Snap Fitness Health & Fitness Blog

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4 Healthy Ways to Curb Your Appetite

By: Snap Fitness

If you’re trying to shed a few pounds, chances are you’re doing it with a change in diet and an exercise plan. Most of us have the best intentions in mind when it comes to eating healthy, but situations come up that throw your cravings into high gear. Maybe it’s “Donut Friday" at the office? Or the two o’clock vending machine munchies that make you fall off the wagon?


Whatever it may be, here are four simple ways to curb your cravings without relying on fad diets or starvation.


Eat a healthy breakfast: Eating a healthy breakfast is not only good for a healthy body weight, it will also rev up your metabolism giving you the boost of energy you need to make it through your morning. Try eating a balance of carbohydrates and protein, such as oatmeal with walnuts and blueberries.

Stay hydrated: It’s easy to confuse hunger with dehydration, but keep in mind not filling up on fluids usually leads to unnecessary snacking. Keep your water bottle handy and full throughout the day. Try to avoid beverages that are high in caffeine, which will leave you feeling dehydrated later on.

Power up with protein: Protein helps you sustain energy that will keep you focused throughout the day. It’s easy to fill your day with protein by packing snacks such as nuts, cheese sticks, peanut butter, protein powder, and hardboiled eggs. Not only are you curbing your appetite, you are filling your body up with essential nutrients.

Eat more regularly: Three big meals a day won’t curb your appetite; it will only set you back. If you’re looking to keep a high metabolism, aim for six mini meals throughout the day. Small meals will keep you full and satisfied while helping you kick cravings to the curb.


What helps you curb your appetite? Let us know on Facebook and Twitter!

My Snap Fitness Success Story: Tom G. from Lower Burrell, PA

By: Snap Fitness

Tom G. battled weight problems for most of his life. He put on a lot of weight during and after high school. His eating habits were horrible; he ate fast food sometimes twice a day. Although Tom tried several times to lose weight, he couldn't stay motivated and would put the weight back on—plus more.


A divorce in 2009 and a ruptured Achilles tendon in 2010 sent Tom into a depressive state. His comfort? More food. At this time, he weighed close to 400 pounds. In 2011, Tom met his future wife and the following year, she gave birth to their daughter. Despite this newfound happiness, Tom wasn't pleased with the way he looked.


On Jan. 2, 2013, he went to his doctor for an issue with his shoulder. They discovered his blood pressure was 155/120, and he weighed 450 pounds. Tom finally vowed to change his lifestyle for his wife and daughter.


He joined Snap Fitness in Lower Burrell, PA, shortly after. Although he could barely manage 15 minutes on the treadmill, he stuck with it. "I was embarrassed at first when I started, but then I realized that everyone was there for the same reason I was: to get healthy," Tom said. He also gave up fast food, pop, junk food, processed sugars, and most red meat.


Soon after, Tom's hard work and dedication started paying off. He went from 450 to 370 pounds, dropped several pants and shirt sizes, and didn't need to take his blood pressure medication anymore.


"I'm 50 weeks into my weight loss journey," Tom said. "I still have a long way to go on my journey, but I will never give up. This isn't a diet; it's a permanent change."


Keep up the hard work, Tom! We believe in you.

My Snap Fitness Success Story: Loretta D. of Franksville, WI

By: Snap Fitness

When Loretta D. first joined the Snap Fitness in Franksville, WI, last January, she weighed 222 pounds and liked working out in the middle of the day when nobody else was around.

On March 1, she signed up for her club's "Weight Loss Challenge," which included weighing in during staffed hours. That's how she met her location's manager, Laurie.

Laurie's encouragement and enthusiam gave Loretta the extra motivation she needed. Loretta started doing new exercise routines and working out with fellow gym members.

Six weeks later, Loretta lost 32 pounds and won the "Weight Loss Challenge." She says she exercises four times weekly; cardio all four days and strength training on three. In addition, Loretta's eating habits have improved. She eats healthy three or four times daily with snacks in between. She gets one "free day" each week to eat whatever she wants, but after that, it's back to the healthy choices!

Loretta is now down to 145 pounds and went from a size 16 to a size 8. She says she has less body aches and enjoys her new life.

Way to go, Loretta!

My Snap Fitness Success Story: Bethany R. gets her college body back

By: Snap Fitness

Bethany R. in Tupelo, MS was always an active person, playing sports all through college. After graduation, however, her health and fitness took a backseat to her professional life.

”I was starting to gain weight and not really taking care of myself,” she says. “Playing soccer wasn’t really an option for me anymore so I decided I needed to start working out.”

Bethany joined the Snap Fitness in Tupelo six months ago, and has already seen dramatic results.

”I started running on the treadmill, then I incorporated the arc trainer. After about a month of that I worked my way up to being able to run 30 to 50 minutes without stopping.”

