Personal Training Old Town

"15 Daily Life Hacks to Achieve Greater Fat Loss" Review

Looking for a quick weight loss trick before spring break? Take a look at the most viable tips I found in the article 15 Daily Life Hacks to Achieve Greater Fat Loss.


Research suggests that drinking two, eight-ounce glasses of water before main meals can help enhance weight loss. Participants in a twelve-week study who drank two glasses of water before every meal consumed 75 to 90 fewer calories per meal and lost more weight on average than those who didn’t. The researchers concluded that by hydrating right before eating, you’re more likely to feel satisfied from your meal, and less likely to overindulge.


There is growing evidence that the size of your dinnerware can influence how much you consume during a meal. Researchers attribute this phenomenon to the Delboeuf Illusion – an optical illusion of relative size perception. When serving yourself, use larger plates and bowls for healthier foods, like fruits and vegetables, and smaller plates and bowls for less healthy foods.


This might sound redundant, but consuming a lot of vegetables can do more than provide you with health-boosting nutrients. Use vegetables to your advantage by adding bulk and fiber to your dishes, which will help fill you up. And vegetables can also be used for low-carb food swaps like using cauliflower as a pizza crust or squash for spaghetti.


One of the keys to success in weight loss or weight management is tracking your food and beverage intake regularly. Tracking can help make you aware of subconscious snacking, unhealthy eating patterns, and overeating. Multiple research studies have tested the effectiveness of tracking intake on enhancing weight loss and have concluded that individuals who track eating habits regularly lose more weight on average than those who don’t.


Cayenne pepper can kick your metabolism into high gear because of capsaicin – the active compound that causes the burning sensation in your mouth upon consumption. Capsaicin is widely known and studied for its thermogenic effect, which is the ability to generate extra body heat and a rise in metabolic rate. One recent study found that about a half-teaspoon of cayenne pepper, either mixed in food or swallowed as a capsule, helped study participants burn an additional 10 calories more over a four-hour period. While that might not seem worth the temporary burning sensation, consumption of the cayenne pepper also reduced their preoccupation with food and their desire to consume fatty, salty, and sweet foods during that same four-hour period.


Soup can do more than help alleviate cold and flu symptoms. In fact, a bowl of soup a day may help keep the pounds away. Multiple studies have shown that when low-energy-dense soups were consumed at the start of a meal, subsequent food intake was reduced by as much as 20 percent. Furthermore, soup has a high water content, which can also help fill you up in addition to helping you stay hydrated. Be sure to avoid creamy, rich soups, which can run upwards of 500 calories, and canned soups high in sodium.


Research suggests that eating slowly can lead to improved satiety and make you less inclined to overeat. When you eat slowly, you allow more time for your brain to catch up with your gut as it signals it’s full. To slow down your eating, try alternating bites of food with sips of water, removing distractions, like television, and chewing your food thoroughly. Another great technique is to eat with chopsticks, which will inherently force you to eat smaller bites and at a slower pace.


Forget convenience, and park as far away as possible to burn some additional calories. This method is a very simple way to squeeze some extra exercise into your day, no equipment necessary.


On average, a burger bun or two slices of bread contains 150 calories and 25 grams or more of carbohydrates. You can save at least 100 calories and 20 grams of carbohydrate per day by swapping out bread for produce options, like sliced eggplant, large mushroom caps, and romaine lettuce. Better yet, you won’t have to sacrifice fiber since you’ll still get a good dose from these low-carb alternatives.


Wearing form-fitting clothing can help prevent you from overeating because you’ll start to feel uncomfortable as you eat more than you need. This discomfort is an example of how your clothing can help serve as a sensory reminder of when it’s time to put down the fork.


The kitchen may be the last place you’d ever thought to hang a mirror, but it’s certainly the most useful place when it comes to weight loss. Research has shown that hanging a mirror in your kitchen can help you lose weight and keep it off. How? Taking a look at yourself right before you’re about to reach into the refrigerator or pantry can help you avoid poor, unhealthy food choices. Furthermore, eating in front of a mirror can help you consume less food by making you more aware of how your body looks and feels.

