Archive for the ‘Nutrition’ Category

Are you nervous about hiring a trainer? If so, this is a must read!

Thursday, January 16th, 2014



By: Jon Kahney

A few years ago, I was contacted by a coworker of a friend of mine, whom had recommended me to her for personal training.  I read in amazement at what she had e-mailed me and wondered what types of things my friend had been telling her about me. 

The first paragraph told me that she had previously worked with a trainer, had been on her own for a while, and wasn’t continuing to see results. 


The next four paragraphs and remainder of the e-mail explained to me that she doesn’t like to be yelled at, can’t be motivated by yelling, and will shut down mentally if yelled at.  As I read through the e-mail, I couldn’t help but laugh at what her impressions of personal training were and how they were anything but what I was like.  After all I work with kids, yelling never motivates them either. 


I realize that there are a lot of stereotypes about personal trainers and the personal training experience.  It doesn’t help that most people’s idea about personal training comes from Jillian Michaels or somehow that all personal trainers are “Johnny Sixpack” who can’t stop looking at himself in the mirror.


She told me that when she initially started training she was 30-40 lbs. overweight, had a cancer scare, and was having trouble getting up and down the stairs.  When she began training, she felt embarrassed at her abilities, and could hardly finish workouts.  Currently she has dropped the weight, getting several compliments about how she looks, doing progressively harder challenges, and more importantly, moving and feeling her very best.


Another client told me that she was initially hesitant to hire me as a trainer because she thought I would be a drill sergeant, constantly yelling at her and making her feel bad about herself.  She didn’t think that someone who has to be in shape for a living could empathize with someone who finds it difficult to get into or stay in shape. 


After training for several months she now says, “I am very happy to be working with a personal trainer!  I feel myself getting fitter and stronger.  The best thing about it is that the workout is tailored to my current level of ability, so I feel successful, which motivates me to continue to train and improve.”


Yelling just doesn’t work.  What does work in intrinsic motivation, motivation that comes from within you to get better and reach your goals.  As a professional trainer, it is my job to create a program for you that establishes a base level of fitness.  Once that has been established, it is my job to help you through challenges that will be hard but that I know you can accomplish, based on your level of fitness and intrinsic motivation.  Your job is to accept the challenge and do your very best.  Together, as a team, we never stop trying to get you to look, move, and feel your very best.


There are many assets we have at Chicago Family Fit to help you with your fitness goals.  It is a private, appointment only facility; you will be working alone or with one or two others who know exactly what you are going through because they have walked in your shoes at one time.  Also the Chicago Family Fit staff prides itself on being the best trainers in the area.  With two decades of combined experience, we have worked with clients from all walks of life and abilities.  We can help you if you choose to help yourself.  Come give us a try.  We promise we won’t yell at you.


Are you hydrated?

Monday, July 1st, 2013

Today we’re going to revisit an old topic. We’re in the full swing of summer, and that means it’s getting hot outside. One thing we all need to remember is to stay hydrated.  Dehydration can lead to heat exhaustion, cramps, and decreased performance.  Even if you don’t feel thirsty, keep fluids handy.   Water and sports beverages tend to work best, but it only works if you drink it constantly. Not only do you need to replace the fluids you loose during a workout, but you need to build up a reserve in your body.

Also, be cautious of certain drinks as they may have hidden ingredients that can dehydrate you further. Some good sources of hydration are: Water and Sports Drinks (If you will be active over an hour). Some poor sources of hydration include: Pop or Soda, Coffee, Tea (caffeinated), Beer or other alcoholic beverages.


Here’s a helpful graphic that shows level of hydration in your urine. A sample of your urine is a great indicator of how hydrated you are. If you are not going to the bathroom, that is a sign that something is seriously wrong. Regardless, check out the chart below and see where you fall today.



If you have any further questions or would like more information, come see us at Chicago Family Fit. You can visit us on the web at or find us on facebook at


Subway, not always the healthy choice?

