Tag Archives: holidays

Avoid Holiday Weight Gain with Ease (As Seen on Fox Chicago)

Who doesn’t love the holidays? Gatherings with family, friends, and a plethora of delicious food is cause for celebration…but can also come with a side of stress! If you’re worried about gaining the average 5-10lbs over the holidays, set your mind at ease by watching this interview Fitness Expert and Weight Loss Coach Stephanie Mansour gave on Fox Chicago.

My advice for beating the holiday blues, both mentally and physically, can be summed up in the following 3 steps.

Prioritize Yourself

As I like to remind my private weight loss clients, keeping stress to a minimum is extra important over the hectic holidays!

Grab your planner and literally pencil in your “me” time. Schedule your workouts so you won’t miss them or run out of time.

Plan out your shopping trips so you always have fresh, healthy food available.

Finally, be sure to also schedule yourself quality self-care time. This can be something as fancy as booking a massage or facial, or even as simple as a bubble bath or painting your toenails at home!

Get Checked Out by Professionals

This is a big one because a healthy weight starts with healthy joints. I recently visited the Illinois Bone & Joint Institute and can’t recommend them enough if you’re local to this area! Their team of orthopedic physicians, therapists, and the rest of the health and wellness staff will provide you with a comprehensive exam to get you back to your optimal joint movement!

You can’t push yourself in the gym if you have a hurt shoulder or knee constantly flaring up. If you’re in physical pain or have an injury that’s holding you back from achieving your goals, schedule a doctor’s visit and have them address anything ailing you.

Even if you aren’t currently in pain, still go ahead and schedule your annual physical, health is wealth!

Make Those Mental Gains

Train your brain for success this holiday season! By rewiring the way you talk to yourself, you put yourself in a much better frame of mind where true and lasting weight loss can happen.

You should never speak to yourself, even in your head, in a way that you wouldn’t talk to your best friend. I’ll give some examples about what I mean by that.

  • Instead of feeling guilty and beating yourself up for eating a single cookie, try focusing on how good that cookie was and how happy you were to enjoy one.
  • Rather than getting down on yourself if you missed a workout, think of all the positive, healthy things you did accomplish that day (drinking plenty of water, meditating, eating a lot of vegetables)
  • Let go of the idea that you’re absolutely going to gain weight over the holidays and instead tell yourself how proud you are every time you make it to your scheduled workouts or turn down treats in favor of more healthy options.


I hope these tips help you feel more confident going into your holiday season. I am thankful to you for reading and wish a merry health to you all!

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


Day After Thanksgiving Detox As Seen on FOX Chicago

Feeling a little stuffed after Thanksgiving weekend? If you’re looking for ways to reset your system and lose the bloat after too much turkey and stuffing, you’re in the right place. Our Health & Fitness Expert Stephanie Mansour shows us how with 5 easy ways to deflate like a balloon and shrink your waistline in 3 days or less.

1. Load up on the anti-inflammatory foods! Green leafy vegetables, COOKED vegetables (not raw – ditch the salads!) are the easiest for your body to digest and will help reduce bloat. Kale and spinach are great green, leafy vegetables.

2. Ginger & other healthy spices. Speed up your metabolism by getting things moving!

3. Next, drink plenty of water, sparkling water, or coconut water. If you MUST drink soda, have a sip and then pour the rest out. Drinking tea, like ginger tea, will also help with soothing the stomach. Adding some lemon to your water is another great addition to help detox.

4. Speaking of getting things moving, pick up a probiotic to help get things moving and improve your gut health. I like these probiotics. You want to get things moving on the inside to help clear out your system.

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.


Ready. Set. Stress-Free Travel.

Whether you’re reading this post already poolside on your last summer get-a-way, or you’re leaving today for an overnight adventure, I have the traveling tips you need to make sure your Labor Day weekend is stress-free and healthy! I recently joined the team at abc7 Chicago to talk travel tactics! 

If your trip includes plans to unwind by indulging in a few cocktails, make sure you also stay hydrated with healthy fluids. In addition to water, there are drinks that will replenish your electrolytes to keep you feeling great. One that I recommend is  WTRMLN WTR. This drink has no sugar additives and is made up of only three ingredients. As an added bonus- WTRMLN WTR contains six times the electrolytes of competitor sports drinks! My favorite way to enjoy it? In a white wine spritzer for a little watermelon infused twist!

Traveling can be exhausting (especially if you’re traveling with kids!), so in order to keep your natural energy flow, I recommend avoiding extra coffee and energy drinks during travel days. Instead, do some stretching during your road trip pit stops or while standing in line at the airport. Stretching helps you regain your energy in a natural way.

If you’re anything like me and suffer from motion sickness, you need to include some extra planning before you jet off. Ginger is a natural form of nausea relief, so packing things like ginger candy, Gingerade Kombucha, and ginger ale can really help! If you don’t suffer from motion sickness, but suffer from travel stress or anxiety, how about packing a stress ball in your carryon? Take a few squeezes to get some relief!

Now, what about healthy food options while traveling? You can’t avoid eating (nor should you), but in order to feel good, you have to make good choices. Look for chips or crackers that have some health benefits. I really like popchips because they have ½ the fat of regular potato chips. If you’re looking for a healthy snack bar that won’t melt in the heat of the car or bottom of a purse, try Evo hemp bars. They come in many flavors and are packed with hunger satisfying protein.

Lastly, if you’re looking to maximize upgrades on your trip, there are a few things you can do to enhance your probability of getting upgraded. Think outside the box and offer to write a review for a hotel, front desk manager or gate agent at the airport. Aside from increasing your probability of an upgrade, you will also make their day! Holiday weekends are very stressful for people in the travel and hospitality industry. So, you really can’t go wrong with this tactic.

