eating lean

9 New Rules of Lean Eating

You’d like your eating plan to work for you – to get you the results that you want without lots of complicated steps. The good news is that lean eating does not mean complicated eating…it just means eating smart.

Read on for the NEW rules of lean eating that will make fat loss second nature. And don’t worry, lean eating can still be very delicious. In fact, you’ll find many of your new, lean meals to be better in flavor and more satisfying than your old, fattening eats.

1. Eat the RIGHT Type of Carbs

There is a hierarchy for which carbs have a place in a lean diet and which carbs will only fatten you up. The success of your eating plan rests squarely on which of these carbs you regularly include in your diet.

  1. Green Vegetables
  2. Non-Green Vegetables
  3. Fruit
  4. Whole Grains and Starches
  5. Refined Grains
  6. Foods with Added Sugar

The top 3 ranked carbs are where 90% of the carbs in your diet should be coming from…in order to get that lean physique that you want. Immediately cut out the bottom 2 (refined grains and foods with added sugar) and on occasion include a limited amount of whole grains and starches.

2. Track What You Eat

The only way to improve upon your diet is to actually know what you’re currently eating. Keep a food journal, or download a free food tracker app, and input all of the calories that you consume over the course of a week. This will give you a broad look at where your low-quality calories are coming from (high sugar, empty calories).

Your first step will be to eliminate these fattening calories and to start replacing empty calories with nutrient-filled whole foods.

3. Space Meals Apart

Much has been said over the past decades about the importance of eating small frequent meals throughout the day. This is old, outdated science. New research has proven that there’s more harm than good to eating more frequently than every 4 hours.

Stick with 3 meals each day, and fill in a protein-based snack if your meals are going to be more than 4 hours apart.

4. Never Restrict Calories to the Extreme

There’s a certain allure in the idea of temporarily restricting calories to the extreme. The idea that one can drop a down a size or two in just as many weeks is quite tempting. I hate to be the one to burst your overambitious bubble, but extreme calorie restriction NEVER WORKS. It’s terrible for your body and it is not something that is sustainable (namely because you’d starve to death) so the pendulum inevitably swings in the other direction, resulting in binges.

The key to being lean for life is to eat in a way that you can sustain forever. Eat whole foods. Eat a moderate amount of the RIGHT calories. Every day, ongoing, forever.

5. Eat Veggies First

This may go against all of your instincts, but hear this one out. When you sit down to a meal first eat all of the veggies and salad, before moving on to the main dish. This simple strategy helps to fill you up with lower calorie foods first, before moving on to the higher calorie items.

By making this a habit you’ll naturally and effortlessly consume fewer calories at each meal, which will add up in a big way.

6. Include Protein at Every Meal

Each of your meals should be built around a healthy serving of protein. This protein could be meat (chicken breast, fish fillet, roasted turkey, braised beef etc) eggs, or protein powder.

Having protein as the focal point of your meal is important for two reasons: 1) You’re fueling up in a way that builds muscles rather than stores fat and 2) By default, you’re avoiding high calorie main dishes, which are what really cause most weight gain.

7. Ban Liquid Calories

Liquid calories have no place in a lean eating plan. No place at all. Anytime that you are drinking calories, it’s safe to assume that you’re adding inches to your waistline. Put down the beer, just say no to the blended coffee drink, and forget about fully loaded soda pop.

Filtered water and unsweetened tea are both wonderful alternatives to calorie-laden beverages.

8. Avoid Prepackaged Foods

Prepackaged foods and snacks have no place in a lean eating plan. These processed foods contain numerous fattening ingredients such as refined sugar, sodium, grains, fillers and other artificial ingredients.

If you are currently eating packaged foods on a daily basis, then cutting these items out will quickly translate into pounds lost.

9. Swim Upstream

As a society we are overweight. We are riddled with obesity related ailments. We are uncomfortable in our own skin. We are craving weight loss.

So…it’s safe to say that whatever you see the masses around you do, when it comes to food and exercise, you should aim to do the opposite.

  • See a line wrapped around that fast food joint’s drive-thru? Do not enter. Instead, eat a simple meal made with vegetables and lean protein.
  • See all 5 people ahead of you in line at the coffee shop order a sweet drink? Do not follow suit. Instead, order an unsweetened drink.
  • See the movie theatre parking lot packed to the brim, and the gym parking lot empty? Skip the movie and hit the gym.

