“I’m so glad I tried KICK START!”

Camille lost 20lbs and dropped a clothing size by following our Balanced Habits KICK START and LIFE programs!

Woman smiling


“I am so happy I decided to try KICK START.  I love the results!”

I signed up for KICK START because I was looking for a weight-loss program that promoted healthy eating.  More than anything, I wanted a lifestyle change, not a diet.  In addition to losing weight, I wanted to step up my exercise routine because my oldest daughter is getting married in June.

I love my results!  During the 28-day program, I lost 12lbs.  Since the program ended, I signed up for the LIFE nutrition program and lost another 8lbs, and dropped a shirt size and a pants size.  Now, I can wear clothes in my closet that I haven’t worn in years!

While I’m excited about the weight-loss, I’ve also noticed that my overall fitness level has improved, too!  I feel stronger during fitness classes and have started a walk/run program with my husband.  My family has been very supportive of my lifestyle change.  The KICK START recipes offer a great variety and are so good that even my husband eats the healthy meals that I cook.  I even told a friend at work about the program and she signed up for May!

One of the great things about KICK START is that it’s easy to follow.  Having a one-on-one [food] coach is very helpful.  My coach, Symonne, was supportive, encouraging, and gave me great tips.  I’ve found that I am much more aware of my portions now and continue to make healthy food choices.  In fact, I’m going on a week-long vacation with my family soon and feel that I’ll be able to maintain my healthy eating.

For anyone considering KICK START, I’d say to give it a try.  It only takes 21 days to build a habit that will last a lifetime and you have nothing to lose by taking a chance on this clean-eating program.

Start your journey to better health!

Get KICK START info!





“It’s so awesome to be back in control!”

From somewhat skeptic to full-on believer, Mary Anne took control of her eating habits with our 28-day, Balanced Habits KICK START program – and lost 15lbs and dropped her cholesterol by 10 points!

“I have my mojo back… It’s so awesome to be in control!”

I signed up for KICK START because I had been gaining weight.  Not only was I eating unhealthy food, but I was also eating way too much and I just couldn’t get back on track.  I’d lost my mojo and needed some motivation.

I am very pleased with my results!  During KICK START, I lost 10lbs, 7in, and could definitely tell a big difference in how my clothes fit. Plus, I had my annual physical a week after the program ended, and my cholesterol was down 10 points. So happy about this!  Since KICK START ended, I’ve lost an another 5lbs; for a total of 15lbs lost!”

What I loved most about the program was the camaraderie and accountability—knowing I had to get on the scale, in front of another person, Healthy food groups on a plateand face the music.  The nutrition habits do take some time to get used to.  I definitely had to plan and prepare food choices ahead of time to stay on track, but the KICK START recipes were great.  In fact, I’m still using many of those same recipes today!  The success I had on this program has given me the motivation to keep going. I still have a fair amount of weight to lose, but I am determined to stick with the program.

If you’re in a rut, KICK START is a good way to get motivated to make improvements in your life and health. It’s all about how badly you want it, and how much effort you’re willing to put in. The important thing to remember is that it’s only 28 days – and anyone can stick to a program for 28 days. It goes by fast!

Mary Anne smilingI’ll admit—I was somewhat skeptical about KICK START at first, but I am so happy I did it. I really feel like I have some control of my eating habits now; especially portion control. I find I need a lot less food to be satisfied than when I was previously eating.  It’s all good – I’m on the road to better health!

Start your journey to better health!

Register for our next KICK START that begins on May 18!

Lose weight, increase energy, fuel your body the right way, and more with our 28-day customized KICK START program!

“This is the best investment I’ve ever made…”

Since signing up for our 28-day, nutrition KICK START program, our member Beth has lost 16lbs (and counting!) and has almost eliminated her arthritis and nerve pain!

Woman sitting outside

“For the first time in many years, I am very happy with my current weight, and feel it is exactly where I should be!”

I joined KICK START because I had been slowly gaining weight over the past few years, and just wasn’t happy with how I looked or felt.  Although I regularly work out at Mid American’s wide variety of cardio and strength training classes, I knew I couldn’t outrun the poor eating habits that had crept into my daily life.

No equipment HIIT class

I have been extremely happy with the results I’ve seen from KICK START!  During the 4-week program, I lost 10lbs and have lost another six pounds over the next seven weeks.  For the first time in many years, I am very happy with my current weight, and feel it is exactly where I should be.  Primarily, I lost the weight in my mid-section, a very unattractive “spare tire” that had been growing and keeping me company for several years. I’ve also noticed a marked increase in my energy level, especially during HIIT classes that used to leave me completely winded.  

