I have struggled with my weight my entire life. Throughout high school and college, I participated in volleyball and basketball. At that time, I worked out all the time and ate very little and my weight was about 180lbs on my 5’7” frame. I was happy with my weight, but was miserable trying to maintain it. Now I am 32 years old and have two children. I gained 70lbs with my first pregnancy and it took me 18 months to lose the weight. My second child is now 9 months old and I am still struggling to lose the weight. I am still breastfeeding, but am finding it much more difficult to lose the weight even with my workout schedule of three to four times per week. What can I do to accelerate the process and feel better?

Pregnancy can be very stressful on the body. With each pregnancy and with increasing age, weight loss becomes more challenging. Since it is essential for you to take in an additional 500 calories while you are breastfeeding, it is difficult to significantly reduce your overall caloric intake. However, because you wish to lose weight, it is important that you make the most of what you are consuming. This means that everything you eat must contain the very best nutrients available. Reducing your intake of simple sugars and saturated fats are the first things that I would recommend.

In addition to a quality diet, a comprehensive exercise program is in order. Since you already stated that you are currently exercising three to four days per week, I would recommend that you include strength training in your workouts at least three days per week. I find that circuit training is the best way to jump start anyone’s stalled exercise program. Circuit training can be done in a variety of ways, but the key is to change the routine as often as possible. So, to get you going, I recommend that you alternate strength training with bursts of cardio training for a total of 45-60 minutes each session. It could look like this:

  • Squats 15 reps
  • Lunges 15 reps
  • Jump rope 2 minutes

Repeat 2 times

  • Push ups 15 reps
  • Dumbbell flys 15 reps
  • Stair climbing 2 minutes

Repeat 2 times

This way you are getting two sets of your strength exercise while putting bursts of cardio afterwards. Alternate any of your current exercises in this format until you have completed a total body workout. If you get stuck and need assistance, consult a certified personal trainer at a local health club. Many times they will come to your house to get you started.

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