5 Unexpected Places You’ll Find Sugar – Articles

‘Tis the season for sugar creeping up everywhere — from extra treats to adult beverages. But what I love about this time of year is that it’s the true season of giving. Everyone tends to be a little bit more jolly and generous. But it can also lead to overindulging and making food choices that are less-than-healthy that can impact our health and weight.

Too much sugar can not only impact our waistline, but it can also have a negative impact on our blood sugar, energy, mood, gut health and even worse — can cause you to have more cravings.

Most of us know that cookies and other holiday treats are high in sugar. And during this time of year especially, we want to eat our holiday indulgences, own it and be done with it.

But sugar can be found in other places that we might not as easily recognize — and with those holiday cookies — lead to heavy overconsumption.

If you want to enjoy the season and this time of year without adding some additional baggage, check out these five unexpected places to be on the lookout for sugar — so you can mitigate the damage.



Navigating away from temptations at work is a common topic with my clients when identifying healthy eating strategies. And during this season especially, everyone seems to be bringing treats to share.  One thing I remind my clients to help get their mindset right is that often people are bringing gifts (of food) they’ve been gifted and want to get rid of so they don’t eat it. You don’t have to feel any guilt or obligation to consume what’s been brought it. 

Pro Tip: Snap a picture of it. We’ve seen this trend within our 60-Day Challenge participants — instead of giving into the temptations, Challengers snap a picture of it, and share it with their group for motivation and support by tagging something they avoided during the day.

Keeping a tub of protein powder at your desk for a quick shake (when cravings hit) can be a great tactic along with practicing saying, “No thank you,” or tossing away anything that’s been personally gifted that you don’t want to consume. 



My team knows that my love language is coffee, so coffee runs and bringing coffee to share is a regular thing at my workplace. This time of year, the coffee shops love taking advantage of all of the nostalgia and emotions that come with the season and often launch really amazingly tasty seasonal flavors. Don’t fall for this trap. Most of these drinks crank more sugar than the daily recommended dose and is no different than chugging a can of soda. 

Pro Tip: When it comes to coffee, stick with the basic add-ins or consider bringing your own. I’m a big fan of some of the minimally sweetened almond milk creamers on the market, but also enjoy a coffee with a little heavy cream. Although artificial, you could go for a little sugar-free shot of flavor if you really want to add some sweetness. Or try using a seasonal extra, like peppermint or coconut.  



“Does wine actually have sugar?!” is a favorite question I get from clients. During this time of year when there are more celebrations and after work happy hours, it’s easier to hibernate on the couch and sip wine because of the early onset of darkness. And yes, alcohol can absolutely interfere with any weight loss efforts. And during this season especially, it can add up quickly and promote an increase in body fat. 

Pro tip: Pick your indulgences wisely and on those occasions, give yourself a limit. If you want to linger with a drink in hand, opt-in for sparkling soda water with lime. And go for calorie-free mixers. At the end of the day, all alcohol counts so sip slowly and consume water in-between drinks.



We all love gifting food. It’s easy and for the most part, something we all value. Whether it’s a hostess present, stockings or Secret Santa at the office — there are a ton of opportunities to be given food as a present whether you like it or not. And although the sources of food might be obvious if containing sugar or not, try to assess the frequency going in (likely higher than normal) and ration off the ones that will be the most meaningful.

Pro Tip: Although it’s not easy, try to gift all season with non-food items. And if you’re given food (and not something that will promote your health) re-gift, donate, toss or trial and share. One of the coaches on my team referenced that her mother used to give a piece of exotic fruit (in place of candy) in her stocking growing up — try to think out of the box.



Gingerbread protein bars, candy canes, dark chocolate granola bars, pumpkin spice cereal . . .  food companies do a great job of taking advantage of the season to create limited edition options. And although many of these processed starches are now being marketed containing no artificial ingredients, it doesn’t mean they are healthy. And most often, they are the biggest offenders of adding additional sugar.

Pro Tip:  Check the label and look for <5 grams of sugar per serving (and only eat one serving). Even better, make your own seasonal foods so that you can control the added ingredients, too. One of my favorite things to make is my own granola bar. Check out below for a tasty and healthy recipe.

I hope you found above useful. Overall, just know that higher sugar intake is likely. So choose wisely. I’m a big fan of eating healthy holiday cookies so I opt in for that in place of other sugary foods that I’d usually consume.




  • 2 cups raw certified gluten-free oats
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup almond butter
  • 1/4 cups coconut oil
  • 1 cup dates, pitted, and soaked in boiling water for 5 minutes


  1. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine oats, cinnamon and flavor options (if desired).
  2. In the base of a blender, combine remaining ingredients and pulse until well combined, and add to oat mixture.
  3. In an 8×8 baking dish that has been greased with coconut oil, pat out ingredients and refrigerate for 30 minutes, until firm.
  4. Cut into 6 equal-sized rectangular pieces.

Flavor options:

Cranberry pecan: ¼ cup dried cranberries, ¼ cup pecans
Blueberry Muffin: ¼ cup dried blueberries, 2 tsp. lemon zest
Coconut lime: ½ cup dried, unsweetened coconut flakes, 2 tsp. lime zes 

Nutrition facts
Servings 6 | Calories 230 | Sugar 6g | Fat 16g | Carbs 18g | Fiber 4g | Protein 5g

(Nutrition information given without added flavor options.) 


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In health, Anika Christ – Director – Digital Programming & Events – Life Time Weight Loss 

This article is not intended for the treatment or prevention of disease, nor as a substitute for medical treatment, nor as an alternative to medical advice. Use of recommendations in this and other articles is at the choice and risk of the reader.

Should You Eat More Fat? – Articles

The human body is amazing.

If you step back and consider everything it’s capable of, you can’t help but be awestruck by our remarkable ability to survive and even thrive on a wide variety of dietary patterns: low-carb, high-carb, high-protein, etc.

We all know someone who seems to be able to eat whatever they wish without any unwanted consequences, while others seem to gain weight by simply smelling a buffet or watching a candy commercial.

As I study and apply various nutrition therapies to help people manipulate their energy levels, appetite, body composition and physical performance, I’m always surprised at how unique each individual is with their needs and adaptability. There are often significant differences within the same person at different times in their program.

It’s these inter- and intra-individual differences that cause us to question, debate and ultimately ignore much of the nutrition information that makes its way to us. We hear conflicting messages in the media each time new research comes out. Is the high-fat ketogenic, low-fat plant-based or fasting diet the “new” key to lasting health and longevity?

While the media loves these dramatic changes in diet and nutrition information (recall TIME magazine’s 2014 iconic cover story that “ended the war on fat”), like many, you probably find it challenging to figure out how to make practical sense of it for your health.

Take the recent updates to the United States Dietary Guidelines on dietary fat, for example. For the first time ever, there’s not an established “upper limit” for dietary fat intake.

Does that mean you should start liberally drizzling “healthy” olive oil on everything because a bunch of spry, independent 100-year-olds in some Mediterranean village have been for centuries? Or because some Paleo expert sports a six-pack and freely melts grass-fed butter on everything?

Not exactly.

For several decades, the Guidelines centered on low-fat recommendations for everyone (defined as <30% of calories from fat). That’s 66 grams of fat per day using a 2000-calorie-per-day diet. Or just 50 grams of fat on a 1500-calorie plan that one might typically consume on a weight or fat loss/fat loss journey.

The new Guidelines reflect the scientific community’s understanding that there probably isn’t one diet that’s right for everyone, and this change was needed. But the new Guidelines are not a free pass to pile on the fat.

No matter how much melted butter enhances the taste of broccoli, our newfound freedom from our former fat phobia comes with very important caveats.

Calories still matter. A lot. Especially when you’re trying to manage body fat levels or body weight.

Dietary fat is energy dense, which means it contains a lot of calories per gram (9 calories per gram compared to 4 calories per gram for carbohydrates and 4 calories per gram for protein).

In previous posts, we’ve explored why a calorie isn’t just a calorie, published our beginner’s guide to macronutrients, discussed how much protein you really need, and how to eat more healthy fats.

When figuring out how much fat fits into your plan, here’s the most practical four step approach I can advise:



Here at Life Time that’s done through a RestingMetabolicAssessment℠ (RMA), plus a daily activity factor. Using estimation equations (like those used by most food tracking apps and diet centers) is sometimes adequate, but there is a large margin of error, especially if you’ve gone through several weight loss/regain cycles in your lifetime.

For example, my predicted Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR), plus daily activity factor, is just under 2700 calories. My actual RMR plus activity factor is 2248 calories per day — almost a 500-calorie variance (or 15% less than predicted).

