Tag Archives: health and fitness

Best Sports Bras from Women’s Health & Drinks To Avoid Pre-Workout

As a personal trainer I spend at least a portion of every single day in a sports bra. As you can imagine I’ve become a bit of  an expert on which brands and styles offer the best support for their price! When Women’s Health Magazine asked for recommendations from professionals it was a no-brainer for me!

Steph smiling in red dress

As a private weight loss coach for women in Chicago and across the country, I enjoy contributing as a health and fitness expert for many online publications. I love helping women find the best options available to help them reach their health goals and enjoy the process along the way!

Check out a few of the most recent articles I’ve been quoted in below.

Best Sports Bra for a Workout

Click here to see which sports bra got my vote for a high impact workout in Women’s Health Magazine online.

Pre-Workout Drinks to Avoid 

It’s both important to stay well-hydrated throughout the day and to fuel up before a workout. But do you know which kinds of drinks to grab on your way to the gym and which you would do better to avoid?

Turns out there are 12 things you should never drink before a workout. Find out what they are on the Eat This, Not That website here.

Looking to Spice Up Your Workout? Check out these killer moves from SELF magazine that top celebrity trainers use for their A-List clients!

Click here to find out why (and how!) you should incorporate a slam ball into your exercise toolbox.

Step Up Your Squat Game With This Simple Tweak

Target your core more intensely and squat deeper with the single-arm kettlebell rack squat. Click here to read up on how to perform this new move safely and make those fitness gains!

Build Buns of Steel with the Pistol Squat

Celeb powerhouse Jessica Biel recently showed off this ultra-challenging move on her Instagram page. Read my thoughts on this front and back body total burner here. It’s an advanced movement, so I’ve included my recommended starter exercise to build your strength and mobility up for future one-legged squatting success!

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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

4 Healthy Tricks to Beat the Midday Slump (As Seen on Fox Chicago)

Looking for a midday pick-me-up? As a Health & Wellness Expert, Fox Chicago brought me in to show off some great workout moves you can do at your desk, and how to boost your mood and energy with scented essential oils.

What exactly is a midday slump?

Based on our circadian rhythm, the afternoon is when our bodies are naturally ready for another little snooze! Unfortunately, the US isn’t Spain and we don’t have any built-in siesta time to close down the office and take a nap in the middle of the day. Not only that, but if you’re like many of my private weight loss clients who are busy and successful women–you simply can’t miss a second of your workday! If the midday slump is getting you down, I’ve got some tips to pick you up!

Tip #1: Get a Mini Workout in at Your Desk

When the midday slump hits, start moving around at your desk. Doing something as simple as shrugging your shoulders up to your ears and down again can wake you up and get the blood flowing. Try pumping your arms up in the air too. This improves circulation and helps with stress reduction.

Tip #2: Add Some Excitement to Your Calendar

Plan a trip that you can look forward to.  I recently visited Red Mountain Resort in Utah for a health and wellness vacation! I had a wonderful time there, and what’s even more exciting is that I got to look forward to this trip for an entire month!

If I hit a midday slump, I just looked up all of the resort’s daily activities, spa services, and menus. The excitement served as a pick-me-up. I always encourage my private weight loss clients to plan a trip like this, or just to have a fun potluck with friends on the calendar, so that they always have something to look forward to!

Tip #3: Use Aromatherapy to Engage Your Brain

Scents that wake you up and help keep you alert, focused, and aware include peppermint, citrus, and ginger. I love using essential oils to help de-stress and also re-energize during the day.

My private weight loss clients also enjoy using more soothing scents at night to help them unwind. Try a spritz of lavender on your pillow for deep, sweet dreams.

Tip #4: Step Up Your Afternoon Snacks

When you’re in a slump, it’s easy to reach for another cup of coffee or make a vending machine run. But the carbs and sugar will only momentarily pick you up and then make you crash even harder. Drink tea instead or eat healthy protein bars that taste like coffee! Any healthy, sweet treat with low sugar content is a good choice. If you have a sweet tooth, try these yummy SmartSweets gummy bears!

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

How to Feel Less Self-Conscious at the Gym & Maintain Your Workouts (As Seen on Fox Chicago)

If you don’t know where to start when it comes to working out at the gym, and the thought of stepping foot inside gives you anxiety, have no fear! As a Health & Fitness Expert, I stopped by Fox Chicago to provide ways to feel less self-conscious and how to maintain motivation for working out.

How can you stick to a workout routine?

The mental side of getting in shape is certainly half the battle. As a private weight loss coach for women, these are my top tips:

1. Think about your big reason WHY.

The bigger the reason why the easier the how! What is your big reason for getting healthy? If you’re struggling to get motivated, start by simply thinking about the short-term results. Dig deep and get specific. Ask, “Why do I want to workout today? How will it help me today?”

