Commit to Fit | Member Spotlights

Commit to Fit | Member Spotlights

commit to fit logo, LA Fitness, member fitness goals

Do you have a fitness goal? Let us know here! To learn more about Commit to fit, click here.

Goals, Commitments, Community

These are our most recent members who have committed to their fitness goals.

Elsy W., Clara Q., Elizabeth A. & Andrea A.

We love seeing family’s getting fit together! Elsy W. would like to maintain her health and weight, Clara Q. would like to lower her body fat percentage, Elizabeth A. wants to lose belly fat & Andrea A. hopes to get toned, run faster, and lift heavier! Awesome job ladies!


Perry W. & Rocky L.

Perry W. & Rocky L. are well on their way to accomplishing their fitness goals – it always helps to have a workout buddy! Perry W. is working on his way to getting ripped and being mentally balanced with his body. Rocky L. hopes to gain weight. We believe in you guys, keep up the hard work!

Stephanie F.

Stephanie F.’s fitness goal is to have a fit body & work out everyday! Stick to your goal Stephanie, you can do it!

Ashley R.

Ashley R. wants to loose fat & replace it with muscle. You’ve got this, Ashley!

Christian S.

Christian S. shared with us that he wants to stay in shape at 185 lbs.! If you put in the hard work you can accomplish anything Christian!

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ASK A TRAINER: Ep. 1 – What Are The Best Moves for Building Glute Muscles?

ASK A TRAINER: Ep. 1 – What Are The Best Moves for Building Glute Muscles?

Welcome to our first episode of Ask A Trainer!

LA Fitness Pro Results® Master Trainer, Geoff F., educates us on some of the best moves for building glute muscles. Watch below!

Do you have a fitness question? Ask one of our certified Pro Results® trainers here! Your question may be featured in an upcoming Ask Our Trainer video.**

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**Selected submissions will be featured on the LA Fitness blog and possibly other LA Fitness digital media entities & websites. By making a submission, you hereby grant LA Fitness a non-exclusive, perpetual, worldwide, irrevocable license to use and make copies of the contents of such submission for any purpose and in any medium whatsoever, and you hereby waive and relinquish any copyright or other intellectual property right you may have in the contents of such submission and your right to pursue any claim for LA Fitness’s violation of those intellectual property rights.

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Carbs: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

Carbs: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

An Unrequited Love Story

Shakespeare may have once famously written, ”For never was a story of more woe than this of Juliet and her Romeo.” Clearly,he never knew of the tragic love story between carbs and the waistline.

Carbohydrates. What are they? Why are they so delicious? And why do they get a bad rap?

Let’s break it down. A carbohydrate is defined as “any large group of organic compounds occurring in foods and living tissues and including sugars, starch, and cellulose.”1 An easier way to explain this is that “carbohydrates are the sugars, starches and fibers found in fruits, grains, vegetables and milk products.”2  

These compounds can be grouped into two different categories: simple and complex. 

Simple Carbohydrates (a.k.a. The “Bad” Carbohydrates)

Simple carbohydrates, also known as refined carbs, can be found naturally in milk products, fruits and vegetables. However, they are also found in foods containing processed and refined sugars such as soft drinks, baked goods, and cereal. The latter is what gives carbs a bad reputation, as those type of foods can be unhealthy for your body and lead to disease if too many are consumed. This is because refined and processed sugars are considered “empty calories”, meaning they do not have vitamins, minerals or fiber, which can lead to weight gain.3

Complex Carbohydrates (a.k.a. The “Good” Carbohydrates) 

Complex carbohydrates, also known as polysaccharides, are known to digest slower than simple carbs and are packed full of nutrients for your body. That makes these foods more filling, which helps aid in weight control.4 It also helps in providing the body more energy over longer periods of time.5 A few examples of complex carbohydrates are broccoli, grains, and beans.

If you’re still unsure what makes certain carbs “good” versus “bad”, some helpful distinctions are as follows:6

Bad carbs are: 

  • High in calorie density
  • Full of refined sugars, like corn syrup, white sugar, honey and fruit juices
  • High in refined grains like white flour
  • Low in many nutrients
  • Low in fiber
  • High (often very high) in sodium
  • Sometimes high in saturated fat
  • Sometimes high in cholesterol and trans fats

Good carbs are:

  • Low or moderate in calorie density
  • High in nutrients
  • Devoid of refined sugars and refined grains
  • High in naturally occurring fiber
  • Low in sodium
  • Low in saturated fat
  • Very low (often zero) cholesterol, and no trans fats

The Benefits of Carbs on the Body

While not all carbs are created equal, our bodies do need them to function. In fact, the right type of carbs can help benefit our bodies in multiple ways.

