Need fitness motivation? 6 tips to get and stay on track

by Samantha Clayton, AFAA, ISSA


Always have something to look forward to.

We all stray from out fitness routines from time to time. If you’re looking for some fitness motivation, let me help you get into a fit-for-life frame of mind with my positive approach to living a healthy, active lifestyle.

I know that many people are motivated when they a have a big event or vacation coming up. I also know that many people lose that initial boost of what I call event-based motivation very quickly. Some people will admit to abandoning their healthy eating and exercise plan before they even get started.

Today I want to share with you some motivational tricks to help you get focused and start working towards your personal body goals. Regardless of what season we’re in, I believe your body deserves to be well taken care of all year round. Taking the mental approach of getting fit for a lifetime is much better than just getting fit for a few weeks or a special event.

Don’t let yourself get to your special day or summer vacation and realize that you said “I’ll start my fitness plan tomorrow” one too many times. Instead, try to change your mindset and understand that today is a perfect day to get started.

3 Fitness Motivation Tips to Get Started

No tomorrow

There is no time like today to get started. Small changes add up over time and can often lead to big changes in lifestyle. So, if you’re thinking about making some changes, make one right now—write it down and implement immediately.

Say the words ‘I can’ and ‘I will’ often

The word ‘I can’t’ will often translate directly into ‘I didn’t,’ so try to redress your vocabulary with positively charged words. Set a positive intention for each day and believe that you can do it. A positive approach often leads to positive results.

Love who you are

Try not to be negative about yourself. Stop looking in the mirror and thinking, ‘I need to change.’ Even if your goal is to lose a lot of weight, it doesn’t mean you should look at your self in a negative light. The fact that you realize you need to take care of yourself is a step in the right direction.

When we tell ourselves we’re not good enough, it can spark feelings of sadness and can negatively effect our energy levels. Let’s all try to use more positive statements.

Affirmations like, ‘I’m ready to improve,’ or ‘I’m going to evolve into the best version of myself I can be’ will make it easier to keep your spirits up and motivation high.

Once you’ve mastered getting into a positive frame of mind, you’ll need to find something to help keep you motivated long-term. Fitness and nutrition is not just a quick fix. Only a long-term lifestyle change plan will keep your body positively evolving.

The reason yo-yo diets and extreme fitness plans don’t work is because they tend to have a start point and an end point. Once you stop eating well and exercising, your body negatively reacts and goes back to square one.

3 Fitness Motivation Tips for Long-Term Motivation

Find an active hobby

If you find a hobby that’s active such as doing long walks, marathons or even committing to learning something new, you’ll always have something to strive towards. Once you get involved in a hobby, especially when it involves being part of a group, it’s much easier to stay motivated and accountable to your long-term goals.

Make it a family affair

Get your family and close friends on board with your healthy, active lifestyle plan. If you all commit to eating well and getting active, it can help create strong bonds and fun times. If you feel like you want to quit, chances are that at least one family member will convince you to keep going.

Plan rewards

Put a reward system in place so that you can continually motivate yourself and others with incentives. It could be a day trip out every few moths or a shopping trip to buy a new outfit. Try to pick a reward that gets you excited, and one that you know you can afford. Hopefully your reward will inspire you to keep going on the tough days.


Motivation is a personal thing, and what motivates one person may not motivate another. Try to find a few motivational tricks that work for you. I try to stay away from being motivated purely by how I look. But I do understand that most people want to look good and it can be a good fitness motivation booster. Just understand that external changes take time. If you combine your ‘how I look’ with ‘how I feel,’ it’s a great way to ensure that you stay positive. With most healthy, active lifestyle plans, you’ll start to feel better long before you see visible changes. If you feel that your healthy, active plan is making you feel more confident and awake, it may inspire you to keep going.

Find ways to be positive and stay motivated. The only way you will fail on your plan is to quit, so do whatever it takes to keep yourself on track and feeling great!


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Five Strategies to Improved Results in Your Healthy, Active Life

by Samantha Clayton, AFAA, ISSA


You may feel you are trying your very best with healthy eating and your workout routine but not seeing or feeling any of the results for which you had hoped. Maybe its time to look into some hidden reasons to improve your progression.

 When it comes to making lifestyle changes, sometimes we can all be guilty of expecting to see overnight miracles with our physique. Even those of you who are patient and dedicated to living a healthy active life can feel that results are not what they should be. If you don’t see or feel positive changes, don’t get frustrated; let’s find out what may be holding you back.

Today I want to share with you some small but significant body improvement setbacks that you may not be aware of, so that you can truly maximize the benefits of continuing to live a healthy active life.

Eat breakfast: If you skip this important meal, you may be prevent your body from performing at its best and fail to give it the start it needs.

Its name even indicates how important this meal is. Break- fast refers to breaking the fasting time that your body has endured while you were sleeping, and if you know a little about the human body, you will know that while you sleep, your body uses essential vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, fats and proteins to repair and rejuvenate itself.

