Tag Archives: workout tips

Screw The Scale (As Seen on The Doctors)

Have you been seeing the Screw the Scale movement going around on social media? Health and Fitness Expert and Women’s Weight Loss Coach Stephanie Mansour met up the cast of The Doctors to explain this new trend.

Does achieving the perfect body potentially mean gaining weight? Yes!

This movement is all about creating and building a body that makes you feel comfortable, confident, and happy regardless what that pesky scale says.

Your health is so much more than one number.

Performing strength training exercises with weights can give you that hourglass shape with the curves of your dreams. Especially when paired with a healthy diet to properly fuel and nourish your body.

For a meal plan to support your growing muscles check out my recipe book!

If you’re new to the idea of strength training and feeling a little intimidated by the weight room at the gym, it’s all good. I’ll show you how to strength train at home so you can get started on looking and feeling your best right now!

I recommend that you start by incorporating 30 minutes of strength training three times per week.

In the video above I demo two great moves to get you started.

  1. Curtsy Lunge + Leg Lift (total lower body builder)
  2. Overhead Press + Side Crunch (Arms & Abs)

Act Like a Lady & Build That Booty

Start from standing. Step your left leg behind you and to the right. Your thighs should be crossed and both knees should be bending like you’re taking a bow. Be sure to keep that front knee directly over the front ankle.

Return to standing and immediately extend the left leg out to the side. This guarantees you’re hitting every major part of the glutes for a firm, round booty!

Do 10 of these before switching to your right leg, and repeat the exercise three total times during your workout.

Press It Up & Crunch It Down

Grab some light weights (if you don’t have dumbbells, you can use household items such as laundry detergent or even a gallon of milk!). Plant your feet firmly hip width apart. Now bend those elbows and raise your arms so you’re holding the weights in line with your ears, arms at about 90 degrees. Keeping your abs in tight, press the weights up and above your head.

Lower them back down in line with your ears and lift your left knee up towards your left elbow. Then press your weights back up, lower down, and do a side crunch on your right side.

Try to do 10 presses with five crunches on each side before resting. Repeat the entire exercise three times total.

Don’t feel badly if you can’t do the total amount of suggested reps right away, if these moves are new to you it’s okay to go slow and steady! Build up that strength and balance.

Not only will you begin to feel more empowered and in control when you focus on building your muscles, but the more muscles you add, the more fat that muscle will burn for you. Making this a super effective route towards weight loss and why I incorporate strength training in my own private weight loss clients routines.

Here are some extra moves that can be easily added into your existing daily routine! Whether you’re watching TV, working in the kitchen, or taking a walk, I’ve got ways for you to Step It Up!

Check out my Step It Up With Steph DVD for even more home workout goodness!

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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

5 Ways To Stay Healthy Over the Holidays (As Seen on HLN)

Don’t spend another holiday season in the deprivation doldrums. Set yourself up for long-term success with these five inspired tips from Health and Fitness Expert and Women’s Private Weight Loss Coach Stephanie Mansour.

Gift yourself some peace of mind from the stress of holiday weight gain with these fit hacks.

Cut Yourself a Deal

Learn to use If/When conditions for yourself.

Example:  If  you choose to go to happy hour after work and skip your scheduled workout, then you will set your alarm for five minutes earlier the next morning. When that alarm goes off, get up, put on your workout shoes, and perform 50 squats or simply jog in place, anything to get your heart rate up before you jump in the shower!

Hydrate Between Drinks

My private weight loss clients swear by these boozy tips for this time of year! (They still apply for mocktails too)

Sipping on hot cocktails? Order an ice cold glass of water after each drink.

Indulging in a cold boozy beverage? Order warm water with lemon between every cocktail.

Simple, right?

Work Off the Treats Before You Eat

Finding time to work out during the holidays can get tricky, but even just doing a little bit of a workout is better than nothing.

Know you’re heading to a party with your favorite baked goods? If you know you’re going to have a couple treats, figure out roughly how many extra calories you want to have. Then do a little workout to prepare for the snacking.