My goal is to gradually lose body fat (but not muscle) over the next 15 weeks, which will require a modest daily energy deficit of about 500 calories through a combination of portion control and exercise.

I’m left with a target of about 1750 Calories per day on average (some days may be higher due to higher exercise volume or intensity).

Bottom line: if I embarked on a weight and fat loss plan based on my estimated numbers, I wouldn’t be very successful with my timeline because I’d be overestimating.



Protein needs are the first thing to calculate and fit into my energy “budget” because they’re based on body weight and a chosen exercise amount/type. Based on my goal and exercise volume, my protein intake will take up 620 calories of my budget (about 35% of my calories).

Next, since my exercise plan calls for moderate-to-high volume with some very-high-intensity work, we picked a moderate carbohydrate target (to start with) of 700 calories per day (about 40% of my calories).

With the remaining 430 calories for fat, that means my starting point is 48 grams of fat per day on average (or about 25% of my calories).

What do I eat on such a plan? Loads of colorful vegetables, lean meats and protein flavored with about one tablespoon of olive oil or butter per meal; fruit; sweet potatoes; and protein shakes for snacks. Trust me, I won’t be too hungry. And remember, this is a starting point.

Bottom line: with the help of an expert coach and my personal assessment data, my starting point (especially for fat intake) appears to be quite different from the updated guidelines many other experts would have suggested.



As I execute this plan, I’ll pay close attention to hunger and satiety cues, energy levels and performance during my workouts. I’ll also track weight and body composition changes closely with my coach, because for any process to “work” you have to measure stuff. We can only change what we track.

If I feel like trash, am not losing fat at the expected rate, and can’t progress or recover from my exercise program, my coach and I will tinker with the plan a bit. Maybe we’ll find that I feel better eating more fat and less carbs. Or maybe we’ll realize that I need more total calories and can eat more fat and/or carbs while still losing fat. Wouldn’t that be great?

If I do my part and optimize my nutrition intake within my energy budget, I should see the results I want (gradually lose body fat), improve my performance (build fitness, strength and endurance), and raise my metabolism back to — or perhaps above — my predicted RMR. This would allow me to continue to eat more but carry less body fat.

Bottom line: since I’m tracking so many subjective and objective pieces of information, my coach and I will have more than enough information to make educated adjustments to my program to get the best results.



Now, if I end up blowing up my energy budget on one day (or over a weekend), does it matter whether I overeat fat, carbs or protein?

Yes. If I deliberately overeat any of the macronutrients, it will likely slow down or halt any weight or body fat losses, and it might also increase my weight (depending on the degree of overeating). Some of the extra energy gets burned off as extra body heat, but much of it can also be stored away depending on where the extra calories come from.

Recently, a few researchers reviewed all the available clinical evidence on over-feeding humans and summarized their findings in the International Journal of Exercise Science.[i],[ii]

They found that consuming excess calories from simple carbohydrates (processed, refined grains or various sugars) makes it easiest for us to gain weight as fat deposited in the liver and within our abdominal organs (called visceral fat). Added fructose and sucrose (or table sugar, which is half fructose) were the worst source of surplus calories for all health- and weight-related measures.

Due to the fiber and/or water content of complex carbs (like whole grains, tubers and especially colorful vegetables), it’s almost physically impossible to over-consume calories, so one could argue that it’s highly unlikely people will gain any fat by eating more whole vegetables and fruit.

When people overeat their calories as fat, those extra calories are also very easily deposited as body fat, but it’s more likely to end up in subcutaneous fat stores as opposed to in the liver and visceral stores — unless the extra fat is also consumed with simple carbs. Then all three fat reservoirs will probably grow.

Saturated fats (most studies use palm kernel oil) seem to be more easily stored than polyunsaturated fat (including omega-3s) or monounsaturated fat (like olive oil and avocados).

When people (whether they’re sedentary or active) eat a surplus of calories as protein, the calories are more likely to be used for lean tissue maintenance or growth. In fact, extra protein is very unlikely to be converted to and stored as body fat. Most subjects fed extra protein may increase their weight but those increases are almost entirely from improved bone density, muscle gain or extra intracellular water stores (increased capacity for cell hydration).

Bottom line: if you’re going to blow your energy budget, blow it by eating more fresh produce or protein because it probably won’t make you gain fat, and will most likely even accelerate improvements in body composition.

If this post intrigues you and confuses you all at the same time, that’s normal. Reach out to schedule a consultation with one of our Nutrition Coaches to get started on personalizing your program. We specialize in giving our clients the confidence they need to get the best, most maintainable results.

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In health, Paul Kriegler, Registered Dietitian and Life Time – Nutrition Program Development Manager.

This article is not intended for the treatment or prevention of disease, nor as a substitute for medical treatment, nor as an alternative to medical advice. Use of recommendations in this and other articles is at the choice and risk of the reader. 


[i] https://digitalcommons.wku.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=2079&context=ijes

[ii] https://digitalcommons.wku.edu/ijes/vol10/iss8/16/

Our Top 4 Success Stories of 2017  – Articles

The end of the year is a time for reflection for many of us — about what we’re grateful for and also to think about what changes we’d like to make going forward into a new year.

For most, this past year was filled with both gains and losses. And for some, their losses were also their gains, because they lost the weight that had been holding them back from living to their full healthy way of life potential.

At Life Time, we’re lucky enough to see and hear amazing success stories from a wide variety of individuals on a daily basis. And as we enter into 2018, we’d like to share our top 4 with you. 

So whether your goal for 2018 is to lose weight, eat more healthfully or just feel better, read on for inspiration. 



“I am often told ‘you’re the strongest person I know.’ It’s intended to be a compliment, but to me it means wow, I’m amazed you’ve survived; you’ve had a difficult life. It’s true, I’m emotionally resilient, but I would be the last person you would pick to be on your team in gym class.

“I had every reasonable excuse to be 70 lbs. overweight. I had six-month-old twins. I was breastfeeding. I had just finished five years of fertility treatment. I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism. And I was grieving the loss of my first-born son, Joseph Jr.

“A friend asked me to join her for a TEAM class at Life Time. I had not looked in a full-length mirror in years. I remember being sick to my stomach when I arrived. I got through those first classes under the watchful eye of my TEAM instructor, Marie. She saw the shame in my eyes. She would quietly give me a modification to get through the rep count. Other times, she would say, ‘Increase your confidence by 50% and try again.’

“After a few weeks, Marie noticed I was having difficulty following simple instructions for a lunge. I was so disconnected with my body I had difficulty replicating the basic exercise. She asked me to stand in front of a mirror and watch myself. When I looked into the mirror it took me a moment to recognize myself. A large stranger stared back at me. My eyes welled with tears. How did this happen? Who is this staring back at me? The tears poured as I struggled to balance my round self in a lunge. No one said a word. The group stood with me and finished the rep count. In this moment, my armor cracked and a stream of light came through. For survival, I had steeled myself emotionally and abandoned the body.

“I attended TEAM for almost a year. I built my confidence, built my strength, and built a community. But I didn’t lose much weight. I decided I was ready for the 60-Day Challenge. I knew I would need to do more than workout 2 to 3 times a week. Before the Challenge began I met with Life Time’s nutritionist, Morgan. We started with the Detox. She helped me plan better meals and added a few simple supplements. I was shocked to lose 17 lbs. in two weeks.

“As I began to change, tension began to build at home. I had created a household that depended on me for every decision, every meal, every transition, every pick-up, every appointment — every moment. I began to prioritize myself and I found I could not possibly meet everyone’s needs. I remember one night when I had postponed my workout all day. I had unexpected company, a family who wanted dinner, and a grumpy husband who had never seen me abandon the family during the evening to head to the gym. I struggled to leave the house for over an hour  the guilt was like shackles. But right when I was about to give in, Marie texted me and asked me, ‘How was your workout today?’ Sensing the tension in the house, my 13-year-old daughter Grace asked to join me when I left for the gym. We laughed, chatted, and had our first workout together. My heart swelled with pride as I watched her climb on the Stairmaster and it became clear to me why I needed to prioritize myself and my health. I had allowed the needs of my family to take precedence; serving my husband a hot dinner was more important than my workout, planning playdates more important than focusing on nutrition. Their needs seeped in to every corner of my life — I had become their invisible servant. As I watched my teen daughter break a sweat, I declared that I would model for her how to value herself. I will no longer allow others’ needs to be more important than my own. I’ll ask for help or I’ll delegate. I won’t be small, quiet and uncomplicated — I will make space for myself and for my daughter.

