Eating Clean at CrossTown Fitness with Amber Reile
  • February 3, 2015
  • asweatlife_Eating Clean at CrossTown Fitness with Amber Reile

    If you’ve ever worked out at CrossTown Fitness, you’ve noticed the slogan, “eat clean, train dirty,” proudly displayed across the West loop gym. With the help of Nutrition coach, Amber Reile, there’s one more way to achieve the “eating clean” part of that.

    Reile, a nutrition coach certified through the program Pump and Shred, helps everyone from busy professionals to athletes use food to efficiently fuel their bodies.

    CrossTown Fitness moved forward with offering nutrition coaching services to members after Reile had conversations with the gym’s owner, Charlie Graff. She said that members were getting great workouts from some of the best trainers in the city, but had questions about nutrition.

    From that natural need, the partnership was born.

    For Reile, the problem that she helps active, busy people solve is understanding what, how much and how often to eat throughout the day.

    “For most people, they’re working out five days a week and they tell me that they’re eating healthy, but they’re just not seeing the results they want,” Reile said, “You might be eating the right foods, but if you just make the right tweaks, it can make a huge difference. Maybe you’re eating the right foods, but you’re eating too much of those foods. Ultimately that can be holding you back too.”

    As clients work with Reile, they’re eased into a world in which meals are planned and lunch is packed and brought to work. During the first week, plans are created for clients, but by the sixth week, clients are writing their own meal plans.

    “When I meet with clients for the first time, I ask them how often they’re working out and for their goals. I ask what foods they love and foods they absolutely hate. I use all of those things to put together a meal plan,” Reile said.

    Because over six weeks it can be hard to understand the type of gains you’ve made, Reile works with clients to create benchmarks based on weight, measurements and photos. At the end of six weeks, clients can compare body fat and weight and look at photographic evidence of progress.

    “This isn’t deprivation,” Reile said, “You can have coffee, you can do tea. Water is a huge part of this lifestyle. You need to drink 2-3 liters of water each day.”

    She also noted that those following this plan can enjoy five drinks and two treat meals each week of “whatever you want or are craving,” as long as portions are relatively similar to other meals. Translation: a treat meal is one or twos slices of pizza. Not an entire pizza.

    I tried eating according to this plan for a week and one feature that I was surprised to like and made my life easier was the fact that one eats the same thing every day for a week.

    “I do that so people can prep on Sundays and Wednesdays or whatever works for them. That way they can have it in their fridge and they can just grab and go,” Reile said.

    But if the same-ness of day-to-day eating is getting you down, Reile says that the plan is flexible and can be customized to meet one’s macronutrient needs.

    But what are macronutrient needs? The program will teach you.

    “How I teach [clients] is through an app called My Fitness Pal,” she said, “Once you have an idea of what a portion is, you don’t necessarily need that to track, but I like my clients to actually start on that to learn what a portion is and how much you should actually be eating.”

    Some clients must adjust to cooking their own food, but Reile has gone so far as to go to clients’ homes to show them.

    “If you can follow instructions, you can cook,” Reile said, “The more that you get comfortable with cooking, the more you can make it your own. You can add some mozzarella cheese and still hit your macros and truly enjoy the meal.”

    The results show that this lifestyle works. Reile is a walking testament to the program. She started as a client who became enthralled and impassioned about nutrition.

    But her clients are seeing impressive results as well by making what Reile calls, “small tweaks.”

    “I’ve had guys who want to gain muscle and after their program with me, they’re down two percent body fat and they haven’t lost any weight, which means they’re gaining pure muscle, which is really hard to do,” she said.

    Want to talk nutrition with Amber? Find her at CrossTown Fitness or get in touch with her through Pump and Shred.

    About Jeana Anderson Cohen

    Jeana Anderson Cohen is the founder and CEO of, a destination for living your best life, with fitness as the catalyst. After graduating from University of Wisconsin with a degree in Journalism, she spent much of her career - before leaving agency life - creating and executing social media strategies for brands. aSweatLife fuses her experience and her passion for wellness. You can find Jeana - who’s certified as a personal trainer - coaching group fitness classes and hosting aSweatLife’s #Sweatworking events.

    One thought on “Eating Clean at CrossTown Fitness with Amber Reile

    1. Erin's Inside Job

      Nutrition is so important and I think people tend to forget that. They start working out a lot and use that as an excuse to eat more of the foods that they want. I love learning about nutrition and playing around with what works best for my body. Abs are made in the kitchen guys!

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