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Make the Most of Your Workout (As seen on The Jam)

Your time and your health are both precious, so every minute counts when you’re working out! Weight Loss Coach and Fitness Expert Stephanie Mansour appeared on The Jam to bring you several simple ways to maximize your results before, during, and even after a workout.

Work smarter not harder, right? This phrase can apply to your workouts too! (Even though you’re definitely working hard at those!) I’ve done the research and have here a few workout secrets to guarantee you are getting the most bang for your workout minute “buck” and boost your calorie burning to the next level! Let’s compare a few common moves and snacks below and I’ll clue you in on why one is superior over the other.

Let’s start with the lower body:

What’s better? Squats vs. Lunges.

No leg day is complete without a variation of either of these incredible, calorie-torching moves, but which is better if you’re pressed for time? Lunges isolate one leg at a time, so they can often feel a little more difficult; however, squats take the cake here as they will work both legs and both glutes at the same time! A key tip to remember when you’re squatting is to really SQUEEZE those butt cheeks at the top of the move. I like to tell my private weight loss clients to act as if they’re holding a diamond between their cheeks and they don’t want to let that baby go!

Moving on up to the arms!

What’s more effective for a bicep curl? Dumbbells vs. Bands

While it might seem like a hefty dumbbell weight would provide more challenge than a resistance band, that’s simply not true when it comes to toning your arms! The reason why is simple once you see it in action. The resistance band provides tension throughout the entire movement, not just on the curl up, but also on the way down. By keeping that tension on the muscle while it contracts you’re engaging the entire length of your biceps.

Meet me in the middle, it’s time for the core!

A is for Abs! Plank vs. Crunches

It’s so important to strengthen your core. This will lead to better posture, better breathing and even reduce or prevent lower back pain. So which is a better use of your training time, crunches or a plank? If you answered plank–you got it! A plank will work the entire core: the internal and external obliques, the rectus abdominis, the transverse abdominis, etc. It’ll even hit your glutes (squeeze!) and your shoulders. You can perform a plank on your hands in traditional push-up position or down on your forearms if your wrists need a break.

What you put inside your body is as important as how you move it!

Pre-Workout Smoothie Add-Ins: Almond Butter vs. Tofu

Nut butters are a popular add-in for health shakes, but they aren’t actually the best choice for before a workout. Here’s the skinny: almond butters contain a lot of fat, which can slow you down during your activity and even cause muscle cramps! Not good! Now what’s a yummy alternative that will provide better energy to burn? You probably are used to eating tofu as part of a tasty stir-fry meal or in a savory soup, but did you realize you can also blend it into a smoothie?! Nutrient-dense, protein-packed House Foods Tofu will give you the boost you need to power through a tough workout and bonus: it’s delicious!

Don’t forget about post-workout nutrition!

Post-Workout Snack Time: Almonds Milk vs. Chocolate Milk

You drank your tofu smoothie, you did your squats, you sweat your way through that workout, and now it’s time recover with a snack. What do you grab? Chocolate milk is gaining popularity in the fitness community as an after workout  go-to for good reason! It’s got protein, it’s got carbohydrates, it will instantly go to work restoring your body’s glycogen stores that were likely depleted from that intense gym session.

Hope you enjoy making use of these workout-enhancing tips!

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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.

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Steph recommends House Foods Tofu

Make the Most of Your Workout