“As the weeks went on my family adjusted. Sometimes their needs had to wait. At night, Grace asked, ‘What can I do to help you get the gym tonight?’ I was allowing my family to support me and they were proud to do it. I was giving my workouts and my diet everything I had, but plateaued. I met with my nutritionist again. She made tweaks to my food diary. I started UCan and BCAA. I found my stride. I was able to work out longer and harder. I scheduled cardio workouts with my personal trainer to vent, stay strong, and reevaluate my goals. I suspended my own disbelief and completely trusted Marie. She never asked me to do anything that I couldn’t do. My physical abilities far surpassed anything I could have envisioned for myself. Marie believed in me until I could believe in myself.

“Today I stand as strong physically as I know I am emotionally. I know exactly what it takes for me to be strong and healthy. I not only need to belong to a Life Time but I need a community of people who expect me to be there, encourage and push me — TEAM does that for me. I know what foods and supplements I need. As I dropped my excuses, I dropped the weight. I can look in the mirror and be proud of who looks back at me.”

Interested in signing up for the 60-Day Challenge? Contact us at 60daychallenge@lifetimefitness.com.



“I am 57 years of age and since June of this year I have been a member of Life Time at the West Lake Houston location.

“I am not someone usually given to providing testimonials of a personal nature, however, I believe what has happened to me in the past three months is worthy of note as an example of what can be achieved if you are surrounded with a dedicated and professional team.

“After 30 years of travelling the globe on business, I had avoided any form of exercise or fitness and my diet was heavily carbs orientated, and was usually accompanied by a high level of alcohol consumption. Which was, of course, a potentially lethal combination at my age.

“My wife, who is a dedicated athlete, and who I have been lucky enough to be married to for over 30 years, had begged me to join the gym for several years. But apart from one very short-lived attempt at a fitness regime (it lasted a month), I had not felt the inclination to commit myself to anything that strenuous, and was always looking for excuses not to do anything about my burgeoning waistline and general poor health.

“After another of her attempts to get me focused on a lifestyle change, I reluctantly agreed in June to ‘give it a go,’ once again. But in truth, I was only doing it to appease her, and fully expected to do my usual short-term effort and then fall off the wagon again.

“As part of the ‘new regime,’ she told me that she had arranged for me to have a personal trainer and a specialized nutritionist to manage my program. But before I could meet with them, it was necessary for me to undergo a comprehensive set of bloodwork to see exactly what shape I was in. The results were shocking. Suffice to say, my readings showed that at most levels I was double the optimal range and that my blood sugars were so high and abnormal that I was diagnosed as class 2 diabetic, and as a result of this, my GP immediately put me on various medications to control my diabetes and blood pressure.

“As ridiculous as this sounds, and despite the fact that I had done nothing to look after myself for years and years, I was stunned by these results and decided that a lifetime change was critical if I were to have any chance of improving my life expectancy.

“Hopefully you have not gone into a coma yourself reading this testimonial so far, but it was necessary to give you the background to what occurred next.

“So at my first meeting, I was introduced to the people who have — in the past three months — completely turned my life around. Step forward, Casey and Jenny Ingram, my trainer and nutritionist, who along with Hanna Grinaker, who is a corporate registered dietitian, agreed to take me on and so began my journey with them.

“On June 1, my weight was 270 lbs. and my PBF (percent body fat) was registered at 42%. Casey told me that the goal was to lose 70 lbs. in weight and to reduce my PBF to 20%. I thought this guy must be the World’s biggest optimist, however, I had mentally prepared myself to commit to the program, and I am so pleased that I did. The training was very hard for me at the start, but Casey and I found some immediate chemistry which was a huge factor in me pushing through and his style of training. It pushed me to the limit on occasions, but I never felt it was beyond my capabilities, so we were off and running.

“Let’s now fast forward to the end of September when I went to have my bloodwork. redone. The results were amazing and here is a snapshot of my progress: My weight is now 230 lbs. (a loss of 40 lbs.) my PBF (percent body fat) is down to 34%, my BP is now at 117/78 (at one time it was 195/98), and all of my results from the blood works showed all of my readings had returned to the optimal levels. And the huge improvement was in my blood sugar that had reduced by 50% to the extent that my GP has halved all of my medication, and has confirmed that if that rate of improvement continues, I’ll be off of all medication by the end of this year.

“So I am now well on the way to achieving the goals set by my team, and am enjoying every session that I have in the gym — which is a far cry from where I used to be mentally. Also, I now enjoy an uninterrupted night’s sleep, have stopped snoring, and have loads of energy when I wake up that lasts the whole day. I am now a 40-inch waist instead of a 50-inch waist, and have gone through two complete wardrobe updates since we began the program in June.

“I never truly believed I would be able to get to this point in terms of health and fitness. And I am forever grateful to the amazing support and commitment I have received from my incredible team, the aforementioned Casey, Jenny and Hanna. And of course, the fourth member of the team, my incredible wife Debbie, who has ensured that all of my dietary requirements at home have been met. And who has encouraged me on every step of my journey so far. We still have a way to go to achieve the goals originally set, but I can assure you that these will not only be achieved, but surpassed, and it is all due to this team of people. So guys, thank you so much for turning my life around.

“As I said at the beginning of this, I am not someone usually given to public statements, but I just hope that people who are reading this and are at the start of their journey. Or more importantly, are seeing this and thinking ‘I could never achieve that.’ Please trust me when I tell you that you can. There was no greater skeptic than me and because of the dedication of my team, I am in the best place — both physically and mentally — that I have been for over 20 years. Thanks for taking the time to read this and good luck on your own journey.” 

Interested in speaking to a dietitian or having your lab work done? Email us at weightloss@lt.life.



“In truth, I would say that my weight worries began when I was a junior in high school. The fads of the day were the soda called Tab, doctor-prescribed diet pills and the grapefruit diet. I was in the high school musical that year and was ordered by the director to work on my diet. I think I weighed in the 130s to 140s in high school. My obsession with weight loss began at that time, and I have never been at peace with my weight for very long since then. 

“After high school, with no good nutrition, very little money for groceries, and no knowledge of healthy cooking or access to healthy foods, I gained a lot of weight. It was a Big Mac per day for supper on my home from work (no car either), as I passed McDonald’s when getting off the city bus. Eventually, it was a TV dinner per day when I moved and passed a tiny corner grocery store on my way home from the bus stop. It didn’t take long before I was in the 160s to 180s.

“Upon moving to Spokane, WA, when I was 21 years old, I really began to hate how I looked and felt. So I joined Weight Watchers, which was extremely restrictive at the time (1974). I lost weight and eventually was back to the 140s, I believe. Through depriving myself and going off and on starvation diets, I managed to stay at a fairly stable weight for my college years (1976–1979). In fact, I became a runner (about 3 miles per day) during my junior year in college. I loved running so much that I wanted to try out for the track team but talked myself out of it.

“Upon moving to San Francisco in 1979, I again joined Weight Watchers when I saw my weight start to creep up again from my lowest on my wedding day of 126 lbs. For years, I paid huge dollars to eat 500 calories per day on some weight loss program when I got tired of Weight Watchers. But eventually, I gave in to the food calling me, the depression over a terrible marriage and ballooned to 228 lbs. (my top weight). Food was my everything; my comfort and companion. I longed for the Friday nights I would find myself alone in the house. And I would get a pizza and a half gallon of ice cream and eat until I was sick. I was sick alright; sick in my body and in my soul and spirit. 

“Although I was despondent, there was always the tiniest bit of a fighter in me, and I couldn’t bear being this weight forever. I don’t know what was the catalyst. Maybe when my husband and I divorced and I started graduate school, but back to Weight Watchers. I went and this time it seemed to really be working. It seemed like something I could do long-term as it was about eating anything I wanted and just counting points. 

“I also joined Life Time and started exercising (minimally) albeit ever so little. As time went along and I saw some progress, I started joining the 90-Day sessions and joined TEAM Weight Loss and TEAM Fitness. Although I still didn’t exercise much on my own, the TEAM classes were helpful, and gave me ideas on what to do when I did come in on my own. Trainers began to talk about nutrition and supplements, and naming other people who might be able to help me. I felt intimidated to ask for help and ashamed at my inability to do it on my own, but no one shamed me.

“One day, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I felt so guilty. I felt I had brought this on myself from my hormone replacement therapy and my poor eating habits. Looking back, it was another stepping stone to my good health — as one of the first people I was referred to was a nutritionist at the hospital. She talked to me about how to eat during my chemo and radiation treatments; how to take care of my body and give it the best chance to heal. I learned — unfortunately late in life — that our fat cells carry estrogen and my cancer was both estrogen and progesterone positive. And by being ‘obese,’ as the doctors called me, I was increasing my chances of a recurrence. So this knowledge both scared me and motivated me. Although I didn’t dramatically change everything, I was very diligent during my treatment and ate more healthy foods than not.

