Weight Loss Tips

A List of my Personal Training Clients’ Worst Habits from the Last 13 Years (and Why it Affected their Weight Loss and Fitness Efforts)

After nearly 17,500 hours of one-on-one personal training sessions, here is a list of my client’s worst habits that have quietly affected their weight loss and fitness goals. Are you a prisoner of these habits too?

They eat the same amount as their spouses

Personal Trainer Wisdom: Your weight loss or fitness success will always depend on how well you understand your body, determine your needs, and set appropriate boundaries. It’s safe to assume that your partner in crime will have a very different combination (and need) from you. It’s as simple as this: You determine how much fuel you need….no one else. If you eat exactly the same amount as your partner, chances are that you may be eating too much or little.

They eat snacks

Personal Trainer Wisdom: Please keep in mind that “snacks” are really filler foods or indulgences that rarely meet your entire nutritional need at a given time (such a tease!). You’re probably seeking food because you’re hungry, and a small meal is most ideal (even if it’s only 100-300 calories). Since you now eat with intent, you want to choose a nutrient balance of vitamins, fiber, protein, fat, and more.

They depend on exercise for weight loss

Personal Trainer Wisdom: Never forget that usually, the one thing you're avoiding to do is probably the one you need to do the most. You can exercise 2 hours per day 7 days per week, but it will still be avoiding the dietary change you probably need to make. Eventually, you should figure out what you can get away with (drinking beer, restaurant dinners, etc.). Right now, though, you should figure out how you should really eat. And if you read Dr. Fuhrman’s book End of Dieting and begin disqualifying the claims, you should consider where those opinions stem from. Are they threatening your current habits? Would you rather believe a theory closer to your wants?

They eat too many simple carbs (and the good carbs at times too)

Personal Trainer Wisdom: Is more than 25% of each of your meals fruit, whole grains, and simple carbs? Ever wonder why vegans and vegetarians struggle with weight loss? It's most likely a result of their fruit sugar, whole grain, and simple carb (delicious Girl Scout cookies, ALL breads, rice, crackers, chips, candy, ice cream, and everything else devilish that you crave) consumption. Anything above 15 grams of fruit sugar per meal will spike your blood sugar levels...not ideal for losing weight and maintaining stable insulin levels (refined sugars have a worse, quicker acting effect). Simple carbs, as well as whole grains, can do the same. Disclaimer: The fiber in the whole grains will offset this effect in smaller amounts. What is the refined and fruit sugar breakdown of your favorite meals? Are there more nutrient dense alternatives than your typical fruit sugar, grain, and simple carb choices that will provide the fiber you need?

They drink more alcohol than their body can handle

Personal Trainer Wisdom: How many calories do you think you consume in a single week from alcohol? If you live in the Midwest, eating and drinking is most likely part of your culture (not your fault :) ). Since alcohol is basically a liquid grain packed with a lot of sugar (of course, there are exceptions), it will also spike your blood sugar levels. If drinking alcohol is part of your diet, what are you willing to exchange in return? In other words…when you order alcohol, what other simple carbs or sugars are you exchanging (i.e., 1 beer instead of 2 scoops of rice)? What low calorie, low sugar alcohol options are you willing to consider to achieve your weight loss goals?

They don’t develop an eating routine

Personal Trainer Wisdom: I’m sure you can imagine that a life on the edge of a cliff could be destined for trouble with a big enough wind. That’s exactly what’s happening when you don’t develop a healthy eating routine as a foundation. While most of us would like to think we shouldn’t have to think about food constantly, I have bad news: We’re human…and this is what we need to survive. Lucky for you, a solid, consistent routine with the right system in place will help you operate on autopilot (which means that you don’t have to consciously obsess over food). If you choose to do otherwise, any big event or binge will certainly send you into the weight gain abyss.