What other life hacks help you with weight loss?

Picture Credit: - My personal training clients have used a lot of these strategies to lose weight. Is changing the color of your plate effective too?

Article Credit:
Author: Michael Moody Fitness with excerpt sourced from the article "15 Daily Life Hacks to Achieve Greater Fat Loss" on
"15 Daily Life Hacks to Achieve Greater Fat Loss" Review
Learn how to lose weight from a personal trainer in Chicago.

"10 Secrets to Lose 25 Pounds Now" Review

There are a lot of weight loss tricks in the book but stick to the ones that will lead to sustainable, long-term success. I chose the 8 most valuable from the recent article by Pamela Bede of Runner's World (10 Secrets to Lose 25 Pounds Now)....which ironically doesn't suggest running a marathon every day (good news, right?).

If you're still struggling to lose weight, slowly integrate 1 new strategy every 2 days until you've checked them all off.


Take some time to identify the most likely culprits of the unwanted weight. Are fried or sugary foods too tough to resist? Is it hard to avoid noshing whenever free food is within arm’s reach? Are you too tired and busy to shop and cook healthy meals? Or do emotions—like boredom, anxiety, nervousness, depression, and joy—send you straight to the fridge?

For most people, a wide variety of factors lead them to pack on unwanted pounds. The answers can lead you to your best first steps. If intense emotions are driving you to eat, identify alternate routes that will offer relief without derailing your weight-loss goals. You might reach out to a friend, get more sleep, sink into the distraction of a good book or movie.


It’s difficult to lose weight by just cutting calories. Research shows that reducing calorie intake through diet and exercise is the most effective way to shed unwanted pounds and keep them off. It’s ideal to develop a regular exercise routine of three to four times a week.

But also try to incorporate more activity whenever you can. Take the long way to the restroom, take the stairs rather than the elevator, park your car as far as you can from the front door. Set a timer to chime every hour so that you get up from your seat. Even standing rather than sitting at your desk will help. Studies have shown that standing at your desk during an eight-hour workday will burn 163 more calories than if you were sitting.


Everyone has their weak moments—situations where they find it tough to make healthy choices. Make a list of those occasions and settings where your diet tends to take a detour. No healthy lunch options at work? Pack your own. Devour everything in the fridge in the 10 anxious minutes after you walk in from work? Snack on the way home, and have a pre-cooked dinner that you can reheat right when you get home.

If you go off the rails late at night, once the kids are in bed and you have a chance to decompress, think of another activity far from the kitchen that helps you relax. Try a book, a shower, a call to a friend, a hot bath, a fun movie. Hate to cook or don’t have time for it? Get a book or order premade foods or convenient healthy foods.


You can eat large portions without loading up on calories—as long as you’re eating fruits and vegetables. Compared with other foods, produce is low in calories and high on nutrients, fiber, and water, all of which will help you lose weight without being hungry. Fill half your plate at every meal with fruits and vegetables. Fill the other half with whole grains and lean protein—lean cuts of meat, beans, tofu, or low-fat dairy—to keep you feeling fuller for longer.


Stick to calorie-free beverages like water or hot tea. A 20-ounce soda can pack 240 calories and 65 grams of sugar. Even a grande hot chocolate with fat-free milk has 360 calories. Add whipped cream, and you have an entire meal’s worth of calories before you’ve taken your first bite. If you love specialty drinks, choose a smaller size with fat-free or low-fat milk and skip the whipped cream and syrups. (Plus, just drinking more water might help you lose weight.)


It’s hard to feel bad about your body or have a burning desire to be thinner. Everyone wants to get thin now. But crash diets that promise to help you do that—by limiting you to a small group of foods, drastically reducing your calorie intake, or requiring you to buy certain engineered foods, won’t work. Even if you lose weight fast, you’ll likely regain the weight and then some. If you want the weight loss to last for life, you need to make changes that you can sustain for life.