“At the end of my treatment, I ran (slowly jogged) the Mother’s Day Cancer Run at MOA with one of the Life Time members who was heading the Run Club at the time. She had worked with me for a few months to get me ready. It was such a huge milestone for me. Thank you Leslie Skelly! A few years after treatment, I decided I was going to have reconstruction for my deformed breasts. And thought about what I could do to prepare for this surgery and be as healthy as possible, because I was now about 54 years old or so. Lent was coming, and I always gave up something for Lent. So I decided that year that it would be soda pop and all sweets, and I would do it until Easter. It was difficult but I persevered. Easter came and I thought, ‘Well, I’m not to my surgery date yet, so why don’t I continue this way of eating until surgery,’ which I did.  Well, then after surgery, I thought, ‘I need to heal and good nutrition certainly would aid in the healing process, wouldn’t it?’  So, I continued on.

“Before I knew it, I had done it for a year. A year turned in to more years, and I saw the benefit of feeling better and losing weight that came from no pop and no sweets. And of course, I continued with Weight Watchers off and on until I would get sick of counting points and feel like I could do it myself. My weight (extremely slowly) crept down until after one of the 90-Day’s (I don’t remember what year, but probably 6 or 7 years ago) I broke 140 lbs. and was so delighted. Of course, I thought I had arrived, and would never have weight problems again. Alas, it has been a non stop struggle for me since age 15. Up/down, up/down. Buckets and buckets of tears have been cried. I continued to do the 90-Day, continued to do TEAM Fitness but pretty much got stuck in the 140s, and couldn’t budge. 

“About 5 years ago, there was a handsome beau that came into my life, and for whatever reason, the weight seemed to start dropping off and I found myself at 133 lbs., and working toward my goal of 126, which was my wedding day weight. Since we had talked of marriage, I thought I would once again be at that weight on my second wedding day, but I plunged into despair when he dumped me for his ex-wife. I kept telling myself that he would not, could not, control me through my emotions, and I would not eat to cover my pain. However, I let myself indulge and quickly found the scale rising with me having little care about fighting it. Up/down, up/down the scale went again and I don’t know how, but eventually someone connected me with Mandy Rother, the nutritionist at the Life Time in Fridley, MN. 

“I had tried it all; diets, classes, counting points, you name it. And I thought I might as well try this as a last resort. Well, wasn’t she a Godsend? Never would you meet a more kind, compassionate, encouraging and knowledgeable nutritionist. She always had high expectations for me and ideas to try. She suggested various things through the years, and I would have some success, but it was ever so brief and ever so little. I would feel better but not be losing weight. I got discouraged and would pick up my old habits. Even when I would try other eating plans or cleanses (and she would even do them with me). I would still be trying to count points and resisted just letting my body and how my clothes fit dictate what I needed.

“She wanted me to do lab work so we could get to the nitty gritty of what my body was needing; what it was telling me. I really did not believe it would tell us the truth and that it was just a money-making operation. I finally relented after the ups and downs continued, and more buckets of tears were shed. 

“She believed the labs told a story about my gut being off, but we couldn’t pinpoint it. I thought I would start off 2016 by doing the January 1 Commitment Day 5K, and I felt so good about doing that. It was a motivator for me to continue to try and beat the blues about not losing weight. I am an overcomer, a fighter, and did not really want to give up. But just seemed stymied at every turn. Some of it would be my own fault because I was inconsistent. But I would get tired of trying so very hard — and not seeing results. So one day, I asked Mandy if she knew of a trainer that could help me train for a Triathlon. She introduced me to Jody Quesnell, who worked me to death (haha), and in 2016, I did my first tri in June! However, my weight during that training was in the 150s, and although I was working out for 1 ½ to 2 hours per day, for 4 months, I never lost an ounce. I was toning some, but again felt extremely frustrated that I could eat so well and work out so much, and not lose any weight. 

“I was at my wits end when at the end of 2016 I told Mandy I was going under and didn’t know what to do anymore. She told me that she knew of this new program that might address my gut issues. That it wasn’t too expensive and that we could work this through together. She believed that the labs were giving us a message and the other programs hadn’t quite gotten to the core of the issue. I was reticent to try something new again since I have tried so many things. However, I was desperate and because it was reasonably priced, I thought I’d give it a try. Well, it was a miracle to me! On January 9, 2017, I began GUT.FIX. Mandy and I met weekly to walk me through the first four weeks and answered the myriad of questions I had.

“I was extremely diligent, and I can tell you that now four months later, I am down 20.9 lbs., and feeling the best I have felt in many years! As I have begun to get compliments the past few weeks, and people ask what I’m doing, I have raved about this program. I know that I have worked hard to stay on track. But I also think that for me, the supplements must have addressed a deficiency in my body; something lacking or something needing to be ‘fixed.’ I am forever grateful for this program and for Mandy and her ongoing encouragement. It is difficult to maintain healthy eating when the world around you lives on carbs and sweets (as I once did), but I will continue to persevere and I pray that I will never be in the place of needing a ‘fix’ again.”

Want to try GUT.FIX? Find more info here


“The first two weeks of March was my one year anniversary of starting the D.TOX program. I have lost 42 lbs., and now getting a nice toned body that I once had…or close to what I once had. I’m at the perfect weight for which I want to stay at forever, 230 lbs. The programs have totally changed my eating habits. My lifestyle continues as if nothing has happened.

“Many of my friends ask me what diet I’m on. I tell them, ‘It’s a lifestyle, not a diet.’ I tell them: ‘We are all on diets, some of us have good diets, and some of us have bad diets.’ I compliment and give credit to the Life Time Fitness programs. I’ve purchased the D.TOX packages for my daughter, brother and co-worker. All three have shown success.

“I’m 59 years old, I was an athlete in college, then competed in triathlons and marathons for ten to 12 years, I have completed three Ironman Triathlons. I was in the Clydesdale division, playing football. I’m a big guy. My best Ironman was 11 hours and 23 minutes, and I weighed 225 lbs. Then I slowed down and got busy with my kids, slowly stopped working out, got heavy and out of shape and up to 272 lbs. I was shocked at how much I weighed. The years just disappear, but getting myself back in shape was so self-satisfying; my wife of 37 years and family loves it also. I’m back; Big John is back!

“I hope all your clients feel this sense of accomplishment because it breeds success and continued good health practices. Now that I’m at my desired weight, I still do the D.TOX quarterly, but I follow the 80/20 rule on eating, too. A person can’t be perfect all of the time, so if I eat properly at least 80% of the time, so I’m good to go. This has worked for me for the past four months. When I go on vacation I try to eat good, but not every day or every meal, 80% of them. 

“I just went on a ski trip to Whistler with 27 people. I was the oldest guy in the bunch at 59; the youngest was 31. I outlasted them all on the mountain, and we ski hard, double diamonds and all, and we went heli-skiing for a day. Two of the younger guys asked me what the heck I’m doing. I tell them it’s the Life Time programs and told them to look into them! A BIG THANK YOU for all your work and encouraging e-mails and phone talks.” 

Interested in the D.TOX program? Sign up here.  

Written by LTWL Staff  

This article is not intended for the treatment or prevention of disease, nor as a substitute for medical treatment, nor as an alternative to medical advice. Use of recommendations in this and other articles is at the choice and risk of the reader.  

How to Reset Your Metabolism After the Holidays  – Articles

It happens every year. Commencing with trick-or-treaters in October and concluding in the new year, the approximately six-week holiday season stretch is simultaneously festive, celebratory, indulgent and stressful — a perfect cocktail for accelerated fat gain. Come January 1, after attending countless parties, work events and family gatherings, it’s still somehow a little surprising to find that a favorite pair of jeans have “shrunk” yet again.

It’s no secret that holiday weight gain is common. What’s more concerning, however, is that it’s cumulative. Despite the initial wherewithal of typical New Year’s resolutions, most people do not typically lose the weight gained during this season, and it’s a major contributor to a steadily increasing waistline over the decades.1 When thinking about the holidays in the context of an extra 10, 20 or 30+ pounds (versus just a few extra uninvited ones from this year only), the seasonal coffee-shop drinks, cocktails and cookies seem a lot less innocent than once thought.

With that being said, hope is far from lost. With the rejuvenation and blank-slate motivation that come with the new year, there are a few tried-and-true strategies to keep you out of the weight-gaining status quo. Your metabolism can and should be different this year, and it starts by focusing on the most important areas for a reset. Read on to learn more.



When it comes to things that feel boring to talk about but are too important to skip, both water and fiber intake top the list. Be leery: it’s easy to get sucked into the latest diet crazes while ignoring these non-negotiable basics.

