Attention Business Travelers: Yes, You Can Lose Weight On The Road!

Deb Brown, NSCA Certified Personal Trainer and Certified Wellness Coach

We have many clients who travel for work. Many of them are seeking to lose weight. It is, admittedly, very difficult to lose weight while on the road. Let’s face it, airplane food is not the healthiest and many airports do not carry healthy choices in the terminals. Then, there are the numerous business lunches and dinners, where you are expected to wine and dine for hours on end. Trade shows and conventions? Exhausting! You are on your feet all day and must always be “on” for potential clients. Does this sound familiar? If so, and you are someone who is also needing to lose weight, I am here to tell you that it can and has been done. Here are some strategies that are working for our clients who travel:

  1. Have a plan. Prioritize healthy eating and exercising in and among your other duties. Be prepared for the plan to change.
  2. Bring healthy, portable foods on the plane and into your hotel room. Items that work: nuts, seeds, dried and fresh fruit, Clif Bars, etc.
  3. Arrive at client meals having already eaten a healthy snack. Do not show up hungry.
  4. Watch your portions and focus on lean protein and vegetable items. Forgo the extra calories in appetizers and desserts. Limit or restrict alcoholic drinks. Yes, your client may have an expectation that you will drink . But, you need to stand firm on this one. If you were a recovering alcoholic, it would be non-negotiable.

  5. Schedule in appointments for exercise as you are scheduling in your other client appointments. Commit to this appointment, just as you would commit to any other appointment.
  6. Try to stay in hotels where there is a gym. If that isn’t possible, scope out local gyms or rec centers where you can purchase a day pass. Many of our clients travel with a TRX Suspension trainer that weighs less than 5 pounds and can attach to any hotel door. There are numerous exercises that can be done just with this one piece of equipment.
  7. Seek out local parks for walking or running. Walk to and from appointments if possible. It is possible to stay active on the road. You just need to make it as much of a priority as you do your work!

The most important strategy is to have a certain mindset about keeping up with your healthy eating and exercise while on the road. It CAN be done. We have a client who travels extensively and has lost 50 pounds in just under 3 months. He is committed and disciplined. You can be too!


How Seniors Benefit from Strength Training
Deb Brown, NSCA Certified Personal Trainer and Certified Wellness Coach
The leaves are starting to turn and I am hoping we are getting ready for a colorful and warm Fall. This morning, I had a few “seasoned citizens” working out and we were all sharing some laughs as they worked out. I thought it would be a great time to bring attention to all of the wonderful benefits of strength training for seniors.

The American College of Sports Medicine and the American Heart Association has published the following activity recommendations for adults over the age of 65 OR adults ages 50-64 with chronic conditions such as arthritis:

1. Do moderately intense aerobic exercise for 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week OR do vigorously intense exercise 20 minutes a day for 3 days a week.

2. Perform 8-10 strength training exercises for all the major muscle groups, performing 10-15 repititions of each exercise 2-3 times per week.

3 Performing balance and flexibility exercises 2-4X weekly is also recommended. Strength training helps to prevent loss of muscle and bone mass and aids in the ability to do everyday common tasks such as cleaning the house, doing laundry and grocery shopping. Additional benefits include:

  • an ability to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight
  • an ability to continue functioning while living with chronic disease
  • the strength and endurance to travel and really experience different cultures an ability to keep up with grandchildren and get up/down from the floor with ease
  • an improvement in balance which helps to prevent falls
  • increased enjoyment in life because they have more energy and feel more comfortable in their bodies
  • an ability to take up new hobbies/sports because their bodies are strong enough to do so

We have even seen some of our clients able to lessen dosages on medicine or even go off medicine entirely, with the approval of their doctor. This is so cool!

In our studio, there is a great social aspect to what we do as well. This camaraderie is beneficial for all of us, but especially to seniors. Seniors are an integral part of our studio family and are embraced (literally and figuratively!) for the inspiring and interesting individuals they are.

The very first step any senior will want to take in starting an exercise program is to consult with a doctor. If cleared for strength training, a senior will then want to get direction from a personal trainer who has a track record with seniors. Expect to start slowly and build intensity as you go. You’ll love the results!!

