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A Gratitude Meditation and How to Do Alternate Nostril Breathing (As Seen on Fox Chicago)

Weight Loss Coach & Yoga Instructor Stephanie Mansour stopped by Fox Chicago to share a gratitude meditation perfect for the Thanksgiving holiday. Meditation builds confidence and positivity which is why it’s an important part of any weight loss program and healthy lifestyle.

This Gratitude Meditation is the perfect way to help you center and ground before the holidays, but it’s also the perfect way to build confidence and joy around health and fitness! As a weight loss coach, I love talking about this subject because it’s so valuable— feeling positive leads to better health—and I’m all about your best health!

A Study in Gratitude

A recent scientific study followed three different groups of people. The first group kept a daily gratitude journal. The second kept a daily journal of everything that irritated them throughout the day, and the third group just wrote about what happened during their day. It probably doesn’t come as a surprise, but the first group had the most positive outlook on life after the study was over!

If you want to lose weight and feel great, there’s more to it than just hitting the gym. In my weight loss program for women, I coach my clients about how to create their reality through intentional and positive thinking.
What we think about and how we feel affects what we do—right down to our ability to lose weight, make it last, and love our bodies no matter where we are in our health journey!

A Gratitude Meditation for Thanksgiving

Follow these three easy steps for a refreshing and grounding meditation to help you feel even more thankful this holiday season. Try this Gratitude Meditation every morning or evening. It will help you feel happier and more confident.

1) Align with Your Intention

Our intention this holiday season is gratitude. Pick one thing you are thankful for and hold it in your mind as you continue with the following two steps.

2) Anchor Your Body

Take a moment to connect with yourself. Anchor your body by either resting your hands on your thighs, placing a hand over your heart, or pressing the thumb and forefinger together in a mudra of courage and confidence.

3) Breathe and Center

Now, begin breathing slowly in and out through your nose. Pay attention to your breath and just let it flow as it will. Do this for three minutes (or more if you want to!) and let thoughts in your mind float by like clouds. If your thoughts stray, come back to your breathe and your intention of gratitude.

If you want to step up your meditation, you can practice nostril breathing.

How to do Nostril Breathing

Take a thumb and put it over one nostril. Breath in through the opposite nostril. Then, plug the side you just inhaled through and exhale through the other nostril. Continue switching back and forth breathing in one nostril and out the other. Nostril breathing helps balance your parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous system, while helping you be fully present and focus on your gratitude.

 

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.

 

Which Candy is the Best Choice? (As Seen on ABC Chicago)

Health & Fitness Coach Stephanie Mansour breaks down common candy favorites to give you recommendations on which to opt for as the Halloween bowl sits tempting you after the holiday! Indulge your sweet tooth and stick to your weight loss goals at the same time!

It’s not just kids who love Halloween candy. If you’re tempted to dip into the candy bowl but are concerned about weight loss—good news! You can enjoy sweet treats and stay slim through the holidays with smarter candy choices.

You Can Eat Candy and Stick to Your Weight Loss Plan

Yeah, you heard me! And I’m a weight loss coach so you can trust I know what I’m talking about! Sugar in moderation is absolutely fine. My goal for all the clients in my weight loss programs for women is to simply change their mindset about candy and cravings.

You see, when your body is low on fuel it craves more sugar and carbs and you’re more likely to eat a lot of sweets and fast. Give your body some good fuel first and the craving will subside. Then you can indulge your sweet tooth with a piece of candy rather than the whole bowl!

Remember to eat it slowly, savor it, and pretend it’s the most expensive piece of candy in the world!

Fuel Up on Protein to Avoid Sugar Cravings

Enjoy the sweets without feeling those intense sugar craving by eating a balanced diet of protein, fruits and vegetables. Before rewarding yourself with a chocolate bar make sure you eat some protein first. It’s as easy as that.

Which Halloween Candy is Healthier?

M & Ms Vs. Peanut M & Ms

While peanut M & Ms have more calories they also have more protein! And that’s a win!This means, if you’re going to eat sugar might as well give it some good protein at the same time because it is healthier than just sugar alone.

Milky Way Vs. Snickers Bar

Again, Snickers Bars have nuts so they have more protein making it the healthier option over a Milky way. Make sure you stick to a snack size serving though instead of a full-size candy bar.

Gummy Bears Vs. Sour Patch Kids

The less sugar and the fewer ingredients—the better! Regular gummy bears have ½ the grams of sugar as Sour Patch kids. They have the same number of calories, but avoiding excess sugar is what keeps you healthier.

Peppermint Patties Vs. Peppermint Candies

One mini Peppermint Patty is 120 calories or you could eat three peppermint candies at just 60 calories! Based on calorie count, peppermint candies are better. If you’re craving chocolate though, go for a dark chocolate Peppermint Patty over other white or milk chocolate options because it has antioxidants and less cream and sugar.