In addition to building up her fitness level, Bethany also started to see big improvements in her body.

”I started out weighing 142 pounds and now I’m down to 121,” she says proudly. “I lost three inches in my waist, and my BMI has had a dramatic decrease. It feels great.”

These days, Bethany makes fitness a regular part of her life.

”I do 30 to 45 minutes of cardio four or five days a week, and lift weights about three times each week. Snap Fitness is awesome because they have tons of classes and trainers to help me mix up my workouts, and I started taking yoga classes to help me strengthen and tone my body. For me, working out isn’t just a way of staying healthy and keeping a good weight; it’s a way of life.”

Decoding Food Labels

By: Snap Fitness

When it comes to shopping for healthy foods, the biggest challenge can be understanding the nutrition labels. Low fat, fat free, light…what’s the difference? To help you grocery shop like a pro, we’ve put together a food label decoder to help you understand what’s in your cart.

Organic- Foods that are 100% organic have been certified and areto have been produced using methods which that are good for the earth. An item labeled “organic” contains at least 95% organic contents.

Fat free- Foods contain less than 0.5 grams of fat per serving.

Low fat - Equals Contains 3 grams of fat or less per serving.

Light- Contains up to 50% less fat than a full-fat item. Most often this means the item has a third fewer calories than its full-calorie equivalent. When it refers to sodium or fat, it means the item has up to 50% percent  less.

Heart healthy- Foods are low in saturated fat, low in cholesterol, and low in sodium, and they have no Trans fats. They also contain only three 3 grams or less of fat or less per serving, and have at least 0.6 grams of soluble fiber.

Low sodium- Contains 140 milligrams of sodium or less.

Gluten free- This product was made without gluten, which is found in wheat products, and most other grains.

Sugar-free- Foods contain less than 0.5 grams of sugar per serving. Keep in mind this doesn’t always mean.

Low-calorie- If you’re watching your sugar intake,- aim for 5 grams of sugar or less.

My Snap Success Story: Najib C. Overcomes Injuries and Loses 100 Pounds

By: Snap Fitness

Najib’s weight struggles began like many others – from an injury.

A personal chef, Najib C. slipped and fell on the job, leading to a torn meniscus and a lot of cartilage damage around the patella. This left him sedentary for a full year as he recovered. While his activity level slowed down, his diet didn’t.

“I’m a chef that loves to eat,” says Najib. “So it really wasn’t good that aside from physical therapy I couldn’t do any other working out.”

He began to gain weight and decided that as soon as the doctors gave him the green light to begin exercising, he was going to make some changes. That’s when he joined Snap Fitness.

“I decided to join Snap Fitness because there are three locations close to me in the Chicago area, making it easy for me to work out whenever I want,” he says.

He started running on the treadmill and soon began working out a minimum of three times a week. In addition, Najib began watching what he ate. The result? Today he has lost nearly 100 pounds and 23 percent of his total body fat.

“I love my new lifestyle,” he says proudly. “Snap Fitness made it so easy for me to getting a regular workout schedule, and now it’s part of my life.”

Not only is he still working on his own fitness goals, but Najib has become so inspired that he is now a personal trainer at the Snap Fitness locations in Glenview and Palatine, IL.

“He’s been such a great asset to our gyms as a personal trainer,” says David Yocum, owner of the Glenview and Palatine locations. “The members watch his journey and have been inspired by what he’s accomplished. We couldn’t be more proud.”

Sugar Alternatives In Baking

By: Snap Fitness

It’s the holiday season, which means it’s the season of baking. And with baking, comes sugar. The two go hand-in-hand and there is really no way around it. Sugar helps make baked goods taste delicious, and gives all of your tasty treats a beautiful golden brown look and moist texture. However, just because baking requires sugar, that doesn’t mean you have to use plain granulated sugar. Whether you’re looking to cut calories, eliminate processed ingredients or simply change up the flavor, these sugar alternatives in baking will help your holidays shine even brighter.

Honey- Using honey for baking will make your baked goods have a distinct flavor and give them a golden brown look. Try to choose raw honey when baking for the most natural ingredients.


100% Pure Maple Syrup-  Great for cookies and muffins, pure maple syrup is very sweet, and you don’t need a lot of it to sweeten your baked goods. Make sure your syrup is 100% pure, or else you are basically using corn syrup to sweeten your baked goods.


Brown Rice Syrup- Made from fermented brown rice, this syrup will make your product have a crisper texture and a unique flavor, especially if you’re replacing a sweetener with a distinct flavor, such as maple syrup.


Agave Nectar- Similar to honey, but with a sweeter taste and thinner consistency. When using agave nectar, use the same amount you would if you were using regular sugar, but add an additional 1/4 cup flour to the mix.