They believe that injury prevention begins inside the gym

Personal Trainer Wisdom: No matter what any personal trainer tells you, the greatest indicator of your success isn't what you do inside the gym-it's what you repeat daily. Your body is an amazing adaptive system that loves to learn quickly. Although you don't realize it, you've been training your body to handle a vast variety of movements and postures in auto-pilot over a lifetime (after all, your body doesn't have 10 minutes to fully assess your movement as you sit in a chair every time). How wonderful! Now you can think about the million other things you need to do instead!

While this ability is a great strength, it most likely has led to the weakness, discomfort, pain, or injury that you have experienced. Your body wants to work efficiently, and it also can be easily convinced. If you always drive your knee forward while lunging to pick an object off the ground, your body will most likely (automatically) guide you the same way the next time you do it without thinking (even though the movement overuses your quads and imposes additional force and stress onto your knees). Call it the "Fight or Flight System." It wants to learn quickly so that it can react quickly (when demand is placed on it).

"Fair enough, Michael...I appreciate your lecture. Can we just workout now?" Well, maybe. I could simply throw you into a circus act of a fitness program (a crazy Cross Fit, ballet, Cirque de Soliel, bodybuilding, marathon extravaganza), but do you really know your body well enough, though, to confidently say that it can handle this demand on the body? Have you ever studied the way you move? Have you identified all of your imbalances and weaknesses? Most likely, your answer is no. If you are like my 20-year-old self, you probably haven't stopped and listened to your body. Instead, you jumped into the hottest new program that Joey the Trainer (not real) is selling and ended up hurt 1-3 months later.

Nothing against Joey, but you don't need a personal trainer to achieve a lifetime of injury and imbalance. You can simply choose a new workout on Men's Health, Youtube, or anywhere and blindly attempt it. If you truly want to minimize ALL pain and tightness and achieve peak fitness, now is the time to NOT take a haphazard approach. It is the time to rewire your system. Understand you so that you can efficiently and effectively adapt ANY program to fit your needs. Look at the way you sit, stand, run, walk, sleep, etc. Become a human scientist and identify your tendency to move out of a neutral position. Your observations might shed the true narrative on your physical self and what you need to change.

Photo Credit:
Matt Armendariz (2015) and Whats Gaby Cooking .com–Are granola bars really healthy?

Article Credit:

Author: Michael Moody Fitness
A List of my Personal Training Clients’ Worst Habits from the Last 13 Years (and Why it Affected their Weight Loss and Fitness Efforts)
Learn how to lose weight from a personal trainer in Chicago.

6 Breakfast Items at Starbucks that Will Lead to Weight Gain

Not surprisingly, most of my personal training clients are incredibly busy and must resort to whatever’s most available for breakfast. Unfortunately, many of the breakfast choices at Starbucks may reverse their (and your) weight loss efforts. Stay away from these choices if you’re trying to tighten not stretch the waistline of your pants.

Chicken Sausage & Bacon Biscuit

Calories 450, Fat (g) 22, Fiber (g) 1, Protein 26, Sodium 1160 (mg)

Double-Smoked Bacon, Cheddar & Egg Sandwich

Calories 490, Fat (g) 27, Fiber (g) 1, Protein 21, Sodium 910 (mg)

Sausage, Cheddar & Egg Breakfast Sandwich

Calories 500, Fat (g) 28, Fiber (g) 1, Protein 15, Sodium 920 (mg)

Seared Steak, Egg & Tomatillo Wrap

Calories 410, Fat (g) 18, Fiber (g) 2, Protein 21, Sodium 780 (mg)

Slow-Roasted Ham, Swiss & Egg Breakfast Sandwich

Calories 450, Fat (g) 22, Fiber (g) 1, Protein 24, Sodium 790 (mg)

Spicy Chorizo, Monterey Jack & Egg Breakfast Sandwich

Calories 500, Fat (g) 30, Fiber (g) 3, Protein 26, Sodium 860 (mg)

Personal Trainer Wisdom: I think we see a glowing trend among these Starbucks breakfast items: high amount of calories, fat, and sodium; adequate amount of protein; and very little fiber. Perhaps we’re being unfair to Starbucks….especially in comparison to other fast food competitors (i.e. the 1000 calorie options at McDonalds). There are always worse options, right?