“Even better, prior to KICK START, I had been experiencing arthritis pain in my hands and feet, as well as nerve pain which radiated down both legs.  After about three weeks on the program, I noticed that all of this pain had almost completely disappeared.  I no longer take any pain medication. I believe that this is the result of eating clean, whole, balanced meals with almost no added sugars, which I understand contribute to inflammation in the body.”


For me, the easiest part of Balanced Habits was that the “rules” were very simple.  I concentrated on the macronutrient ratio of 7 (grams of) protein, 3 fats, and 9 carbs [per my customized KICK START plan], and used the [Balanced Habits] “Pack and Go” guidelines extensively for simple breakfasts, lunches, and snacks.  To keep dinner interesting, I started scouring cooking websites to find recipes that “fit” the program.  I’ve also been using the app, Recipe IQ, to modify my own recipes into healthier versions.

“I have truly adopted KICK START as the way I eat now, and plan to eat this way for the rest of my life… I have no desire to go back to my old eating habits.”

On a recent vacation, I did stray a bit, but happily went right back to the Balanced Habits lifestyle as soon as I got back home.

Healthy living itemsIf you’ve tried unsuccessfully to lose weight on your own, you really should give the KICK START a go.  It takes some work, and it isn’t easy to change a lifetime of eating habits. Before KICK START, I had developed a bad habit of grazing all day long, and eliminating all that unscheduled snacking was hard for the first couple of weeks. But having a coach available is a big help, and the weekly weigh-ins help keep you on track.  I truly feel I now have the tools I need to stay at a healthy weight for the rest of my life.  

“This program may be the best investment I’ve ever made in my health, next to my membership at Mid American, of course!”

Start investing in yourself!

Sign up for our next KICK START that begins on May 18!

Marian said “farewell” to 17lbs with our KICK START program!

Find out how Marian was able to lose weight, even while on vacation, with Balanced Habits KICK START, our 28-day customized nutrition and exercise program!

Woman on vacation

Marian on her recent trip in Jordan

“I first noticed weight coming off my waistline…”

Fish and veggie mealI signed up for the 28-day January KICK START because I thought it might be a lifestyle of eating that I could follow, and I wanted to lose some weight and have more energy.  When I began the KICK START I was actually on vacation, but, surprisingly, was still able to lose weight.  I first noticed a bit of weight coming off my waistline and a pair of pants that I liked started to fit better! 

At the end of the  program, I’d lost a little over 7 pounds and I’ve been able to maintain the clean-eating habits!

weight scale with tape measurerIn fact, not long after the January KICK START ended, I took a trip to Jordan and was able to stick (for the most part) to my KICK START habits.  Being away from home, and not having access to the food I was used to eating, posed a bit of a challenge, but when I returned home I discovered I’d lost another 3 pounds!

“Between the KICK START program and adhering to its clean-eating framework in the weeks following, I’ve lost a total of 17lbs and dropped a pants size in just 2 1/2 months!”

motivational wordsThe easiest part about following this nutrition plan is that I’m able to eat foods that I like anyhow – real foods, not processed.  I also really like not counting points or calories.  And, I’ve gotten used to watching my portion sizes, remembering all the water, and using [KICK START] “Pack-N-Go” food choices for easy and healthy options when I’m out and about.

To anyone who’s hesitant to give the KICK START a try, I’d say if you don’t want to count calories/points and you can read protein, fats, and carbs on labels, you will be able to figure out your meals. Having “pack and go” food or healthy protein bars with you, and you’ll be prepared while away from home.  Drinking the recommended amounts of water and remembering to keep the exercise to 4-5 times a week is really important, too!

Get started arrowMost of all: be patient.  It’s important to understand that the weight loss might seem slow, and not dramatic, but it sticks better this way.

Be the tortoise, not the hare!!

Ready to change your life, like Marian?

Sign up for our next KICK START that begins on May 18!

Lose weight, increase energy, fuel your body the right way, and more with our                    28-day customized KICK START program!

3 Surprising Benefits of Exercise!

Working out is about more than looking good...