2. Reinforce what you like about your body.

Part of the work I do as a weight loss coach is to help my clients change their self-talk. What we focus on grows, so focus on the positive. You will start to feel better inside. And the great news? When you feel good, you make good choices! It’s going to be much easier to get to the gym if you’ve practiced some self-love and given yourself a pep talk before you ever leave your house.

3. Get in tune with how exercise makes you feel.

Keep a journal and write down how you feel after every workout whether it’s just a walk or time spent at the gym. You’ll have it to look back on for motivation and inspiration. It will also help you be more aware of your body and the direct benefits of exercise to your emotional and mental health.

What if you’re intimidated or self-conscious about going to the gym?

Here are my top tips to feel more confident in the gym:

1. Exude confidence by smiling and using good posture.

When our outward body language is confident, it actually affects us on deeper level. The body starts to release the hormones to match your facial and body positions. Fake it till you make it!

But hey, looking the part never hurt either and I encourage all my private weight loss clients to invest in the right shoes and a gym outfit they feel good in. Never underestimate the power of a cute outfit!

2. Stick to dumbbells (NOT machines)!

Fiddling with cable machines can be stressful and confusing! Don’t mess with the equipment when you first get started. It can intimidate you! Stick to dumbbells unless you’ve had a trainer walk you through all the strength training machines.

3. Put earphones in WITHOUT music so you can hear what’s going on around you.

Music pumps you up, but if you’re in a new surrounding–don’t put the music on! Put in the earbuds, but instead listen to your surroundings and take in the new environment. It will help you feel more in control and that will boost your confidence.

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 Tips to Refresh Your Commitment To Your Health & Fitness Goals (As Seen on ABC Chicago)

Old habits die hard. But what can we do when we know WHAT to do, but we’re just not doing it? As a Health and Fitness Expert, I stopped by ABC Chicago to help everyone hop to it this spring and refresh their commitments to their health & fitness goals.

 

1. Step It Up One Craving at a Time
You know you’re not supposed to eat the ice cream at night or order the burger with fries, but you do it anyway. That’s because for many women who are trying to lose weight, it’s an all or nothing mentality. If you’re going to order the fries, you might as well have your favorite dessert too because the whole day is shot. However, this mentality can actually sabotage weight loss efforts! Instead, pick and choose ways to cut calories, and do it over a longer period of time (like two weeks) instead of committing to doing it every single day to get faster results. Slow and steady wins the race!

2. Chop Your Goal in Half
No one likes to feel like they’re coming up short. Many of my clients in my weight loss programs  for women struggle because their goals are too big. If you consistently miss your goal, chop it in half! Go for half the number of workouts, half the pounds, half the inches, etc.

3. Pattern Interrupt – Get Out of Town!
Changing your patterns in what you see, what you hear, and where you go everyday; it can really help with making positive changes in your life. I recently went to Canyon Ranch in Tucson, Arizona. It was an amazing trip to a luxurious health & wellness resort. Even their apples tasted better, I swear! 🙂 It was great to experience a different environment and revamp my own personal health & wellness routines at such a beautiful location.

4. Wait & Meditate – Give time to reconnect with yourself
Using meditation to help you with your goals is a great idea. Through meditation, you’re able to still the mind and create a deeper connection with yourself. To really connect with your deepest self, you must take time to sit in peace and quiet, to breath and reflect.

5. Know Your WHY
The bigger your why and your motivation, the easier the how.

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 Simple Detox Tips and How to Detox to Lose Weight (As Seen on WCIU TV)

Health & Fitness Expert Stephanie Mansour is here with 5 ways to detox after a weekend full of festivities. Check out the video for great detox tips Steph shared on The Jam and keep reading to learn more!

1. Sip on a Mocktail

Start your day off right by drinking something green! Not into juicing on your own? Don’t want to eat vegetables first thing in the morning? Buy premade green juices and pair a juice with a hard boiled egg for a healthy breakfast! Look for green juices with lower amounts of sugar made with real vegetables. Many of my private weight loss clients will drink their greens if they’re on the go. It’s an easy way to start the day on a positive and healthy note!

2. Herb-A-Licious
Herbs and spices are great metabolism boosters. Time to ignite some fire into your body so that you can burn fat easily! Add in some red pepper flakes or turmeric to your sauces or cooked vegetables for lunch or dinner. Also, ginger has great anti-inflammatory properties that will help to reduce inflammation in your body. Time to get rid of the bloat by using some fresh ginger in your salad dressings or smoothies!

3. Lean Protein
Another key for weight loss is to eat lean protein. What is lean protein? How does eating protein help with weight loss? Lean protein is a nice grilled piece of chicken, or some ground up low fat turkey meat, or protein powder, or eggs. The list goes on and on! Eating protein helps with weight loss because it helps to stabilize blood sugar levels and keeps you feeling full. As a private weight loss coach for women, I recommend that all of my clients eat protein every few hours to keep them energized and to ward off cravings.