Wherever your holiday weekend takes you, I hope it’s stress-free, healthy, safe and FUN! Interested in more health and fitness tips? Tune in to Step It Up With Steph here.

Interested in learning more about my private weight loss programs for women? Click here to learn more and apply for a complimentary Signature Slimdown Session.

How To Feel Confident At Your Holiday Parties


Tis the season of…body anxiety? If you suffer from poor body image and lack confidence when you’re out with colleagues or friends, check out these tips to feel more comfortable and happy in your own skin:

  • Find an outfit or makeup that accentuates a body part that you DO like instead of trying to find an outfit that covers something up. By focusing on your positive, favorite feature, you’ll be feeling more confident in your own skin.
  • Accept a compliment! Give the compliment giver the gift of you being able to receive it. It feels great making other people feel good, right? So don’t let your own insecurities drag the other person down. Graciously accept compliments, whether or not you believe them!
  • Stand tall and pull your abs in like you’re zipping a tight pair of pants. Proper posture immediately signals to others that you are confident. You are owning your own space and are carrying yourself strongly. Bring your shoulders up to your ears, back, and down, and pull in your low abs.
  • Pump yourself up! Tell yourself 5 things you like about yourself before you walk into a holiday party. Is this hard? Try to do it anyways, and focus on these positive traits or body parts whenever you start engaging in negative self talk.

And, speaking of self talk, if you’re interested in totally revamping how you talk about and view yourself, check out my workbook + videos! It’s 50% off for a limited time:

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The Mentality You Need for Holiday ME Time

Did you see my clip on HLN’s Morning Express with Robin Meade? It aired nationally every hour Thanksgiving morning! Here’s the 30 second clip:

The holidays are upon us – with shopping, parties, and family gatherings, a lot of people put their health & well-being on the back burner. But, during this time it is CRUCIAL to carve out time and energy for yourself! You must tell yourself, others, and the universe that, “Hey! I’m important too!” Here are a few ways and a few mentalities to fit in your “me” time this holiday season:

Think about why you value yourself and why you are important: Are you the glue that holds your family together? Do your co-workers count on you to be extra chipper during the holidays? Do you love to volunteer with your favorite charity? Whatever it is, people count on you and you are important! Therefore, take yourself seriously and know that because you are important, you deserve to place importance on all of you – your mental and physical well-being – over the holidays.

Look at your calendar: Can you go late to an event? Will a 30 minute workout in your living room really make you too late for a party? The answer is usually….NO! By making 30 minutes a priority for yourself, you will feel more energized, more relaxed, and more peaceful and better able to enjoy your event.

Analyze your food choices: Do you always seem to binge on cookies at a mid-afternoon meeting? Or are the buttery and fattening appetizers looking great this time of year? Make sure you don’t show up to events starving! This will help you avoid cravings and food binges. By eating every 3 – 4 hours, you’re keeping your blood sugar levels stable and avoiding cravings that kick in when your body just needs more fuel.

– Finally, think about your state of mind: Are you pushing off working out until the new year? Is 2012 “your year”? If so, what are you waiting for? One minute of exercise is 100% better than 0 minutes. Step It Up NOW and start getting into the groove before the new year – it will be that much easier to fully commit to yourself in a few weeks if you’ve gotten a jump-start now.


P.S. Jump-start your commitment to yourself today, and receive 50% off my Workbook + videos to feel more confident and empowered in your body:

Post-Thanksgiving Detox Tips!

Whether you ended up over-eating yesterday or if you’re just looking to get back to normal, here are some detox tips:

  • Do some yoga twists: Twists wring out your internal organs and improve digestion. Sitting, standing, or lying down, gently twist to one side and breathe. It’s almost like a massage to your internal organs! Then slowly switch sides.
  • Drink tons and tons of water: Water is very cleansing. By lubricating your body, you’ll allow not only your digestive system to work more effectively but you’ll also bring more energy and mobility to your muscles and joints.
  • Sweat it out: Hit the gym or your living room. Break a sweat by doing interval cardio on a cardio machine at the gym, or by running in place or dancing around to your favorite song in your living room. Literally, sweat out the toxins!

What’s your favorite detox activity, food, or drink? Let us know in the comments below!


Skipping Workouts: Holiday Excuses, or Reasons?

Today’s post is inspired by a fab new book I am reading, “How Sweaty Mamas”. This book talks about anything and everything that may get in the way of moms working out (in fact, it’s very similar to my 30 Day Workbook in that it helps to get to the crux of the issue.)

We all KNOW that working out and being healthy are good things for us to do, and a lot of us even know how we could achieve our goals. But what’s lacking is the “motivation”…I put “motivation” in quotes because I don’t really believe we are lacking the motivation. Instead, what we are lacking is the personal value and priority we place on doing good things for ourselves – perhaps because we don’t like our bodies, or perhaps because we place children or events before ourselves. I really like this excerpt from the book, which talks about the difference between excuses and reasons:

As for good reasons to miss a workout, those are always clear and definitive; they are often out of your control and don’t require any convincing on your part. You have a fever; your child vomited in the back seat on the way to the gym; your boss asked you to stay late to finish a project. You might have access to a Plan B workout option, but if you don’t, no need to feel guilt. This is especially important for those who tend to err on the side of exercising at all costs; who don’t always recognize a good reason to skip a workout when they should.”

I always work to instill in my clients the difference between being “too tired” and being “too lazy/full of excuses”. What do you think? And with the holidays coming up, can you foresee any good reasons or excuses for skipping workouts? Let me know in the comments below!

Also, if you’re interested in my 30 Day Workbook to keep you mentally strong with your workouts and healthy eating this holiday season, I’ve added 30 new videos to the workbook! I’m coaching you day by day via video AND through the workbook, so check it out:

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