Surprisingly, though, these choices are deceptively more dangerous than you think. Each sandwich is just a little “more and above” than what’s recommended for a healthy lifestyle (not just weight loss). If your healthy goal is only 350-450 calories and 20-25 grams of protein per meal, maybe you’re not doing too bad. What happens when you add 50 extra calories, twice the amount of sodium, and 12-24 grams of extra fat per meal (instead of 3-6 grams of fat), though? You might not realize that this subtle flexibility could be the reason why you’ve gained 1 lb of weight per year….for the last 20 years.

As the book Compound Effect explains, 50 extra calories and 12 extra grams of fat becomes troublesome when the pattern continues for every meal (not just breakfast) over the course of time. Consequently, you really won’t have any wiggle room for those days that you really indulge (like holidays and special occasions).

While I understand the need to grab something quick in the morning, don’t fool yourself into thinking that the amount of calories and protein make up the total equation. Ultimately, your health (and weight) depend on a balance of protein, fiber, healthy fats, vitamins, phytonutrients, and more. Do your homework and choose the best items ahead of time instead of choosing when in a rush.

Photo Credit:
Yelp .com: Do you have as much weight loss wiggle room as you believe choosing this breakfast option at Starbucks?

Article Credit:

Author: Michael Moody Fitness with nutrition facts from Starbucks . com.
6 Breakfast Items at Starbucks that Will Lead to Weight Gain
Learn how to lose weight from a personal trainer in Chicago.

The Detailed Itinerary You NEED for a Journey to Lisbon, Porto, and Madrid (and the Best Restaurants in Each)

Recently, Sammy, Preston, and I had set out for a European adventure to explore earthquake ruins, port, and Spanish tapas. We started in historic Lisbon, Portugal and headed North to Porto before finishing in the Spanish metropolis, Madrid. Here is the quick itinerary of interesting places to stay, historic things to do, and an expansive list of restaurants to indulge in.

General Itinerary

25-26: Fly to Lisbon from Chicago
26: Lisbon
27: Lisbon
28: Lisbon
29: Lisbon
30: Train from Lisbon to Porto
1: Porto
2: Porto
3: Fly to Madrid from Porto
4: Madrid
5: Madrid
6: Madrid
7: Fly to Chicago from Madrid

Sprint International Call Settings

Iphone 7

Go to settings, click on cellular, click cellular data option, click roaming (turn voice and data on), International CDMA should be off. We’ll receive a welcome message when we arrive.

Samsung Note 8

Go to settings, click on connections, click on mobile networks, click data roaming, turn off all domestic roaming (voice, text, and data), turn on all international roaming (voice, text, and data). We’ll receive a welcome message when we arrive.

Money Overseas

Charles Schwab Brokerage Checking Account

Transfer cash for free ATM withdrawls and no transaction fees.

Credit Cards

Bring the Chase Sapphire, Mileage Plus Explorer, Chase Business Ink, and Delta Skymiles Gold Amex for no transaction fees. Call to see which exchange rate is lower (Most base it on the Wall Street Journal).

 Preston is excited for his first flight overseas....and so is the guy sitting behind him.

Preston is excited for his first flight overseas....and so is the guy sitting behind him.


