Alison Sweeney Answers Your Burning Health Questions

Alison Sweeney Answers Questions About Diet and Exercise
Alison Sweeney
Mitchell Haaseth/NBC

05/29/2013 AT 12:10 PM EDT

From Biggest Loser to biggest helper: Alison Sweeney has answered your health and fitness questions! Nearly 150 of you submitted inquiries on everything from exercise and snacking to post-baby bodies and belly bulge, and Sweeney was more than happy to help you out.

Check out her answers to a selection of your questions below, and be sure to pick up her new novel, The Star Attraction, on now!

How do you stay motivated and focused on your diet and exercise? –Rachel
For me it's really important to keep up my cardio. I do have a trainer, but I don't see him all the time. I work out on my own a lot: I run, ride my bike (both outside) and I take spin class. I try to get a good cardio workout in at least four times a week. In addition, at least once a week, I do a day of circuit training with weights. It helps me maintain muscle tone. My schedule is so busy all the time, so I can't hold myself to specific times or a firm schedule, but these are my goals and I do the best I can. With my diet, I do try to think ahead – if I know I'll be somewhere only unhealthy foods are available, I try to prep snacks to bring (like on an airplane I bring my own fruit & veggies to munch on). But I also don't beat myself up for a few 'cheats' once in a while.

I am a 40-year-old mother of three, and I feel as though I've hit that 'plateau' that everyone talks about when getting older. I eat right, I exercise moderately, but I see no results. What can you recommend to mix things up? –Carmen
I know all about hitting plateaus and how frustrating they can be. For me, once I started to count every calorie, I realized how much I was eating that I didn't account for. Keep a food journal and make sure to eat as healthy as possible and have a good breakfast. Change up your cardio to push your body in different ways too. Good luck!

What does your diet/exercise plan look like on an average day? –Anonymous
Usually I wake up really early for work on Days of Our Lives. I eat oatmeal with blueberries almost every day for breakfast. Then, after I shoot my scenes, I get a chance to fit in a workout. Either a run outside, or I meet up with my trainer for some strength training.

I work the night shift. What could I bring to eat that I won't gain weight? –Taryn
I suggest cutting bell peppers, cucumbers and also taking cantaloupe or a cup of blueberries with you. A cup of blueberries only has 80 calories plus it gives you fiber and vitamin C. And make sure to drink plenty of water.

Any suggestions of hard, short workouts for someone always on the go? –Maryjane
I've learned that I get a good intense, short workout by running sprints on the treadmill. It's not always about distance – a workout is about the intensity you put into it. So when I don't have a lot of time, I really focus energy and go really hardcore – run 30 seconds on, 30 seconds off for several minutes. Then I do a similar intensity doing burpees (pushup, jump to your feet, and then jump in the air, then back down to pushup). Hope it works for you, too.
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