Personal Training Bucktown

Your Business Plan to Lose Weight (or Achieve Optimal Health)

Why do we develop business plans in the corporate and entrepreneur worlds but never for our personal health? If you're looking for a strategic change, consider this simple plan.

Section 1: Your Mission

Personal Trainer Wisdom: If you want to end the cycle of guessing and lack of control, you need to move and choose with intent. Be specific. What is your true, realistic weight loss goal and what is the objective based on? For example: To maintain a weight of ____ and a body fat of ____ while living a life with intent. Can your mission be summed up in one sentence? Do you have a bigger transformation goal in mind? This is the time to state it clearly. It will steer your approach (and the rest of your plan).

Section 2: Summary of You

Personal Trainer Wisdom: How can you build a solid foundation if you don’t know the material you’re working with? A contractor wouldn’t move forward without this awareness and you shouldn’t either. Now is the time to become a human scientist and study you! Who are you? What are the trends and patterns of you? How would you describe your emotional, mental, and physical selves? What is your approach to fitness? Do you like fitness? Why or why not? What do you prefer to eat? Why? When do you eat? How do you choose your meals? How do you handle stress? What is the relationship between this stress and other areas of your life? Be honest and list all of your attributes, strengths, and weaknesses here.

Section 3: Competitive Analysis Summary

Personal Trainer Wisdom: While your plan should be tailored to your wants and needs, you will need to analyze other weight loss and health plans to fully understand the full scope of practice. What are the most effective and efficient health models that you’ve researched? Should you reinvent the wheel or adapt a popular, successful plan? How have different body types responded to these theories? This section will not only shape the process you choose but also justify it.

Section 4: Strategy and Obstacles Summary

Personal Trainer Wisdom: Once you have observed yourself and considered the research, it’s time to develop your strategy. You will generally describe the implementation of your plan here. Include the answers to the following questions: How will this strategy reflect your strengths and weaknesses? What boundaries will you develop? How will you implement this plan? Will someone help you? What do you think will be the biggest obstacles to your goal? How will you overcome these obstacles?

Section 5: Specific Implementation

Personal Trainer Wisdom: Considering that losing weight or achieving optimal health requires a multifaceted approach, break down your strategy into several categories and specifically list what you need to incorporate into your lifestyle. Use this structure as an example:

Weight/Body Fat Accountability
-Check weight and body fat when you workout and record it on your phone (app Monitor Your Weight???? or Notes).
-Record what you're eating every day (no calorie count needed).

-Limit drinking alcohol to only 2 days per week.
-Print and stick the "Eating Pie Chart" (from this diet article) on your fridge as a reminder of healthy eating habits.
-If you're eating overnight....Eat a small meal before bed and when you first wake up. Post a note on your fridge that says "You will eat again when you wake up in the morning."
-Eat no more than 1 meal per day containing meat, dairy, grains, and/or refined sugar.
-Aim for a daily caloric range of 1200-1500 calories.
-Follow the recommendations for this month in the following article: Weight Loss: The Diet Questions You MUST Ask Yourself.
-Minimize caffeine to 2 cups (equals 1 small mug) of coffee per day.
-Print 1 restaurant menu: Choose a restaurant you love or want to visit and ask someone to help you figure out the best menu items.

-5-day workout: 3 days strength/2 days cardio

-Minimize any news content to 5 minutes per day. It will eliminate quite a bit of negativity in your life.
-Embrace new challenges as opportunities to refine your problem-solving ability.

-Write down 10 personal/professional goals on individual post-it notes and place them on your closet wall or another private place that you'll see at least once per day.
-Setup up alerts with positive messages on your phone using the app Simple Routine as reminders of goals and what you're trying to achieve.

Social Life
-Choose 1 new activity or interaction per week to satisfy your curiosity.
-Surround yourself with positive-spirited people daily.
-Seek out at least 1 person when you're in need of help.

What's missing from your business plan? What categories would you add? Tailor this section to support your mission.

Section 6: Timeline and Milestones

Personal Trainer Wisdom: Once you have decided on your steps of action, you need to develop a timeline. This section is not only important for accountability but also reflecting on your goals, what is a realistic timeframe to achieve them? What points of this process should serve as milestones? What are your realistic expectations for each of those milestones? How will you adapt this process if you don’t reach your mark?