25-26th: Fly to Lisbon from Chicago

United Flight UA972 from Chicago to Brussels
Total cost: 60k miles per person plus taxes and fees
Seats: 34E, 34G (Priority boarding with a child, check stroller with car seat at the gate)
Depart: 6:00 pm (04/25) ORD (8 hr 5 mn with bassinet)
Arrival: 9:05 am (04/26) BRU

TAP Portugal Flight TP647 from Brussels to Lisbon
Seats: 16B,16A (Priority boarding with a child , check stroller with car seat at the gate)
Depart: 11:30 am (04/26) BRU (2 hr 50 mn)
Arrival: 1:20 pm (04/26) LIS

30th: Train to Porto from Lisbon (Unconfirmed seats)

Train 125
Total cost: $130 (1st Class, choose seats at checkin, child on lap), arrive 1-2 hours to book train time and seat
Depart: 12:09 pm Lisboa Oriente (flexible time)
Arrival: 2:44 pm Porto Campanha

3rd: Fly to Madrid from Porto

Ryanair Flight 5423 from Porto to Madrid
Seats: 2F, 2E (Already checked in month early)
Total cost: $217.94 (Priority with 2 cabin bags per person, child on lap)
Depart: 3:35 pm OPO
Arrival: 5:50 pm MAD

7th: Fly to Chicago from Madrid

Lufthansa Flight LH1113 from Madrid to Frankfurt
Seats: 20A/20B (Priority boarding with a child, check stroller with car seat at the gate)
Depart: 12:55 pm (05/07) MAD (2 hr 30 mn)
Arrival: 3:25 pm (05/07) FRA

Lufthansa Flight LH432 from Frankfurt to Chicago
Seats: 34G/34F (Priority boarding with a child, check stroller with car seat at the gate)
Depart: 5:15 pm (05/07) FRA (9 hr 5 mn with bassinet)
Arrival: 7:20 pm (05/07) ORD

 View of Lisbon at sunset

View of Lisbon at sunset


26-30th: Lisbon

Listing: Comfortable, versatile best quarter with Fadoflats
Travessa João de Deus 8 (2nd floor right)
Lisbon, Lisbon 1200 Portugal
+351 91 985 8312
Check-in: 4:00 pm
Check-out: 11:00 am
-Directions: A taxi from the airport should take you to the flat in about 30 minutes and cost you around 15-20 euros (please tell the taxi driver flat is in Chiado quarter, very close to Cervejaria Trindade - Trindade Brewery). In alternative you can take the subway and drop out at Baixa-Chiado station. It will take you about an hour and cost you 2 euro per person.Third alternative is hiring our private transfer service (for you only): a 7 seats van will be waiting for you at the airport for the price of 30 euros to be paid directly to the driver. In any case I would appreciate if you could text me or call me after picking up the bags and passing passport control at the airport.
Notes: Great 2 bedroom, vintage space that once was a palace before the 18th century earthquake. Great location and size for our needs. Plenty of nearby restaurants and more. The Alfama neighborhood to the East is another option (more historic and quaint).

30th-3rd: Porto

Listing: Caldeireiros Home Two - feel at home with Fadoflats
Rua dos Caldeireiros, 4050-250 Porto, Portugal
+351 91 714 1223
Check-in: 3:00 pm
Check-out: 11:00 am
Directions: Walk to the flat from the Sao Bento train station 2 blocks away.
Notes: Great modern space with the perfect location. Truly a wonderful host.

3rd-7th: Madrid

Listing: Pta. del Sol- Pza. Sta Ana, Madrid with Miriam
Calle Núñez de Arce 10 2b, 28012 Madrid, Madrid, Spain
+34 699 915 788
Check-in: 2:00 pm
Check-out: 11:00 am
-Taxi: You will find taxi stands ouside all the airport terminals. Always use the official taxi services and do not take offers from drivers inside the terminal. Trip duration up to 30 minutes depending on traffic. -Bus: The yellow airport express bus runs 24 hours a day, 365 days per year. You can take the bus from terminals T1, T2 and T4 and the ticket costs 5 euros. The journey takes aproximatelly 40 minutes and the bus makes only 3 stops along the way, the corner of O’Donnell and Doctor Esquerdo, Plaza de Cibeles and Atocha train station (from 6:00 am until 23;30 pm).
-Metro: You can take metro line 8 from all the terminals of the airport and head to Nuevos Ministerios station at the center of Madrid. From there you can hop to another metro line until your end destination. The journey until the Nuevos Ministerios station is 15 minutes and the metro operates daily from 6:00 am to 2:00 am. Tickets can cost up to 5 euros depending on your end destination.
Notes: A very central location but we don’t recommend staying here unless it’s cheap and you don’t mind a Super 8 hotel experience.