Nobody understands that better than our certified fitness instructor and Personal Trainer, Erica Gold-Spink.  As a former therapist with a Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology, Erica knows the important role that exercise plays in mental health.  Read on to hear what she has to say and then…

Strength Exercise ClassResearch has shown that physical activity can also reduce stress, lessen fatigue, enhance memory and cognitive functioning, as well as improve alertness and concentration.  Here are three of the psychological benefits of being physically active:

Reduces stress and anxiety

Within five minutes of moderate exercise, most participants report a mood enhancing effect.  Exercise also gives you a focused activity that can serve as a distraction from your every day stressors and give you a sense of accomplishment.  Group exercise even has the added benefit of a social environment, creating a sense of camaraderie and accountability. Numerous studies have shown that the effects of physical activity extend beyond the short term.  In fact, regular exercise can be just as effective as anti-depressants in treating mild to moderate depression.

Lessens fatigue

Exercsise causes happiness pictureExercise releases our body’s natural hormones: endorphins.  The increased levels contribute to a feeling of euphoria commonly referred to as a “runner’s high.” Exercise also helps you get a better night’s sleep by helping to regulate your body’s circadian rhythms,  allowing you to feel more refreshed during the day. Both quantity and quality of sleep is improved by engaging in fitness activities during the day.

Boosts brain power

Brain activity after walkingStudies have shown that cardio exercises aid in a process called neurogenesis – the creation of new brain cells. Neurogenesis improves overall brain performance, and prevents cognitive decline and memory loss.  Physical activity can also boost creativity and mental energy.   The same hormones that make you feel better also help you to concentrate and feel mentally sharp.  

To read more about how exercising packs huge benefits for your brain, check out articles from the Mayo Clinic, HelpGuide, and Shape.

Our workouts have you (and your mental health) covered

Whether you prefer the one-on-one attention of working with a Personal Trainer, camaraderie of group exercise classes, Pilates Reformer sessions, or all three – our workouts are guaranteed to boost your fitness level AND your mood! 

Top tip to lose weight!

Read on to see what our certified Fitness and Pilates Reformer instructor, Ericka Calcagno, has to say about changing habits that will lead to lifelong results! #GuestBlogger

Resolution: A firm decision to do or not to do something.

Synonym: intention, resolve, decision, intent, aim, aspiration, design, purpose, object, plan

So, we’re finally into 2019. The holidays are over, we’ve rung in the New Year and, of course, made resolutions that we hope to keep. The most common resolutions of the new year are to exercise, eat better, and lose weight. Unfortunately, research shows 90% of resolutions fail by mid January, beginning of February. 
You are your habits – what you do repeatedly, day in and day out.  And sometimes, you are creating suffering for yourself through your habits. Negative patterns that you do over and over again can actually stand in the way of your happiness.  
We’ve all had bad habits that we’ve tried to break and failed. And good habits we’ve tried to acquire and dropped.
You have to be READY…
Ready to want to make the necessary changes that will get you where you want to be. You need to identify your routine and make a plan… a lifestyle change!
It is possible to begin new habits that create happiness and health. If you find yourself engaged in unhealthy habits you can learn how to overcome those habits and replace them with healthy habits. 
Cardinal Rule: Don’t think BIG!! Go SMALL!!
Set goals, but aim small.  Starting with small goals is easier, and easier makes it’s more doable when you’re just getting started. Once you reach the first goal you can move on to the next. The small successes you experience will be the motivation to keep going.  And before you know it, you’ve made healthy lifestyle changes that have become your new habits.

 A Helpful Tool in Your Arsenal:

One way to move on from unhealthy habits is to make conscious decisions, each day, to take care of yourself by exercising and eating properly.   Balanced Habits is a way to do just that – it’s a way to wake-up and stop sleeping-walking through your life.  It’s a way to create healthy habits that are about paying attention to the food you consume and how you treat your body.

There really is no bad food – just bad proportions. The key is eating correctly to fuel your body and lifestyle.

No more just grabbing what is easy.  No more engaging in the same weight-loss programs and fad dieting that doesn’t work. Balanced Habits will give you a roadmap to success. Will give you support. Will help you move past the habits that have stood in the way of your weight-loss and healthy-living success. 

This isn’t something that you go at alone.  Balanced Habits coaches (I’m one of them!) provide support and accountability to help you stay on the path of making conscious, healthy choices.

There’s no better time to start making healthy choices than right now!  The power to make healthy lifestyle changes is in your hands.

Be an action-taker.  

Start making conscious, healthy choices.

Start truly paying attention to what you eat and how often you exercise.

