“Biggest Loser” host Alison Sweeney has been very candid about her struggles with weight over the years. In an industry that confuses super skinny with sexy, the former soap actress has made it her mission to help others learn how to lead a healthier lifestyle. Sweeney has partnered with Arnold Breads for the Feed Your Better Campaign, which will give $100,000 to people who aim to be their personal best. She shared her lifestyle tips with FOX411.
“I think there’s tons of great information available on ‘The Biggest Loser’ starting October 8, tons of good tips and ways to inspire people to get healthy, but the most important tip I have for people is not to jump on the bandwagon of a fad diet or some sort of extreme version of weight loss or nutrition because you end up feeling like committed to something where you’re depriving yourself or you’re eating only certain types of foods and that’s not good for your either,” she said. “So if you stick to a diet that’s more well-balanced, finding the right nutrients that you’re supposed to have in your daily diet and just eating better portions, and sort of balancing that out the way, you know, that’s healthy you can do that your whole life.”
The mother of two explained that caloric intake is key in weight control.
“Calories are a really good barometer of it but calories aren’t the enemy either. I mean you’re supposed to have a certain amount of calories. There’s a certain amount of good kinds of sugar that you do need to have in your diet so that’s not necessarily the enemy either.”
She said at times even fattening foods can be good for you.
“There’s good kinds of fats, you know, so for example if I’m making a sandwich I would put avocado or hummus instead of mayonnaise. So avocado is a fat but it’s a good kind of fat. Salmon is another great option, a fish that has the omega -3 fatty that you are supposed to have in your diet.”
Sweeney admitted sometimes it’s hard to get motivated to shed the pounds.
“You can’t lose weight for other people and as much as you would love to that’s true in reverse. You may love your daughter, your spouse, your parent; you cannot help them lose weight. You can’t do it for them. You have to want to do it for yourself and you have to do it for yourself.”
There’s no exact recipe for weight loss, she said.
“I wish I could tell people what that is, what that light switch is, you know, I could bottle it and sell it. Be a billionaire! It’s something magic inside of you that you have to decide that you don’t want to live like this anymore.”
Sweeney found her “magic” when she stopped comparing herself to others and set realistic, achievable goals for her body.
“I think there’s a lot of different things that cause obesity so it’s hard to address what that click is. For me, it was two things. One was instead of comparing myself to everyone else in Hollywood or anyone else on a magazine… I decided I wanted to be healthy. I just want to live a healthier life and so those decisions didn’t seem insurmountable and it seemed a goal that was achievable as opposed to something that was so ridiculous that I started taking one step at a time and making a healthy choice and then the next healthy choice is sort of easier,” she explained. “The other thing that was really a great motivator for me was my dentist who…I had a cavity and he was saying, ‘Wow, you have sugar in your diet.’ I’m like, ‘No, I don’t.’ He said, ‘Your teeth are telling me that you do.’ And at that point I realized I really lie to myself. I lie to myself about what I’m eating. I lie to myself about the snacks and go, ‘Oh, that doesn’t count standing up or I’m just tasting it.’ Everybody does that but it can be really tricky. You can really mislead yourself. However you want to present yourself to the world, be honest with yourself about what you’re eating.”