 Exploring the historic Belem area of Lisbon

Exploring the historic Belem area of Lisbon

Things to do in Lisbon, Portugal

Random Notes

-Use ‘The Fork’ phone app or call to book restaurant reservations
-Restaurants (5-10% tip and bread/olives aren’t free), most restaurants open 12-3 and 7-10
-Most museums free until 2:00 on Sundays
-Taxes after 9 pm cost more
-Lisboa card for attractions (askmelisboa.com)
-Buy 24 hour pass (metrolisboa.pt)
-Book a tour: https://www.withlocals.com/experiences/portugal/lisbon/?adults=2&children=1
-Travel with kids: https://kindertravelguide.com/destination/europe/portugal-with-a-baby-or-toddler-2/lisbon-with-a-baby-or-toddler/

Belem Ruins

-Jerónimos Monastery, Praça do Império (free entry to the church, €10 for the rest of the monastery) -Monument to the Discoveries (Padrão dos Descobrimentos-entry fee €4) -CCB (Belém Cultural Center), Coach Museum (Museu dos Coches) -Statue to Afonso de Albuquerque

Rossio Neighborhood

-Parque Eduardo VII (northwest of Rossio Fountains, down the Ave da Liberdade)
-Confeitaria Nacional near the Praca de Figueiro for pastries
-A Ginjinha – Local sweet liquor spot near Igreja de Sao Domingos
-Rossio Fountains/Park (24 hour cafes nearby)
-Churches: Igreja de Sao Domingos, Praca da Figueira (next to each other)
-Elevador da Gloria: Take you from the Praca dos Restauradores up to the Bairro Alto neighborhood
-Ride the Tram 28 to see the historic parts of the city on a ride. Expect lines.

 Rooftops of the Alfama neighborhood in Lisbon

Rooftops of the Alfama neighborhood in Lisbon

Chiado Neighborhood

-Elevador de Santa Justa down to Baixa Neighborhood
-Convento do Carmo & Museu Arqueologico
-R Garrett Street: pedestrian street
-2 Michellin Star Restaurant: Bellanto
-Nightlife strip: Tv Carvalho

Baixa Neighborhood

-Nucleo Arquelologico (free underground tunnels)
-R Augusta: Pedestrian street from the Praca de Comercio on the water

Bairro Alto Neighborhood

-Church: Igreja & Museu de Sao Roque
-Elevador de Gloria
-Miradouro de Sao Pedro de Alcantara
-Restaurant: Lost in Coffee Café (corner of Tv da Agua da Flor and R Sao Pedro de Alcantara)
-Public toilet under Largo Trindade Coehlo
-1800’s Beer Hall on R Nova da Trinidade
-Fado bars on R da Alalara

Alfama Neighborhood

-Tram 28 stop: Near Se (free Gothic Cathedral)
-Restaurants and Fado: Cruzes Credo Café, Clube de Fado (8 pm – 2 am), Memmo Alfama Rooftop Bar, Guitarras de Lisboa – Food and Fado, Senhor Fado (8 pm -2 am), Mesa de Frades (Fado in old small chapel 11 pm)
-Museu do Teatro Romano (free Roman Ruins)
-Igreja de Sao Vicente de Fora (monastery)
-Panteao Nacional (10 am – 6 pm)

 A taste of Lisbon....plenty of seafood and fish!

A taste of Lisbon....plenty of seafood and fish!

