen on Fox 32)

Worried about gaining weight this holiday? Weight Loss Coach and Lifestyle Expert Stephanie Mansour dropped by Fox 32 to share a new take on weight gain. Learn seven real time tips to stop yourself in your tracks before going overboard on the holiday treats.

This holiday, learn to stop the downward spiral of guilt when you get too close to the dessert table! Here’s how to prepare for rather than fight against the potential weight gain.

During the holidays, we all make some unhealthy food choices and that’s OK. Read on to learn how to enjoy the season without going overboard.

7 Holiday Meal Hacks

1. Focus on maintaining your weight instead of losing weight. Start to consider what your New Year’s Resolution will be after all the holiday partying. What will be most important to you in regard to health and fitness?

2. Don’t step on the scale every day. The scale is your inaccurate worst enemy! I always have my private weight loss clients “measure” weight by how well their clothes fit. If your favorite pair of jeans feels looser, that’s a better gauge than a scale!

Also, use a tape measure instead of worrying about the number on the scale because muscle weighs more than fat. For example, one of the clients in my weight loss program for women lost “only” ten pounds, but dropped four dress sizes! That’s huge!

3. Plan a little affirmation escape! We’ve all been there. You’re at a holiday party and someone says something to you meant to be a compliment, but it’s really a dig. No problem, just keep a stack of positive affirmations in your purse. Pull them out in the bathroom, look yourself in the eyes, and say, “I’m awesome, I’m beautiful, I rock at life!”

4. Get in a five-minute workout. If you feel too busy to workout, don’t fret. Five minutes is 500% better than 0 minutes! Check out my Step it Up with Steph DVD for tons of great five minute weight loss workouts!

5. Change your palate, change your life! If you find yourself overdoing it at the dessert table, the first thing to do is change your taste buds. For example, go for some snap peas. They are so bland and boring compared to all the sugar on the dessert table! Change up your palate to get another taste going and stop the sugar cravings.

6. Go ahead and take a cookie! I mean it. I’m obsessed with the cookie platter. Don’t just stand there eating cookie after cookie though. Take your plate, put one cookie on it, and walk away! Enjoy it! And if you still really want a second one, go back for it.

7. Mix it up when drinking cocktails. After drinking a plain, non-sparkling wine, if you want to call it quits and not overindulge, then dose your mouth with a sparkling water. On the flip side, if you’ve been drinking bubbly win or prosecco, drink a bit of juice. This will change your mouth feel and palate and help stop the urge to go for just one more drink.

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.

Three Must-Know Dessert Table Hacks for the Holidays (As Seen on Fox 32)

Want to enjoy holiday treats without going overboard? Health and Fitness Expert Stephanie Mansour dropped by Fox 32 to share how to navigate the dessert table with success. Feel both satisfied and on-track with your weight loss goals this holiday season!

There are so many tasty goodies at the holidays! Is it really possible to turn down the sugar cravings without missing out? There is! All the clients in my weight loss programs for women feel super confident at the holidays because they follow these three simple weight loss tricks.

Don’t ever be intimidated by the dessert table again! Learn how to lose weight, feel great, and make it last with these easy weight loss hacks.

Protein is Going to Save You

Sugar cravings during the holidays are very normal. This is because more sweets are readily available and every time we eat one our blood sugar spikes. When it drops, the craving starts again. It’s a vicious cycle. So where to begin?

Start by keeping a food schedule. This will reduce cravings by making sure you’re eating well throughout the day. Set an alarm on your phone to go off every few hours to remind you to eat some protein.

If weight loss or weight maintenance is your goal, protein is your best friend and will save you from overdoing it on the sweets! Try an omelet and smoothie in the morning instead of pastries and breads!

A Sugar Craving in Disguise

Did you know we often mistake being thirsty as a sugar craving or need to eat? It’s a sneaky side effect of dehydration.

Stay hydrated this holiday season to reduce cravings. If you do feel an intense urge to snack on sugary goodness, try drinking a glass of water first.

Try Everything, Eat Nothing

This is your motto for the holidays! As a weight loss coach, I firmly believe in sampling foods that bring you joy and taste great! If you say no over and over again, eventually you will cave and gorge on way more sweets and calories than you would have normally if you indulged just a bit to begin with.

The reality is, no one is that strong in the face of tempting desserts during festive holiday parties! Give yourself permission to either have one whole piece of your very favorite dessert, or to try just a bite of multiple dessert options.