Section 7: Financial Plan

Personal Trainer Wisdom: A financial plan can be interpreted a number of ways. In terms of monetary obligation, the range of money you spend really depends on your interests and the type of help you desire. What will you budget for a new gym, clothes, food, or personal trainer/fitness class? What areas are you willing to splurge on?

In terms of time, how many minutes will you dedicate to research, diet, meditation, and/or exercise? Within a strict schedule, what are you willing to sacrifice to make room for these endeavors? No matter what you prioritize during this section, you’ll definitely need to determine the true cost of your mission.

Photo Credit:–How will you race to this finish line?

Article Credit:

Author: Michael Moody Fitness
Your Business Plan to Lose Weight (or Achieve Optimal Health)
Learn how to lose weight from a personal trainer in Chicago.

"15 Reasons You're Not Getting Results In The Gym" Review

It's 2 months after NYE and you're probably frustrated with your results in the gym (or lack of). Besides hiring a personal trainer in Chicago :) to amp up your fitness sessions, you may want to take a look at these 9 reasons why and reshape your approach to exercise (from the article "15 Reasons You're Not Getting Results In The Gym"). Create the best you in 2016-It's still early!


You're not even there in spirit. You might show up and execute all sets and reps, but you're doing it without any attempt to improve since your last workout.


You choose your favorite muscle groups and then fail to do the ones you don't enjoy doing, usually by procrastinating them into Sunday. And then you say, "Oh well, I'll start fresh on Monday." But on Monday you don't start with the muscle groups you neglected, and work your favorite ones again, resulting in complete lack of stimulation of your weak spots for weeks.


You go work out at the happy hour time when everyone else is working out. You do this subconsciously so you have an excuse to avoid the compound moves since everyone is doing them, and the racks where you perform those compound moves are busy.


You don't time yourself between sets, so they end up being 5-minutes long and you're not a powerlifter trying to max out on singles. Then at 45-minutes into your workout, you've got to go, and you've only done 10 sets.


You allow yourself to exercise only when you're in the mood for it, but sadly you're not in the mood that often.


You get wasted on cardio when you're trying to lean up the meat on those wheels.


How do you know it's too light? You're not worried that if you lose focus you'll get hurt. If you're not getting hurt when you lose focus it's not a heavy enough weight.


You're doing half reps, and fail to do more than two reps when the set is supposed to be hypertrophic around 10. But your ego says, "Keep trying and some day you'll make 10." Yes, but in the meantime, pick a pair of bells you can actually handle!


You are convinced that all buff physiques are a result of excellent genetics. This translates to a perfect reason for you to not try and make the best out of what you've got, and hence you're completely missing out on maximizing your potential.

What do you think are the reasons for your lack of success in the gym?

Picture Credit: - When was the last time you looked at your fitness approach? Are you napping on the cardio equipment too?

Article Credit:
Author: Michael Moody Fitness with excerpt sourced from the article "15 Reasons You're Not Getting Results In The Gym" on
"15 Reasons You're Not Getting Results In The Gym" Review
Learn how to lose weight from a personal trainer in Chicago.

"10 Foods to Give Up for Lent—and How Many Calories You'll Save" Review

Although nearly a week has passed since the start of Lent, it's never too late to commit! Whether you're trying to lose weight or honoring the sacrifice during this time, here are 10 foods that you may want to cut out of your diet for the next 5 weeks (from the article 10 Foods to Give Up for Lent—and How Many Calories You'll Save).


Soda is the source of hundreds of unneeded calories, so now's the time to make the switch to water. Forgoing a soda a day for 40 days will save you 124 to 189 calories a day.

Total amount: 40 sodas
Total calories saved: 4,960 to 7,560 calories


They're salty, fried, and addictive, and it's hard to stop at just a few. Giving up your normal once-a-week order of medium fries for the Lent period will save you 350 calories a week.

Total amount: Six medium orders of fries
Total calories saved: 2,190 calories


If Lent means giving up your twice-a-week bowl of vanilla ice cream in front of the TV, you'll be saving 460 calories a week (more, of course, if you go for the fancier flavors).

Total amount: 12 bowls of ice cream (1/2 cup each)
Total calories saved: 2,760 for vanilla ice cream or 3,000 for chocolate ice cream


A glass of red wine a day can be beneficial to your health, but if you normally drink a glass of red wine with dinner, you'll be saving 127 calories a day if you stop for Lent.

Total amount: 40 glasses of red wine (five ounces each)
Total calories saved: 5,080 calories


Want to go for the whole meal? If you normally pick up fast food once a week, skipping out on a typical fast-food meal will save you 1,200 calories a week.

