All posts by jatlas

Personal Training: Calorie Restriction

By | Nutrition, Uncategorized, weight loss | No Comments

Personal Training:

I Can Eat Too Few Calories?

In the personal training world I see people obessing over their calories.

When making a decision that it is time to get back into shape and lose weight, we want to take the easiest and quickest route. Diet pills and starvation diets are usually what an individual finds as the quickest way to get to this goal. Unfortunately, low calorie diets can ultimately do more harm then good. When you starve your body by limiting your calories, you are also limiting your body from getting the necessary vitamins and nutrients that it needs. Although you might initially lose weight, overtime the lack of needed vitamins and minerals can lead to some form of nutritional deficiency.  Let’s face it, all the personal training in the world isn’t going to overcome a bad diet.

Deficiencies in nutrition will only jeopardize your health in the long run.

personal training should include advice on portion control

personal training should include advice on portion control

How few is too few when it comes to calories? This will vary from person to person depending on a person’s weight and their activity levels. It is recommended to stay above 1200 calories a day because when you consume less than 1200 calories, the body goes into starvation mode and it will store the fat instead of burn it.

The safest and most productive way of losing weight is to lose about a pound a week. This requires a 500 calorie deficit everyday. You can break it up by consuming 250 calories less than you normally eat and burning off 250 calories through exercise each day.

The negative impacts that women can experience with too few calories are irregular menstrual cycles and in extreme cases, no menstrual cycle at all. When you stop menstruating, your body slows down the production of estrogen. This lack of estrogen can lead to an increase in the risk of bone loss. A lack in calories can lead to an iron deficiency that can cause anemia because of the lack of proteins. Low protein levels can also negatively affect your immune system. When your immune system is down, you are at a higher risk for catching a cold or getting the flu. It causes a ripple effect.

See this link here for a spot by Jamie Atlas on what foods contain what calories

The thyroid is also affected when we do not consume enough calories. The starvation mode slows down our systems which can result in the feeling of being cold all of the time and have less energy. These issues can lead to mental issues like depression also.

Just remember that every person is different. Some individuals may find a greater success with counting their calories while others might overestimate or underestimate their daily caloric intake. If you are very physically active person, it is vital for you to consume an adequate amount of calories to re-supply the body with the calories that you burnt. This will re-energize your body so that you can continue to workout harder and run faster. If you don’t supply the body with the calories that it needs, it will only create a negative effect to your overall health. Not only will you feel tired and have no energy to keep up with your training, but it can also cause you to gain weight. Consuming an adequate amount of calories can lead to a successful attempt in weight loss and positively affect your overall health.

Stay True to Your Goals

Bonza Bodies Fitness

Portion Control, The Key to Weight Loss!

By | Nutrition | No Comments

Learning balance and moderation is key when changing your nutrition habits and lifestyle. Eating a balanced diet containing a diverse array of nutritious foods is imperative to weight loss and good health with proper portion control. But with America’s distorted perception of what a balanced diet is and what an acceptable portion size looks like it can be confusing to determine how much is too much.

As humans, we respond and react the most with the use of visuals. Most of us process information based on what we see. That’s why visual aids like “MyPlate” and the food pyramid have been extremely successful on a national level. So, the best way to determine what portion control looks like is to learn these simple visual cues that you can use at home, at restaurants, even at a party.

Check these visual aids out:

Protein: Such as chicken, beef, eggs, and turkey.

  • Size and thickness of your palm.

Starchy Carbs: Such as rice, pasta, potatoes and yams.

  • Size of your closed fist.

Fibrous Carbs: Such as broccoli, mixed greens, squash and spinach.

  • Size of two open hands

Fats: Such as avocado, olive oil, and raw almonds.

  • Size of half your closed fist


Once you have the visual cues down it will become easier to measure out food for the week after you’ve done your grocery shopping and you’re in the meal prepping stage. When measuring out portions it doesn’t have to be perfect, unless you’re measuring something high in calories, like peanut butter. Measuring and packaging your food for the week will do wonders in helping you attain your goals whether it’s weight loss, weight maintenance, or muscle gains.

