Articles Tagged: nutritional counseling

Make Up Your Mind Already!

This is a guest article written by former Training Ground coach and NPC bikini competitor Kasia Harmata:

If there’s one thing most people are bad at, it’s making big decisions in a timely manner. Actually, for some people it’s making ANY kind of decision at ALL…

Now I’m not saying I condone making decisions without considering the consequences, but what I am saying is that it’s high time to “sack up” and make some damn choices instead of beating around the bush and procrastinating. Indecision destroys your ability to reach your goals (mainly because you don’t actually *have* a goal if you can’t make up your mind) and when it comes to health and fitness, this is pretty much a game-ender.

I’m saying this from personal experience by the way, as I have always been the type to go back and forth and back again when trying to make a decision about something. Usually, it’s about something time consuming like a job or relationship. Continue Reading Make Up Your Mind Already! »

Don’t be Fooled by Nutrition Labels!

This is a guest article written by former Training Ground coach and NPC bikini competitor Kasia Harmata:

I’ve been wanting to address this topic for awhile now. Today, I just had to man up and actually write about it after seeing something on Facebook that was far from the truth.

Now, I don’t blame anyone for thinking that foods like Special K or protein bars are healthy because companies label their shit “HEALTHY,” or “ONLY 100 CALORIES PER SERVING,” or “LOW-FAT,” etc. It’s no wonder most of the country is suffering from weight issues—we are being tricked into thinking that we are eating healthy when in all reality we’re eating crap!

Let’s take a look a Special K cereal for a second… now, keep in mind, this is my all-time favorite cereal and there was a time where I would eat at least one bowl before bed, thinking that I’m doing my body good because it has “protein” in it. Pshhh, little did I know that I’m only feeding that nasty cellulite city under my ass that I’ve been killing myself walking up those stairs on Cal Sag (this super-steep hill in my home town) to get rid of! Continue Reading Don’t be Fooled by Nutrition Labels! »

Touchdown Dance-Worthy Recipes for Superbowl Sunday

Super Bowl Sunday… an American event typified by lots of drinking, bad eating (and potentially, copious amounts of loud yelling and arm-punching, depending how into sports your party-goers are). Tons of fun, but not a day that is usually kind to the waist line.

Wouldn’t be it be wonderful if you could enjoy all of those delicious traditional Super Bowl appetizers without feeling guilty and bloated afterwards? Well, all you need are some intelligent substitutes and then you can! Here are a few copycat recipes of your all time favorites made with the freshest and healthiest ingredient options so that you’re not left out during those fun Super Bowl parties!

Let’s start with the number one favorite, PIZZA! Continue Reading Touchdown Dance-Worthy Recipes for Superbowl Sunday »

Post Workout Meal 101

This is a guest article written by former Training Ground coach and NPC bikini competitor Kasia Harmata:

Before getting into fitness and researching more about the subject, I—like most people, didn’t know much about the benefits of eating certain foods at certain times. I thought that a post-workout meal meant eating anything my little heart desired after a 15 minute cardio sesh—which is far from optimal. It would be nice, but it won’t get me the results that I desire.

What I discovered is that there are in fact specific strategies that need to be employed in order to get the best results possible from your nutrition (and workouts). Obviously, this all assumes you’re already on top of your eating habits (all the nutrient timing in the world will make no difference if you’re eating McDonald’s every day).

Here are some tips that have helped me over the past year to give me the best results while preparing for my bikini competition: Continue Reading Post Workout Meal 101 »

Starvation Mode: What It Is and Why You Want to Avoid It at All Costs

This may come as a surprise to you, but a large percentage of folks who are overweight and have trouble achieving weight loss actually eat to few calories as opposed to eating too many calories. This can be a confusing concept to grasp, particularly with the media constantly telling us to eat less to lose more. The truth is, effective, permanent fat loss demands a delicate balance of just the right amount of calories—not to few and not too many.

As you may know, if you eat too many calories, that which your body doesn’t use (for repair, day-to-day functioning and for energy replacement), it stores as body fat. Folks who have a food addiction or who don’t watch their portion sizes tend to have this problem, and can certainly have a hard time managing their weight for obvious reasons. In this case, the best solution is to lower the amount of calories they’re eating on a daily basis.

