Are you working out regularly, eating healthy, and still not seeing the results you want?
Building muscle, losing weight, and getting lean can be hard, even when you think you’re doing all the right things. According to experts, these are 11 possible reasons you may not be achieving your health and fitness goals, despite all your hard work.
1. First, you need to make sure you’re eating enough.
You probably know that if you want to lose weight, you should be burning more calories than you’re eating. But skipping meals isn’t a smart way to do this. Your body needs fuel, period!
If your goal is to build muscle and get lean, you need to take in more fuel. If you’re looking to lose weight, you have to take in the right kind of fuel. If you don’t eat enough of the right stuff, when you work out, your body will have to take energy from your muscles, which hurts your metabolism.
Do this: Instead of cutting meals and eating like a bird, pay more attention to the TYPE of calories you’re eating. For example, your body turns unused carbs into fat, so try sticking to a low-carb diet on the days you know you won’t be exercising.
2. Know that cardio is not the holy grail of getting lean.
If you just do cardio such as steady-state bicycling or running, you’re not going to build muscle. While cardio will burn calories, it won’t increase your resting metabolic rate the way having more muscle does. Basically, the more muscle mass you have, the more calories you’ll burn naturally each day
Do this: Add a few days of weightlifting and bodyweight exercises into your fitness routine.
3. That being said. Don’t lift just any weights.
You have to make sure you’re challenging yourself. While you can’t go 100% every day (it will burn you out and increase your chance of injury), you’re not going to see improvement by curling 10 [pound weights] when your body could easily do 15 [pound weights].” The general rule of thumb is that if on a given set you could do 2 more perfect reps, you need to be lifting heavier weights.
Do this: Do exercises that require total body movement such as squats, deadlifts, and pull ups — in which you use multiple muscle groups and multiple joints. This will help your body see results faster than single-joint exercises like biceps curls.
4. Longer workouts are not necessarily better.
The key to getting lean and seeing fitness improvement is varying up the intensity of your workout. Going on an occasional long jog is fine, but a higher intensity workout will engage more muscles, which will help increase your metabolism in the long run.
Do this: Make sure you’re getting in a lot of high-intensity circuit training and high-intensity interval training.
5. You may not be doing your workouts in the right order.
If you do intense cardio training, you may have less energy left over for lifting and won’t be able to train as hard. So you may need to lift before getting in your cardio in order to get the most out of each.
Do this: After you warm up, lift weights first, then do cardio.
6. You might have plateaued with your workout routine.
Eventually, if you do the same workout day in and day out, you’ll not only inevitably hit a plateau…you will get so, so, so bored. The changes to your daily routine could be as easy as changing up what you’re doing for cardio. It could be attending a new class that you’ve never done. Your body needs different stimuli — get out of your comfort zone.
Do this: Try making a schedule with different workouts planned for specific days of the week. This way it’s easy to keep track of what muscle groups you’re working, how much cardio you’re doing, and how often you switch up your workouts.
7. Make sure to eat before you work out.
Fueling pre-workout is a must. Your body (and your brain) need carbs to do work. Having an adequate energy source in your system will allow you to work harder and burn more calories.
Do this: Everyone’s body is different and it takes some experimenting to figure out what you should eat before a workout – there’s no single formula. But having a balanced meal around three hours before a long workout and maybe even a small snack 30 minutes before is recommended. Learn more about your pre and post workout meal here.
8. And make sure you’re getting enough protein after.
An active person (someone who works out around three to five times per week) should have one gram of protein per pound of body weight,” Matheny says. “When you work out, you break down muscle tissue and your body absolutely depends on protein in order to build that muscle back up. And muscle is the key to increasing your metabolism.”
Do this: Get a quick protein-heavy snack in within a window of 30 minutes after working out. He also says if you’re eating a well-balanced diet but are chronically sore and/or fatigued it could be from not getting enough protein. Learn more about your protein intake here.
