The actress, mommy of two and host of The Biggest Loser shares her advice for shedding those post-baby pounds fast and gaining back your self-esteem!
Alison Sweeney is one busy woman! Not only does she star as Sami in Days Of Our Lives, she hosts NBC’s hit reality show The Biggest Loser, is a hands-on mom to her two children Ben, 5, and Megan, 11 months, is a loving wife to David Sanov, and is now a published author! The 34-year-old just released her new book The Mommy Diet, in which she shares tons of straightforward tips, personal stories, easy-to-follow exercises, and even fashion, nutrition and cooking advice for new moms and moms-to-be! And she’s sharing her wise advice with HollyBaby readers.
What made you want to write The Mommy Diet?
When you’re pregnant, everyone comes up to you with maternity advice, parenting advice… but I felt there is one area that is too often overlooked. Looking after yourself! Too many moms get so caught up with caring for their newborn, and the next thing you know the baby is 15 and the ‘baby weight’ became unwanted pounds that sometimes can get out-of-control. So, I thought it might be a fresh perspective to help moms from the beginning to really focus on their own health too.
What can women do throughout their pregnancy to stay in shape?
In The Mommy Diet, I specifically laid out different exercises for each stage of pregnancy. As you get bigger, everything changes, down to your balance and center of gravity, so you need to really be aware of your body and adjust your workouts to your needs and condition.
What’s the easiest way to lose those post-baby pounds? What worked for you?
A lot of the weight comes off at first. Many experts support the belief that breastfeeding also helps burn calories. But after all that is said and done, a lot of moms have still have excess pounds they want to shed, and it’s important to work on getting those stomach muscles back too! They’ve been through a trauma, stretching out that way, they need to heal, and you need to rehab them almost as you would an injury. But there is no “easy” way to lost the post-baby pounds. They are the same as any other pounds, and what worked for me was a tried and true combo of eating right and working out.
Was it difficult to watch the scale go up during your pregnancy?
Of course, it was definitely awkward to see my body change, my weight gain, while working on The Biggest Loser. It’s a psychological thing — even though you know it’s normal, healthy and in fact necessary to gain weight while pregnant, it still makes you feel weird. But that was when it really helped me to know that I was doing everything I could to have a healthy pregnancy. The workouts and the nutrition in those moments helped me more than just physically, they helped me mentally, because those positive actions encouraged a positive outlook.
What’s your workout routine? Do you follow any of Bob Harper or Jillian Michaels’ workouts?
I do a lot of different types of work outs, including Bob and Jillian’s! Their DVDs rock, so I use them when I can’t get to the gym. Also, I hike, take a spin class, do strength-training. Sometimes it’s as simple as doing lunges around my block. Sounds easy, right? Try it sometime and let me know what you think the next day.
Did you ever look in the mirror and think you were never going to lose the baby weight?
After my first child was born, yes, I had those thoughts. With my Megan, I was so focused on achieving my goals, I never had time for self-doubt. Also, I was and still am really into celebrating the successes I can see and feel… it may not be the body I had before my kids, but maybe that’s a good thing too. I love who I am now, and am proud of how hard I work for the body I have today.
What’s your go-to snack? What do you reach for when you want to have a little cheat?
One of my favorite go-to snacks is Greek yogurt with strawberries and cinnamon. I love it, it tastes delicious and also is very filling. It’s a good afternoon treat.
What’s the one exercise you hate doing at the gym?
I hate the elliptical machine. I don’t know why, I just do.
What is your number 1 advice for staying fit, happy and healthy?
My number 1 advice is to decide that you’re worth it! That’s what we talk about so often on The Biggest Loser. That moms, dads, caregivers, focus on everyone else in their life, and not themselves. If it’s tough to take time away from being with your kids to go to the gym, consider that you can be a better parent for longer when you’re healthy! And it makes you a great role model of health and fitness for your kids!