1. Heart Health

Carbohydrates high in fiber help lower LDL-cholesterol (low-density lipoprotein) levels7, which  can contribute to a plaque-like deposit that clogs arteries and makes them less flexible.

2. Weight Loss

Again, the right type of carbohydrates can help with weight loss due to fiber. Dietary fiber helps the body feel full8. Therefore, you’re less likely to over eat.

3. Mental Health 

This is tricky because there have been studies showing both positive and negative effects of carbohydrates on the brain. It’s not exactly about carbs in general, but the type of carbs you’re consuming – do you see a trend here? Stick with complex carbohydrates over simple.

The Takeaway 

The important thing to keep in mind is that there are three different types of carbohydrates: starch, sugar and fiber. Furthermore, carbohydrates can be broken down into two categories known as simple and complex. Depending on your own unique body composition and health history, it may be best to consult your doctor before deciding what changes to make in your diet.

Interested in finding out more about carbohydrates and their effect on the body? Check out some other Living Healthy articles on the topic below!

When Cutting Carbs Becomes Extreme | Q+A

‘Healthy’ Carbohydrates for Weight Loss – fact or fiction?

Low Carb Food Choices | Q+A

No Carb Diet? Think Twice, You Need Carbohydrates to Survive!

Is it true that I need to limit my fruit consumption because fruits are high in sugar and carbohydrates?


  2. Szalay, Jessie. “What Are Carbohydrates?” LiveScience. Purch, 25 Aug. 2015. Web. 21 June 2017.
  3. Ibid
  4. Cherney, Kristeen. “Simple Carbohydrates vs. Complex Carbohydrates.” Healthline. Healthline Media, 30 Mar. 2015. Web. 21 June 2017.
  5. Rodriguez, Diana. “Good vs. Bad Carbohydrates.” Everyday Health, 07 June 2017. Web. 21 June 2017.
  6. Killoran, Eugenia. “Good Carbs vs. Bad Carbs – What Are You Eating?” Web. 2017.
  7. Szalay, Jessie. “What Are Carbohydrates?” LiveScience. Purch, 25 Aug. 2015. Web. 21 June 2017.
  8. Ibid

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How to Lose Fat as a Vegan | Q+A

How to Lose Fat as a Vegan | Q+A


I’d like to shed about 8 to 10 pounds of fat quickly. I’m about 5’9, 179lbs., 43 years old. I was told if I work out 3-5 times per week and eliminate all carbs and sugar for a month I should be okay. I’m vegan, so I’m guessing I should just eat vegetables, nuts and protein supplement?

– Antonio T.


To have energy for your workouts, it may not be the best plan to forgo all carbs. Plus, so many vegan foods do have carbohydrates. Your estimated energy needs for losing 2 pounds per week quickly are about 1500-1800 calories daily with your current level of exercise. Dividing that up, you should eat 400-500 calories per meal x3 and 150 calories per snack x 2. Here are some possible meal and snack combinations for more variety than just veggies and nuts…

Breakfast options:

  • pecans, blueberries, veggie sausage patty and unsweetened soymilk
  • potatoes O’Brien and low sugar vegan yogurt

Lunch ideas:

  • spinach salad with pine nuts, cherry tomatoes, red onion, olives (couscous opt.)
  • mushroom burger patty, arugula, sundried tomato, avocado (sandwich thins opt.)

Sample dinners:

  • pinto or black beans with sautéed peppers and onions, salsa (fresh corn opt.)
  • butter beans with asparagus, roma tomato, basil and garlic (orzo opt.)

Snack suggestions:

  • hummus with carrot and celery
  • small apple with peanut or almond butter
  • pea protein shake

– Debbie J., MS, RD

This article should not replace any exercise program or restrictions, any dietary supplements or restrictions, or any other medical recommendations from your primary care physician. Before starting any exercise program or diet, make sure it is approved by your doctor.