Swim upstream, be different than the masses by living in a desirable, healthy, lean body.

Call or email me today to get started on a fat loss program that really works.

Beef Stew

Paleo Beef Stew

The winter months require some creativity when it comes to balancing comfort food and healthy options. Try out this easy, slow cooking, beef stew recipe. A great way to get additional vegetables in the winter is to add them to stews and soups. Another way to add more vegetables is heating up your stew over raw greens.


Don’t compromise your winter comfort foods, find ways to make them healthier!



2 pounds grass fed stewing beef

2 cups of beef or chicken stock (or both broth)

1 T balsamic vinegar

1 medium onion, chopped

2 stalks of celery, roughly chopped

2 large carrots, peeled and chopped (or parsnips)

3-5 small potatoes, cubed (or sweet potatoes)

1 to 3 cloves of garlic, minced (adjust according to your taste)

1 T paprika

3 bay leaves

1/2 t salt

1/2 t black pepper

1 t each dried rosemary, basil, and oregano

1/8 cup arrowroot powder (if you want to thicken your stew)


Place meat into crockpot.

Add liquids then all other ingredients except for arrowroot powder on top.

Cover and cook on low for eight hours.

To thicken: Just before you’re ready to eat, use a ladle to spoon out most of the liquid into a small saucepan and bring to a boil.

Stir a small amount of the liquid into a small bowl and sprinkle in the arrowroot flour, whisking as you add it. Make sure there are no lumps.

Slowly pour the arrowroot mixture into the boiling liquid in the pot and remove from heat as you whisk continuously. Do not reheat, as this will break the bonds of the thickener.

If it’s not thick enough, use water and some more arrowroot powder in your small bowl, whisk to mix, then slowly add into the gravy.

Pour thickened gravy back into slow cooker, stir gently, and serve.


Visit our Mystic or Niantic facilities and sign up for our 15-Day Jumpstart!


People of Fitness Van B

Van B APTI have a grudging love/hate relationship with fitness training.  Well, more importantly, I had a love/hate relationship with fitness training.

I probably spent 50 plus years in the traditional gym environment.  At APT I now get a better workout and build muscle faster than I ever did in those 50 years.  At no extra charge, I am also getting stamina and flexibility I had lost.

I remember the grinding repetitiveness of my decades of weight training.  I might be in a different gym, but it was always the same workout.

At APT no workout is the same.  Every time I arrive, I get a great trainer and a different workout.  There is no way to become bored.

I have reached a certain age. When I arrive, we go through a check list.  Knees?  Back?  Vertigo?  Lungs?  These talented trainers design a workout that allows me to challenge myself to the limits of that day’s capabilities.

At times I just stand in the middle of the gym and look at all the wonderful people there.  (Okay, maybe I am also catching my breath!)  

I almost said “everyday people” and that is not true.  

They are incredibly upbeat, striving folks who are encouraged every step of the way by APT trainers, laughing and giggling while telling me they are dying.  Last time I checked, most people are not giggling while they are dying.

Those people working out are pushing themselves as hard as they can and having fun while doing it.  I think that is great.  It is certainly unique in my experience.

There are some amazingly strong people there, both men and women, both young and old.  However, there are no intimidating “monsters” like I know from other clubs, roaring and screaming.

There are people getting their “18 year old” body back and people like me who just want to be active until, hopefully, a very old age.

There are also people working out who, like me, face physical challenges, people who are in long recoveries of their strength, or perhaps people getting strength they never had.  

There is my personal hero, a man who comes in and works out carrying an oxygen bottle.  He is my “whine antidote”.

I have only been going to APT for a little over two and a half years, and I still love it.  I am no where near a “long term” client.  I believe there are individuals that have been working with APT for 18 years.  They still love it too.

Does APT work?  You can find a whole room of people, 7 days a week who would tell you “yes”.

Are you Ready to Start Looking Good, Feeling Great, and Living Life to the Fullest?

Roasted veggies

Roasted Winter Veggies

Great side dish for your winter festivities. Bring it to your next holiday party or make a large batch for meal prep for the week. Either way, great way to get in seasonal vegetables!