Total amount: Six fast-food meals
Total calories saved: 7,200 calories


These unhealthy snacks deserve their own category! If you're giving up that twice-a-week potato-chip habit for Lent, you'll be saving 153 calories per bag (306 calories a week).

Total amount: 12 bags of chips
Total calories saved: 1,836 calories


Many people choose to give up coffee for Lent, whether it's because they want to wean themselves off their caffeine dependence or just because that daily Starbucks run can add up money-wise. Giving up your daily Starbucks Grande latte made with two-percent milk will save you 190 calories a day.

Total amount: 40 Grande Starbucks lattes (16 ounces each)
Total calories saved: 7,600 calories (if you normally buy nonfat-milk lattes, you'll save 5,200 calories)


Meat can be an important part of your diet if you choose lean protein options, but too much red and processed meat is bad news for your health.

Whether you want to see what it's like to go vegetarian for a while or you realize that your diet contains too much saturated fat for your liking, giving up a once-a-day red meat habit for Lent could save you anywhere from 207 calories per serving for one four-ounce steak to 184 calories for four slices of bacon.

Total amount: 20 servings of red meat and 20 servings of bacon
Total calories saved: 7,820 calories


A piece of dark chocolate every day can quell sweet cravings while still providing you with a long list of benefits, but if your daily chocolate habit is getting out of control, then what better time to give it up for a few weeks? For example, not eating three squares of dark chocolate a day will save you 170 calories. You'll save 210 calories a day if you eat one serving of milk chocolate Hershey's Bliss squares (six pieces).

Total amount: 40 servings of chocolate
Total calories saved: 6,800 for dark chocolate or 8,400 for milk chocolate


Snacking can be a dieter's best friend, but only if you choose the right kind - ones that are filling and nutritious, without all those empty calories. Avoiding a serving a day (10 crackers) of Ritz crackers, for example, will save you 160 calories a day. Forgoing a one-ounce serving of Cheez-Its every day (about 27 crackers) will save you 150 calories per serving.

Total amount: 40 servings of crackers
Total calories saved: 6,400 calories for Ritz or 6,000 calories for Cheez-Its

What else do you think is worth giving up for lent?

Picture Credit: - What can you give up to put a smile on your Chicago personal trainer's face? My guess is that fast food will always be on that list :)

Article Credit:
Author: Michael Moody Fitness with excerpt sourced from the article 10 Foods to Give Up for Lent—and How Many Calories You'll Save on
"10 Foods to Give Up for Lent—and How Many Calories You'll Save" Review
Learn how to lose weight from a personal trainer in Chicago.

5 Ways to Change Your Life in February

Every change begins with a change of mindset....and you might be surprised where that begins. Recently, my friend Max shared a project that he's completing in his MBA program at Notre Dame. Considering that the new year is a new start for you, I think you should try it too! Starting today, track the following activities in a journal during the month of February (I am!):

Every Day:

- List 3 things you are grateful for
- List 1 positive experience
- Meditate for 10 minutes (Use the free phone app "Calm" or "Headspace" for help with this)

4-6 Days Per Week:

- Exercise for at least 20 minutes at medium/high intensity: Meet with a Chicago personal trainer, walk on a stairmaster, go hiking in Colorado, learn how to salsa, etc.

Every 3 Days:

- Perform 1 random act of kindness: Open the door or buy a coffee for someone you don't know, go out of your way to offer a compliment, etc.

Our lives are overwhelmed with negativity. This project could be the catalyst you need for the most positive perspective of yourself and the world around you. Before you know it, you'll begin looking for the "positive" in your daily life instead of the imperfections.

Other Inspiration:

Top 15 Travel Tips That You Need to Know
99 Ways to Redefine Yourself Today
Excerpt from the book Redefine Yourself: Define Your Purpose
Your New Years Resolutions
Your New Goals for a New Life
Your Top 3 New Years Resolutions

Help me build this positive environment for the two of us and everyone we know! Share this post with others!

Picture Credit: - Will you hold yourself up to a new level of strength in February?

Article Credit:
Author: Michael Moody Fitness
5 Ways to Change Your Life in February
Learn how to lose weight from a personal trainer in Chicago.

"What Are THE MOST Nutritious Foods?" Review

It's the start of a new year and you're overwhelmed with endless weight loss information of about what to eat. How do you know what's credible? Check out this recent article "What Are THE MOST Nutritious Foods?" from It'll provide the foundation for your weight loss grocery list.