You have no doubt heard that water is our most important nutrient. At the risk of belaboring its importance, hydration is at the crux of maintaining energy levels, detoxification, appetite management and more. As a general rule of thumb, aim for half of your goal weight in ounces of water per day. To switch things up, try sparkling water, unsweetened organic herbal teas or your own infusions at home. A few favorites include pineapple and mint, raspberry and lime or simply lemon and orange wedges.

Once you’re consistently hydrated, begin increasing fiber intake. If you’ve never used an online food tracker before, see how you stack up. Most Americans are getting half (or even less) of what their needs are, which sets the stage for hormone imbalances, lipid (cholesterol) issues, challenges in moving bowels regular, and increases in appetite. Once you’re tracking your fiber grams, slowly increase your intake by about 5 grams per day each week until you’re getting 25 grams per day at a minimum. Many of us need more. Aiming for 6 to 8 servings of non-starchy vegetables each day, 1 to 2 scoops of a prebiotic plant fiber blend and 1 to 2 tablespoons of chia or flax mixed into a shake will yield you about 37 grams.

Be careful not to underestimate the power of water and fiber; hitting the goals for these two consistently can be a total game changer.


Sometimes, going cold turkey with nutrition is the way to go. The truth is, the concept of moderation does not work for everyone. And if you’ve ever found yourself shocked to find the bottom of a bag of chips, box of cereal or pint of ice cream, a black-and-white approach may be a great catalyst for you in the short term.

Having a predefined, realistic period of time (2 to 4 weeks) to include only what your body optimally needs (plenty of non-starchy vegetables, some fruit, healthy fats such as nuts and seeds, ample protein and unprocessed starchy carbohydrates), and to remove common sensitivities and triggers (added sugars, refined carbohydrates, alcohol, gluten and dairy, to name a few) can mean not only metabolic benefits, but a sense of confidence about implementing a healthier nutrition program as well.

The best part? We have a free D.TOXSM class to guide you. It’s kicking off on Monday, January 8, and is hosted by Coach Anika. The optional kit helps support your reset efforts (and your protein and fiber intake). Get more information, listen to an invitational podcast and sign up here.



Holiday festivities, travel, time off from work and skipped workouts can really throw a wrench into our routines and rhythms. Because so much of health and functioning is tied to circadian rhythm and routine, now is the time to set some boundaries and parameters to maintain a schedule that works for metabolism, not against it.

If nothing else, consistent bedtime and wake-up times are powerful moderators of how well we feel and function. If possible, focus on staying within similar windows of time for sleep both during the week and on weekends. Additionally, keeping a consistent schedule with exercising and eating may be beneficial.

Specifically related to eating patterns, you may find that limiting the number of hours per day that food is consumed to an 8- to 12-hour window may be better for metabolism than grazing the entire time you’re awake. In one study on mice, it was found that restricting feeding to less than 12 hours per day showed metabolic benefits, and some additional research on time-restricted eating has even shown support for certain blood markers and fat loss.2,3,4  If you’re considering this approach (a form of intermittent fasting), be sure to work closely with your healthcare practitioner, as it may not be appropriate for everyone.

Outside of sleeping, eating and exercising during routine times, other tips to support a healthy circadian rhythm (and therefore metabolism) include ensuring you get midday exposure to sunlight and limiting evening screen time which can fool your brain into thinking its daytime and disrupt your sleep.



After the holiday season, most of us are ready to hit the workout routine pretty hard. It’s common to think that creating the largest caloric deficit possible by eating less and moving more is the ticket to success. All too often, those with New Year’s resolutions are found to significantly cut their portion sizes and ramp up the hours put in on a favorite piece of cardio equipment — only to give up by mid-January. What gives?

One of the biggest post-holiday workout mistakes is not incorporating strength training. Strength training is important for building lean tissue (a must-have for anyone desiring a lean and toned look), supporting healthy blood sugar control and boosting metabolism. If someone is focusing only on daily caloric deficits, metabolism (which is programmed for survival, not jean size) will hormonally compensate to “save” the person from a perceived lack of food and perceived need to be on the run. The result? Slow fat loss, sluggishness and lightning-quick weight regain when returning to a previously normal caloric intake. On the other hand, building lean tissue and fueling with adequate nutrition revs up metabolism and sets the stage for long-term success.

Strength training in a progressive program often is the biggest piece of a weight loss approach that gets overlooked by those going at it alone. If you’ve never done any strength training before, this year is your year to meet with a fitness professional, get an evaluation, and determine the best program approach for you. Three days per week of strength training, when done properly, can yield more results than 6 days per week of random workouts, no matter how taxing they might feel.



That’s a mindset shift worth reading again. Don’t lose weight to get healthy. Instead, get healthy to lose weight. Listen, there are a thousand different ways you can lose weight for the short term, but if your underlying health is not improving during the process, it’s just a matter of time before the fat re-accumulates (and then some). It’s probably safe to say that during those short-term fixes, fatigue and crankiness are rampant.

At Life Time, we think a bit differently. We believe in optimizing your underlying health to set you up for long-term success. Excess fat, along with other common issues like cravings, poor sleep and low energy, is a sign that points to your underlying physiology. The better your physiology and health, the better you feel. The goal is to make fat loss one of the many positive “symptoms” of getting healthier — along with freedom from cravings, more restful sleep and soaring energy levels. It’s a paradigm shift, and it is possible. 

My clients always love starting the year off with a full check-in on their blood work to learn more about their unique levels of inflammation, check on their blood sugar regulation, evaluate their status of important nutrients like Vitamin B12 and iron, and get a reading on their balance of thyroid hormones, cortisol, and sex hormones like testosterone and estrogen. By tracking these over time, you’re able to customize your nutrition and exercise approach to better suit your body and how it functions.

You can’t improve what you don’t track, and looking under the hood with thorough blood work can provide you with the data you need to build a smarter program.

As always, the year flew by and we have a full calendar of fresh opportunities and goals ahead. Despite past successes or challenges, make this year different by marrying good intentions, hard work and a plan to truly reset your metabolism from the inside out.

Thanks for reading! As always, reach out to weightloss@lt.life if you have any questions or need support. 


In health, Samantha McKinney – Life Time Lab Testing Program Manager


This article is not intended for the treatment or prevention of disease, nor as a substitute for medical treatment, nor as an alternative to medical advice. Use of recommendations in this and other articles is at the choice and risk of the reader.







How to Get Lean and Toned For Life – Articles

Are you ready to tone up, get lean and become the best version of yourself this year?
Sign up for our *NEW* Complimentary Online 3-Week Lean + Tone Program

If you’re new to working out or feel like you’re doing everything right with your workouts and nutrition, but not seeing results — I’d like to invite you to join me for my new Lean + Tone program.  

I’m Coach Anika, and as a registered dietitian, personal trainer and wellness coach, I’ve helped tens of thousands of Life Time members reach their goals; individuals who tried everything but couldn’t shed those last few pounds, beginners who had no idea where to start or what to eat or how to move, even gym rats and athletes who had no problem getting to the gym but were doing the wrong things (often too intense and too often) to get to the results they were looking for. For some, ironically, they needed to eat more and move less. 

Because of the countless successes I’ve had with my clients, when I see new (and long-time) members frustrated in the gym, I always want to personally show them why they won’t get results with the exercises they’re currently doing. 

And when I stop in the café and see people confused about their food choices, I wish I could offer my tried-and-true menu and give them a personalized plan. Because as a dietitian, I know which shakes, snacks and meal options will get people results they’re looking for.

That’s why I created the Lean + Tone program. I want every member to have the ability to learn exactly what to eat and how to exercise effectively and efficiently. Not only to help people get through a plateau, but so they’ll have the fundamentals of healthy eating and a go-to workout — for life — that can always be built upon, no matter where they’re at with their fitness level. I also love that this is a plan you can do with your whole family — even through holidays or travel. 

In this free 3-week online program, you’ll experience what it’s like to be coached by me 3 days a week — without all of the inconvenience of meeting in-person. Think of me as your own personal trainer and dietitian as l guide you through the right way to exercise and eat to get lean and toned. I’ll also share with you the one must-do after working out to achieve lasting results. 

You’ll no longer wonder if you’re doing something wrong with your exercise and nutrition — you’ll know you’re doing it right, because you’ll see and feel the results. You can expect to lose anywhere from 5 to 7 inches from your waist, hips, butt, upper arm and legs. Although we don’t focus on the scale, you may see a 3 to 7 pound weight loss. You’ll also definitely notice that your clothes will start to look and feel better.

Plus, if you ever have questions, you’ll have unlimited online access to my team of coaches — just reach out via email anytime, and you’ll receive one-on-one guidance. 