Weight Loss Do’s and Don’ts

Deb Brown, NSCA Certified Personal Trainer and Certified Wellness Coach

In our business we see a lot of clients who have weight loss goals. Many clients have tried for years to get the weight off and keep it off. Frequently, we hear stories of drastic dieting and strict eating regimens. This is invariably followed with, “but then I gained back the weight I lost and even gained additional pounds!” What we tell clients is this: weight loss is simple, but it is not easy. Why do we say that? Well, to tell you the truth, to lose weight it really is a simple formula to follow. Are you ready? Here it is: Eat Less, Move More. It just is not easy to stick to unless you are truly committed. Here are the Do’s and Don’ts that our successful weight loss clients follow:


  1. Make a structured plan with written goals.
  2. Exercise 5-6 days per week at a high intensity. Translation: SWEAT!
  3. Include both strength training and cardio sessions.
  4. Eat about every 3 hours during the day. Include healthy carbs, lean protein and healthy fats at each meal. This will help you feel satiated and full of energy!
  5. Keep a food journal.
  6. Drink lots of water.
  7. Include SMALL amounts of the foods you love 1-2X per week.
  8. Weigh in 1X per week and write it down.
  9. Surround yourself with supportive, encouraging people.
  10. Communicate your goals with your friends and family and enlist their support!
  11. Make your weight loss a priority in your life. Get intensely focused on your goals.


  1. Diet. We have seen 1 person (ONE!) in the past five years who lost a lot of weight on a popular diet program and actually kept it off.
  2. Plan on losing weight like contestants on The Biggest Loser. Typical clients take off about 1-2 pounds per week and KEEP it off! This is called being realistic.
  3. Eat out at restaurants more than 1-2X per month.
  4. Drink more than 1 alcoholic beverage per week.
  5. Hang around with unhealthy or unsupportive friends.
  6. Skip your workouts.
  7. Think “short-term”. Adopt healthy eating and exercise habits that you can maintain for the rest of your life.
  8. Make excuses as to why you cannot eat correctly and exercise. If you want this bad enough, you will not make excuses. You will just get to work.

This formula has worked time and time again for our clients to both take weight off in a healthy and realistic manner; and then to maintain that weight loss.

Yesterday, You Said Tomorrow

Deb Brown, NSCA Certified Personal Trainer and Certified Wellness Coach

We humans have an amazing ability to procrastinate! Sometimes we put off important tasks that have to do with our personal health and well-being. We always say, “Oh, I’ll get to that tomorrow”. Many tomorrows later, people wonder why they are still overweight, why they are still exhausted, how they could have let themselves slip from being pre-Diabetic into a diagnosis of Diabetes. I am always interested when I hear people come up with excuses as to why they cannot workout, eat healthier, lose the weight, get serious about battling a chronic health problem, make that important doctor’s appointment, etc. As a personal trainer and wellness coach, I have heard every excuse in the book. I have also seen clients make progress on their health goals despite many huge hurdles. It all comes down to motivation. How do you overcome your excuses, roadblocks and challenges and just get started on becoming healthier?

There are multiple strategies that I use while coaching clients to help them progress. First, we analyze current behaviors and self-talk. Is there self-sabotage going on and if so, what is the root cause of that? What scripts are playing and replaying in the client’s head? I often have clients actually write down all of the negative self-talk going on inside. When people see, in black and white, how they are beating themselves up internally, they are really surprised! It is important to recognize this negative self-talk, stop it and replace it with affirmations.

Second, I have clients create realistic short term and long term goals. Then we work on small steps each week so that actions are doable, but not overwhelming. As the weeks go by, and clients take small steps, they can begin to see progress. Self-talk becomes more positive. Momentum builds. Progress becomes tangible. For example, weight comes down, blood sugar decreases or a fitness milestone is reached. Doctor visits become more positive and exciting. Energy soars, as do spirits.

Third, we create steps to maintain the healthy behaviors and ways to reinforce the behavior. We examine how far the client has come and we celebrate! If you are holding yourself back from being a healthier version of yourself, ask yourself why? The “I’m too busy/too stressed/too exhausted/can’t afford it/have a bad knee/have small kids/commute up and down the hill” excuse is not valid if you are really serious about being healthy. Today, say you WILL do it. And then do it!

