Personal Trainer Chicago

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!


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

End Your Lower Back Pain Today!

Want to finally get rid of lower back pain? Your number one goal is to reduce inflammation. Take ibuprofen (if your doctor permits) and add ice to the area for 10 minutes on and 10 minutes off for a few cycles. No heat....ever!  Don't add fire to fire!  

You'll want to reduce the compression on the spine, too. Sitting and lifting will cause this. Whenever possible take the load off the spine and lie on your back with your knees bent on the floor (a couch may tilt the hips). Place pillows under your knees for support. Do the same while you sleep and limit the sleep on your sides.

I also encourage you to take 5 deep breathes (Breathe all the way in....all the way out) and perform a hip thrust (Stop before the point of discomfort and squeeze your glutes) and a quad squeeze (Think cat pose but with a neutral spine while drawing in your belly button for 30 seconds. Activate your abs and squeeze your glutes lightly).


ONLY walk or use the elliptical at Level 1 while you recover.  No strength exercise until the pain is gone.

Once the pain has subsided a bit, try a version of the founder exercise in the video below using your desk (instead of a lower surface like the chair in this video).  Only watch until the 14 minute mark (don't try anything beyond it).  

Basically, you want to soften your knees slightly while hinging at the hips (pushing the butt back until you feel a stretch in your hammies).  ONLY hinge until you feel the hammies a little bit.  Any further can strain the hammies or consequently pull on the inflammed lower back.  Use the desk to lower yourself slowly.  This will help stabilize your hips.

If you feel your back at any point, stop.  You'll always want to stop this movement JUST before the point of weakness (ie a big hammie stretch or pull on the back).

Dr. Mercola and Dr. Eric Goodman Demonstrate Exercises

*Always consult with your doctor before performing any exercises.

*****Check out my new book Redefine Yourself: The Simple Guide to Happiness on Amazon soon!

More Surpising Reasons Why You're Gaining Weight

As a personal trainer in Chicago, I'm constantly looking for new ways to repackage the key components to weight loss (after all, we have different learning styles).  Recently, MSN effectively gave its readers a wakeup call with their article 11 Surprising Reasons You're Gaining Weight.  From drinks to sleep deprivation, they breakdown the major obstacles that are obstructing your goals with your Chicago personal trainer.  Take a read and see what's affecting your weight loss.

Please note that I agree with all of the weight gain factors in this article but should add the following notes:

-The title "Too Much Healthy Food" is deceiving.  Fully read the paragraph underneath this heading to understand what the author meant.

-"Weight Training":  Just as the article mentions, muscle weighs more than fat (which can hypothetically lead to weight gain).  Please keep in mind that this WILL NOT HAPPEN for most people (or the difference is slight).  Unless you're a bodybuilder, DO NOT expect to gain weight from strength training.

-"Undereating":  It's amazing that you can actually gain weight from undereating...but it's true.  If you create a deficit in the body, it will respond and do whatever it can to protect itself.  With this being said, there isn't a magic calorie number that works for everyone while they're losing weight.  It's important that you test your diet and find the caloric number that fits your metabolism.

Keep the article and my weight gain notes in mind and you'll achieve weight loss success during your personal training experience!