Also, if you want to really step up your dessert table game—avoid the fluffy, pastry-type sweets with lots of calories. Go for something light but delicious like a meringue. Even better, load up on fruits and dark chocolate first. The sugar in fruit will change your palate and satisfy some of the overwhelming sugar cravings.

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.

How to Avoid the Belly Bloat During the Holidays (As Seen on ABC 7)

Health and Fitness Expert Stephanie Mansour swung by ABC 7 to share easy ways to ease bloating and help nausea during the holidays. Get health tips to aid digestion and soothe your stomach during the season you need it most and all year long.

Click here to watch How to Avoid the Belly Bloat During the Holidays.

Before I make diet recommendations to the clients in my weight loss programs, I first encourage them to start by tuning in to their own body.

Take a moment to tune into your own body and take an internal compass of where you’re at. Ask yourself these questions:

Do I look at my health as a whole? Am I ready to make holistic changes?
Am I always bloated and uncomfortable? Or, just after eating certain foods?
Am I ready to finally make choices that help me feel good all the time?

There is no right answer. Just know where you fall and then read on.

How to Get Regular
Sometimes it’s super hard to tell if your IBS symptoms are the real deal or just the discomfort from another issue (like a dairy sensitivity or unable to process certain carbohydrates). Consider eating foods from a low FODMAP diet (like these Happy Bars) or taking a lactose enzyme supplement before diving headfirst into a cheese platter.

The easiest place to start, no matter if you are diagnosed with IBS or not, is to incorporate a probiotic into your daily regimen. Get on a schedule and when you’re rushing around, keep protein bars on hand so you don’t go for greasy or fried foods when hunger pains start in.

The Short of It
Talking to your doctor, taking a probiotic, considering low FODMAP diets—all these support long-term health. So what do you do in the moment of a painful bloating or nausea episode?

Drink plenty of water—half your body weight in ounces each day. (Remember, don’t drink water 20 minutes before or after a meal or that will increase digestive discomfort!).

Eat leafy green vegetables like spinach, kale, and swiss chard.

Use a heating pad and take deep breaths.

Sweat it out! Working out is proven to help decrease bloating and ease discomfort. Try the five-minute fat blasting workouts in my Step It Up With Steph DVD.

Knockout Nausea
Ginger or mint tea is very easy on the digestive system and helps eliminate nausea fast! If you are prone to motion sickness, bring some ginger chews or ginger supplements along on your holiday road trips for relief (or use as natural and effective hangover remedies!)

Keep a journal to track what foods make you feel nauseated and/or bloated. This will help with your long-term health goals as you learn to identify foods that trigger digestive discomfort.

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.

 

3 Healthy Snack Hacks for the Workplace (As Seen on The Jam)

Whether you’re stuck in a cubicle or carting your kids around all day, snacks can sabotage your health goals! That’s why The Jam brought in Health & Fitness Expert Stephanie Mansour to give some healthy snack hacks for the desk or on the go.

The workplace is full of temptations! From vending machines to homemade treats that your coworkers bring in, it’s easy to snack in all the wrong ways. When you’re grinding through, it’s so important to keep healthy snacks on hand so you don’t binge on sugary and carbo-loaded snacks.

Check out these three ways to snack better and eliminate the midday crash.

An Apple Isn’t Enough
As a weight loss coach, I’ve learned that most people think eating a piece of fruit is enough to count as a healthy and satisfying snack. It’s not.

Remember this golden rule of snacking that I always tell my clients in my weight loss programs for women—Always pair your fruit with a protein.

Think almonds, walnuts, peanuts or a nut butter. Protein takes longer to digest so it keeps you sated longer.

Pre-Pack Dips so You Don’t Overeat
Hummus with your favorite veggies is a great workplace snack. However, dips will break your caloric bank if you overeat!

Portion out two tablespoons of hummus into individual snack containers before work and serve up a couple of full servings of different veggies in baggies to take with you. Carrots, cucumbers, broccoli, sugar snap peas and okra are great with hummus!

Not All Protein Bars are Created Equal
You want a protein bar with at least 10 grams of protein in it. For example, it’s common that some bars only offer about 3 grams of protein per serving but if you snack on a Vega One Bar you get 12 grams of protein. Always check the nutritional label!

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.

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