Kettle Corn Vs. Candy Corn

Get your sugar fix and a satisfying crunchy snack with Kettle Corn! Make your own and pop it in your microwave and save yourself at least 50 calories compared to candy corn. Kettle Corn has a lot less sugar and is good source of fiber!

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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.

The Best Workout to Do in the Morning, Noon, and Night for Your Lifestyle (As Seen on Fox Chicago)

Weight Loss Coach and Fitness Expert Stephanie Mansour dropped by Fox Chicago to demonstrate the workouts to do if you’re short on time and low on inspiration. Try these simple ways to lose weight while you build strength and confidence. Watch the video to get great weight loss tips and learn easy workouts you can try today.

Even though I’m a weight loss coach, even I don’t always have time to hit the gym for a full hour or two! But that’s why I know firsthand the benefits of small, intentional workouts done throughout the day. Try these fun and easy workouts to support your own weight loss and fitness goals no matter if you’re at home with the kids or busy at the office.

Morning Workouts

Mornings are the best time of day to hit it hard! Go for high intensity interval training. Need some extra motivation? Lay out your workout clothes the night before. Shoot for a 20-minute workout, but even if you can only do 5 minutes, that’s okay—do it! Every little bit helps your weight loss and fitness goals.

Morning Exercises:
1) Run in place for 1 minute
2) 1 set of arm exercises
3) 1 set of leg exercises
4) Repeat!

Do squats and lunges for strength training but also try adding arm presses in at the same time. This is great if you’re short on time because it gets your heart rate up and combines two workout moves in one. Bam!

Lunch Workouts

The goal at lunch isn’t to work up a sweat since you probably won’t be in workout clothes! Try these low intensity movement exercises to keep your brain fresh and alert and your body limber and strong.

Chair Pilates: Close your office door and do some simple chair Pilates! Or if you can snag an empty conference room, throw down a mat and do ten minutes of Pilates.

Office Walks: Walk around the office at lunch or march at your desk. You might feel silly at first but then you’ll feel great with more oxygenated blood circulating through you. Our bodies crave movement so start marching, pump your arms, do a little dance, whatever!

Mini Breaks: Little workouts throughout the day keep your brain in a happy state of mind and more likely to take advantage of a class or gym workout when the opportunity arises. Whether at work or at home, set a timer on your phone so every hour it reminds you to get up and walk around or do a quick set of exercises for five minutes.

Night Workouts

At the end of the day, the goal is to lower your body’s cortisol levels. Cortisol (the stress hormone) regulates your metabolism helping you lose weight and controls blood sugar levels and reduces inflammation. All these things directly influence your health, energy, and weight.

Ease insomnia: Many of the clients in my weight loss programs for women have trouble falling asleep. Relaxing yoga and meditation helps them sleep better and lose weight (for real!). So don’t worry about working up a sweat at night—that’s going to make it even more difficult to fall asleep!

Light Yoga: Destress from a busy day with some light yoga. Do a half of a sun salute and other standing yoga poses, or try lying on the ground with your legs up in the air against a wall.

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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

 

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

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.

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.

7 tips to help you stay alert all day without much sleep (as seen on Today.com)

Chicago weight loss and health coach, Stephanie Mansour, shares tips from top health and wellness experts on how to stay awake and alert all day when you haven’t had adequate sleep.  

how to stay alert with little sleep

When your energy levels are low, you don’t perform at your best or look your best. You may find yourself dragging through the day, your work slipping, your motivation lagging, your relationships becoming strained, and your overall happiness affected — not to mention, it makes losing weight and reaching your health and fitness goals more difficult.

As women with hectic schedules and a mountain of responsibilities, sometimes we don’t have the opportunity to get adequate sleep. A few days per week, you may be working on only a few hours of sleep. And while skipping sleep is never recommended, we’re not always going to get the rest we need, no matter how much we prioritize self-care.

So when you sometimes find yourself with heavy eyes, dragging through the day, wondering how you’re going to make it through your to-do list, I know you can use some advice on how to stay alert.

In a recent Today Show article, I shared 7 strategies you can implement today to get by on minimal sleep. Plus, you’ll get to watch my One-Minute Meditations for Peace of Mind (click here).

steph one-minute meditations for peace of mind

As a health coach and weight loss coach for women, my private weight loss coaching clients often ask me how they can boost their energy without resorting to calorie-packed sugary snacks or dehydrating caffeine.

In this article, I share advice from sleep expert, Dr. Christopher Colwell, Reiki practitioner, Erica Joy Dunn,  New York personal trainer, James Shapiro, physician and preventative health care expert, Dr. Yael Varnado, registered dietitian Dawn Jackson Blatner, certified Pilates instructor, Alessa Caridi, New York City cardiovascular surgeon, Dr. David A. Greuner,  and functional medicine specialist, Dr. Darshan Shah.