4. Sweat It Out
As a private weight loss coach for women, I focus on high intensity interval training workouts when my clients need to sweat. However, if you’re looking for simple ways to detox, sweat it out! Don’t focus so much on strength training. Instead, focus on cardio bursts that will get your heart rate up and cause you to sweat. If you’re feeling really lazy, get into a sauna or steam room to help you sweat. Sweating helps cleanse the body of toxins, which is essential for a detox.

5. Snooze Peacefully
Many of my private weight loss clients are busy and successful – but sometimes running on little or no sleep! Sleep is important for weight loss because it’s the body’s time to repair itself. Sometimes if my private weight loss clients aren’t getting enough sleep, I will recommend that they skip their workout and sleep longer in the morning, or take a nap during the day.

As you can see, there are many ways to detox. If you can implement all of these tips this week, you will be well on your way to losing weight and feeling lighter! 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

Steph Mansour on The Jam with 5 Ways to Detox

5 Ways to Sneak in a Holiday Workout (As Seen on Fox 32)

Health and Fitness Expert and Weight Loss Coach Stephanie Mansour stopped by Fox 32 to share five great ways to sneak in a holiday workout. If you have presents to wrap, veggies to cut, and holiday parties to attend these workouts are for you!

These no-excuse workouts will help you feel positive about your weight loss goals even if you don’t have time to hit the gym. My clients in my weight loss programs for women often get in a cycle of guilt for not maintaining their fitness routines during the holidays, which then makes them feel badly about themselves, which then just makes them binge eat more!

Here’s how to break the cycle and step up your holiday fitness with five easy ways to sneak in a workout. (Psst, there is a BONUS sixth workout!)

Present Wrapping Workouts
Do calf raises while wrapping presents! With your abs in tight, come up and down and up and down on your tip toes.

After the gift is wrapped, spread your hands wide on the counter and do 10 table top push-ups. Repeat with every gift.

Kitchen Prep Workouts
For every vegetable you chop, do a lat pull down. Hold your arms high above your head like you have dumbbells in them, then squeeze your shoulder blades together and use your lats to pull your arms down into a cactus position at your side. Raise and lower ten times.

Next, open the arms out away from you in a ‘T’, palms facing back, and squeeze your shoulder blades pulsing your arms back and forth.

Both of these workouts improve your posture and alignment to help you feel amazing in your party dresses!

Cocktail Party Workouts
Workout while at a holiday party? You bet!

Grab your cocktail and while you mingle with your friends, pulse your abs in and out! This is a great core workout and no one will even know you’re doing it!

BONUS:
Tone your tush while mingling at parties! Tighten your butt cheeks while you walk around to help tone your glutes. When standing still and chatting, continue to squeeze them together for a sneaky (and effective!) booty workout!

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.

Activate Your Core: Double Plank Partner Workout with Jenny Milkowksi

Ready to step up your core workout? Weight Loss Coach and Fitness Expert Stephanie Mansour teams up with TV Personality Jenny Milkowski to bring you a challenging double plank partner workout.

If you can do a plank on your own on the floor for a minute, try taking your core workout to the next level. This double plank is intense and so amazing for building strong abs, strong back muscles, and strong shoulders and wrists. You can’t go wrong with this fun and challenging partner workout.

Watch the video to learn the technique then grab your bestie for a fun fitness challenge. I’m always coaching my clients in my private weight loss programs for women to rethink health and fitness to make it more fun.

The best way to lose weight and make it last is to switch up your workouts and find creative ways to challenge yourself and keep healthy habits at the front of your mind all day long.

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.

Get Fit with These Present Wrapping Hacks (As Seen on Fox 32)

Health & Fitness Expert Stephanie Mansour brings present wrapping hacks to Fox 32 for a healthier holiday season. Learn how to turn the most common holiday task into a fun and fit workout!

You have to wrap presents, so why not workout at the same time? It might sound silly to exercise while cutting and taping up gifts, but it will help you maintain your weight loss goals (and have a bit of fun while you’re at it!).

Clients in my weight loss programs for women often tell me how much they struggle to maintain their weight and fitness goals throughout the holidays. It’s such a busy time and working out is often the first thing to go.

Try these four present wrapping hacks to work up a sweat and feel great throughout the holidays!

Step 1: Cutting the Paper
Stand on your tip toes while cutting the paper for the present. This works your calves and lower legs.

Step 2: Wrapping the Present
Hold a squat while you wrap the gift (abs in tight!). This works your core, legs, and glutes.

Step 3: To the Tree
Take the present to the tree, but first do 10 alternate lunges per leg. This is good cardio and strength building!

Step 4: Stacking the Gifts
After the lunges, you’re close to the floor, so go ahead and sit down for this next workout!

Roll back into a half roll, abs in tight, take the present and do side crosses. Do 20 and then place the gift under the Christmas tree and start the whole workout routine over again. Woohoo!

As a weight loss coach, I know it’s vital for health to take every day chores and tasks and make them more fun and active! With a little creativity, you can pursue your best health and still check everything off your to-do list!

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.