9. Muscle definition depends largely on how you’re eating.
If you don’t have muscle you’re not going to see definition and if you do have muscle and you’re not seeing definition, it’s largely because of your diet. The important thing for people to understand is it’s not the fat intake that’s the problem. It’s usually that they are taking in too many carbs.
Do this: If you care about muscle definition, building muscle and eating fewer carbs will help. Here are low-carb breakfasts, lunches, and dinners you might want to try.
10. You’re working out too much and/or not sleeping enough.
Sleep plays a big role in determining your health and weight. Getting the right amount of rest will help to regulate hormone levels, hunger and fullness cues as well as help with managing stress.
Do this: Listen to your body. Skipping a workout to relax and catch up on some much-needed sleep will be worth it in the long run.
11. You’re eating WAY more calories than you’ve burned.
Not eating after a workout is horrible for your body. But you also don’t want to eat significantly more than the calories you’ve burned, which is a big mistake people make (if their goal is to lean down).
Do this: Have a snack directly after a workout if you’re not eating a meal. If you don’t eat anything you’ll make yourself extra hungry later, which will lead to consuming more calories. If your goal is to lean down, try to get 20 to 25 grams of protein after a workout. Here is a great meal to eat directly after a workout.
Results take time. It’s going to take more than a few weeks at the gym to get to where you want to be. In the meantime, take time to be celebrate little successes and be proud of yourself for being proactive about your fitness and your health.
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Before we go into daily protein intake, let’s understand what is protein. Protein is a macronutrient found in many foods such as meats, dairy products, nuts, and beans and etc. It’s comprised of amino acids, the building blocks of lean body tissue that promote healthy skin, hair, bones, fingernails, as well as muscles . Before dissecting the pros and cons of different protein sources it’s important to understand two ways protein supplements are often classified:
- Protein Concentrate vs Isolated Protein: Protein is derived from various food sources and is “concentrated” by removing the non-protein parts. The result: a powder that’s 70-85 percent pure protein (with the remain 15-30 percent consisting mostly of carbohydrates and fat). Taking the concentration process a step further, “isolation” removes a much higher percentage of non-protein content. The additional processing yields a premium protein that is up to 95 percent pure.
- Complete vs. Incomplete Protein: Amino acids that cannot be produced by the body are known as essential amino acids. “Complete proteins” contain all 10 essential amino acids, whereas “incomplete proteins” contain some, but not all, of the essential amino acids.
- Whey Protein: The most popular protein supplement on the market today, whey is a by-product in the process of turning milk into cheese (seriously, who knew it happened like this?).
Pros: Whey protein has been shown to promote lean muscle growth and fat loss, as well as support cardiovascular health and a healthy metabolism . Whey is also quickly absorbed by the body, making it useful for post-workout recovery.
Cons: The sugar found in milk (aka lactose) is a common allergen that can make whey indigestible for some. And while those tasty flavors make whey a yummy choice, they often come with a host of less-than-desirable artificial sweeteners and chemicals.
- Casein Protein: Got milk? Well here’s another protein powder that comes straight from the udder. Casein is produced using a separation process applied to liquid milk that can concentrate or isolate the milk protein from the carbs and fats.
Pros: Casein protein powder offers similar benefits to whey protein, but with a different release process. Because casein digests over a long period of time, research has found it’s an optimal protein choice before bed.
Cons: Casein is a by-product of milk, making it allergenic to some, much like whey. Also, it’s not ideal as a post-workout supplement because it’s absorbed so slowly. After exercise the body craves nutrients to replenish and rebuild—which is best left to whey or a combination of the two. Casein also more expensive than whey, and often contains many artificial ingredients to help make it more palatable.
- Egg Protein: Egg protein comes from eggs! It is a complete protein made by separating out the yolks and dehydrating the egg whites.
Pros: Aside from just protein, egg protein powders are rich in vitamins and minerals that can contribute to a healthy diet.
Cons: Allergies to eggs are common, similar to milk allergies, especially in children and young adults . Egg protein is also one of the most expensive protein supplements available.