And, if you need help, Balanced Habits can put you on the right path.

Eating for Success: Macro & Micro Nutrients

Macro and micro nutrients

Macro and micro nutrients

Simple, healthy eating tips to fuel your body – the right way!

Boost your workouts and get better fitness results by balancing macro and micro nutrients.  

Macro nutrientsWhat are macro nutrients?

Macros are the carbohydrates, fats, and proteins that we eat in large quantities to keep our bodies satiated, active… and alive!  Combined, those three macro nutrients make up the majority of a healthy eating lifestyle.

  • Carbs: Not to be confused with potato chips, white bread, and cookies.  In terms of macro carbs, we mean the good stuff that nourishes, restores and helps your body perform at its peak while supplying much-needed energy.   Think: veggies, whole grains, fruits, beans, and lentils.
  • Fats: It’s important to incorporate the right kind of fats into your diet because it protects our organs and provides our cells with energy.  When choosing fats, select foods like avocados, fatty fish, extra virgin olive oil, nuts, cheese, etc.
  • Proteins: Evvvverybody knows that a body needs it.  Protein builds and repair muscles, takes care of our hair, nails and skin, and more!  Great sources of protein are eggs, fish, lean meat, black beans, Greek yogurt, and cheese.

What are micro nutrients?

List of micro nutrients

Micro nutrients are vitamins and minerals that we need in small portions to keep our bodies healthy and balanced.   Their main function is to enable necessary chemical reactions to occur in the body, but they provide no energy (i.e. they don’t boost your calorie intake).  Although micro nutrients are needed in much smaller quantities than macro nutrients, they are vital. Getting less than the recommended amount of micros creates a body that is susceptible to disease and more!  Here are a few benefits to getting the right amount of micro nutrients:

  • Regulating various functions in the human body (e.g. metabolism, heart beat, etc.)
  • Preventing, treating diseases and illnesses
  • Sustaining physical and mental well-being

Healthy foods on a tableHow macro and micro nutrients work together

Think of it this way: macros are the airplanes and micros are the luggage.  The plane is necessary to get to your destination and, while the luggage doesn’t impact your arrival time or travel schedule, it greatly influences how prepared you are upon arriving.  Without proper luggage, you’re totally unprepared for a dinner out, the beach…  any activity.

In the same way, if you eat the recommended amount of macros, you’ll feel full and have energy, but if those chosen macros don’t have the necessary amount of micros, your body will be lacking the vital components needed to function smoothly.  This can result in fatigue, weakness, mental fogginess, slow reflexes, abnormal heart beat, mood swings, impaired immune system, brittle bones and so much more!

Fuel your body for success

Group of smiling friendsThe best way to ensure that you’re getting the right amount of macros and micros is to check your eating habits.  One great way to do this is meal planning.  It’s no secret that meal planning provides HUGE lifestyle benefits, it also enables you monitor how well you’re doing on the macro/micro front.

For example, if you know that you need X amount of calories daily (apps like MyFitnessPal come in handy to figure that out), then combining a free meal planning app such as FoodPlanner can help you find tasty recipes, plan your weekly menu, AND see the nutritional facts.  Armed with nutritional info, you’ll not only see the calorie breakdown of carbs, fats and proteins, but you’ll also see what vitamins and minerals are found in each food.

Ready to build a balanced plate?

Check out the Huffington Post’s article about how to get the right amount of macros and micros in your diet!






Top 2 workouts to burn more fat this summer!

Lose more weight

Lose more weight with HIIT and strength exercises

Lose more weight by taking strength and high-intensity interval training (HIIT) classes!

We all want to look our best in the summer sun and these two workouts are guaranteed to get you into your best shape ever.

Sign up for a HIIT or strength class!

Yep, HIIT is where it’s at!

Two words: fast results.

HIIT workouts intersperse bursts of high-intensity exercises with active recovery or rest.  The duration of a HIIT workout varies, but they all follow the same model – intense work followed by active recovery.  Repeat.

In every HIIT workout, you are (safely) pushed to exercise at 100% effort for several intervals with short bouts of rest in between keeping your heart rate up throughout the workout.  Exercising at max capacity means your body increases oxygen consumption during active rest.  “This after-burn effect is referred to as ‘excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC)’ and is the reason why intense exercise will help you burn more fat” and lose more weight.

