Canadian Living: What have you learned about weight loss through hosting The Biggest Loser for the past 12 years?
Alison Sweeney: "One of the biggest things I've learned is that it needs to be a priority. People set it aside and they are annoyed by their weight or they struggle but they put it at such a low place on their priority list that it's never going to get resolved. It has to be something that you actually make conscious decisions about and you have to want to change. That's the most important step you can take towards success."
CL: What diet advice have you learned that you can share with readers and their families?
AS: "Cut out diet soda. Cook at home so that you're aware of your ingredients, the portion size and you know exactly what you're putting in your body. Set yourself up for success—don't keep stuff in your house that isn't good for you. Get rid of chips and have almonds out instead to snack on. If they're there, you'll snack on them. If you like a little variety, toast the almonds for 10 minutes with spices. You can even make a desserty version like cocoa with coconut. It keeps you in the healthy range of choices that are good for you. And it also makes you feel better about yourself. When you make good choices you feel better about yourself and you won't end up sitting there feeling guilty about that cake you just ate. That's the other part of it that's unquantifiable. When you make bad choices, when you don't work out, when you don't eat right, I think it sits with you and you get mad at yourself and then you make another bad choice. One healthy meal and it's so much easier to make another healthy choice. The biggest tip I have is to be educated with what you're eating and don't lie to yourself."
CL: Do you have advice for busy moms on how to eat healthy?
AS: "I make my kids eat healthy the way I do. I think it's really important to raise our next generation of kids to eat healthy. I have such a problem with kid's menus in restaurants—it makes me want to tear my hair out. My kids never eat off the kid's menu. They eat what I eat. My husband and I and my two children share two entrees between the four of us. My kids eat salmon and chicken and their vegetables. Rather than letting your kids palate affect you, you should be introducing your kids to your palate. You should be teaching them that an apple with almond butter is a good snack. I will have one too, and they can watch me eat it. Educating your kids on those healthy choices when they're young is a way to set them up for success their whole lives."
CL: How do you encourage your kids to stay active and healthy?
AS: "I think setting the good example of being fit and taking the time out of my day to go to the gym or to go for a run is a great example. My children are young enough that their fitness should be mostly about running around playing games, not sitting in front of the TV. Though I will tell you those games when you're running or jumping can be quite challenging. I think that at their age, they are so young it's really about playing to keep them active. It's also about setting a good example. My husband and I both take time out of our day to go to the gym every day. It's for ourselves and our bodies but also to set a good example for our kids that that is how you should live your whole life—you should get active every day."
CL: Do you have any unique tips about health that you can share with our readers?
AS: "I've learned that you can work out anywhere. We did one season that we called ‘no excuses' and there's so much to be said for that. If you're struggling for cash there are things you can do. If you're busy all the time there are things you can do. Allowing those things to be excuses is not the answer. If you have time to watch TV you could work out for the entire hour. You can work out and you can eat right under a lot of limited circumstances."
For more health tips from celebrity moms click here.