Example: One minute of squats or kettlebell swings burns around 25 calories. If you do four rounds of squats at one minute each, boom, you have an extra 100 calories to play with!

Late Night Temptations

An important part of losing weight and keeping it off is learning to recognize when you may have an incoming binge situation. Use the following weight loss tips to save yourself from regret.

Feeling the urge to reach for another cookie from the tray in your kitchen or an extra piece of fudge from the fridge? Before you do….

Try putting on hand lotion or painting your fingernails! I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to eat a cookie that tastes like lotion and freshly-painted nails means no picking anything up until they dry! This gives you a chance to move passed the momentary craving without over-indulging. Plus, now you have beautiful nails and/or are moisturized!

Make Micronutrients Mandatory

I incorporate this tip into all my weight loss programs for women, even though it’s the last on the list– it’s crucial!

Every night, no matter if you’ve eaten healthy or unhealthy the entire day, make eating a bowl of fruits or veggies a part of your routine.

Micronutrients are the essential vitamins and minerals found in food. Vegetables and fruits are super rich in them, so treat yourself to a large serving in the evenings and your body will thank you!

Happy Holidays!
-Steph

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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

7 Signs Your Weight Loss Program Is Working + An Ab Challenge!

Contrary to popular belief, the scale is not the best indicator of physical fitness. If you’ve been working hard on your fitness goals and the scale hasn’t budged– don’t be discouraged! Health and Fitness Expert and Women’s Weight Loss Coach Stephanie Mansour recently contributed to a fantastic article covering all the signs that your current program is working, check it out below!

I try to stress to all my private weight loss clients, the importance of taking measurements at the start of any program. This way you can make note of any changes, especially in your hips and waist! Sometimes you will lose inches despite your weight staying the same.

Additionally, be aware of how your clothes are fitting, and how your overall energy is.

Click here to read the rest of the 7 signs that you’re making progress!

Who doesn’t love a good ab workout?? Whether you’re into yoga, pilates, piyo, crossfit, or another form of training, a strong core is a solid foundation for any fitness practice.

Ab wheels can be found at most local gyms or purchased for at-home use. Doing ab roll-outs challenges your entire core, of course, but it also can hit your upper back muscles, your shoulders, and both your biceps and triceps!

Check out this article for different ways to use your ab wheel or build up strength before using it!

If possible, get a personal trainer to show you how to use the ab wheel, this is something I always do for my own weight loss clients so I can give them proper form cues!

If you’re someone who prefers to work out from the comfort of your own home as opposed to a potentially busy gym near you, I have my Step It Up With Steph DVD available for purchase! It includes hiit cardio workouts, a pilates ab routine, even yoga and meditation; the whole package!

BONUS! 6 Mental Tricks for combating holiday weight gain.

Holidays can be full of temptation; after work cocktails, everybody bringing trays of baked goods into the office, your mom’s homemade pies, etc. Learn a few of my tested mental tricks and stay on track while not feeling deprived!

From one word mantras, to rescheduling missed workouts, to fighting off sugar cravings– I’ve got you covered.

Just follow this link to learn those hacks!

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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

How To Bounce Back Into Working Out From A Workout Rut (As Seen on Fox NYC)

Chicago Weight Loss Coach and Fitness Expert Stephanie Mansour stopped by Fox NYC to deliver some professional advice for getting back into a gym routine this fall. However long you’ve been stuck in that rut, whether a few weeks or even a few years, these simple tips will have you back in the habit in no time!

If you’ve read any of my other workout tip blogs, you’ve likely seen me use the phrase “shop ’til you drop”. It’s a concept my private weight loss clients know very well! This time around though, I don’t mean that you have to literally go out and spend money.

Go Shopping In Your Own Closet

Hear me out! Bust out a pair of workout shoes that you haven’t worn in a while and put them on. Just tell yourself that you’re “testing them out”. You can also do this with a workout shirt or pair of capri pants, but this is step one; getting used to putting on your gear again!