Eating from the right size dishes and buying containers to match the proportions will make portion control a lot more attainable. For example, when having a bowl of cereal, have it in a small bowl or a coffee mug to avoid overeating. Cereal is a huge culprit when it comes to overeating, partly because of how big bowls have gotten. Being aware of how big the dish is that your meal is being served on will help you determine how much of your meal you should be eating. If you have large dishes at home it might be time to consider downgrading.

Okay, you all are probably thinking the same thing “If it was that darn easy to practice portion control every meal I’d be living the life and wouldn’t be reading this!” Portion control is all about winning the mental game. Portion control isn’t easy, but sometimes “easy” isn’t what’s best for us. But, knowing your limitations with food can become easier by using visual aids, measuring out your food for the week, using smaller dishes/lunchboxes & staying mentally strong.


“Eat like a Parisian: Eat slowly, savor your food and enjoy your company.”







If You Fail To Plan, Plan To Fail! Meal Prepping 101

By | Nutrition | No Comments

One of the biggest predictors of your success in losing weight or improving nutrition habits is based on how well you plan and prep your meals for the upcoming week! Spending less time meal prepping is associated with eating fast foods that lack nutritional value such as frozen dinners and packaged, processed foods. People who plan their meals and grocery lists and then spend a few hours prepping meals for the upcoming week are linked with having better dietary habits, such as eating more fruits and veggies! Everyone is crunched for time these days, so below I’ve provided some tips that will help you plan and prep your meals in a timely fashion!

Tip 1: Ideally, it’s good to eat every 3-4 hours, which breaks down into three meals and two snacks. When meal prepping, try your best to include a protein, healthy fat and some veggies! Be careful with the types of carbs you choose and don’t go overboard depending on whether it’s a high carb or low carb day and add the carbs when needed when you’re meal prepping. With every meal eat a fist size of protein and palm full of veggies!

meal preppingggg

Carbs: There are two different types of carbs, fibrous and starchy carbs. It’s important to eat both of them to maintain a balanced, fat-burning diet.

Some great options for starchy carbs are foods like oatmeal, sweet potatoes, whole-grain bread & raw fruit. Options for fibrous carbs are spinach, broccoli, mushrooms & asparagus!

Protein: Quick foods rich in protein that will give you your daily requirement of proteins are foods like eggs, nuts, almond butter, and protein shakes. For dinner options things like fish, chicken, and lentils can cook in minutes and are packed with essential proteins. Think lean meat options here.

Snacks: Meal prepping is also needed when it comes to your daily snacking! Snacks should be about ½ the size of a meal & should be about 100-200 calories for women and 200-300 calories for men.

The perfect on the go snack: Pear and/or apples with almond butter.. can you say YUM? That way you get some protein and a healthy carb with some fiber.

Tip 2: Pack a lunch box or your own to-go box when you’re out for the day. When making a grocery list think about some things you could pre make to pack in a lunch box such as salads, turkey, cut up veggies & fruit.

Tip 3: Have quick and easy snacks around the house that you can just grab and go! Some quick, healthy snacks would be apples, bananas, almonds, carrots or anything you can grab when you’re running out the door!

Tip 4: Better yet, keep a stash of healthy snacks in your car if you’re needing a pick me up. Almonds are a great snack to have in the car!

Tip 5: Having ingredients ready to go to make a protein shake after a workout or a healthy smoothie for breakfast in the morning is a great way to get all your nutritional value in for a speedy meal!

Tip 6: After planning your meals for the week create a grocery list, & stick to it! If you’ve planned what you’re getting at the grocery stpre you’re less inclined to splurge and get unhealthy snacks or junk food that you don’t need.

Tip 7: Buy fresh fruit and veggies & cut them up ahead of time, placing them in containers in the refrigerator, that way cooking and packing lunches takes far less time!

So, the take home message is if you want to succeed in weight loss always meal prep your meals and snacks for the upcoming week so you don’t have to worry about slipping up on your diet. It’s a smart and safe way to be in control of your nutritional habits & will help you avoid unhealthy fast-food options!


If you have questions on what kinds of foods you should be eating when meal prepping or would like to come workout with us email at

Healthy Food Swaps, Lose Weight Fast!