- Soy Protein: Soy beans are one of the few plant protein sources that offer all of the essential amino acids. The protein is concentrated or isolated after the soy beans have been hulled and dried into soy flour.
Pros: Protein from the soy bean may help improve the body’s immune function and promote bone health . Soy may also help prevent cardiovascular disease and reduce the risk of certain cancers .
Cons: In recent years, soy has come under heavy scrutiny because it is often genetically modified to produce greater crop yields. Some research has also singled out soy due to its effects on hormone levels. Many foods are already full of soy due to its extremely low-cost protein.
- Rice Protein: There is protein in rice! Although often thought of as a carbohydrate only, brown rice is becoming a standard source for vegetarian protein powder.
Pros: Protein aside, brown rice protein is considered a good source of complex carbohydrates, vitamin B, and fiber. It’s also hypoallergenic, meaning it’s easily digestible and therefore almost entirely used by the body, not relieved as waste.
Cons: Unlike soy, rice protein is a plant-based option that’s deficient in some amino acids and therefore should not comprise the main source of dietary protein.
- Weight Gainer: Looking to bulk up? Weight gainer combines protein, often whey, with a mix of high-carbohydrate ingredients that makes it much more calorie-dense than typical protein powders. It is often used by bodybuilders who are looking to pack on the pounds, or by serious athletes who have difficulty consuming enough calories to offset the large amount they burn through intense training .
Pros: Jam-packed with calories, weight gainers allow people to consume more calories than they could through food alone. They also help keep the grocery bill in check by delivering calories at a slightly more economical price.
Cons: Unsurprisingly, weight gainers often contain many additives, artificial sweeteners, and fillers so that they can pack the calorie and protein punch their users are looking for. It’s also worth mentioning that the huge calorie count in these products doesn’t necessarily translate to more muscle. In fact, all those extra calories will be stored as fat if not needed for recovery after intense exercise.
How Much Protein Is Really Enough?
Popular belief is that in order to build muscle you must consume up to 1.0g of protein per kg of body weight. For some of you that might seem high and for others it might seem too low. The answer to that is really, it depends.
Research shows that the average trainee looking to build muscle can benefit anywhere from 0.6g to around 1.1g of protein per kg of body weight. It all really depends on your goals, genetics, and the rest of your diet, but aiming to hit between those targets should be sufficient for most people. For example, a relatively fit 80kg man should aim to consume between 108g and 198g of protein daily for muscle gain.
What I recommend if you are overweight and trying to reduce your body fat is to aim to consume your target body weight in grams. For instance, if a 100kg man wants to reduce his body weight to 80kg through proper training and nutrition he would consume a base of 180g of protein per day. It is also important to note that lowering your carbohydrate and fat intake as extremely important as well!
On the other hand, if you are trying to gain weight it might not be a bad idea to eat a few extra grams of protein (along with fat and carbohydrate) to get your calories up. You may have heard that consuming extra protein is a waste and that what your body doesn’t use will be excreted, but I beg to differ. Although this is partially true, if you are trying to put on size and weight, you need to consume extra calories so now is not the time to nitpick nutrients – just eat!
Whether your goal is to build muscle, burn fat, or train like an athlete, you should aim to consume roughly your body weight in grams of protein daily to cover all your bases. Since this isn’t an exact science, going a little over or a little under shouldn’t be detrimental to your results or health. I will, however, argue that it may be better to err on the side of eating a little more rather than eating too little as the drawbacks of undershooting far outweigh the effects of overdoing it.
It is always been my favorite to blend my Herbalife breakfast shake with Banana. My “secret recipe” of delicious shake smoothie for breakfast:
- 350ml of Soya Milk
- 1 whole Banana (best with brown flecks on peel)
- 3 scoops of Herbalife Formula 1 chocolate shake
- 1 scoop of Herbalife Formula 3 Soy & Whey Blended Protein
- 4-5 ice cubes
Pour all ingredients in blender pouring ice in last. Blend on high for 30 seconds.