The 3-week online program includes:

  • 3 educational podcasts – sent via email and hosted by Coach Anika and Coach Mitch.
  • 3-week meal plans including recipes like Pizza Topping Lasagna and Secret Ingredient Brownies, that your whole family will love.
  • 3-week exercise guide with workout videos — that you can do in your own home or at the club.
  • Weekly motivational emails — with exclusive tips and bonus recipes and workouts.
  • Healthy life hacks, like weekend food prep and easy-to-make meals when you’re in a pinch.
  • Daily guidance and support from wellness coaches via email — reach out anytime and we’re here to help.
  • A discount on the Lean + Tone Kit (optional but suggested)

Listen to the invitational — and get ready to start this program with me.


About Lean + Tone 
Developed by Coach Anika, this program is modeled after her protocol with her personal clients that are ready to lose weight and inches. It follows her non-negotiable’s that she creates with each client around what they specifically need to do with their nutrition and exercise — all wrapped up into 3 weeks. And it’s the same program she’d take you through if you hired her 3 days a week as a dietitian and personal trainer.

Who should join? 
Most who join are looking to lose inches and weight. Anyone new to the fitness and nutrition world or those who are experienced in working out at the club, but just not seeing results should join this class. If you feel stuck and have tried everything else and still not seeing results or even weight gain — this class will help to build your nutrition and fitness base, so you can see and feel success.

How does it work? 
Sign up with your first name and email. You’ll immediately receive all the info you’ll need to get started including a 3-week meal plan, 3-week exercise guide and bonus videos that you can do at home or in the club. The workouts will focus on foundational movements that you can continue to build upon. Plus, plenty of additional bonus material with healthy life hacks. In addition, we’ll send you the class podcast via email with a few additional motivational emails each week. And you’ll have online access daily to the coaching team for accountability and support.

What are the expected results?
In this program, we literally measure results by inches lost, and you can expect to lose anywhere from 5 to 7 inches from your waist, hips, butt, upper arm and legs. Although we don’t focus on the scale, you may see a 3 to 7 pound weight loss. You’ll also definitely notice that your clothes will start to look and feel better.

What’s the science behind this program?
The goal of this program is to make fat loss easy on the body and that starts with food. Food sends a message every time you eat to your body and sends messages to your metabolism. About 2/3 of population have issues with dairy and gluten. Because they don’t do well for most people’s metabolism, they’re important to take out if you’re trying to look lean. Each meal is focused on getting optimal protein. Think of protein as feeding a lean body. If you want to look lean and feel great, you have to make sure it’s there — with the right balance of healthy fats and lots of fruits and veggies — and that’s why we add in the All in One shakes and Greens.

Do you need to buy the Lean + Tone Kit to see success?
No. You can absolutely sign up and use the meal plans and all of the other materials and resources. But if you want certainty, you should buy the Kit. The shakes are there to provide a meal replacement. From my 10 years of experience as a dietitian, personal trainer and wellness coach — I know from my clients who drank a healthy shake at breakfast, you are so much more likely to stick to the non-negotiables for the rest of the day. Plus, Life Time products are pharmaceutical-grade 3rd party tested, so you can have peace of mind about the ingredients.


What’s in the Lean + Tone Kit?

Vegan All in One Protein
If you’re looking for weight loss, your protein needs increase. And especially during this program, because we’ll be working out, I want to make sure people are getting enough protein to hold onto their lean tissue — to keep that lean and toned look. 

    It’s also important that we get enough protein in throughout the day, which makes the protein powder so ideal. You’ll use the protein shake as a meal replacement and it contains everything you’d want from a healthy meal — a healthy fat, carb, multivitamin and multi-mineral, probiotic and prebiotic and fiber. You can mix it with water or unsweetened milk. 

    In addition, because it’s vegan-based — created with a rice and pea protein — we eliminate all barriers to success if anyone has a dairy sensitivity.

    Life Greens
    We all know we should be getting in 9 to 11 servings of vegetables, but most of us struggle to even get in five. That why Life Greens is an added insurance policy to make sure you’re getting in enough, (includes nutrients from over 40 fruits and veggies) especially those antioxidants. Plus, it includes a prebiotic and enzymes which helps with digestion, immunity and decreases gut inflammation.

      But what most people love is that it can curb your sweet tooth so easily (comes in double chocolate, cafe mocha and mixed berry) when you’re trying to eat more healthfully. Just add water to it or you can add it to a shake or coconut yogurt. My absolute favorite is the double chocolate.

      Tape Measure
      We use this lost nutrition and fitness art, because it works. Also, you’ll start to see the positive changes from nutrition and workouts with measurements and inches lost before seeing it on the scale — which can be a huge motivator. I’ll also teach you how to use it in your own home — like I would with my personal clients — which is a bonus in the Kit.


      * Disclaimer:
      The Lean + Tone program and materials are for educational use only and should not be considered or used as a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Responses to the Lean + Tone program will vary based on individual characteristics. Participants should seek the advice of a physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions regarding personal health or medical conditions or before beginning any new exercise or nutritional program. You expressly assume any and all risks of injury relating to the Lean + Tone program and release Life Time Fitness, Inc. from any and all claims arising out of such injury.

        30-Minute or Less Full-Body Fat-Burning Workout – Articles

        Let me help you with that New Year’s commitment (aka resolution) of yours to lose weight. Want to know one of the most effective ways to improve your tone and physique (look and shape of your body)?

        Add 2 to 3 days of resistance training into your week.

        It’s common to feel overwhelmed at the thought of working out. When we hear the words “work out,” I think most people assume long, intense cardio sessions are in order. When in actuality, you can start to feel and see positive changes — and be on your way to improving your body composition — just by adding in a few days of moderate resistance training.

        Resistance training is arguably the most effective type of exercise to benefit metabolism. When we lift weights (body weight or actual), muscle is gained. And a positive side effect is a metabolism that burns more calories.

        So it’s no wonder why the fitness industry is exploding with various online exercises and the latest quick workout videos, plus they’re fun and leave you feeling accomplished.

        For many people, these easy-to-follow, at-home workout videos are a great way to start incorporating activity into their week. A consistent workout routine — even just 2 to 3 days a week — can yield better results than a progressive workout program that is inconsistent.

        That’s why this week we’re featuring a great full-body workout that requires zero equipment so you can do it anywhere. No excuses for postponing your workout.

        Efficient full-body workouts can be great to include in a training program, especially on days when you are a bit more pressed for time or for those who are starting to work out again (welcome back, you New Year committers!).

        Before you get started, there are 3 things to know to best guide your weekly workouts:


        It’s easy, especially when first getting started, to want to make up for lost time and push your limits. It’s critical to ease into your exercise program with caution, warm up and cool down appropriately, and incorporate active recovery and complete rest days. A proper metabolic warm-up may increase fat burn by 20% to 50%. Allowing your muscles to adapt to workouts and properly recover is just as important as the workout itself.


        For optimal results, not only for weight loss but overall health, fitness and lifestyle improvements, incorporating the 6 foundational movements is key. Squat, lunge, push, pull, rotation and hinge are movements that should be integrated throughout your weekly workouts to help build balance, stability and strength. In addition, performing more compound lifts (involving more than one muscle group, e.g., bench press) is not only more time efficient, but will help yield the greatest change in less time.

        Compound exercises are also beneficial in that they more closely mimic everyday activities (e.g., sitting, kneeling, lifting objects, etc.), and therefore may help prevent injury as well.


        There’s no doubt that the most effective way of achieving results with minimal time wasted is to meet with a professional for a personalized, progressive exercise program. Gaining insight from assessments on your metabolism, muscle imbalances and current performance abilities provides awesome information to shape your program.

        As a coach, it’s always interesting to me that what people want are fast results, yet they choose random exercises when they work out with no planned structure. This path quickly yields frustration and minimal change. The appeal of a one-size-fits-all exercise program and ease of access is tempting I know, but investing in more concrete program plans that change and adapt as you do will reap benefits before you know it. 

        A personalized, progressive plan means that your workout program is built with phases. Depending on your goal and timeframe, you’ll want to spend 1 to 4 weeks in each phase created specific to your needs to train for endurance, strength, etc.

        I’m all for incorporating fun and quick (efficient) workouts into my week to change things up from time to time, and the example below can be a fun workout for you to try!

        The workout is split up into 3 supersets, meaning you do exercise a. followed by exercise b. without rest in between. Complete 1 set, then rest for 60 seconds and repeat that superset. Continue to superset 2 and then 3 for a quick and effective workout.


        T H E   W O R K O U T

        Superset ONE

        a. Squat Jumps


        b. Push-ups



        — 60-second break, repeat 2 more times —


        Superset TWO

        a. Curtsy Lunges


        b. Tricep dips

        — 60-second break, repeat 2 more times —


          Superset THREE

          a. Kickbacks

          b. Bicycle Crunches


            — 60-second break, repeat 2 more times —


            Interested in a personalized exercise program? Send us an email at lifetimeweightloss@lt.life.