Important Daily Decisions That Lead to Optimal Health

Deb Brown, NSCA Certified Personal Trainer and Certified Wellness Coach

We all want to be at our healthiest all of the time. When we are young, we just take for granted that we are healthy, that we have energy to do the things we want to do, that our bodies will perform as we want them to perform. As we get older, we have to actually work at being healthy. Often the small daily decisions that we make and actions that we take add up to either support our health or detract from it. Here are some daily decisions to consider:

  1. What you eat: eating a diet that includes lots of fruits and vegetables, lean proteins and whole grains promotes a healthy body, helps to insure against disease and gives us the energy we need to do the things we want. Are you eating a healthful, balanced diet today? Could you add an additional serving or two of fruits and/or vegetables?
  2. Fluid intake: many people walk around in a constant state of dehydration. Get into the habit of drinking fluids on a constant basis. Water is optimal, but herbal teas and organic juices are also very healthful. How much water have you had today? Go drink another glass!
  3. Sleep: skip that late night program tonight and get an extra hour of sleep. Not only will you have more energy tomorrow, but getting enough sleep will help you cope with daily stress and ward off disease.
  4. Exercise: keep active doing that which you enjoy doing! Try to get some sustained movement every single day. Take the dogs for a walk, ride your bike with the kids, hit the ski slopes, work with a personal trainer. What have you done today? What could you do tomorrow?
  5. Regular doctor and dentist visits: make that one phone call today that you have been putting off for that mammogram, prostrate screening or dental check up. Making the appointment will probably take you 5 minutes or less and could just save your life (or your teeth!).
  6. Strong friends/family support network: keeping up with friends and family has never been easier AND more important. Pick up the phone and call someone who you have not talked to in awhile. Schedule a lunch date with a friend. Cuddle up with your hubby on the couch tonight.
  7. Manage stress: what kind of downtime do you have planned for today? Do you have a few quiet moments to relax? Can you take an hour to do something that brings you joy? Add some downtime every day to help keep you mentally sharp.

By making small healthy decisions every day, you can really benefit your health long-term.

Just Get Started!
Dave Brown, NSCA Certified Personal Trainer
One evening a number of weeks ago it was about 7pm and I was finishing up with clients. I was hungry, freezing (gets cold in the Studio for the trainer), and, frankly, worn out. I hadn’t done my own workout yet. It would have been really easy to just head home for dinner and family time, but I decided I needed to just start the workout and the momentum would build. The first set of exercises was, in a word, brutal. By the second set, I was warmed up and by the end I had had one of my best workouts in months. I was PUMPED and felt like I could conquer the world! That workout only happened because I made the decision to start.

No matter what the change is, it begins with a concrete decision to start. It could be something as small as not missing a workout as in my case. It could be something life changing like starting a weight-loss program, deciding to watch less TV to have more family time, or deciding this is the year to hike your first 14er.

There is no perfect time for change to start. There will always be obstacles to success that we’ll need to plan around. It’s called Life! Personally, I think when times are crazy it’s the best time to get started. If you can start a fitness program, be consistent and learn how to navigate the rough waters of life when things are crazy, imagine how you’ll do when things settle down.

By making the decision to get started, you are making the decision to put yourself first in one area of your life. For some, this will feel uncomfortable because they’ve always put their needs last. The interesting part of making a decision to get fit and healthier is that it helps to drive all other aspects of life. You’ll have more energy and a freer mind. One of the coolest things about what Deb and I do is watching clients progress through their journey to better health. Seeing someone start with a low fitness level and then through training, develop the strength and confidence to take on their first 5k or another milestone event is amazing.

Now is the time to make the decision to Just Get Started! Not next month, not next year. The decision to start is the toughest part of the journey toward a healthier you. Once you make that decision, it gets easier with each passing day. Here’s the creed Peter Twist, one of the top fitness presenters, who recently battled Stage 4 Nasopharyngeal cancer lives by; “Life is short…LIVE EVERYDAY. Today I will GIVE everything I have, what I keep inside I will lose forever.” Powerful words to live by.

5 Minutes a Day Can Change Your Life!

Dave Brown, NSCA Certified Personal Trainer

The term “five minutes a day” sparks visions of the latest ab lounger or the latest supplement de jour. Believe it or not I’m not referring to a product and it costs absolutely nothing. What it does require is honesty and dedication, for when eating doesn’t go exactly as planned, it is most important.