This delicious Herbalife shake serves the best for breakfast because it provides about 20 grams of protein, full of micro-nutrients and only 200kcal (approx). Herbalife shake (without banana and soy milk) is tested low GI (Glycemic Index) 15-20. It is ideal for healthy breakfast concept.
Why I serve with banana? It is because banana offer vitamin A, a fat-soluble vitamin that is vital for protecting our eyes & vision. It helps preserve the membranes that surround our eyes and are a component of one of the proteins that brings light into the cornea. Adequate daily vitamin A intake also lessens our risk of night blindness and is essential for everyday vision. Bananas also contain alpha-carotene and beta-carotene, which convert to vitamin A to further keep your eyes healthy.
Bananas even naturally help curb your sweet tooth, and are perfect to cure an afternoon sugar craving. One 6-inch banana only has about 90 calories. Further, about half of the fiber in bananas is soluble, and when soluble fiber reaches the digestive tract, it absorbs water to slow digestion. Food is then forced to sit in your stomach for a while, helping you feel full.
The other half of the fiber is insoluble, so this fiber travels through your digestive tract, cleans up waste and flushes it out of the body. You’ll have more regular bowel movements that are soft and easy to pass. It is the best choice for weight loss!
Bland foods like bananas are recommended for diarrhea treatment for a couple reasons. Electrolytes like potassium are lost in large quantities during bouts of diarrhea and may make those affected feel weak. Bananas can help to promote regularity and replenish potassium stores. A Herbalife Banana Chocolate Shake as post recovery shake after workout will give you an energy boost!
Everyone, no matter how healthy they are, experiences aches, pains and other small health problems. Often times we have so much going on around us, we simply do not take these seemingly minor things seriously. However, new research has also found that common, minor ailments can actually be the first warning signs of cancer.
Many people do not pay much attention to warning signs as they should, and feel that these symptoms are just not that serious. I must admit that for the vast majority, these warning signs will not indicate cancer, but for a few they will, so spotting things sooner and going to the doctor could save your life. If you have at least one of these symptoms and it hasn’t gone away, go to your doctor for advice
Unexplained Weight Loss
The American Cancer Society reports that unexplained weight loss of 10 pounds or more could be a first sign of cancer. This warning sign is common in those with pancreatic, stomach, lung, or esophageal cancers.
Lump or Bumps
This is an obvious sign, but one many ignore. If you find any strange lumps get them checked by a doctor.
This one is tougher. Coughs and colds are everywhere at the moment and I’m not suggesting everyone with a cough goes to their doctor. When it is cold and flu season, or allergy season (which can be all year for some) coughing, wheezing or a hoarse voice can seem par for the coarse, and it is. However, if the cough persists, though, it could be an indicator of laryngeal, lung or thyroid cancer. It could also be a sign of lymphoma. FYI this was the most common symptom among survey participants.
Long Lasting Sore Throat
Again many people this time of year suffer with a sore throat. But as mentioned before, a persistent one could point to something much more severe, such as laryngeal cancer or throat cancer.
Throat constriction is an uncommon symptom, and could be a nervous or immune system issue. But it is also a symptom of cancer in the esophagus, stomach or throat.
Personally I feel this should NEVER be ignored. Unusual bleeding can occur during any phase of cancer, and warrants a visit to your doctor. Coughing up blood can signal lung cancer, while blood in the stool could be a sign of colon or rectal cancer. Women who experience unexplained vaginal bleeding should be checked for cervical or endometrial cancer. A bloody discharge from the nipple can signal breast cancer, while blood in the urine can mean you have bladder or kidney cancers.
Most of us know that persistent pain is the body’s way of signaling to us that there’s a problem. The American Cancer Society says that pain from cancer typically means it has spread…a good reason not to be a stoic and to make an appointment with your physician.
Change in Bowel Habits & Bladder Activity
Often times people experienced changes in the timing, amount, or size of their bowels. While these disruptions are usually caused by certain foods or medication, if you notice it happens regularly over time it could also be a sign of colon cancer.