By | Nutrition | No Comments

Let’s face it, no matter how much we can turn around our nutrition habits everyone has a guilty pleasure when it comes to junk food. Provided below are healthy food swaps for common junk foods that we all have craved at some point. After reading this you’ll be able to enjoy your favorite junk foods in a healthier, alternative form that will leave you guilt free and satisfied!

Snacks like chips, pretzels, and foods that can easily be grabbed in handfuls here and there can really take a chunk out of your daily caloric intake without even realizing it. Salty snacks like chips have close to zero nutritional value resulting in short-term satisfaction. Think about it, when’s the last time you had one handful of tortilla chips when out to eat for Mexican food?

Healthy food swaps to chips & salty snacks:

  • Sweet & Tangy flavored almonds or pistachios
  • Kale chips
  • Beef or turkey jerky
  • Apple chips
  • Bean & rice chips
  • Sweet potato chips
  • Lightly seasoned edamame veggie snacks
  • Homemade veggie chips (you can thinly slice almost anything and bake it into a chip)
  • Roasted chickpeas
  • Endive leaves for dipping instead of chips

We also tend to crave other carb loaded treats like pizza, mac & cheese, and bread & pasta-based dishes. Yes, they’re all delicious but they usually make you feel tired and sluggish after eating them because your body has to work in overdrive to breakdown and store all of the sugars that are loaded into these heavy carb foods.

Healthy food swaps to high-carb foods:

  • Lettuce wraps instead of taco shells
  • Portabello mushrooms instead of hamburger buns
  • Eggplant instead of sliced bread
  • Instead of French fries try sliced carrots/butternut squash
  • Instead of lasagna noodles try eggplant or zucchini
  • Cauliflower is a great substitute for pizza crust, mac & cheese or mashed potatoes!
  • Oatmeal pancakes instead of flour-based pancakes OR try oatmeal & cottage cheese banana pancakes! J
  • Instead of pasta try:
  1. Organic soybean spaghetti
  2. Spaghetti squash
  3. Sweet potato noodles
  4. Black bean spaghetti
  5. Shredded cabbage
  6. Shirataki noodles

Like foods that are heavy in carbohydrates, sugary treats cause a huge spike in blood sugar because of the release of insulin in response to sugar intake. This can cause a vicious, repeating cycle of spikes in energy and an increase in the sugar cravings followed with an abrupt plummet of energy. A healthier way to get your sugar cravings in is to find healthy food swaps that will still satisfy your sweet tooth without putting your blood sugar through a rollercoaster of dips and dives.

Healthy food swaps to sweets:

  • Almond butter over peanut butter
  • Greek yogurt parfait instead of ice cream
  • Smoothies instead of ice cream
  • KIND bars
  • Baked apples stuffed with oats instead of cobbler
  • Frozen grapes or fruit kabobs
  • Fruit and cottage cheese
  • A square or two of dark chocolate
  • Low sugar sorbet
  • Hot cocoa w/ skim milk or almond milk
  • Nuts w/ a little honey drizzled on to

Below is a video of Bonza Bodies’ trainer Kayla sharing some of her favorite healthy food swaps!

If you have any questions regarding a trial workout at Bonza Bodies or interested in our specialized nutrition plan feel free to email us at

The Secret To Reaching Your Fitness Goals Faster!

By | News | No Comments


If you don’t already have a heart rate monitor, you should probably drop what you’re doing and go get one before your next workout! Most trainers and fitness instructors are recommending their clients to go out and get one. There are so many benefits in using a heart rate monitor for your daily activities and workouts such as tracking your level of effort during exercise, see how many calories your burning and tracking your progress!

   A brief background on heart rate and exercise.

Your heart rate is measured by the amount of times it beats per minute. Your heart is a muscle and as you exercise more your heart gets stronger, just like other muscles in your body. The stronger the heart is, the more blood it can pump throughout the body to deliver oxygen to working muscles. So, when you are training your heart will get stronger and won’t have to work as hard and you can track your heart rate during workouts using a heart rate monitor. Measuring the rate of your heart during exercise can help you gauge if you’re pushing your body too hard or not hard enough.