This item can make the difference between losing weight this week and not. Using it could also help make a world of difference for those suffering from high blood pressure and/or diabetes. This is also something that most people will avoid like the plague.

This incredibly powerful tool is a Food Journal! I’m not talking about a journal where you have to weigh each ingredient or track every calorie. I’m talking about a simple food journal that contains nothing more than the time you ate, what you ate, how much exercise you did for the day and a small journal entry about how the day went.

Research also supports the use of food journals. Jack Hollis Ph.D, the lead author of a recent study by Kaiser Permanente’s Center for Health Research found that, “The more food records people kept, the more weight they lost. Those who kept daily food records lost twice as much weight as those who kept no records. It seems that the simple act of writing down what you eat encourages people to consume fewer calories.”

Here’s an example.

Exercise: 20 minutes cardio before work

Journal: Today started off great. I ran the kids down the hill, we were in a hurry and McDonalds was the only option, so I bought the kids food and skipped lunch. I was starving at dinner.

2 eggs scrambled w/whole wheat toast Coffee w/half and half


No lunch

2 pork chops, potatoes & corn, cake

Ice cream

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see why this fictional person was starving later in the day. They missed lunch, their early morning snack lacked some protein and fat, peanut butter for example, and by the time they hit dinner they were ravenous.

This type of scenario is all too common in our fast-paced lives and could just as easily have been someone working in an office. Since this person had a food journal they are able to look back and adjust. For example, maybe the next day they packed a cooler with a healthy lunch and snacks thus setting themselves up for success.

You don’t need the latest fad diet to succeed with weight-loss. You need to get moving and add some accountability by using a food journal.

Eat This, Not That!
Deb Brown, NSCA Certified Personal Trainer and Certified Wellness Coach
As we head into Fall and the coming holiday season, many people want to focus on eating for optimal health. So, as this issue is dedicated to food, we thought we would share some ideas on how to eat a bit healthier over the next few months and beyond. We have taken some common types of food and eating behaviors and have given suggestions on what to replace those with for better health.. Enjoy!
  1. Eat more real, whole food and less processed foods – processed foods come in packages and contain all kinds of chemicals that you do not want in your body. A great rule of thumb: if your Grandma would not recognize an ingredient, try not to put it in your body. Real food is in the original form. This may actually require you to do some planning and cooking, but it is well worth the effort. If you focus on just this one behavior for a few weeks, you will be amazed at how much better you feel!
  2. Eat more lean protein, less higher fat protein – options like lean beef, chicken, fish, beans and nuts/seeds provide an optimal amount of clean protein with low amounts of saturated fat.
  3. Drink more water and less soda, fruit juice and/or alcohol – you will stay better hydrated and save yourself unwanted energy swings from the sugar.
  4. Eat more nuts and seeds, less chips and cookies – make your snacks more nutrient dense and limit amounts. Nuts and seeds are excellent sources of fiber, vitamins, minerals and healthy fats. Plus they taste great and help to satiate you so you feel full after eating them. Limit to about an ounce per day. Good sources: walnuts, almonds, cashews, sunflower and pumpkin seeds.
  5. Eat small amounts of whole wheat or other whole flours (i.e. oat, amaranth), less white flour and white sugar – more and more research is linking disease and sickness to wheat and sugar products so enjoy sparingly. Try to replace 1-2 servings per day with a serving or two of fruit/vegetables.
  6. Cook your own food more, eat out less. You will enjoy healthier fare, that typically has less calories, chemicals and preservatives, saturated fat and salt for a fraction of the price.
  7. Enjoy small amounts of favorite desserts, but focus on balanced eating through the day. Don’t “save” yourself for the big party/dinner/holiday event. Eat smartly throughout the day and have a small portion of the special food that you enjoy.
  8. When possible, purchase organic fruits and vegetables and try to limit genetically-modified (GMO) produce. Google the “Dirty Dozen” for more information on those fruits/vegetables that are better to ingest if they are organic.
  9. Lastly, enjoy your food and eat mindfully. Take time to savor your meals and the people you are eating with!
Self Doubt

Dave Brown, NSCA Certified Personal Trainer

Keep moving forward as there just might be magic at the top.