Their tips on how to stay awake and alert all day when you haven’t had much sleep include:

  • Skipping the lure of the snooze button to get up on your normal schedule
  • Moving to rev up your physical and mental motors
  • Taking a cold shower
  • Eating a hearty breakfast
  • Staying hydrated
  • Taking a moment to stretch
  • Adding energy-supporting supplements

Read the Today.com article here.

Best Meditation Apps As Featured on Today Show

Have you tried to meditate but find it really challenging? Are you looking for an easy way to meditate? Or, are you looking for meditations for weight loss? My latest article for the Today Show highlights the different aspects of the most popular meditation apps. And, if you’re looking for me to walk you through some Step It Up with Steph meditations, check out all of my video meditations for the Today Show here.


Are you looking for ways to meditate in Chicago? If you can’t make it to a Chicago meditation studio, or to a yoga class in Chicago, try out these meditation apps! And, no matter where you live in the country, these meditation apps are available to be downloaded right to your phone. I have personally used all of these meditation apps, and as a women’s health and fitness expert and a women’s weight loss coach, I inspect everything before I recommend things. I really liked these meditation apps to use throughout the day and also as a nighttime meditation and a morning meditation.

For my weight loss clients, I suggest meditating at least once a day with a meditation app. It’s important to feel connected to yourself (to your mind, body, and spirit) because this will help you to relax and unwind. When we are stressed, we’re more receptive to storing fat around the mid-section. As a weight loss coach for women, it’s my goal to help women feel more in charge and in control of their choices, bodies, and weight.

Stephanie Mansour is a women’s weight loss coach and the best health and fitness expert in Chicago. She’s a contributor for the Today Show and is a health and fitness expert on TV. She’s also a women’s weight loss expert. As a women’s weight loss coach, she helps women lose weight fast and make it last. She’s also a confidence coach and her wellness programs in Chicago are for women everywhere!

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.

The Best Lunges for Toned Legs with Fox Chicago’s Jenny Milkowski at Hi Fi Fitness

Join Chicago’s best health and fitness expert Stephanie Mansour and Fox Chicago’s Jenny Milkowski as Steph shows Jenny the best way to do lunges to get toned legs!

Are you ready to work your butt and legs? Chicago’s fitness expert Stephanie Mansour shows Jenny how to do “around the world lunges,” as Steph calls them. These lunges work your quads, glutes, hamstrings, and all of your stabilization muscles in your legs. You even have to work your core while doing these lunges! If you’re looking to tone and tighten your thighs, check out fitness expert Stephanie Mansour’s “lunges around the world.”

Chicago’s wellness coach Stephanie Mansour and Fox Chicago’s Jenny Milkowski were demonstrating these exercises at Hi Fi Fitness in Chicago! As a women’s weight loss coach for women in Chicago, Stephanie helps women get a sleeked and toned body while maintaining their results easily. Her private weight loss programs in Chicago are available for women everywhere! As a health coach for women, Steph looks at health in a holistic manner to really account for stress, weight, sleep, and all other health and fitness factors.

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.

Memorial Day Healthy BBQ Swaps As Seen On Fox Chicago

Confused about what to avoid vs what to eat at your next BBQ? Health & Fitness Expert Stephanie Mansour is here to share with us easy replacements for your favorites, including healthier and less fattening meats, desserts, chips, dips, and more!

Be a conscious consumer when you’re at those holiday weekend parties. When you go for the alcoholic drink, instead of using mixers of pop or juice, try flavored water, sparkling water, watermelon water, or plain water and adding your own lemon or lime juice to it! This trick will help you cut down on your sugar intake while still enjoying a drink.

When getting your protein in with meats, try a healthier relish to flavor your protein, like Slawsa. It has no preservatives, and significantly less sodium than ketchup and dill relish. Another protein option is to grab the grilled wings, instead of fried wings. Chicken wings are really popular and it’s likely that you’ll be able to find them grilled or baked, instead of fried.

For chips, make your own with sweet potatoes! You can slice them up and bake them in your oven at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes. This is a great alternative for regular potato chips that are loaded with salt and oils.

When looking to buy dips for your party, try making your own with greek yogurt and herbs. You’ll eliminate all the unnecessary additives and preservative this way, and can flavor the dip just how you like it! Another great option for a dip is a flavored hummus that you can dip vegetables into.

Desserts can be traps when you’re having fun at parties at want something a little sweet. Instead of going for the puddings and cakes, try making fruit kabobs and have some nuts on the side with them. A great way to add a little extra protein with your sweet treat!

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.

Health and Fitness Expert Stephanie Mansour is the best weight loss coach for women in Chicago and beyond! Her private weight loss programs have a holistic approach and focus on health, fitness, nutrition, emotional eating, and self-confidence. As a confidence coach for women in Chicago and beyond, Steph works privately with weight loss clients to boost their self-confidence and get them the bodies they want.