Some questions have been edited for length and/or clarity.

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Ask our Dietitian

Have a nutrition question? Our registered dietitian is ready to help!

Email or submit your question below and it may be featured in an upcoming article!

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Snacks to Help Boost Energy

Snacking and grazing are suitable ways to consume your daily intake, providing the choices are good ones and you compensate with smaller meals. Check out our RDN’s suggestions.

What’s the DASH Diet?

LA Fitness, RDN, Debbie James, gives a reader advice on the best type of diet to keep health levels in check. Learn more about the DASH diet.

Is Running Negatively Affecting Your Knees?

Is Running Negatively Affecting Your Knees?

Fun runs, 5ks, half marathons, and full marathons usually spark either excitement or dread into the hearts of those who love running or those who despise it. Whether you’re a seasoned runner, or you enjoy quick 30 minute jogs on the treadmill, the warning that running can be harmful or your knees is something most everyone has heard.

A Closer Look at Running Assumptions

1. Does running cause osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis occurs when your bones becomes brittle and frail, due to loss of tissue. While  some have argued that running increases the risk of developing osteoporosis further down the  line, it is not entirely true.  Many other outside factors like genetics, weight, diet & previous  injuries may all have an effect, and play into whether or not a runner will develop the disease.1

2. Is running unhealthy for pregnant women?

Not necessarily and here’s why: running “can help ease delivery and encourage the flow of blood, oxygen and nutrients to the developing fetus.”2 Most women can walk, jog, and run up until the third trimester; some can even run through it.3 However, since everyone’s body type is different, always consult your doctor before engaging in a new fitness routine, especially if you are pregnant.

3. Does running cause joint inflammation?

According to a study done by co-author Matt Seeley, an associate professor of exercise at  Brigham Young University, in Provo, Utah, he and fellow BYU colleagues, as well as Dr. Eric   Robinson of Intermountain Healthcare, measured the typical knee joint fluid found in selected  healthy men and women aged 18-35, both before running and after. They found that two  markers they were looking for,  two cytokines named GM-CSF and IL-15, actually decreased  in the subjects after 30 minutes of running.4 This study indicates that for young and healthy  individuals, running may help create an anti-inflammatory environment that may benefit joint health long-term. Of course, everyone’s body handles things differently. If you feel like running is  causing inflammation in your knees, speak with your physician.

Fun Fact!

Did you know? You don’t necessarily have to carb load before a race. Sorry to break the news to pasta lovers out there, but carb-loading really only helps if you’re running a half marathon or longer.5 This is because carbs are stored as glycogen in our muscles and liver, where they act as energy. Running a 5k or 10k will not cause your body to need the extra glycogen. For most of us, our bodies already have enough carbs stored up to get us through the smaller races.

!! Tips for Runners

  • Concrete can be hard on the knees, try running on asphalt or a rubberized running track. Softer surfaces can help absorb a bit of the impact.6 An indoor treadmill may help too.
  • If you want to decrease your chances of hurting yourself from running, add strength training to your routine to help build up your muscles.7
  • Don’t push your body too hard too soon. Make sure you allow yourself enough time to build up strength and endurance before increasing your speed or distance to prevent injuries that may be avoided.


  1. Karp, Ph.D. Jason R. “Running Is Bad for Your Knees and Other Top Running Myths.” N.p., 05 Feb. 2016. Web. 15 June 2017.
  2. Ibid
  3. Ibid
  4. Hollingshead, Todd. “Study: Running Actually Lowers Inflammation in Knee Joints.” Brigham Young University. N.p., 09 May 2017. Web. 15 June 2017.
  5. Karp, Ph.D. Jason R. “Running Is Bad for Your Knees and Other Top Running Myths.” N.p., 05 Feb. 2016. Web. 15 June 2017.
  6. Strong, Debbie. “What 6 Joint Docs Say About Running.” Everyday Health, 28 May 2015. Web. 15 June 2017.
  7. Keprotica. “Strength Training For Runners: How To Do It Right.” N.p., 05 Apr. 2016. Web. 15 June 2017.

This article should not replace any exercise program or restrictions, any dietary supplements or restrictions, or any other medical recommendations from your primary care physician. Before starting any exercise program or diet, make sure it is approved by your doctor.


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