A few months ago I was running at Flying J and at the usual spot, about 3 miles in, my legs started protesting. This is pretty typical, as running doesn’t come easy for me. I was not a winner in the running genetic lottery. This got me thinking about self-doubt and how it can be so pervasive. Especially when we take on something new or we push things to a new level.

For many this is when our brain plays tricks on us and we say things to ourselves like, ‘I can’t do it’, ‘Why bother, I’ve tried before and failed’ or ‘This is just too hard, I give up’. Think about it, this aligns well with Newton’s First Law; A body at rest remains at rest and a body in motion continues to move at a constant velocity unless acted upon by an external force. We get comfortable at a state of rest and are resistant to change. This could be due to fear of failure, fear of being judged or something as simple as not knowing where to start. Conversely, when we get into a groove working out, we become the body in motion. Even when we’re in a groove there are so many things along our journey that cause self-doubt and become the external force that can stop us in our tracks and cause us to lose motivation.

The important takeaway is that it’s normal for change to be hard. Entering February, many have already given up on their New Year’s resolutions and some are still wondering if this will be the year. The key is to get started and make changes gradually. Don’t try to change everything at once, as this generally causes us to become overwhelmed. When we get overwhelmed from trying to change too much too quickly, it’s easy for self-doubt to rear it’s ugly head. Whenever we start a new client, we always progress their workout slowly so we can assess their fitness level, both physically and mentally. We’ve learned over years of experience that this method is critical for long term success.

So how do you put this into practice? Figure out where you want to go. Maybe you want to lose 30lbs, be in overall better health, want to be less stressed or maybe take your running to the next level as I do. This is where goals come in. I still believe in goals as they provide not only the destination, they also provide the steps to get to the destination. It’s great to set the long range goal, but remember to set short-term (weekly) goals for each long range goal. This will allow for many small successes along the way and can also keep us from getting overwhelmed. When we get overwhelmed, self-doubt comes back for a visit. Understand that things won’t go perfectly and that there will be setbacks. Look back to see what you could have done differently, make adjustments and then move forward. Just don’t give up! It’s never easy, but know the reward is well worth it.

What Are You Training For?

By Deb Brown, NSCA Certified Personal Trainer and Certified Wellness Coach

Is your fitness routine getting boring? Do you find your motivation to get into shape and stay in shape flagging? If so, consider registering for an event that will take place in Spring or Summer. It could be a 5K walk or run, a cycling event, a triathlon. In Colorado, we also have snowshoe events! Something special happens when you fill out a registration form to enter the event, pay your registration fee and mark the date on your calendar. You get focused, you get committed and you start talking about it with friends and family. It fills you with energy and motivation. Getting your workouts in takes on new meaning because there is now a larger goal – to complete the event. You will tend to work harder and push yourself further if you know you have an event coming up. Also, you will start focusing less on the number that you see on the scale and focusing more on how much further you can run or bike today.

Training for an event will also encourage you to eat “cleaner”. When you eat healthy, with an eye toward fueling your body for your workouts, you are less tempted to eat junk. Eating unhealthy food will show up in tomorrow’s workout by slowing you down and making you feel more tired.

Signing up for an event encourages you to get out of your comfort zone. If you have never participated in a triathlon for example, completing your first Sprint Triathlon will at first seem like an unreachable goal. After weeks/months of steady training, all of a sudden, there you are on event day! It is so exciting and exhilarating to be swimming/biking/running next to your fellow athletes and to think “I am doing this!” The warm glow of accomplishment and the pride you will feel after an event is amazing! You start thinking about what other events you might like to do – events that you may never have even considered before. Many events are “user friendly” to the beginner athlete. Some events offer informational sessions and free clinics.

Participating in an event also provides an excellent boost to your self esteem. Moms, especially, benefit because we are all so busy taking care of everyone else that it is refreshing to take time for ourselves to work at a goal and achieve it. Also, if the event is to raise funds for a cause, it just makes you feel that much better to be able to make a difference. Last, but not least, events are just plain fun!!

So, if you are looking for a way to breathe new life and energy into your fitness routine, consider signing up for an event.