According to a Consumer Reports survey, 90 percent of Americans polled said they believed that they consumed a diet that was at least "somewhat" healthy.

But are we really eating healthy?

Unfortunately, it doesn't sound that way. Another report published in 2011 (based on data from national food-consumption surveys), found that 90 percent of Americans are NOT getting the essential nutrients we need to stay healthy. According to this report, the 11 nutrients we are falling short on include: potassium, fiber, vitamin D, calcium, vitamin A, vitamin B-6, vitamin B-12, zinc, folate, magnesium and iron.

So, what is it that we’re doing wrong?

Americans' shortages in these key nutrients are attributed to the fact that we aren’t eating enough of the foods that supply these vitamins and minerals.

If I asked you what the most nutritious foods were, what would you guess?

The answer is probably easier than you think. Remember back to when your mom told you to "Eat your vegetables"? Well, she was right.

Vegetables and fruits are the most nutrient-dense foods you can find (followed by legumes/beans, nuts and seeds, and then whole grains).

If your mom was always prodding you to “eat your spinach and Brussels sprouts,” she was really on to something!

THE MOST nutrient-dense foods are all green vegetables:

* Bok choy
* Watercress
* Kale
* Collard greens
* Mustard greens
* Swiss chard
* Spinach
* Arugula
* Romaine lettuce
* Brussels sprouts
* Broccoli

These foods rank at the very top when using the Aggregate Nutrient Density (ANDI) score that ranks the whole foods rated by highest nutrients per calorie as described by Dr. Joel Fuhrman in his books “Eat For Health” and “Eat Right America Nutritarian Handbook.” (Dr. Fuhrman defines a “nutritarian” as “a person who bases food choices on maximizing the micronutrients per calorie.”) Whole Foods grocery stores adopted the ANDI system.

ANDI scores are calculated by evaluating an extensive range of micronutrients, including vitamins, minerals, beneficial phytochemicals (angiogenesis inhibitors, organosulfides, isothiocyanates, and aromatase inhibitors) and antioxidant capacities.

Did your mom try to get you to eat kale, watercress or arugula when you were little? Mine did not, and I’m pretty sure those greens were not on many people’s radar in the 1970s or 1980s. Today, you’re likely to find kale and arugula as tasty salad options at most restaurants.

Next on the scale of nutrient density, green leafy vegetables are followed by non-green vegetables:

* Carrots
* Cauliflower
* Bell peppers
* Asparagus
* Mushrooms
* Tomatoes
* Sweet potatoes

Fruits that are high on the nutrient-density list are:

* Strawberries
* Blackberries
* Plums
* Raspberries
* Blueberries
* Grapes
* Pomegranates
* Cantaloupe
* Papaya
* Oranges

OK, so what should we do to fix our nutrition and health issues?

We have to start eating foods with a bigger nutritional bang, rather than processed junk. For example, you could eat about 20 corn chips for 176 calories, 8 grams of fat, 24 grams of carbs, 3 grams of protein, 1 percent of vitamin A, 0 percent of vitamin C, 6 percent of calcium and 5 percent of iron.

Or, you can choose to eat 3 cups of raw kale for 100 calories, 1 gram of fat, 20 grams of carbs, 7 grams of protein (more than double the protein in the 20 chips!) plus 618 percent of vitamin A, 402 percent of vitamin C, 27 percent of calcium and 19 percent of iron. Now it makes sense why your friends are snacking on kale chips, right?

As Michael Pollan wrote in “In Defense of Food” in 2009: “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” It makes sense when you look at ANDI scores because eggs, low-fat dairy and meats such as chicken and lean beef rank lower in nutrient density than plant-derived onions, sunflower seeds, kidney beans and oatmeal.

White bread and corn chips rank lower than eggs, meats, and low-fat dairy products in nutrient density.

If you’re one of those people who reaches for corn chips, crackers or vanilla ice cream at night, be aware that these foods rank very, very low on the list of nutrient-rich foods. They are just a small step above soda, which is at the bottom of the list.

Which of these foods will you add to your grocery list?

Picture Credit: - It's time to add more color to your weight loss table. Does your table look like this one?

Article Credit:
Author: Michael Moody Fitness with excerpt sourced from JESS BARRON's article What Are THE MOST Nutritious Foods? on
"What Are THE MOST Nutritious Foods?" Review
Learn how to lose weight from a personal trainer in Chicago.