Restaurants in Lisbon

-Pasteis de Belem
-Café A Brasileira
-Cervejaria Ramiro
-A Taberna da Rua das Flores
-Bica Do Sapato
-Café Tati
-Merendinha do Arco
-Cantinho Lusitano
-A Baiuca
-Marisqueira Nunes
-Tasquinha do Lagarto
-Beco dos Surradores 5
-Tasco do Vigario
-Varina da Madragoa
-Zé da mouraria
-Bairro do Avillez (went twice)
-Time Out Market (Such a neat food scene on the weekend)
-Cantinho do bem estar
-Solar dos Presuntos
-Palácio Chiado: Renovated palace turned into food court
-Restaurante Carmo
-The Sandeman Chiado (best salmon we’ve ever eaten, try the 40 year Tawny)
-Royale Cafe (best octopus we’ve ever eaten)

 Exploring the rooftops of Porto

Exploring the rooftops of Porto

Things to do in Porto, Portugal

Sightseeing in Porto

-São Bento station
-Use ‘The Fork’ phone app or call to book restaurant reservations
-Take the train or drive to Duoro Valley for wine tastings (2 hour ride)
-Walk over the Ponte de Dom Luís I and take viewing cart (teleférico) over the river to the port warehouses (major port producers have their warehouses in Vila Nova de Gaia, on the south side of the River Douro)
-Visit the bar Vinologia for port flights and charcuterie
-Garrafeira AMS (wine shop)
-Sé do Porto (free admission)
-Ribeira Square
-Handy Resources: What to Do in Porto: http://portoportugalguide.com/porto-guide/porto-in-2-days-itinerary.html, https://catavino.net/travel/portugal/porto/
-Clérigos Tower (Igreja E Torre Dos Clérigos)
-Lello bookshop (Livraria Lello): Inspiration for the book store in the Harry Potter movies
-Sao Bentro Train Station
-Porto Cathedral and Bishop’s Palace (Sé Do Porto)
-Stock Exchange Palace (Palácio da Bolsa)
-Igreja de São Francisco
-Villar d’Allen

 Spoiled with shrimp in Porto

Spoiled with shrimp in Porto

 A raw approach to food in Porto.

A raw approach to food in Porto.

Restaurants in Porto

-Confeitaria Serrana
-Cantinho do Avillez
-Michelin-starred Pedro Lemos restaurant
-Centro Português de Fotografia (free)
-Torre de Clérigos (admission 3 euros)
-Porta’O Lado
-Brasão Cervejaria
-Fonte dos Leoes for a francesinha, a Portuguese sandwich filled with cured ham
-Café Guarany
-Café Majestic
-Vila Nova de Gaia
-Flor dos Congregados
-Rei dos Galos de Amarante
-Adega Quim
-Casa Aleixo
-Tasca da Piedade (Adega Rio Douro)
-Casa Nanda
-Adega Vila Meã
-Taberna do Largo
-Taberna Santo António
-Maus Hábitos
-Guindalense Futebol Clube
-O Buraco
-Cantina 32
-Café Candelabro
-Casa de Ló
-Bar Tolo
-Bite Me
-Boa Nova
-Vinum restaurant at Graham’s port lodge: Gorgeous rooftop
-Ode Porto Winehouse
-Pedro Limos
-Casa da Horta
-O Comercial
-Bufete Fase
-O Paparico
-Grelhador da Boavista
-Pateo das Flores (loved the francesinha and tuna poke cones)

 Gorgeous cathedral in Madrid

Gorgeous cathedral in Madrid

 Plaza Mayor in Madrid

Plaza Mayor in Madrid

Things to do in Madrid, Spain

Random Notes

-Many dine out at 9 pm or later
-Handy Resources: https://www.nomadicmatt.com/travel-blogs/madrid-food-tour/, https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/09/21/travel/what-to-do-36-hours-in-madrid-spain.html, https://www.eater.com/maps/best-madrid-restaurants-38

