Volumetrics or Crowding Out; How this principle can help you lose weight

Do you feel like every time you go on a diet you are never satisfied? Always hungry and looking for the next snack or meal?

When weight loss is your main goal to starting or maintaining a healthy life, the Principle of Volumetrics or Crowding Out can be a useful tool to your success.

Studies have shown that most people will eat the same volume of food per day. The key to Volumetrics is to take the volume that you are eating, and cut roughly 25% of the caloric value of it. To do this in a way where you will still be satisfied and full, here are some quick tips:

1.) Bulk up your meal.
Take your traditional meal of protein, veggies and healthy grains (like brown rice) and bulk up the amount of veggies, cut back slightly on the amount of grain and keep the protein to an appropriate portion of 3-4 oz.

Most vegetables like broccoli, bok choy, and dark greens have a lot of fiber and satiety value- so you’ll stay fuller longer.

2.) Portion Control is now QUALITY over QUANTITY.
Instead of saying, Oh for 500 calories I can have chicken and french fries, its quick and easy. And this is the caloric value if you keep the portion size under control. What about the QUALITY of those calories? Chicken is protein, but french fries are empty calories- no staying power to keep you full. Now, if you were to replace the french fries with a more QUALITY side item, like roasted baby potatoes with peppers, tomatoes, and a spinach salad, you would not only be eating LESS calories but you would actually be able to have a meal that gives you the amount of fiber you need to make it through to your next meal or snack.

3.) If done right you can have dessert!
What if someone told you you could have dessert every night and still lose weight? Obviously, you would know that it is about how you pick you foods and what you choose to eat. However, it doesnt have to be boring.

I often tell people if you start with soup or a salad, you will eat a smaller main dish, and will have room (both physically and calorically) to eat a 100-150 calorie dessert. Who doesn’t want that?

The principle of Volumetrics or Crowding Out is far more than a diet to follow; it truly is a different way of looking at how you eat and planning your meals. In Smart Workouts Weight Loss Program, we discuss way to be successful with the idea of Volumetrics and how you can benefit from it.

Happy Eating!


-Written by Sandi Partyka, CHC, Senior Fitness Assistant

Exercising on the Stability Ball

Stability balls are a great tool to incorporate into your workout.  They can provide a challenge or be used as a modification to help proper form during an exercise.  Either way, they are a toy that should be utilized!

Here are 3 great strength and toning exercises that can be done using a stability ball:

  1. Stability Ball Pushup-  This is a great way to modify a pushup or make it more challenging on the core and chest.  Lay down with your stomach or pelvis on the ball and place your hands below your shoulders when the body is fully extended.  Bend and extend the elbows, as your upper body lowers and lifts.  For a more challenging version, place the ball underneath the ankles or shins and try the pushup there!
  2. Pelvic Lift and Squeeze- Lying down on your back, place the stability ball in between your shins.  Slowly squeeze in on the ball with the legs as you simultaneously lift your pelvis up off of the mat.  Hold the elevated pelvis for 10 seconds and then relax down to the mat.
  3. Crunches-Lying down on your back on the stability ball with your shoulders slightly off of the top of the ball, slowly lift and lower your upper back off of the ball, while isolating the rest of your body.  This exercise challenges the abdominals and core by allowing a larger range of motion, as well as the increased difficulty in stabilizing the ball beneath your body.

Bored with your Fitness Routine?

The owner of Smart Workout, Elaine Platt, is constantly saying that, “the best workout is the one that you do!” This rings true to many of us who are often bored doing the same type of cardio, for the same duration of time and the same weight training exercises day after day. Boredom and a perceived lack of time are the two main reasons that exercisers fall off of the wagon.
There are many things that you can do to combat this boredom at the gym. Get out of your regular routine and try some or all of these suggestions:



1.)  Interval Training

o Focus on different muscle groups each day, never working the same muscles consecutive days (with the exception of abs)
o Add short bursts of cardio 2-3 minutes, into your strength training to break up the repetition

2.)  Incorporate Different Equipment
o Utilize various apparatus and equipment. Don’t only use the circuit machines or free weights. Begin to experiment with resistance bands, medicine balls, physioballs, hand and ankle weights.

3.)  Try New Things
o Take some classes and start to integrate that into your weekly routine. Participate in a variety of classes to allow both mental and physical engagement. Try not to take only one type of class, experiment and challenge your body with a total body class one day and yoga the next.

4.)  Switch It Up
o Try to avoid routine at the gym. Although similarity works for some people, most are bored doing the same thing each day. Take a class one day; the next day do strength training with cardio intervals; try pilates the following day; and take a step or spin class the day after that! This type of variation will prevent boredom and keep both your mind and body on its toes!


-written by Gillian Rinaldo, Senior Fitness Assistant

Fitness Vacations – The new IT way to jump start a healthy habit?

Just one quick google search will prove that Fitness Vacations- or Fitness and Spa excursions- are slowly gaining speed and popularity in the fitness world. These types of vacations are usually in an exotic area or a desolate and quite area. You focus on healthy eating, exercise, and rest and relaxation. Well, who wouldn’t want that?

However, for those of us that don’t feel like shlepping on an airplane and traveling to a resort in the middle of no-where, maybe we want to stay a little closer to home. Smart Workout now has your answer!

Since Spring is slowly sneaking in, Smart Workouts Fitness Vacation will now feature our Spring activity line up- including the Orchid Show at the NYC Botanical Gardens, walks along the Cloisters, and a full excursion of the newly designed Highline Park.


The best part of OUR Fitness Vacation- you can choose how YOU want to vacation- a week, a weekend, whether you are close to the city and want to stay for the weekend, want to visit family and make it a healthy trip where you can see new parts of the city and learn healthy eating habits, or live in Manhattan and just want to take a little time for yourself, we’ve got you covered!

Ready to really immerse in a healthy habit and indulge in the city full of culture and fun? Our next vacation begins on March 25th, so registration is open now! Learn more here.

I dont know about you, but Im REALLY looking forward to the Spring!