Alison Sweeney is no stranger to the weight-loss struggle. As the former host of The Biggest Loser, she’s witnessed people’s difficulty cutting calories and amping up workouts. However, Sweeney, 40, won’t deprive herself of foods she loves in order to keep her weight in check, and instead uses portion control, regular exercise and a bit of motivation from friends to get the results she wants. Get a sneak peek at how she keeps her diet balanced and health in check (even after sustaining a major injury!) in our exclusive interview—read on!
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NewBeauty: You recently tore your ACL. Are there any tips you can give to others who also have a physical setback and can’t partake in their usual workouts?
Alison Sweeney: It’s hard. Since tearing my ACL and MCL, I’ve definitely realized how important physical and mental strength is to offset adversity. I’ve had to pay more attention to my nutrition and portion control, as well as really focus on my physical therapy. It’s amazing how hard a workout is when recovering from injury, but the satisfaction is definitely a great reward. For others who are struggling, remind yourself that there is a light at the end of the tunnel and focus on what you can accomplish, not what you can’t.
NB: What’s your best tip for maintaining a healthy lifestyle as a busy working mom?
AS: Preparation is key. I don’t have time every day to wash fruit, chop vegetables or go to the market, so I really focus on having only healthy options readily available, from stocking my refrigerator with great fruits and raw vegetables to having raw nuts in the pantry and planning ahead as much as possible. Salads are always satisfying and easy to prepare, so those are a definite go-to. Also, I’m a big fan of having my family help in the kitchen so it’s part of the meal experience and we all can enjoy the quality time together.
NB: A well-balanced diet doesn’t mean having to deprive yourself of the foods you love. Do you have any “cheat meals” that you tend to gravitate toward?
AS: I totally agree! I don’t believe in not having something, but I do believe in moderation. For example, I’ll definitely have a burger but it might be without the bun or with a salad instead of fries.
NB: Do you have any tips for how to stay motivated when starting to change your diet and workout routine into a healthier one?
AS: My biggest advice is to find what you love. It’s so much harder to work out and change your diet if your replacements are things you don’t enjoy. Find the foods and workouts that you do like, find ways to make those more a part of your life and get your family or friends on board to be your partner on the journey. Maybe you and a group of friends challenge one another to a sugar-free month or to cut out soda for a month. You’ll find by having the encouragement of others, the process becomes a lot more fun.
NB: You recently partnered with Arm & Hammer. Why did you feel this brand was a good fit for you?
AS: I think of my beauty routine as part of my healthy living and so it’s important to pay close attention to the ingredients in everything I use. That’s why I love Arm & Hammer Truly Radiant Toothpaste—it contains baking soda, which gently whitens, making it safe for my enamel and for everyday use. Plus, it leaves my teeth clean and polished so I have a bright and strong smile.
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