Artificial Sweeteners- A great option for those who are diabetic, these artificial sweeteners tend to have a distinct aftertaste when used in baking. Keep in mind, most sugar substitutes are processed and should be used in moderation. Many sugar substitutes are sweeter than sugar, so make sure to modify the measurements.


Happy Holidays and Happy Baking!

From Excuses to Results: Bianca's Success Story

By: Snap Fitness

From Excuses to Results: How Bianca G. in Georgia Took Control of her Weight Loss Journey


Bianca’s story is one that many of us can identify with. A mother of three, she knew that she needed to lose weight but just didn’t have the dedication to get started.

“At my heaviest, I was 165 pounds,” she says. “I joined Snap Fitness back in January, but I wasn’t giving it my all. I always had an excuse for why I couldn’t commit to working out, whether it was no time, didn’t have a sitter, or I was too exhausted from the day.”

Bianca saw moderate results thanks to her efforts, but quickly plateaued. That’s when she decided to take control.

“I changed my eating habits, which was one of the hardest things I’ve had to do,” she shares. “No more soda, sweets or fast food. Instead I switched to greens, fruit, veggies and protein shakes, and really focused on portion size and self-control. I still struggled a little bit, but I knew I wanted to see results so I pushed through.”

In addition to her new and improved diet, Bianca enlisted the services of Kunda Kimaro, a personal trainer at the Snap Fitness Stockbridge location. Together, they’ve helped her to make huge strides.

“I’m now in the gym six days a week, three of which are with Kunda, and eating healthier,” she says proudly. “People have started to notice the changes I’ve made, and it feels great. Being healthy is being happy, and I’m excited to keep moving forward with my new lifestyle.”

5 Tips to Halt Junk Food Cravings

By: Snap Fitness

We’ve all been there. Whether it’s the middle of a stressful workday, you’re bored late at night, or just don’t have the time to make a healthy choice, junk food cravings have snuck up on all of us. While the urge might be tempting, there are five easy ways to help keep them at bay:


1. Stay Hydrated

Studies have shown that when people crave unhealthy foods, it could be a sign of dehydration, so opt for a glass of water when you feel a craving coming.


2. Don’t tell yourself you can’t eat it

The moment you tell yourself you can’t have something you immediately want it. Has this happened to you? Instead, tell yourself you won’t have it because ______ (insert your reasoning, such as: I can find a better option, I am working towards a goal, I don’t really want it, I have been doing so well staying on track, I don’t want to feel bad about it afterwards, etc. )


3. Divert your attention

Focus on something not related to food, such as finishing an email, turning to another task or stretching


4. Make sure you kitchen is stocked 

But stocked with healthy foods. Keep junk food out of the house to avoid temptations.


If you do end up giving into your craving...


5. Don't beat yourself up

the last thing you should do is beat yourself up about it.  What you should do is forget about it and move on. If you get down on yourself, you might find it easier to give in to temptation once again.

To avoid this vicious cycle, do the following:

1. Have enough to satisfy your craving, and get rid of the rest.

2. Tell yourself that it was a one-time thing and that you are not going to give in again, and move on. 


Good luck!

My Survivor Story: Dawn Koceja

By: Snap Fitness

This month, Snap Fitness is proud to sponsor the American Heart Association’s Milwaukee Hearth Walk, taking place September 29. To celebrate, this month we’re providing you with heart health-themed fitness tips, recipes, and a very special survivor story from the American Heart Association.


Dawn Koceja of Wauwatosa, Wisconsin has a strong family history of heart disease, so when she decided to train for a marathon at the age of 39, she saw her doctor first.  She was given a clean bill of health, but a hip injury which required surgery derailed her marathon plans.  After recovering from the surgery, she couldn’t get back to her previous level of fitness.  She was experiencing chest pains and shortness of breath.  Several cardiologists were unable to pinpoint what was going on, but one suggested she had a rare condition: myocardial bridging. 


Her condition was confirmed at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN.  Basically, Dawn’s left descending artery dips into the heart muscle, instead of lying on top of it.  Every time her heart beat, the muscle would cut off blood flow through the artery.  Dawn underwent open-heart surgery at Mayo, where doctors “un-roofed” or removed half of her top heart muscle.  She was the first patient to have this surgery at Mayo. 


After months of rehabbing, she was able to pick up her workouts once again.  She enjoys cross training, running, biking and weightlifting.  Originally she was on 15 pills a day, but thanks to healthy living, she is now off all medications. 


Dawn has several messages she likes to share:  You’re never too young to develop heart disease.  Be an advocate for yourself and your health; find a doctor you trust who will listen to you.  Know your family history of heart disease.  Eating right, exercising and not smoking truly can make all the difference in the world when it comes to heart health.

Posts 11 - 20 of 59