Monday, June 17th, 2013


Subway is a great fast food restaurant.  They have many healthy menu options and have long been ahead of their competition in championing health and wellness in America. That is why this one kind of stings. As Subway has grown over the years, so has their menu, and so has American’s waistlines. This means it has begun offering not so healthy menu options. It’s not all bad news, but it’s certainly eye opening. This latest news comes on the release of a study done by UCLA which basically shows that when left up to pure choice, teens will choose meals at Subway that are just as unhealthy as the ones you can get a McDonald’s. While the study is a recent development,  this has been something that has been evident for a while. When subway began selling sandwiches like the Big Philly Cheese Steak or Chipotle Steak and Cheese Melt with Avocado or the  Chick Bacon and Ranch Melt, it’s hard not to see the unhealthiness. The studies results of nutrition intake are spelled out below. Take a look for yourself:

Subway Vs McDonalds


Subway addressed concerns that arose by the publishing of the study by releasing this statement:

Subway Global Dietitian Lanette Kovachi, MS, RD, responded with the following statement: “Regarding the 2011 UCLA study of 87 young adults, we want to clarify a few things. As long time leaders in offering customers healthier options, Subway restaurants has always provided customers nutritional information on all of our menu offerings along with a wide array of great-tasting, low-fat and low-calorie subs and salads. We stand behind our nutritional offerings and continue to make advancements to our menu that meet the evolving tastes of our customers.”

Keep in mind that any restaurant you visit will have healthy choices and not so healthy choices. You might be tempted by the not so healthy choices. The reason we brought this up today is to help address “fake healthy food”, which is food that is advertised to you as healthy, but not always as healthy as you may think. It is important to recognize this food, and steer clear of it. When ordering food out remember to have everything in moderation, and make smart well informed choices (and it never hurts to forgo cheese on your sandwich/meal). If you have questions don’t be afraid to consult nutrition information on the website of the food  establishment you will be going to visit, if it is available.

Tips for Cutting Calories during your Super Bowl Party

Thursday, January 24th, 2013

As the big game approaches, many of us are getting ready to either host or attend a big party. In addition to watching the game, many Americans eat about the same amount of calories as they would on Thanksgiving due to all of the greasy food, beer, and high calorie dips. This inspired our latest blog post that can help your waistline while still having a great time.

1. Watch for hidden calories in your drinks! Alcohol has 7 calories per gram, which is more than carbohydrates that have 4 calories per gram. One easy tip is to set a limit before you start, whether your drinking pop, beer, or mixed drinks, they can all add up to a lot of calories if you’re not careful.

2. Look out for dips! A lot of dips have tons of calories, and traditional super bowl favorites such as ranch and blue cheese dressings are not going to help the waistline. Not to even mention sour cream and nacho cheese. Instead of going with all of the unhealthy condiments, opt for hummus, fat free Greek yogurt dips, or homemade salsa. If you leave them on the side, it will also help with portion control as opposed to pouring it on before (think nachos).

3. Watch the Chips! In addition to a lot of fat, chips are also high in salt. If you need to have chips, opt for baked instead of deep fried, and try to find something with lower sodium. Having a veggie tray or pretzels can be a good alternative or fillers on your plate.

4. Make your own food! Highly processed foods are typically higher in fat and sodium than if you made them yourself. Using less cheese and greasy toppings is also helpful. Plus it could be a fun family activity to make pizza’s or wings before the game.

Hopefully these simple and relatively pain free tips will help you save a few calories…or a few extra workouts trying to burn it off! If you would like more information, please email us at

Tips for Keeping Your New Years Resolution!

Tuesday, January 15th, 2013

If you’re like most of the us, the idea of sticking to your  New Year’s Resolution is getting tougher and tougher by the week.  Have you already given up?  Think back to the end of December, when you were ready to start working out and eating healthier, what was your goal? Was it to lose weight, get in shape, or be healthier? If so, how are you doing so far?

When it comes to reaching a your New Years resolution or any other goal, developing a well thought plan will greatly increase your chance of being successful.  More often than not, people just wing it and end up quitting/failing by February.  In order to have an effective fitness plan, we need to be specific.  For example, instead of, “I am going to start working out” we should specify which days and what times, what type of workouts, and make plans you can commit to.  For some people, scheduling a personal trainer or joining a team really helps them stay on track.  Whatever you decide, it’s essential that you stick to it!

Next is the dietary side of things…While “eating better” sounds great, it’s not really going to be a great long-term strategy.  Instead, make small daily goals like:

  • Eat X servings of fruits and vegetables
  • Limit fast food to X times per week
  • Cut back on high calories condiments such as mayonnaise, ketchup, bacon, ect..
  • Make a goal of cooking something new a couple times per week
  • Limit greasy snacks
  • Cut back on Alcohol intake

These are just some suggestions to get you thinking, and as each person’s goals are different, so should your approach to attaining them.  If you would like some help making a plan or scheduling an appointment, feel free to contact us at