Congratulate Yourself

Yes, already! You accomplished the first step, now do something to make yourself feel good about it. Whether you choose to give yourself a card (To Steph, Love Steph!), blow up some balloons, or even give yourself a high-five, any sort of validation to celebrate this new start. Don’t feel silly about it, you deserve to start your new fitness journey off on a positive note!

Get Motivated with Mantras

I’m a huge proponent of mantras and affirmations. What I want you to do is get a piece of paper and physically write out a mantra that will get you motivated. The trick here is to make the mantra in the present tense, so an example would be:

I love my body and working out makes me feel good” as opposed to “I will work out, so that I will feel better and love my body more”.

By manipulating the tense of your mantra, you’re essentially tricking your subconscious into believing it and training your brain to act in accordance with the affirmation.

For more on using mantras and affirmations to change your life and build your confidence check out my 30 day workbook.

Pencil Yourself In

Grab your calendar and let’s make a plan. Schedule out your workouts by the week or even for a full month, but remember to set realistic goals. Now you’ll see it, you’re planned for it, you’ll be less likely to cancel on yourself!

Reward Yourself For Doing the Work

Once you’ve ditched the rut and are back on your feet movin’ and groovin’, now it’s alright to treat yourself a little. With something healthy that is! Set milestones and buy yourself a new workout top or jacket when you’ve reached your goal workouts for the week or month.

I believe in you, you got this, now get out there and enjoy your fitness journey!

 

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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

Best Workout for Weight Loss & How To Burn More Calories In Yoga

During my work as a private weight loss coach for women, I am frequently consulted for my take on the latest fitness trends. I want everyone to have access to the best data that will help them accomplish their goals. From mental tricks to breakdowns of how to work out like the top celebs, check out my most recent articles below!

Have you been out of the gym for a while?

Struggling with working out on a consistent basis? Don’t beat yourself up over it, it happens to all of us! Check out this article from NBC where I highlight six mental “tricks” you can employ to get back in the exercise habit.

Click here for those 6 tricks!

Slide Into A New Move

I gave my input on these sliding hamstring curls that Blake Lively’s trainer uses to sculpt and strengthen client’s lower bodies.

Check it out here to learn how to execute the move safely and with correct form. (Bonus! It totally works your core at the same time!)

Or if that move seems a little too intense right now, try out this low-impact, at-home cardio circuit that Octavia Spencer is currently using to stay healthy.

Hiit up that cardio here.

Yoga? I’m down, dog!

Do you totally love all things yoga, but worry that it isn’t enough of a workout to help you reach your fitness goals? I’ve got good news! I wrote two articles for Today , the first outlines a few sneaky ways you can kick your flow up a notch and burn extra calories! The second gives five hacks for squeezing movement into your otherwise busy schedule.

Click here for Yoga. I recommend yoga to all my clients and even include a yoga workout on my Step It Up With Steph DVD.

Click here for easy ways to move every single day!

Fitness & Physical Intimacy

Being consistent in the gym can lead to reduced stress which, in turn, can lead to being more consistent in the bedroom. Natural Awakenings put together a whole piece on the effects of fitness on both male and female libidos.

Check out my contribution to that article here.

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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

 

 

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.

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

 

Steph recommends House Foods Tofu

Make the Most of Your Workout

Five Ways to Trick Yourself Out of Bed and Into Your Workout Routine (As Seen On Fox 32)

Weight Loss Coach and Fitness Expert Stephanie Mansour stopped by Fox 32 to deliver her top five tips for motivating yourself to workout first thing in the morning. Find out how easy it is to trick  yourself into working out even if all you want to do is pull the covers over your head and hit that snooze button again!

Do you struggle with finding momentum to get moving in the morning? You’re not alone! My private weight loss clients  are smart and highly successful women, but even they struggle in the morning saying, “I know I should be working out in the morning, but it’s just so difficult to leave my bed!”