            In health, Becca Hurt – Assistant Program Manager – Life Time Weight Loss 


            This article is not intended for the treatment or prevention of disease, nor as a substitute for medical treatment, nor as an alternative to medical advice. Use of recommendations in this and other articles is at the choice and risk of the reader. 

            Styling Tips: How to Dress When Losing Weight – Articles

            When you’re focused on losing weight, leaning out or changing body composition, you might not want to spend money on clothes (or you think you don’t). Or maybe you see a lot of change and realize you need a whole new wardrobe.

            What I’ve seen with clients who have gone through a weight loss transformation or body composition change, is that they don’t really know how to dress themselves anymore. What’s hard about this kind of change, is that your mind doesn’t catch up with the changes in your body. So you may see yourself as a larger size than you actually are. 

            During this time of change, if you’ve never experienced a personal styling service, or if you have, but you’ve never tried Trunk Club – I recommend people try it. Trunk Club is a major sponsor of the 60-Day Challenge, and is congratulating anyone who crossed the finish line and weighed out with us with $60 off his or her trunk.

            I personally had an awful experience with another personal styling service, so I was excited about Trunk Club because I had heard really great things about it. I decided to give it a go and wanted to share my experience with you.

            WHAT I LOVED

            What I enjoyed most about Trunk Club was the personalization. Unlike other companies, the stylist actually calls you on the phone and asks you questions like, “What colors do you like?” and “What do you like to wear?” Once they get to know you, your journey and how you’re trying to dress — they do all the hard work for you. They not only shop for you based off of the styles and color palate you like, but they’ll also include their own picks as professional stylist. Then they’ll send a sneak peek of what they’ve chosen before you receive it (so you can say no to any of the choices and they’ll even re-shop for you). I decided to accept everything my personal stylist suggested. Although I think I know what I like to wear, and saw a few things in my cart I thought I’d never like, I decided to roll with it. 

            This is the best part, they send you a beautifully wrapped package with all of your personally curated clothing choices. They encourage you to try everything on, so once it arrives — make sure to try on each and every piece so you can have the full experience.

            My problem? I liked everything. Each and every item was perfect and in the right color palates. There were also really unique pieces that I loved. The clothing that I chose to keep were items that I would never have picked out for myself which was fun. I also liked the variety they sent. I mentioned I was a part of a weight loss challenge in our initial conversation, so they sent a lot of cardigans, which I appreciated. Because if the goal is weight loss, you want solid pieces you can wear throughout different stages of your weight loss journey. They also included really cute dark pants which are really easy to transition from work until night, which is really important for me. I work a lot and I’m a mom so I want to be comfortable all-day long. I loved that my stylist could send me clothes for any occasion in my life — whether I’m chasing my kids around, going on a date with my partner, or going to the gym for a workout. They even have cute activewear that I can wear at Life Time. 

            There’s also no obligation with Trunk Club. You get to decide what you want to keep and then just return the clothes you don’t want in the box they include. They even include a pre-paid shipping label to help you send it back and can help you arrange a UPS pickup, so the returns process is easy. And whatever you do like and want to keep — you can use the $60 credit towards and pay the remainder with your credit card. You can schedule trunks monthly, quarterly or whatever works for you. Plus, I really appreciated how easy it was to exchange an item for another size or color and to give feedback.

            Takeaway? I truly enjoyed my Trunk Club experience and I’ll definitely do it again in the spring. I loved that I could try everything on in the comfort of my own home, that it’s personalized, super convenient and time-saving. Getting a package was so much fun, and everything was so beautifully folded — I felt like I was opening a gift. Trunk Club is not only convenient, but they provide expert styling advice (we can all use experts in different areas of our lives), which comes in handy when you’re transforming your body.

            In my experience, I really think one of the worst things you can do when losing weight and transforming your body is to wear things that are too big. Finding really great staples that make you look and feel good is so important in a journey like this.

            Many of my clients are fearful to purchase new clothes as they continue to lose weight, thinking that they’ll simply end up wasting money with a succession of clothes that don’t fit. The way I see it, however, is that every client of mine deserves to look his/her best and have clothes that show it along the course of the journey itself. 

            My motto for my clients is to never sacrifice their appearance during their weight loss journey. And to continually practice positive self-care to help them stay on the path — and to look and feel their best. With that in mind, here are 5 tips for making the most of in-transition purchases and strategizing your look for the long-term.

            1. DITCH THE BIG CLOTHES  

            Believe me, I know it feels good to wear clothes that are too big for you that were previously snug. I distinctly remember this feeling when I significantly changed my body composition and my jeans and pants were literally almost falling off of me. Wearing them made me feel good and served as a great reminder of what I had accomplished, but I looked ridiculous. The fact is, you want to avoid wearing clothes that hide your shrinking body. Go through your closet piece by piece and pitch or donate any clothes that don’t fit you properly anymore as well as anything else that is too old or out of style.


            Although we may love the idea of getting into a size 4 jean, focusing on the number first tends to get us in trouble. Take the power of that number away and go for clothes (in whatever size) that look and feel good.

            You may be able to fit into one size but look worlds different and even better in another size. And it’s not always easy to gage our size after losing weight or changing shape. I loved that my Trunk Club stylist helped me to identify my proper size in each brand. 

            3. TRY SOMETHING NEW 

            “I could never pull off an outfit like that,” or “I don’t have the right body shape for a dress like that,” are common comments I hear from my clients. When they transform their bodies, one of my favorite challenges to give them is to buy — or at very least try on — an outfit that they would have never pictured themselves wearing before. My stylist sent me options that I never thought I would like, but in the spirit of trying something new I kept them in my Trunk and am happy that I did. It’s fun to try something new, but oftentimes it gets people to see that clothes they’ve avoided genuinely look good on them. It can be the ultimate confidence boost to see yourself in a whole new light!

            Also, take note of styles or articles of clothing that your friends or coworkers wear that you like to get some ideas for yourself, and make a point to buy one of these pieces at every weight loss milestone.  You can even show this inspiration to your stylist and she can help put together similar looks that work perfectly with your changing body composition. 

            4. ACCESSORIZE WELL  

            Investing in accessories, such as belts, can be great when you’re in between sizes or not ready to purchase the next size smaller pants. Belts can accentuate your new waistline and be a great tool to show how you’re progressing toward your goal as you make your way through the notches on the belt. 

            Other accessories, such as scarves, jewelry, etc., are also great ways to create new looks that aren’t size specific. 

            5. GET ANOTHER OPINION  

            Maybe it’s for shopping support or going through your existing wardrobe. The fact is, a close friend or relative can give you a second opinion on whether something fits or looks good. Because it can take time for our mindsets to catch up to our physical transformations, you may still have a certain image in your head of what you look like. I also love the idea of using a Trunk Club stylist as another opinion, especially because they didn’t know you before your weight loss journey, and can give you some fresh styling ideas based off your current size. They can also push you toward taking a risk on new and flattering styles you wouldn’t automatically choose for yourself.


            In health, Anika Christ – Director – Digital Programming & Events – Life Time Weight Loss 

            This article is not intended for the treatment or prevention of disease, nor as a substitute for medical treatment, nor as an alternative to medical advice. Use of recommendations in this and other articles is at the choice and risk of the reader.

            Run Your Fat Off with Jason Karp Podcast #56

            Today I’m talking with Dr. Jason Karp aka the Google of Running (or at least that’s the impromptu nickname I gave him during the interview)! Karp is a Running Coach with a PhD in exercise physiology and a master’s in kinesiology. He’s written several books on running including – Run Your Fat Off  – it’s basically a guide to weight loss through running. That’s what we’re talking about today!

            But this is NOT all about quick tips on losing weight. This interview talks about the benefits of running, how to get started running, how to get the best workout and more. It’s interesting even if you don’t want to lose weight because we talk about a lot of weight loss myths.

            I ask him questions about everything from how to start running ….  does high intensity exercise burn more calories …. how to speed up my metabolism and more! Check it out and let me know if you have any follow up questions. And if you are triggered by the sound of this podcast episode please skip it and we’ll hang out on Friday (I put out new podcasts on Tuesdays and Fridays).

            Warm Up: My New Year’s Resolutions…

            1. Get ready everyday. Dress and do my hair/make-up good enough to do a video / run into an ex / not be embarrassed etc.

            2. Use a running log everyday for 90 days. Update the blog or social media.

            3. Monthly mini-goal. Set according to what’s appropriate and important at the time.


            Dr. Jason Karp running and diet (800x800)

            Jason and I have been friends for a while now so our chat sounds easy breezy – but listen closely – he drops a ton of super helpful information on running, health and weight.