Breakfast is considered by many professionals to be the most important meal of the day. Eating a healthy breakfast, especially one that is well balanced, fuels your body for the day ahead and can stop you from making poor diet choices throughout the day. So try to make an effort to start your day with a nutritious meal.

Keep consistent with your workout routine: It is consistency with exercise that will get you great results, so if you find yourself skipping your trip to the gym, find ways to add exercise into your day at work. I believe that doing a little something each day is better than one big trip to the gym each week. Being active every day is the best way to promote sustainable body composition change.

Lift weights: If you are not doing some form of resistance based exercise, it is very difficult for your body to build lean body mass. Having lean mass is important if you want to reduce your body fat percentage. If you are addicted to doing cardio style exercise that’s great, but if you want to get lean muscle, you must add in some form of weight training. If you really dislike lifting weights, opt for simple body weight exercises, take your cardio training uphill, or sprint to promote muscle building.

Find a protein balance: Many people don’t consume adequate amounts of protein. If you are trying to adjust your body composition, getting the proper balance of nutrients and activity is essential. If you are exercising a lot and lifting weights but not consuming enough of this ‘muscle building nutrient’, you risk breaking down lean muscle mass and sabotaging your muscle building routine. For a 2,000 calorie a day diet, the FDA recommends 50 grams of protein for your every day healthy eating habits.

Watch the hidden liquid calories: The number of hidden calories in drinks is shocking. Even I was disappointed to find out that my favorite mid-day coffee treat packed the same number of calories as a full meal. High sugar drinks provide you with way too many calories but do not fill you up, so you find yourself snacking on top of it. If you are trying to lose weight, consider tracking all of the excess calories you’re drinking and replacing them with water.


There are so many little things that can hold us back from reaching our true potential, and when you combine a few of these body sabotaging habits together, you can actually find yourself getting worse and not better. Making positive health changes for your body is about finding balance and being as consistent as possible with your healthy choices. If you find that your results have stalled or you are not feeling as positive as usual, look into the reasons why instead of getting frustrated and quitting.

Skipping breakfast used to be one of my personal bad habits. I would blame my busy lifestyle as a mom of four, rushing off to work or simply not feeling hungry, but since correcting this habit, I can honestly share that I have optimized my body composition and I feel much more energized throughout the day. One of my favorite articles written by my amazing Herbalife colleague, Susan Bowerman, will encourage you to shine like a diamond all day long if you don’t skip your breakfast.

Written by Samantha Clayton, AFAA, ISSA. Samantha is Director of Fitness Education at Herbalife.


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Training Mistakes: Fix It Right, Not Quick by Samantha Clayton, AFAA, ISSA

Choose the weight that’s right for you.

As you focus on your body composition goals, it’s important to avoid common training mistakes that can set you back.

The approach of summer is often a wonderful motivator to get people up, off the couch, and more disciplined with their nutrition plan. However, quite often the fact that the clock is ticking will make people start to cut corners with both their diet and training regimen.Quick fixes may seem like a good idea when you are short on time and want to see changes, but in the long term, cutting corners will set you back with your goals and negatively impact your health. Here are a few common mistakes that you can avoid with suggestions on what you can do instead:

Related Article:  How to Achieve Better Gym Performance

Avoid single body part challenges: I see these types of challenges online all the time, but unfortunately, many will have you overworking one specific muscle group putting you at a high risk of injury. Doing squats every day is bad for your hips and knee joints. Doing sit-ups every day means that you stop using the muscle fibers in your abs and instead start using your lower back, which creates imbalances. Doing push-ups every day can cause micro tears in the shoulder complex. I can list many more examples that are a bad idea for your long-term muscle and joint health. I believe it’s best to avoid a challenge that focuses on one specific part of the body.

Do: Participate in fun challenges that involve multiple exercises and are set with a moderate number of repetitions and adequate rest. In order for your body to get the benefits associated with repetitive exercise, the reps and rest time must be taken into consideration and both have to make sense. Most of our muscles work in pairs and therefore all strength training should be balanced. If you are trying to add more exercise into your day, consider doing a short bodyweight circuit. One day, the focus can be lower body and the next day, upper body. Try to avoid overusing one specific muscle group on a daily basis.

Avoid lengthy gym sessions: Training in the gym for hours on end may not get you better results, because more is not always better. Spending an hour on the treadmill at a pace that is not challenging, or lifting incredibly lightweights for long amounts of time, will have little effect on your fitness level or overall strength. Not to mention the stress caused by devoting so much time to the gym and getting little in the way of results.

Do: Go to the gym with the approach of quality over quantity. Think about what your goal is and train specifically in a way that will encourage desired adaptation in the body. If gaining strength and building muscle is your goal, you must choose weights that challenge you. Choose a weight that you can lift 8-12 times before reaching fatigue. Rest, then repeat for 3 sets. Consider doing HIIT training for a cardio and strength combination, or work in a circuit to maximize your time in the gym.