   Heart rate monitors (HRM) are a great way to reach your fitness goals faster and more effectively. Heart rate monitors are able to find and maintain the right exercise intensity. For example, if you wanted to maintain working out at moderate intensity (50-70 percent of max heart rate) for thirty minutes the monitor will allow you to see if you’re working out in that range of intensity. There are ranges in prices of heart rate monitors and some of the higher end monitors can even provide specific zone intensity and time requirements to reach your specific weight loss or performance fitness goals! Cool! Using a HRM is a more proficient way of making sure your getting the most benefit from you workout rather than manually taking your pulse or trying to guess what intensity level you’re at.

Another benefit of heart rate monitors are that they provide feedback that help prevent you from exercising too hard in a single sessions or from over training in general, which can lead to having to take days off & thus prolonging you to reach your fitness goals. If you are paying attention to a heart rate monitor during a workout and it seems much higher during or after a workout than you expected it can be a sign that you’re over working the body and should lower the exercise intensity and/or your body needs to rest!

HRMs also can help keep you in check and track your progress over time. Some monitors are able to display your progress over time and can help you identify errors in your training regime or if you’re right on track! Heart rate monitors also keep you in check because you’re wearing a device that’s always letting you know if you’ve completed your training goals or if you actually worked out at the intensity you set your goal for. It’s a nice way to be held responsible for your workouts.

So, what are you waiting for? Reach your fitness goals faster & get a heart rate monitor!

Now that you know how to tackle your goals faster, come and check us out if you’re ever in the Denver area for a great workout! If you have any questions email us at

How To Train For a Denver 5k

By | Denver Fitness | No Comments

When people describe the city of Denver, Colorado it’s likely they’ll mention two things: how prominent the fitness lifestyle is here and how it’s considered an act of treason if you aren’t a member at REI. Being a Denver local myself, I think it’s safe to say we love our crazy outdoor activities and our Denver fitness lifestyle, in spite of Colorado’s manic, unpredictable weather we know oh too well.

With that being said, no matter how cold it might get in the winter time you can always count on there being multiple holiday Denver 5k races to be held well into January. Bonza Bodies just recently went and supported the Christmas Carol 5k Classic in downtown Denver.


Although the air was frigid the morning of the race, the sun had peaked just in time for the runners to begin the Denver 5k Christmas Carol Classic. It ended up being a beautiful morning and an extremely successful Denver 5k race as all the runners finished injury-free. Even Santa and his elves were there to congratulate the runners at the finish line!


Like with almost every sport, in order to be the fastest, strongest, and most efficient runner you can be it’s crucial to supplement running with strength exercises. When training for a race runners should work on targeting the key muscles that will keep them balanced during the race.

If you’re looking to run a Denver 5k race in the near future here are some exercises that will complement your running routine when preparing:

  • Bulgarian Split Squats (High lunge)
  • Plank variations: ex: side planks and single leg planks
  • Kettlebell squats with overhead press
  • Stability ball hip extensions
  • Shoulder press

No matter what sport or activity an athlete is preparing for, strength training and functional training should always be implemented in their workout routines in order to improve their overall performance. It could be preparing for a Denver 5k race, improving endurance while cross county skiing, increasing vertical jump, or wanting to be better at basketball. Of course, all of the examples I just provided are very different and would require different types of strength training depending on the sport or activity in mind.

So, that’s where Bonza Bodies comes in! The point of functional training is training the body for activities performed in daily life. When going to a regular gym there are mostly weight machines which target and isolate a single muscle group. As a result these movements don’t bear any relationship with movements performed in daily life or in their regular activities or sports.

Bonza Bodies and other functional training studios try and mold specific strength exercises to a clients needs whether it’s to lose weight, improve their triathlon time, etc. while improving joint mobility and stability helping with injury prevention.

If you’re in the area and are interested in Denver Fitness options come check us out! We’d love to meet you and help you achieve your fitness goals. You can learn more about us by clicking the link above or emailing us at


6 Secrets To Maintaining Weight Loss During The Holidays

By | Uncategorized, weight loss | No Comments

Weight loss during the holidays is never easy

After making it through our Thanksgiving feasts, we’re closing in on Christmas and New Year’s celebrations and traditions. Celebration and tradition goes hand in hand with splurging on decadent, rich foods, while breaking out of our everyday habits and schedules.  It also goes hand in hand with destruction of your weight loss goals.