Studies show that people who track the calories they consume lose weight and keep it off more than those who don’t. And there’s good reason. When you have to track your calories, you see the sources of empty calories that are low on nutrients. In order to accurately track calories, you have to measure out portions—another practice that’s proven to aid weight loss.


Realize that it’s okay to indulge on occasion; one extra treat will not doom your dieting efforts. Everyone goes overboard from time to time. When you do, try not to wallow in guilt or anxiety about it. You can’t control the past, all you can control is the choice you can make right now. Work in enough foods that feel like rewards on a regular basis so that you don’t feel deprived and primed to binge on a regular basis. Remember, it takes time, effort, and practice to form new healthy eating habits.

What other strategies have you used to lose weight?

Picture Credit: - You probably need a little pop in your weight loss approach...and it's probably not what you typically order.

Article Credit:
Author: Michael Moody Fitness with excerpt sourced from the article 10 Secrets to Lose 25 Pounds Now on
"10 Secrets to Lose 25 Pounds Now" Review
Learn how to lose weight from a personal trainer in Chicago.

The Simple Trick for Finding Joy Amid Holiday Chaos

While writing my self-improvement book Redefine Yourself: The Simple Guide to Happiness, my bedroom wall was covered with sticky notes of research. Not only did this approach help me organize my thoughts, it also provided the daily direction and reminders I needed to reach this goal.

Nearly a year later, the sticky notes have moved to my closet. Now, they state my personal and business goals for 2016. I see these reminders every day and I do my best consciously (and unconsciously) to live in line with them. While I recommend that you do the same, heed this author's advice and add self-care sticky notes too-you deserve it.


Create a ‘well-being wall’ and your sanity – and loved ones – will benefit.
If there's one thing I need to be my best self, it's a good night's sleep. For my husband, it's a biking session before work. For my friend Beth, it's 15 minutes of yoga. For Serena, it's a quiet bath. We all have at least one baseline self-care need that allows us to function at our most energetic, our most joyful, our best.

But during the holiday chaos, why should we even try to make time for ourselves when we have so much to do for everyone else?

The answer is simple: When we make sure to meet our own basic self-care needs, we fuel ourselves to take care of the daily tasks that make up our busy days – and still have time to care for our loved ones and friends.

Of course, practicing self-care can be easier said than done. But my simple trick – what I call a "well-being wall" – can help. The wall is a dedicated space where you'll put a sticky note every day about the small act of self-care you plan to do or you want to celebrate having done. This wall will blossom with these small acts, helping you document your efforts to cultivate well-being – even amidst the chaos of the holidays. With the wall, you don't have to wait until after the holidays to relax and experience well-being. Here's how to get started right now:

1. Scout out space.

Find a space in your house that you see every day where you can post sticky notes. It can be a blank wall in your family room, a door to your office, by your bedside table, your bathroom mirror or on your refrigerator. If need be, ask family members to help identify the right spot, and invite them to participate too!

2. Identify feel-good activities.

Think of one, two or three small things you can do for yourself that bring you a feeling of well-being or joy. Sleep 15 minutes longer one morning. Take a 10-minute walk any time during the day. Read a book for five minutes. Sign up for a personal training session. Call a friend. Watch one funny YouTube video. Play with your dog. The list goes on.

3. Grant yourself permission.

Allow yourself to practice at least one small act of self-care every day through December 31, starting today. It can be something as small as one minute of reflection about a great vacation or a loved one.

4. Share.

Get a buddy to create a well-being wall with you for mutual support. Tell your family and friends what you're doing and ask them to support you by watching the kids while you snag your 5-minute meditation session, asking you what you did each day or checking in with you about how you feel, or helping with holiday-related tasks. You can also get virtual support by posting about this self-care project on Facebook.

5.Think ahead.

Every evening, decide what one small thing you want to do the next day and when you'll fit it in. Put that on a sticky note and post it to your well-being wall. If spontaneity is your friend, decide what you'll do when you wake up in the morning.