Roasted Winter Veggies
(serves 8-10)

2 medium red beets, scrubbed
2 medium yellow beets, scrubbed
2 lb. baby Yukon gold, fingerling, or tricolor potatoes, scrubbed and halved if large
2 large yellow onions, cut into 1″ wedges
1⁄2 cup olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 lb. Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
2 large parsnips, peeled and cut into 1” pieces
1 tbsp. finely chopped rosemary
1 tbsp. finely chopped thyme

Heat oven to 400°. Wrap red and yellow beets separately in aluminum foil and place in a 9″ × 13″ baking dish; bake until tender, about 1 hour. Let beets cool slightly, then unwrap, peel, and cut into 1” pieces. Transfer to a large bowl and cover with plastic wrap; keep warm.

Toss potatoes and onions with half the oil, salt, and pepper on a baking sheet. On another baking sheet, toss remaining oil, Brussels sprouts, parsnips, salt, and pepper. Bake until vegetables are golden and tender, 45 minutes to 1 hour; transfer to bowl with beets. Stir in rosemary, thyme, salt, and pepper.


Recipe from:…/recipes/roasted-winter-vegetables

At APT we ask our clients to trust us that we will create a fitness program suited to their level that will help them reach their goals. If you’ve never worked out, or if you’ve always worked out, we take seriously our role in your health.

Check out our Mystic and Niantic facilities and sign up for our 15-day Jump Start program to get you going:



Hummus recipe

Festive Hummus Recipe

While the red and green speckles give this homemade hummus a jolly look, it’s the taste that makes it unforgettable. This dip makes the perfect party take-along. Serve it up with whole grain pita bread or fresh cut veggie sticks.

Here’s what you need:

(makes 12 servings)

  • 1 (15 oz) can garbanzo beans
  • 1 Tablespoons tahini
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 Tablespoon water
  • 2 garlic cloves, mashed
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 4 sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup basil leaves
  1. Throw all the ingredients into a food processor and combine until smooth.

Nutritional Analysis: One serving equals: 55 calories, 2g fat, 6g carbohydrate, 2g fiber, and 2g protein.


At APT we ask our clients to trust us that we will create a fitness program suited to their level that will help them reach their goals. If you’ve never worked out, or if you’ve always worked out, we take seriously our role in your health.

Check out our Mystic and Niantic facilities and sign up for our 15-day Jump Start program to get you going:

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thanksgiving WOD

Sweat off the Thanksgiving Stress

Did this Thanksgiving Stress you out?  Well, we have the workout for you to sweat off that stress and decompress for the next holiday.

This is a no equipment necessary, do anywhere workout, so hang onto it so you can use it any time you can’t make it into the gym.


Push Ups x 10

Touchdown Squats x 20


Mountain Climbers x 20 each leg

Lateral Lunge x 10 each leg


Plank with Hip Slap x 10 each side

Jumping Jacks x 50

Here at APT, we take seriously our commitment to helping people change their lives. Your goals are our goals. And we will help you stay accountable to those goals, every day. We encourage you to come give us a try, at either our Mystic or our Niantic facility and et our team of experts give you the ultimate roadmap to success!

People of Fitness Laura

POF LauraHaving just turned 40, I decided as I was now officially a grown up, that I should do something to ensure my own well-being.  I was never a fitness minded person.  In fact, I was the kid who always skipped gym class.  But after working for over 20 years as a fiber artist and spending many long hours hunched over my work I was starting to feel the strain on my body.  Neck and back issues were starting to creep in.  I was also travelling extensively for work and usually toting 70 to 80lbs of luggage behind me, which was becoming harder and harder to cope with.  I needed to find a way to build my strength.

 My first day at the gym was surreal (like I said, the kid who skipped gym class . . . ).  My first goal was to make it through the first week.  Before long, and much to my surprise, I was actually looking forward to my training sessions.  “Small but Mighty” became my mantra and I worked hard to build up my endurance and strength.  These days I rarely suffer any back or neck pain and you should see me carry my bags up 3 flights of steps in the London Underground . . . you’d never know they weigh almost as much as me!

