American Diet

The Thanksgiving Weight Loss Killers

There's nothing more important than a consistent dietary routine when it comes to weight loss.  If you keep your routine, the little hiccups in life (ie celebrations, baseball games, etc) won't hit you as hard.  

What about a Thanksgiving hiccup though?  Unfortunately, Thanksgiving usually encompasses everything that we shouldn't be doing for weight loss (especially in Chicago).  Most people over 3000 calories on this day (more 1000 calories than they should).

I can be like most Chicago personal trainers and tell you all the vegetables recipes you can make to protect yourself.

Let's be honest though-Thanksgiving is based on more traditional dishes than any other holiday.  So you're probably not going to change much.

This is my quick guide to at least help you keep the calories, carbs, and unneeded fat in check:

-Homemade Mashed Potatoes:  split the milk in half and use all natural chicken broth.

-Roasted Vegetables:  roast the vegetables with a quarter of the usual olive oil and use balsamic vinegar instead. 

-Turkey:  Dark meat has more calories and fat.  Stick to the white meat without gravy. 

Weight Loss Recipes: 15 Minute Mahi Tacos

Looking for the weight loss recipe your Chicago personal trainer will be proud of?  Check out this easy 15 minute fish taco recipe to liven up your weight loss lunches and dinners!

****Saute Trader Joe's frozen Mahi with 1 tbsp of olive oil until you reach the temperature of 175 on low heat.  Season with salt and pepper.  Meanwhile, finely chop 1 cup of spinach, heat 1/2 cup of vegetarian refried beans, and warm 2 El Milagro corn tortillas.  

Once everything is heated, create your taco and top it with your favorite salsa or hot sauce!

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Weight Loss recipe your Chicago personal trainer won't yell at you for.

Personal Fitness and Weight Loss on Your Rome Vacation


Anyone traveling to Italy realizes the culinary spirit from the moment they step off the plane.  From pizza to veal chops, you're constantly enticed with arguably the world's best cuisine.

How do you indulge in your European vacation while heeding the sound weight loss advice of your Chicago personal trainer?  This is an example of balance and choice-especially while keeping your weight loss plan intact.

First, and most important, you must decide on your approach to the table.  Every Italian table starts with a bread basket-a fresh bread basket.  This is incredibly hard to resist and will leave you salivating while watching your neighbor's table if you resist.  If you can't shove away this carb delight, take 1 piece of bread and send back the rest (just because you're charged for it doesn't mean you have to eat it all).

Also, split everything.   I fully realize that part of the Italian experience is an "eating" one.  Instead of eating several solo courses as Italians do, split a non-dairy pasta and then choose a fish entree with veggies.  You'll still taste several dishes without over-stuffing yourself.  

Finally, split your dessert as well.  While you might steal a taste of the Italy's infamous gelato, stick to the fruit-based sorbet.  You'll save yourself the calories and the fat by kicking aside the diary and still indulge in a flavor-punch, frozen indulgence.

Second, with a sound approach to the Italian table, your activity will certainly outweigh the calories you eat (pun intended).  As with every European vacation, I became an urban hiker from day 1.  On each day, I choose 2 neighborhoods that I explore.  While on my 10 hour walking journey, I arm myself with a couple of Larabars and bottle waters in a small backpack and avoid public transportation unless absolutely necessary.

During this time, I plan at least 1 tourist site that involves stairs or hills.   You may want to add the top of the St. Peter's Bascillica (over 500 steps!) or the stairs and climbs of the Roman Forum onto your itinerary.

You can also sign up for a 4 hour bike tour too.  Considering that you're mostly on side streets, traffic safety isn't a problem.  This is a great way to burn calories for your Chicago personal trainer and see the most of the city (including Rome's off the beaten paths).

While a vacation should be an opportunity to treat yourself, there are still plenty of ways to achieve weight loss and still please your personal trainer in Chicago.  The tips above will help you with a guilt free trip!

The Bitter Face of Supplements

Do you find yourself bouncing from one supplement to another?  How do you know what works best while you meet with your Chicago?  Sadly enough, you don't and probably won't find out unless you perform blood tests for an extended period of time.  

Nevertheless, despite not knowing the real total effects of supplements on your body or anyone else's, personal trainers in Chicago still blindly recommend weight loss supplements for short term results and/or financial gain.  

There's no avoiding this fact:  Most supplements aren't FDA approved or have gone though non-privatized funded projects.  Should you lay your body in the hands of a miracle pill that hasn't been tested?  Do you need to take this risk when you haven't scientifically tested you're true physical need?  

It can be good to push your boundaries during a personal training experience.  This doesn't mean jumping off a cliff without looking when choosing the right nutritional path.  Reconsider taking supplements.

What are easy strategies for weight loss in Chicago?

While meeting with your Chicago personal trainer, there are a number strategies that you will employ in and outside of the fitness gym to lose weight.   While you may feel overwhelmed  with these new fitness and dietary strategies at first, they will collectively aid you in your path to a new you.

As a personal trainer in Chicago, I especially know the challenges for this change.  After all, the core of most functions and events include eating and drinking in the Midwestern culture.

The Dietary Guidelines offer several great suggestions for your initial step for weight loss:

- Choose smaller portion sizes (contributes to weight loss).

- People who eat at fast food or quick restaurants more than once per week are at high risk for weight gain and obesity.   Reduce your frequency.

 - Increase your intake of vegetables and fruit (especially high fiber choices) for a lower body weight.

- Decrease your intake of sugar-sweetened beverages. 

Adapt these easy weight loss strategies to heighten your personal training experience in Chicago today!