6. Notice.

Every time you do something to tend to your self-care in any way, be sure to take a moment to notice how you feel as you are doing it, and afterward. (If you want, add what you noticed to the sticky note.)

7. Repeat every day.

You can find new nice things to do, or recycle ones you really loved. Your life is yours to enjoy!

8. Celebrate.

Notice how your well-being wall is growing, and revel in the positivity and proactive self-care it reflects in your life. Enjoy it in private, or take a photo of your wall and share it with others. Celebrate the idea that when you take care of yourself even in the smallest way, you feel better – and the people in your life benefit too.

Picture Credit: © Images

Article Credit:
Author: Michelle Segar from U.S. News & World Report
The Simple Trick for Finding Joy Amid Holiday Chaos (Adapted)
Learn how to lose weight from a personal trainer in Chicago.

Don't wait until the new year....

Redefine your life right now.

Click below and find the book Redefine Yourself on Amazon today!

Chicago Petsonal Trainer's Self-Improvement Book

Chicago Petsonal Trainer's Self-Improvement Book

7 Healthy Habits All Truly Fit People Follow

You’ve heard that being fit is all about "the lifestyle," and not the quick fix, so today I’d like to give you a glimpse into the habits that fit people follow on a regular basis.

These seven habits are held by people who are successfully fit. In other words, the people who have learned to maintain their fitness and good health for the long run.

1. They See Each Day with Perspective

Fail to meet your fitness goals today? Move on. Tomorrow is another day to make smarter decisions. When you wake up, rededicate yourself to your fitness goals without beating yourself about whatever mistakes you made in the past. After all, you can’t change what you did yesterday. All you can control is right now, so get to it!

2. They Know Their Bodies

When you finish a workout, you should feel good. If you don’t, then something needs to change. Either your weight loss diet or routine is throwing you off. Fit people know how everything they do affects their body and they take steps to avoid the things that don’t allow them to feel and perform their best. Learn how your body responds and care for it accordingly.

3. They Find Ways Around the Reasons

If you’ve ever wondered why you can’t quite get fit, it may be your proclivity for caving to pressure. And that pressure may be self-induced. Fit people do not give into excuses for why they shouldn’t exercise. Quite the contrary — they are continually finding reasons why they should hit the gym and find pockets of time to do it, even if the trip to the gym is shorter than usual.

4. They Eat and Sleep Well

Study after study has shown the benefit of eating whole, unprocessed foods. It provides energy and strength, helps you feel full throughout the day, and makes your time in the gym as fruitful as possible. Getting good sleep is equally as important, as it keeps all your bodily systems in rhythm. Put these two fit activities together and you’re well on your way to optimal fitness.

5. They Track Progress

For some, keeping tabs on health progress is about as exciting as watching paint dry. Once you get into the routine, however, you will become a believer in the power of tracking your progress. Tracking serves to both reward and motivate you, as you see that the countless hours in the gym and smart food choices lead to a healthier weight and greater strength — aka, better overall fitness and health.

6. They Think During Exercise

It can be easy to mindlessly run on a treadmill at the gym if you’re not careful. Just remember that fit people don’t usually do this. They’re very intentional about everything they do at the gym. This means if you want to be fit, you should put some brainpower into what you include in your workout and how you perform each repetition. This allows you to get maximum benefit from your gym time and reduces the risk of injury.

7. They Lean on a Personal Trainer (or Another Trusted Health Professional)

The final thing fit people do is rely on someone with lots of know-how in the realm of fitness. This is why my personal training clients have such a high success rate in achieving their goals — because I make sure that they stick with it! I have a sincere interest in their overall health and well-being and know how to help them reach goals that can seem so far away when you’re trying to achieve them on your own.

Picture Credit:

Article Credit:
Author: Jesse Jackson from The Active Times
7 Healthy Habits All Truly Fit People Follow
Healthy diet and fitness habits personal training clients should follow.