Sightseeing in Madrid

-Plaza España
-Gran Via (shopping)
-Palacio Real
-Plaza Oriente
-Barrio de la Latina
-El Rastro (Spain’s largest flea market, Sunday)
-Puerta del Sol (popular plaza)
-Chocolateria San Gines
-Plaza Mayor
-Mercado San Miguel
-Watch a flamenco show at Cardamomo
-Retiro Park (huge park)
-Palacio Cristal
-Reina Sofia
-Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza
-El Prado (world famous art museum)
-El Bernabeu Stadium
- Las Salesas (shopping)

 Our food tasting tour of historic bars and restaurants in Madrid.

Our food tasting tour of historic bars and restaurants in Madrid.

Restaurants in Madrid

-Bocadillo de Jamón y Champán
-Duquesita Pastelería (century-old pastry shop)
-La Venencia (sherry bar)
-Bar Cock
-Pum Pum Café
-Círculo de Bellas Artes (drink with a panoramic view)
-Amazónico (an opulent jungle-inspired space)
-Chocolatería San Ginés (since 1894, a mug of hot chocolate and six churros)
-El Imparcial
-San Mamés
-Lakasa Restaurant
-Sala de Despiece
-Quesería Cultivo
-Bread at Panic
-Tortilla de Patatas at Casa Dani
-Coffee at Toma Café
-1862 Dry Bar
-Bodega de la Ardosa
-Vermouth at Ángel Sierra
-El Cisne Azul
-La Tasquería
-La Tasquita de Enfrente
-Casa Salvador
-Del Diego Cocktail Bar
-Tapas at La Catapa
-Takos al Pastor
-Pastries at La Mallorquina
-Sherry at La Venencia
-Chuka Ramen Bar
-Cocktails at Salmon Guru
-Casa Revuelta
-Corral de la Morería Restaurant
-La Sanabresa
-Yoka Loka
-La Copita Asturiana
-Bar El Boqueron
-Cocido Madrileño at Cruz Blanca Vallecas

 Our personal tour guide

Our personal tour guide


22 Ways to Make Your Home and Street Safer in Chicago

With the recent increase of crime, there's no better time to make your home and street safer. Here is a quick list of ways to deter any uninvited guests:

Increasing Safety on Your Property

-Lock the doors and windows of your cars and homes at all times (only keep inaccessible windows open).
-Triple lock your patio doors with the door lock, bolt, and a stick and install door plates on the other entrances.
-Install an alarm system and display signs and stickers on your property.
-Install live cameras and display signs on your property.
-Lock access gates to the back of your property.
-Place your exterior lights on your patios and front stairways on a timer starts at dusk. The street lamps shouldn't be the only lights that turn on after sunset.
-Install motion sensor lights on the sides and back of your property.
-Pull down your curtains in the evening and/or remove valuables visible outside of your windows.
-REPORT a crime after it occurs to increase police attention to your street.

Bringing Your Street to Life and Making It a Community

-Say hello to a neighbor or any one on your street when you see them.
-Turn on patio/exterior lights to minimize blindspots (the street lamps aren’t enough light).
-Build a community to exchange ideas, organize events, etc.
-Contact owners of unkept properties (i.e. the empty lot).
-Organize quarterly events to increase communication among neighbors and to create more presence on the street including an annual garage sale, block party, neighborhood cleanup, holiday events, etc.
-Add neighborhood watch signs up and down the block.
-Build a relationship with the alderman to close off dangerous pathways.
-Invite an officer to provide a safety assessment. Ask local law enforcement to a street sponsored event to give safety tips.
-Encourage your neighbors with cameras to also post video monitoring signs and register their camera with local law enforcement (for crime review when necessary).
-Develop an immediate response phone tree.
-Help residents create a less appealing appearance for burglaries (i.e., lights on timers, electronics away from the windows, etc.).
-Beautify the neighborhood (i.e. create areas for gardens).
-Help nearby streets take the same steps.

