I have been active my whole life, but like most women my age, 47, my weight has steadily increased over the past five years. My doctor says that I am healthy and that my extra weight is not an issue, but I feel as though I need to lose about 20lbs. I think that I eat a very balanced diet that includes whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, but I know that I probably snack too much. I go to the gym at least three days a week, but don’t seem to be making any progress. Do you have any suggestions for me?

Congratulations for all of the great things you are already doing. Exercise and eating right is a great start to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. However, as you are well aware, it takes more than that to lose or maintain a desired weight. As women, the older we get, the harder it is to simply maintain our weight. And, the truth is we need to work harder than ever before to see progress. Fortunately, you are doing a lot of things right, so I would ask that you take a serious look at your meals. I advise all my weight loss clients to consult with a dietitian to keep a food log and write down everything they eat for several days. Once you have taken a look at that, you will see where your weaknesses lie. Although you are consuming good foods, it could simply be too many calories.
As for the exercise component, I would recommend that you change your routine entirely. Many of my clients see great results with circuit training. Circuit training can include a variety of things. It is a quick effective way to get in your strength and cardio all at the same time (and in LESS time).

Try something like this:

Dumbbell squats – 15 reps
Dumbbell lunges – 15 reps
Run stairs (or step ups) for 2 minutes
(Repeat this series three times)

Dumbbell chest press – 15 reps
Push ups – 15 reps (or to failure)
Jump rope (for 2 minutes)
(Repeat this series three times)

Dumbbell pullover – 15 reps
Dumbbell rowing – 15 reps
Treadmill jogging (for 2 minutes)
(Repeat this series three times)

This circuit training routine can be modified or changed based on your fitness level and availability of equipment. The main objective is that you take two exercises and do them back to back (or superset) then add in a cardio piece. The cardio should be very challenging because it only lasts 2 minutes. Then you repeat the series of exercises. Taking breaks between each series.

Circuit training will jump start any exercise program and kick in your metabolism to help you burn more calories. The key to any good exercise program is variety. If you have been doing the same routine for more than 6 weeks, it is time to change.

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