Check out the research behind how increased EPOC leads to better long-term fitness improvements.HIIT exercise

The history of HIIT

There isn’t a singular genesis moment for high-intensity interval training workouts.  The main consensus is that HIIT-style exercises were first used to train elite athletes for competition dating back to the 1912 Olympics with the first scientific publication of HIIT workouts emerging in 1959.

Although there are several forms of HIIT, perhaps the most widely known style is Tabata.  Named after Professor Izumi Tabata, Tabata interval training was developed in 1996 for Olympic speed skaters.  The interval workout includes 20 seconds of intense exercise followed by 10 seconds of active rest, repeated non-stop for 4 minutes.  After completing this type of training for 6 weeks, studies showed that Tabata participants “improved their anaerobic performance and lowered their BMI more than those who exercised at a steady state for the same time-frame.”

Now, that you know why HIIT workouts are major fat-blasters it’s time to experience them for yourself!

Jumpstart your weight loss with one of our HIIT classes this week:

strength training classOkay, what about strength training?

When thinking of how to lose more weight, cardio exercises inevitably come to mind, but that’s only half of the story.

Enter stage left: strength training.

Strength training incorporates weights, resistance equipment or body-weight based strength moves to contract your muscles, forcing them to work.  Over time, this increases muscle mass.  Increased muscle mass turns your body into an efficient, fat-burning machine because muscles burn more calories to sustain themselves.   The more muscle mass you have, the more fat and calories you burn around the clock; even when you’re not working out.

If you’re a woman worried about turning into the Incredible Hulk by lifting heavy weights: don’t.  Women, by nature, don’t have enough testosterone turn into Arnold Schwarzenegger.  Instead, gals who lift heavy weights or strength train change their body composition.  Think tighter abs, a lifted booty, toned arms and shoulders…  You get the idea.  Discovery Learning’s article gives a bit more insight into why strength training does the body gooood, especially for women looking to lose more weight and tone up.

To see results, it’s recommended that you strength train at least twice per week and we’ve got you covered with several class options!  From BODYPUMP™ to Sculpt & Tone, and TRX & Tone Circuit, our strength training classes cater to all fitness levels and deliver a total-body workout that will build long, lean muscles!

Ready to lose weight, but need a bit more guidance?

Schedule a FREE fitness consultation for expert advice on how to reach your fitness goals!

Book a consultation appointment!

Or, give us a call (248) 477-5248 today!


MYZONE’s heart rate monitor is a fitness tracker that delivers results

heart rate training

MYZONE’s heart rate monitor will get you in your “results” zone


 MYZONE is a effort-tracking program that uses a state-of-the-art heart rate monitor to provide real-time results on your caloric burn, heart rate and effort output while you workout.  Every.  Single.  Time.


Buy your MYZONE belt today and start seeing results!


How it works

MYZONE beltKiss your wrist-based tracking devices goodbye.  MYZONE’s heart rate monitor seamlessly tracks your progress with every heartbeat as you workout, giving you more accurate results in real-time on our custom-designed, effort-tracking screens and via the MYZONE app on your smartphone.

With MYZONE’s chest strap, you’ll no longer have to wonder whether or not your numbers are reliable.  The feedback generated by MYZONE’s heart rate monitor has a 99.4% accuracy to an EKG machine.

Using color-coded MYZONE Effort Points (MEPs), your personal results have never been easier to decipher.  Each MEP corresponds to the amount of sweat equity you’re putting out during class.

Only in the gray zone?  This must be your warm-up.  Hitting the green?  We see the sweat starting to drip.  Kicking it into red?  Whoa.  You must be in it to win it!   Learn more about MEPs here.

To get in your zone and start seeing the fitness results you want, purchase a MYZONE belt, download the MYZONE app.  And let it seamlessly track your effort while you sweat it out!

Find out more about MYZONE’s heart rate monitor here.


Why you should use a heart rate monitor

MYZONE's heart rate monitor feedbackSweat dripping down your face.  Can’t catch your breath.  Surely that means you’ve been kicking exercise butt.

But, maybe not…

If you don’t use a heart rate monitor, you might be overestimating how hard you’ve been working.  Studies have shown that people tend to inaccurately judge how hard they’ve been exercising which can lead to overeating (“I burned a ton of calories so I deserve these donuts!”) and that’s counterproductive, especially if weight-management is the goal.  And it’s a fact that tracking your progress in real-time is a great motivator to push yourself harder than you normally would because, hey, why am I only in the blue??

Start tracking your effort to see the results you want!


Purchase a MYZONE belt today!