Don’t crash diet: The approach of the summer brings light to the many crazy crash diets that deprive your body of essential nutrients. Drastically cutting your calories, especially as you start to exercise more, can make you feel tired and prevent you from training at your best. The weight that is lost from a deprivation style crash diet is often not sustainable long term because you can lose lean muscle mass in addition to fat.

Do: Start making more conscious and healthy choices, and control your portion size. The goal should be to provide your body with the right balance of nutrients to support your energy output and recovery needs. As your exercise duration or intensity increases, make sure that you are eating enough protein, consuming enough water and getting a good balance of carbohydrates to get the most out of your training sessions.

Getting in shape is a process, one that takes both time and dedication. Quick fixes often don’t last for long and my favorite saying is, “Get fit and healthy for a lifetime, not just for the six weeks of summer.” When you make living a healthily part of your everyday lifestyle, reaching your goals may take a little longer, but the results will last.

Written by Samantha Clayton, AFAA, ISSA. Samantha is Sr. Director of Fitness Education at Herbalife.

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What to eat after your workout by Susan Bowerman, MS, RD, CSSD, FAND

What to eat after your workout | Herbalife Nutrition and Fitness AdviceWhat you eat and drink after your workout – and when – can have a big impact on your next performance.

What do you eat first after a workout? Most athletes pay fairly good attention to what they eatbefore exercising, but afterwards – for some – it’s almost as if ‘anything goes”.

Eating the right foods and beverages after exercise does more than just replenish your draining fuel supply – it helps your body get ready for your next round of activity, too. So, if you’re the type who works out regularly (and fairly hard), what you eat – and when – can make a big difference in your overall performance.

Keep in mind that refueling is geared primarily to those who are doing extended and strenuous bouts of exercise. If your usual activity is a daily walk or brief swim, your regular meals and snacks should take care of your nutritional needs as long as your diet is healthy and well-balanced – but always stay on top of your fluid intake.

But, if you’re going the distance, what you eat after your workout is just as important as what you eat before you exercise. You’re not only helping your body recover from a bout of exercise – you’re also helping your body prepare for the next one.

What to eat and drink after exercising

Replenish fluids and salts after exercise

When you exercise, sweating causes you to lose important body salts – like sodium and potassium – that need to be replaced. Many advanced athletes get in the habit of weighing themselves before and after exercise, in order to figure out how much fluid needs to be replaced. For each pound that you lose during activity, you should drink about 2-3 cups of liquid (or about one liter of fluid per kilo of weight loss).

What to drink after exercise

Water is fine as a fluid replacer, since you’ll be eating afterwards – which means you’ll pick up carbohydrate, sodium (and likely some potassium) and from your foods. For those who don’t normally drink high-calorie liquids, this is the one time they might drink fruit juices, since they provide fluid and carbohydrate and – depending on the fruit – potassium, too. Sports drinks are great since they provide not only fluid and carbs (some even have a bit of protein – which your body also needs), but the right balance of salts that have been lost through perspiration, too. And, they usually have a mildly light, sweet taste that often encourages you to drink more.

Your body needs carbohydrate after you exercise

After a hard workout, your body has burned through a lot of carbohydrate – the primary fuel that keeps your muscles working – and it’s important to refuel as soon as you can. The recommended amount is about 1.4 grams of carbohydrate per kilogram of body weight (or, 0.6 grams carbohydrate per pound of body weight). That’s about 100 grams of carbohydrate for someone weighing 165 pounds (75 kg). Healthy carbohydrates – fruits, whole grains and the natural carbs in dairy products – are a good place to start with post-workout snacking.

Your body needs protein after you exercise

A bit of protein is important in recovery, too, since it helps to stimulate muscle repair and growth after you’ve been working out. It doesn’t take much – about 10 grams of protein or so will do. The ideal post-exercise meal or snack contains a combination of healthy carbs and protein, which is why athletes often turn to foods like a sandwich on whole grain bread, a dish of yogurt and fruit, a protein shake made with milk and fruit, or specially formulated recovery beverages.

Meal timing is important after exercise

When you exercise, your muscles become very sensitive to the nutrients that are available – and that sensitivity lasts for a limited amount of time. That’s why many athletes who want to optimize muscle recovery pay attention to this “metabolic window” – the time period of about 30-45 minutes after exercise during which you should try to eat your carbs and protein. During this critical time after you exercise, your muscle cells are more sensitive to the effects of insulin – a hormone that helps transport amino acids (from protein) into your cells. Insulin also works to drive carbohydrate into the cells, where it is stored in the form of glycogen. This stockpile of carbohydrate can then be used to provide energy to working muscles during the next bout of activity. And, once you kick this fuel storage process into gear, you can keep it going for up to eight hours if you continue to provide your body with a shot of carbohydrate every two hours.

Written by Susan Bowerman, MS, RD, CSSD. Susan is a paid consultant for Herbalife. Herbalife markets sports nutrition products. Find out more about Herbalife24 – Nutrition for the 24 hour athlete. 

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