            Dr. Jason Karp on Running and Weight Loss for Runners…

            We talk about all the hot topics on weight loss. It’s super conversational but he shares a ton of great information on how to lose weight in a sustainable healthy way.


            What is the first step to weight loss?

            What is more important for losing weight – exercise or diet?

            Does HIIT burn more calories throughout the day after your workout over steady cardio?

            Can we speed up our metabolism?

            Does building muscle burn more fat to help with weight loss?

            Does ‘fasted cardio’ help with fat loss?

            Is low carb okay for runners?  Is a low carb diet good for weight loss?

            Why is running so great for weight loss?

            Should I run across the country? (I answer that one)

            Here is Jason running in Iceland!! How awesome is that?

            running in iceland

            He travels a ton teaching his running certification program – the Running Revolution Certification. It’s a program that teaches you how to teach and create training programs, running for fitness, running for weight loss and how to teach the treadmill gym class. It also counts as CECs for a lot of personal training and fitness instructor certifications.

            Bonus: Discount code for Running Revolution

            I have a discount code to share for the Running Revolution Certification program!

            Get 15% off the certification program with code: RUNEATREPEAT

            You can contact Jason at Run Fit.com

            Run Your Fat Off is available on Amazon

            Podcast Awards for this week:

            1. Heating blanket. YES!

            2. Toms shoes. I live in them.

            3. Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Butter! A big surprise from a friend!!

            trader joes pumpkin butter (800x600)

            Links you need:

            SMART Goals Podcast

            Do you have any questions for me? That’s what I’m here for!

            Email me at RunEatRepeat@gmail.com OR Leave a message on the RER Voicemail line: 562 888 1644

            And follow me on * Instagram  * and  * Facebook  * for day to day tips, recipe ideas and fun… See ya there!

            Run SMART Goals

            Fill out this form to get the SMART Running Goals worksheet to your inbox!

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            Day 7 ‘Not so’ Clean Eating « Losing My Fat Lovingly

            Day 7 ‘Not so’ Clean Eating

            Posted on Updated on


            Today is Day 7; Day 7! I have had to take some Ibuprofen for my tooth, but all is well today. My breakfast was garbage, and my dinner was also. So, I am going to spend this time to talk about my lunch today. It was very healthy. I had a Smoothie King smoothie! Oh my lord!

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            Give your body what it needs.

            Nutrition Information

            20 oz
            32 oz
            40 oz
            Calories 415.5
            Fat (g) 0
            Saturated Fat (g) 0
            Calories from Fat 1.5
            Cholesterol (mg) 0
            Carbohydrates (g) 102
            Sugar (g) 93
            Protein (g) 1.5
            Sodium (mg) 163.5
            Fiber (g) 3


            Kale, Apple Juice, Kiwi Juice Blend, Bananas, Electrolyte Mix

            Recommended Enhancers

            If you have never, you need to FAST! This thing was so good. I added extra greens and protein. This thing just makes you want to sing!!!

            Today was $5.00 for a 32 oz green smoothie!


            Now doesn’t that look just wonderful? Trust me, it is!

            A girl, 2 best friends, and Lymphatic Cancer « Losing My Fat Lovingly

            A girl, 2 best friends, and Lymphatic Cancer

            Posted on Updated on

            When most people think of cancer, and how it impacts a person’s life, family and friends’ lives, with sometimes a looming threat of death, most people start to shake and quiver at the mentioning of cancer. Two months ago, I begin my second life-term sentencing, with a Lymphatic cancer. When I was around 22 years old, I had to do the first sentencing with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. That sentencing lasted a year. There were eleven months of chemotherapy, and 3 weeks of radiation. The pain, fears, tears, and the abandonment were real. Losing the will power and control of your body’s functions were hard to handle, especially when you are so, so young and independent. The feverish and painful attacks that occurred, soon after receiving chemotherapy were gut wrenching. Fatigue that cannot be described in books was harsh. So harsh that sometimes you would wish, even for a flitting moment, that you would just go to sleep, never waking, and rid of all of that suffering.

            Suffering becomes a part of life. Then you begin to look at your friends and family and wonder how they must be feeling. You begin to force yourself, through all the pain and fear to crack a smile, joke, or break out in a dance to remind everyone… “I am still here, so please stop worrying, and whatever you do, treat me as if cancer does not live here!”

            So, I begin to cook dinners at home, schedule movie and dinner nights around chemotherapy treatments, and dance. I begin to laugh more; I begin to get in with the jokes, perfecting my dance moves and cooking skills! Why? Because my friend who at 18 years of age had been diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, and all he wanted was for me to treat him ‘normal’, not to fear him, and not to leave him!

            We never witness his hair loss. However, he got it cut really low, and only if you were up close, could you see the small bald spots. He never lost weight, because I, being a true southern woman, cooked, and he ate (I will not blame him for my weight issues today… hahaha)! He loved my cooking, and all of that fat that was served in it. He is the first cancer patient I have been around that gained weight, while going through chemotherapy. I say it was because I can cook, and my food was really, really good, but we really know it was the goodness of God!

            Tomorrow my best friend of all of these years, will turn 34 years old. He has been in remission every since. He has gone on to become a husband, a homeowner, the god-father of my daughter, Gabriella, and will soon graduate as a Radiology Assistant, in December (he loves all things radiology)! He is brilliant! He knows it, because I tell him all the time! His name is Rolando Dupree, my best friend, supporter, my brother.

            Happy Birthday baby!!

            Now, I would have been happy, with this story, had it just finished right there. Rolando is healthy, happy, and a good, good best friend! However, it does not end here for me. I have two people that I am very close to; they are treated as family. For emergency contacts, you will see their names, especially for Gabriella. Her God-Mother sent me a text about 2.5 months ago and told me that some dumb doctor had told her that she had Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. I just stared at the message, and I was cursing her every way I could, up and down the street. First of all, why would you text that too me? Secondly, are you freaking kidding me!?!? No way was this happening again! She went into the hospital for a ruptured hernia, not cancer! After the shock past, I kinda freaked out, and I was at work. It was really bad. This person and I have been friends, since birth. Our mothers were good friends, before her mother succumbed to cancer, at the age of 38. This is a lifetime friendship, who has the same cancer as Rolando. After leaving work, and driving around aimlessly trying to figure out what that conversation was going to be like, she finally called.

            I have since shaken off the dread and fear that I had. This girl is so strong. She does not want to appear weak or out of control. She is the infamous controller of her emotions. Everyone around her is screaming and hollering and crying, because she is so loved. She is the only one standing in the middle of the floor (on the phone, wherever), directing emotions like a police officer in a traffic jam. “Oh, ya’ll think cancer is going to win? Shoo, ya’ll are crazy, I GOT THIS! I am mad as hell, and cancer picked the wrong girl! Ya’ll know me! So stop all of that crying and get it together, so we can do this!” I am on the phone blubbering like an idiot, trying to get control of myself, cause she is so right. If anyone can kick cancer Apple Sea Salt, it’s Sharon Tyler!

            Thus far, she’s had some good days; she has had some weary days, but Lord, she WILL NOT complain! Later her diagnoses were made more clearer. She has Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, which is much more aggressive than non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. She was given a 91% chance of survival. She is in her suffering phase now. We just finished round 3 of chemotherapy. We will prayfully march into chemotherapy #4, then we will do THE pet scan. The army of prayers are up and out working, that this will be the FINAL treatment!

            I love you sister, from Joyce Fulton, who is watching over you from the kingdom of heaven!


            This has been so stressful, challenging, but just like my two best friends forever, I am so strong. I can handle just about anything, because I have survived everything. Who better to walk this path, with my friends than me. We got this, covered in the blood of Jesus! It’s lonely being the girl with 2 best friends, with two types of Lymphoma cancers, but I GOT THIS!  Why? Because of the friends and company I keep! I am still laughing and dancing. My cooking has gotten a healthier. So, I am now toasting with a good and health chocolate protein shake! hahahahaha

            Anyone and everyone is susceptible to experiencing some form of cancer, directly or indirectly. It is not that cancer came knocking; it is what we did, when it came knocking. Rolando and Sharon are almost 2 decades a part, when cancer came. Rolando had problems breathing, and the doctor told him that he was developing asthma. His persistence in asking for a simple x-ray revealed a tumor, in between his lungs. Sharon did not know at all. She went in for a rupture hernia that required an emergency surgery. When they opened her up, they found tumors in her stomach. We do not get to chose or determine the path of life  that is structured, walked, and lived by us. Our job is to live it earnestly and humbly filled with hope and the love of God.

            Just a girl that loves her two best friends forever,