Making just a few changes in your behaviors during the holidays will help you immensely in your success in the New Year and potentially will save you from gaining the “holiday 10”!


Here are some tips to help you survive the remainder of the holidays:

  1. Change your mindset! Instead of eating the whole tin of Aunt Bea’s famous gingersnaps that only come around on Christmas Eve, just eat two and ask her for the recipe so you don’t feel like you have to get them while they’re hot! (Literally.)
  2. DON’T skip your regular workouts! The most common behavior change in people during holiday season is skipping out on the daily workouts. One missed day quickly turns into 2 missed weeks before you even know it. It’s one hour a day & if you can keep your exercise on track, you’ll likely be better with your diet.
  3. Have a good workout session the day before, the day of and the day after. By doing this it will reduce the overall effect of all the eating and drinking you will be doing on your physique by boosting your metabolism and burning the extra calories you’ll consume on the holiday.
  4. Don’t Skip Meals! Eat breakfast everyday to maintain your energy and to keep your blood sugar stable, preventing overeating at other meals.
  5. Set realistic goals for yourself during the season. Saying you’ll lose lots of weight during the holiday season when you have a history of always overeating during this time might be setting yourself up for failure. Instead, make a goal that you will only gain a couple of pounds or will maintain your weight. That way you won’t be discouraged when starting off the New Year.
  6. Buddy up! To avoid weight gain you need commitment and awareness. Having a couple of friends to call up with concerns can help you stay accountable at the gym and with your diet.

With a couple of these minor behavior changes during this season of excess you could be looking at a happier, healthier post holiday body while still enjoying the perks and treats of Christmas and the New Year!

Of course, some of us have more challenges than others – if you’re looking for a weight loss solution in Denver then maybe come check us out ? You can find out more about us at or clicking the link above





Please Welcome Kayla To The Bonza Family!

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

FullSizeRenderHi, I’m Kayla!  I’m excited to be joining the Bonza Bodies family, and this is my story.

When my parents would ask me what I wanted to be when I was older I tended to change my career path every week. One week it would be a lawyer (because I was good at arguing) & then I’d change it to something like running a gas station because I’d be able eat all the candy I wanted. I never knew I would soon develop a passion for fitness and nutrition that would continue to grow every day.

One thing I did know when I was younger was that I found happiness and fulfillment in helping others. I’ve had amazing opportunities in traveling the world with my grandparents, which helped me discover my passion for serving others. Many times I’d be found giving my “allowance money” to the homeless in Paris or working with my little sister to distribute clothes to children in the slums of India. So, with this growing passion of mine, how did I become a personal trainer and fitness instructor?


After finishing my 1st half marathon! (I’m on the right)

I’ve been active all my life, a 3-season athlete through high school. Basketball, volleyball & tennis weren’t enough, so I added   hiking 14ers, snowboarded since I was 6 years old, and even tried a half -marathon. In college I played intramural sports and picked up rock climbing to add to my outdoorsy thrills.

Even after all of this playing a huge roll in my life it wasn’t until I declared my major in Health & Exercise Science at Colorado State University that I clearly saw my career path. I knew I loved helping others achieve their goals, and being active was a lifestyle for me.

When I realized how much I was enjoying my curriculum I knew I was on the right career path. With 3 college internships and 3 jobs in the Health and Wellness field under my belt thus far, I’ve been able to work with varied populations including Division 1 College athletes, high school athletes, seniors, special needs, people in injury recovery, and the general population.

I love working with all types of populations with different fitness goals and needs. I could be working with a college athlete who’s trying to increase their vertical jump or I could be working with someone their 70s trying to increase their balance and stability. No matter what it is, I love the challenge, big or small, and and revel in meeting each and every goal.

Now, I hope I can help all of you at Bonza Bodies to get you to your own finish line! To inspire you all to strive to make new goals once you’ve attained the last one.  I look forward to working with all of you!