However, many people are on the other end of the spectrum—a situation that can be completely frustrating when you feel like you’re doing everything in your power to reduce your body fat but seeing no (or even negative) results. How is it possible that eating too few calories could halt fat loss? The answer is starvation mode. Continue Reading Starvation Mode: What It Is and Why You Want to Avoid It at All Costs »

Why You Need to Avoid Most Orland Park Fitness Boot Camps

Fitness boot camps have been popping up all over Orland Park lately. In fact, next to CrossFit gyms I would say that boot camps are the fastest-growing fitness programs in Chicago—and for understandable reasons. The class-type setting allows for a more affordable training program for the clients and a more manageable work schedule for the instructor, which can be a win-win.

Unfortunately, there are many other factors that most fitness boot camps share that can be big negatives, and it’s important to identify if any of these warning signs are present in a program that you are a part of, or are considering becoming a part of, before continuing on with your training. We’ve identified four main characteristics that the majority of poor-quality boot camp fitness programs share, and that you should be very careful to watch out for if your goal is to train in an effective, enjoyable and safe environment. Continue Reading Why You Need to Avoid Most Orland Park Fitness Boot Camps »

My Goals for 2012 and How to Make 2012 Your Most Effective Year in Fitness Ever

Here we are, well into the first week of 2012! 2011 was an amazing, transformative year for me, my business, and also for my clients. I was absolutely blown away by some of the results I’ve seen and the effort expended by the men and women I’ve had the privilege of working closely with, and I feel extremely lucky to be in this field and be able to help them achieve these successes each and every day.

Every year I make new goals for myself (and you should too). I like to include goals related to fitness, business and personal development, because I believe it’s important to strive for improvement in all three areas of the mind, body and finances. I also think it’s critical to let others know your goals because that helps hold you accountable, and accountability can mean the difference between yet another failed resolution and one that you can strike out as “Mission Accomplished!” In the spirit of accountability, I am going to include some of my own goals most important goals here. Continue Reading My Goals for 2012 and How to Make 2012 Your Most Effective Year in Fitness Ever »

The hCG Diet: Temptations of a Fad

This is a guest article written by Anchorage’s top personal trainer and natural bodybuilder Steph Figarelle:

As a personal trainer who encourages healthy diet choices and a consistent exercise regime for everyone, I have a hard time jumping on the human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) diet bandwagon and find the controversy surrounding it frustrating. hCG is a hormone found in the urine of pregnant women in their first trimester of pregnancy, as well as in the pituitary gland of males and females of all ages at a lower concentration. I’ve read several empirical research articles and heard countless success stories from people who have lost a significant amount of weight following this “diet plan,” so I understand that it may have a short-term success rate, however I’m still convinced the diet is a quick fix. Continue Reading The hCG Diet: Temptations of a Fad »

Juice Fasting: Pointless Waste of Time and Money

This article may prove to be controversial, but this is a topic that I can’t stay quiet about any longer and it’s time to blow the lid off this thing. All over the nation, and in Orange County in particular, the trend of “juice fasting” is becoming mainstream and millions of dollars are being spent each year on detoxifying the body through a nutrition plan that consists of juices made from fruits and vegetables. These systems (at least in Orange County) typically cost between $50 and $300, depending on the company you go through and how many days you perform the cleanse for. It all sounds fine and dandy (albeit, a bit expensive) right? So what the heck’s my problem then?

My problem, simply put, is that juice fasting is completely pointless, and the industry behind it is a complete scam. First, let’s look at the claims made by typical juice fasting companies. Continue Reading Juice Fasting: Pointless Waste of Time and Money »

Why Should You Hire a Personal Trainer?

Anyone who reads my articles on a regular basis knows that I fully believe in sharing health and fitness information for free. Educating ourselves on healthy living habits is the only way to progress from the current epidemic we find ourselves in with regards to obesity. An astounding and scary statistic is that as of 2008, around 15% of children in the US have been diagnosed as being obese (which means VERY overweight), while almost 70% of adults are either overweight or obese! This means that people maintaining a healthy weight range are actually a minority in this country by quite a large margin. The only way to improve these statistics is to ensure that resources to assist folks in living healthy lives are readily-available to everyone.

That being said, ideas are only worth anything when they are implemented, and in terms of fitness this can often come down to making a decision to hire a professional to assist you. Continue Reading Why Should You Hire a Personal Trainer? »