With these five simple tweaks to your morning routine, you’ll be rolling out of dreamland and running full speed ahead toward your fitness goals! And the best part? They won’t cost you a thing!  So what are these hacks that anyone can do?

1. Alarm Clock Anthem

Is your alarm currently set to one of the basic ringtones available on your phone? Time to change that tired noise up! Choose one of your favorite songs to wake up to, that way the first thing you hear is something you love and it will excite you to get up and get going!

2. Smell Your Way Out of Bed

Now that your ears have perked up let’s get another sense recruited: your sense of smell! Do you have a favorite scent? Keep a bottle of essential oil, a diffuser, or even perfume on your bedside table and spray a little into the air upon waking. I like an energizing citrus scent such as orange or grapefruit, but eucalyptus is also very invigorating!

3. Light It Up

Sensing a bit of a pattern? We’re going to engage a third sense here. Time to blink your way into a new day! If you have drapes, leave them open at night so the sunlight floods your room in the morning. If you are waking up before the sun, or just don’t get a lot of natural sunlight in your bedroom–flip a switch!

4. Let Go of Expectations

A lot of times you might be worried or even dreading a workout wondering how you’re going to make it through those thirty or forty minutes, and just simply let those thoughts GO! Don’t psych yourself out, just focus on the steps of getting yourself out of bed, dressed in your workout clothes, to the gym, or popping in your Step It Up with Steph DVD. Stay in the moment!

5. One-Word Visualization

This is my favorite tip and I bet it will be yours too once you start employing it! Using a one word mantra is very powerful and affirming, you can even choose a new one every single day if you want. Words like “accomplish” or “proud” or “strong”, any word that best encapsulates how you want to feel or what you want your day to look like. Pick one and give it a try!

Engage your senses, get moving, and make your dreams a reality!

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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

Steph excitedly talking to anchor

7 ways to trick yourself into working out when it’s the last thing you want to do

how to trick yourself into working out

Do you ever feel like skipping your workout? Of course you do! Even the most dedicated fitness enthusiasts want to skip their workout some days.

It’s perfectly normal and it’s okay to let yourself off the hook occasionally. But, as a weight loss coach for women, I often find myself advising private weight loss coaching clients on how to stop skipping their workouts and start skipping their excuses instead.

When you don’t feel like working out and exercise is the last thing on your mind, sometimes it helps to trick yourself into getting off your butt to get moving. If you’re serious about reaching your goals and you’re tired of giving up on yourself, I encourage you to do what it takes to find the inspiration and perseverance you need.

From years of experience helping women get fit and lose weight, I can tell you that no matter how resistant you feel at first, once you get to the gym, press play on your workout DVD, or lace up your running shoes and step outside, your mood will shift and you’ll want to stick with it.

But I also understand that sometimes it’s not that easy. Sometimes life starts to get in the way — the work projects are piling up as high as the dishes and your to-do list is a mile long. So when your coach tells you to jump on the treadmill and knock out a mile, you may want to tell her to hit the road. I hear you and I’ve heard it all before. And so have my fellow health and fitness coaches.

For one of my latest Today.com articles, I reached out to a few of my favorite trainers to ask for their input on how they motivate themselves and their clients to exercise when they don’t want to. Read their tips here.

Peter Cirolia, trainer and owner of Ballet Muscle in New York
Personal trainer and founder of Caliente Fitness in Los Angeles
Yoga instructor Claire Fountain, founder of Trill Yoga in New York City
Nikki Walter, a Bodybuilding.com team athlete and trainer in South Dakota
Boston-based personal trainer Jessica Diaz

Read More Here: 7 Ways to Trick Yourself Into Working Out When It’s The Last Thing You Want to Do

Ready to stop making excuses and create new habits that stick? Join us for FREE guidance and support! Sign up for the FREE 21-Day Challenge for a simple but powerful workout plan, an easy-to-follow eating guide, and fun confidence-boosting exercises.