 In addition to my new-found enthusiasm for working out I have also, thanks to guidance from our nutritionist at the gym, discovered a previously unrealized interest in nutrition.  As someone who suffers from both celiac disease and dairy intolerance, food has always presented some challenges.  By combining a disciplined gym schedule with a health minded diet I’ve been able to maximize the benefits of working out.  Taking the time and making the effort to improve my own physical well-being is so rewarding and so empowering.  I only wish I had come to it sooner.

Let our team of experts give you the ultimate roadmap to success!

POF Sally

People of Fitness Sally

I have to admit it’s pretty shocking to me that I will turn 70 years old the first week of October, 2017!  Almost equally shocking is the fact that come January, 2018,  I will be beginning my 18th year here at Advantage Personal Training!

I think the best news about this BIG birthday is that I certainly don’t feel 70 … or 60 … or, most of the time, even 30.  I know I certainly was never in the shape forty years ago that I’m in now, and I know how much of that I owe to this gym.

My story, sadly enough, begins on the school playground.  When you’re only 4’10” in high school AND terminally shy … and there is no Title IX, no tennis, no track, no basketball, no anything for girls but field hockey … or field hockey … you can imagine I was not a big draw for anybody’s team.  I grew up thinking that not only was I a sports failure but probably the most unathletic kid on the planet.

I started playing racquetball when I was nearly 40 and found out I wasn’t too bad, but until my early 50’s, I didn’t do much more than that.  Then, on a day that changed my life forever, I saw a small story in the Mystic River Press about a gym that had opened in Old Mystic.  Who knows why, but I called … and the rest is history.

Although the owner was the same age as my kids, he had such an appreciation for creating a program tailored to each individual client and that client’s specific needs, even us middle-aged moms!  And so began my career in weight training.

As I became stronger and suddenly saw muscles … REAL muscles on my arms and legs!!! … I couldn’t wait to get to the gym and work out!  More than that, however, I discovered that exercise had become a real lifestyle change for me.  As I worked through my program, I realized I wanted more and more, and so I added more fitness classes coupled with outdoor cycling, then weekly power walking with a group of other women.  AND I have hiked extensively in the White Mountains, the Canadian Rockies, Sedona, and the Atlas Mountains of Morocco all in the past 14 months!

It’s easy to see how exercise has changed and enhanced my life.  Would I be where I am at 70 without my exciting new “jock” life?  Never!!!

And I admit it:  I wore a sleeveless dress to my 50th high school reunion two years ago, and LOL not for entirely honorable reasons!  It felt great!

300 Workout

300 Bodyweight Workout


Here is a challenging Bodyweight Workout you can do outside this weekend.

Complete all 50 Reps before moving to the next exercise. Rest as needed.

Warm-up 5-10 minutes

Squat Thrusts




Split Squats (50 reps each leg)

Inverted Rows

Air Squats


Here at APT, we take seriously our commitment to helping people change their lives. Your goals are our goals. And we will help you stay accountable to those goals, every day. We encourage you to come give us a try, at either our Mystic or our Niantic facility:

Let our team of experts give you the ultimate roadmap to success!


People of Fitness Dave

In my early 50’s I started to put on weight.  In March 2017, I had moved to Mystic with my wife and we were looking for a life style change. We joined a fitness training facility (Advantage Personal Training) with the hopes that we would have some guidance and structure.  Well, the numbers don’t lie; my weight is down, my belt size is down, my stamina has increased, and my recovery in the gym has also increased.   I’m burning 600-800 calories per gym session!

Importantly, Advantage has tracked my body weight, lean muscle versus fat mass and my numbers are progressing steadily. The mental impact has been really good too ! I have settled on the small group model and have been leveraging the different trainers.  All of them have a unique style, friendly, caring, and very much adapt to the needs of the client.

The gym’s atmosphere and “culture” is gentle and caring. I don’t want to sound corny, but Advantage feels like a second “home”. I can be myself.  It has been great working out with my wife.  In some instances, our two sons have joined us when in town.  The oldest is in the US Army and is very fit, but Advantage has managed to customize a routine that suited the 4 of us !!

Check out our Mystic and Niantic facilities and sign up for our 15-day Jump Start program to get you going:

Let our team of experts give you the ultimate roadmap to success!