Photo Credit:
wjbf .com–How can you stop the crime before it occurs?

Article Credit:

Author: Michael Moody Fitness
22 Ways to Make Your Home and Street Safer in Chicago
Learn how to lose weight from a personal trainer in Chicago.

My Advice to a Friend’s Frustrations While Trying to Lose Weight (And Why it Worked)

Recently, a friend reached out about his frustrations with trying to lose weight. Here is my advice. It might help you overcome the weight loss wall you’ve hit too.

My Advice to a Friend

Hey! Thanks for the specific notes and questions! It says a lot about your dedication to this process.

Losing weight is a complicated goal. It is a constant battle with your needs and wants. No matter hard you try...you will compare everything to your long-term eating habits and what you want. This makes change very challenging. You've already established a foundation on autopilot that is comfortable and free of deciding or testing (even though it hasn't helped you reach your goal). It's no wonder you may be more likely to talk yourself out of the new food than figure out a way to integrate it into your diet. Unfortunately, you may end up spending a lifetime of dietary cycles and weight fluctuations to protect what you love the most (of which I understand firsthand).

If you follow the guidelines in the article How to Lose Weight Without Exercise, though, you will....absolutely....without a doubt....achieve your weight loss goal number. Surprisingly, it can be achieved without killing yourself in the gym. Other people would rather never attempt this approach for reasons that make sense: It is a drastic contrast from their norms (as mentioned above). They basically have to revise their social lifestyle (to a degree not as great as most people think) and their decision-making process, as well as conduct necessary check-ins on their health, etc. It's a lot of work (in the beginning). Once you set your new normal on autopilot, though, it's no longer work-it's automatic (similar to your food interests now). Essentially, you're building a new physical and emotional relationship with your food.

Your questions are fair, and you deserve an extensive, comprehensive answer. At this point, I've reframed the answers in many different ways. Nothing will explain them more thoroughly than Dr. Fuhrman's book End of Dieting. I highly recommend reading the first 180 pages of this book this weekend. If you need a copy, I have an extra one for you!

Never forget that usually, the one thing you're avoiding to do is probably the one you need to do the most. You can exercise 2 hours per day 7 days per week, but it will still be avoiding the dietary change you probably need to make. Eventually, you should figure out what you can get away with (drinking beer, restaurant dinners, etc.). Right now, though, you should figure out how you should really eat. And if you read the book and begin disqualifying the claims, you should consider where those opinions stem from. Are they threatening your current habits? Would you rather believe a theory closer to your wants?

This isn't an easy road, and I have the most respect for you hitting it dead on! Let's reach that number! Let's make this happen!

Personal Trainer Wisdom: When Tom (name changed) originally emailed me about his recent frustrations with the weight loss process, his pain, anguish, and frustration bled through each of his written words. He battled 2 cycles of losing 9 lbs and gaining it back in the months that followed. At the time of the email, Tom reached his highest weight once again. You can imagine the emotional ups and downs for him during that time. While it appears on the surface that Tom failed over the last year, it did indeed reveal a mindset and set of habits that have led to these patterns….valuable information for a long-term change. It also showed that he is persistent and possesses the ability to set boundaries…even though these boundaries aren't ideal right now for his health.

I wish I could say that weight loss is as easy as commonly advertised. No matter what any personal trainer, advertisement, or “weight loss professional” tells you, it REQUIRES a mental, emotional, and physical approach. While it may seem like a daunting task, it could be the push to truly learn about yourself. It’s time to think about the advice above. Update: Tom has lost 12.5 lbs with consistency, patience, and persistence since my email response.

Photo Credit:
Health US News .com–What will really cause a change on your scale?

Article Credit:

Author: Michael Moody Fitness
My Advice to a Friend’s Frustrations While Trying to Lose Weight (And Why it Worked)
Learn how to lose weight from a personal trainer in Chicago.