Yours in fitness,

Kayla Martin

Our Ski Conditioning Program means more than just squats and lunges

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You want ski conditioning?

We got your ski conditioning right here!  (seriously, we do. Our 30 day ski conditioning course starts Nov 17th and is just $97 for unlimited classes – choose from over 13 classes per week as well as a bunch more good stuff.  Click here to lock in your spot today!)

So what is Ski Conditioning exactly???

It’s more than just squats.  It’s more than just working your legs and lungs.  If that was true then you’d have mountains filled with professional cyclists.  But we don’t ski that way.  So your ski conditioning shouldn’t reflect that.  In fact, skiing is about being able to create power in the following 3 ways:

All you need to know to effectively train for skiing (or come to our ski conditioning classes we teach at in downtown Denver)

Ski Conditioning tip 1: Power off of one leg

When your body is pushed to one side, the weight shifts.  Your weight is pushed down the hill when you stand on a steep or sloped surface (ski physics, anyone?).   Because you don’t ski straight downhill without turning, you spend most of your time trying to fight sideways momentum to prepare for the next turn.    Ipso facto, you need strength off of one leg.

Ski Conditioning tip 2: Power side to side

Box jumps are great for training people how to have powerful olympic lifting movements for activities such as crossfit workouts.  However, if you’re actually looking to work your legs for skiing (and also maybe hit different muscles than the usual workout does) then you need side to side power.  Not just hopping side to side, but jumping with either a band pulling you to the side or landing on your feet after jumping sideways off a low surface. Why not a high surface?  Because you want to be able to quickly pop back up – slow is the enemy of power generation

Ski Conditioning tip 3: Check your joint mobilitysnow-skiing-equipment-1

You need hips that can rotate while in a vertical position.  It’s that simple.  You can lie down or warrior pose all you want, you’re not going to get your ski muscles active if your ski bones wont move in rotation while your feet are planted on the ground (or snow, in this case).

If you’d like to come in for a free ski conditioning workout you can always get a free workout at the always fun Bonza Bodies studio in downtown Denver, or if you wanted to sign up for the ski conditioning 30 day course we’re running starting Nov 17th you can do that by clicking HERE.

Still hungry from more ski conditioning information?  Of course you are 🙂

Here’s a ski conditioning video I did for 9News recently, and also below a video explaining why cyclists can’t ski (or at least, why becoming one won’t help you ski nearly as much as a focused, functional workout)

50 Day Total Body Transformation- Let’s Get HOT for Halloween

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Are You Ready To Get Hot For Halloween?

Halloween is coming! It’s way too easy to put away the workout clothes and bring out the big sweaters as the weather starts turning colder. It’s very common to hear people say that they don’t need to shoot for a beach body anymore because winter is upon us.

Here at Bonza, we like to inspire our clients to keep working hard all year long. With our 50 day Total Body Transformation that we will be starting up again on Tuesday September 10th, you can commit to yourself rather than cover up yourself. Do you remember the last time you tried to get your favorite pair of pants on and you couldn’t get them to pull up past your waist? We can help! We have several different classes that can kick your butt into shape to make those jeans fit every time.

Our Tighten Up class focuses on Total Body Interval Training to give you a tighter and  more toned look. Our Pyramid Fat Blaster incorporates cardio, strength, and power to give you a total body functional workout that keeps the body burning fat and keeps you coming back for more. With the wide variety of classes, you will be training your body in several different ways. Have you had issues in the past with dropping out of workout programs because you felt like you didn’t have the support or you just couldn’t stay committed because no one was pushing you? Bonza is your solution to this problem. Our 50 Day Total Body Transformation gives you the support and motivation that you need to stay on track.
The 50 day challenge will include:
3 Weekly workouts
Small group classes
Nutritional information and a Food Plan
Recipes and Sample Meal Planning
2 Personal Training Sessions
Weekly Check-ins to check progress
A Free T-Shirt
Body Fat Analysis


. With this challenge, you get all of the tools that you need to succeed. This is where you need take your first step towards a happier and healthier you. Make the commitment today! Contact us at and don’t wait until it’s too late.

And As Always

Stay True to Your Goals

Bonza Bodies Fitness