Because urinary tract infections are common in women, this symptom is often disregarded as just another UTI. But whether you’re male or female, if you notice blood in your urine, experience sudden urgency or feel pain while going, definitely bring it up with your doctor to rule out cancers of the bladder, kidney or prostate.
Changes in Skin Moles
A change in a mole, freckle or wart’s appearance could be indicative of skin cancer, so GET IT CHECKED as many of these are treatable.
Herbalife has officially set a GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS® Achievement for Most Participants in a HIIT Workout in 24 Hours.
“This is an incredible achievement for everyone at Herbalife and a lot of people had a lot of fun. People from every corner of the globe gathered together in their communities with one goal – to show the world the importance of exercise as part of a healthy life.” Michael Johnson, Herbalife Chairman and CEO.
We are joining Herbalife World Record Workout with group no 897780 at Lembah Kiara Park TTDI Damansara.
Modern medicine can only do so much and even then, I question the intentions of the institutions trying to keep us healthy. We all want to be healthy. No matter rich or poor, having a clean bill of health is top priority in the grand scheme of life for each and every human being. All the money in the world can’t make you truly feel good, only good health can do that.
So how did Bernando LaPallo succeed in the ultimate goal? At 113 years old, LaPallo claims to have never been sick a day in his life and is as spry as ever.
Here are the five foods he has kept consistent in his diet all his life and could improve your life too:
This powerful root packs a mean punch against disease and infection. A proven anti-septic, garlic can be added to just about any dish for extra health boost. A member of the onion family, garlic contains allicin which is a sulphur compound that not only gives this bulb its potent smell, but exerts powerful biological antigens which fight against oxidative stress and damage from free radicals.
Although garlic’s effects on longevity in humans is relatively impossible to prove scientifically, garlic has beneficial effects on infectious diseases, high blood pressure and chronic illness which are amongst the leading causes of aging and premature death.
Bernardo is not much for sugars, but when craving something sweet he always uses honey. It’s no secret that sugars can boost our energy and save us briefly from a slump of fatigue, but the consequences of that spike in blood sugar can be deadly.
Alternatively, honey contains natural glucose which gives our bodies a quick and healthy energy boost with fructose that provides a more lasting and sustained energy. Honey won’t spike or crash blood sugar levels, reducing a form of shock which can wreak havoc on natural immune function. The anti-septic properties of honey also help fight infection and stave off harmful bacteria which can weaken our immunity to serious disease.
Did you know cinnamon can calm appetite? Much like honey, cinnamon can keep blood sugar levels in check, reducing the urge to gorge on high sugar foods. Cinnamon belongs to the family of warming spices, which helps increase blood circulation and acts as a natural anti-clogging agent to increase metabolism to flush toxins from the body.
Don’t reach for the Hershey’s just yet. Bernando stresses the importance of eating good quality dark chocolate rich in cacao as it contains natural anti-oxidants instead of artificial sugars and colors. Although it still contains sugar, chocolate is among the best sources for disease-fighting flavonoids.
Recent study links these powerful flavonoids to cholestoral reduction and the prevention of heart disease. Dark chocolate also contains polyphenols which release nitric oxide – a key factor in arterial dilation. The combination of these polyphenols and anti-oxidants encourage healthy blood flow in and around the heart.
5. Olive Oil
Yes, Bernando includes this fat as one of the key factors in his long life. Olive oil is actually a member of the monounsaturated fatty acid family, which are known to help normalize blood clotting and benefit insulin levels. Although olive oil is high in calories, using it in moderation is the key.
Large scale study recently proved the cancer fighting benefit of olive oil. The intake of olive oil was shown to reduce the risk of cancers of the breast, colon and respiratory tract. Similar to dark chocolate, olive oil is rich in polyphenols which boost healthy blood cell production.
Born in 1901, LaPallo hails from Mesa Arizona and admits he has always had a desire to live a long and healthy life. Sheer discipline and desire has kept him eating clean, organic and healthy all his life. He says he avoids red meats and learned early from his father who was a doctor, that health comes from within and that like the old saying goes, “you are what you eat”.