Alison Sweeney is in the best shape of her life at 37, thanks to a balanced diet, adequate sleep, and regular workouts.
In an exclusive interview, Sweeney discussed the fitness secrets she has learned from hosting "The Biggest Loser" for the past seven years and life after "Days of Our Lives" following an epic 21-year run.
Sweeney, a mom of two, starred on "Days of Our Lives" since the age of 16, usually waking up at 5 a.m. every day for shooting. Alison left the show in May 2014 to spend more time with her family.
"I never realized how regimented my life was before," said Alison. "It's fun to have more free time. It's nice when my husband asks me in the morning, 'So what are you going to do today?' "
Of course, Sweeney still has a hectic work schedule, hosting "The Biggest Loser," writing (she's the author of four books, including her latest, a novel called "Scared Scriptless"), and various other projects. Alison was recently tapped to direct an episode of "General Hospital."
Balanced Diet and Regular Workouts Keep Ali Hot
Alison said the secret to managing her busy career and home life is a healthy diet, regular exercise, and getting enough rest. Sweeney follows a sensible, balanced diet that features plenty of fresh vegetables, complex carbs and high-quality proteins.
Alison briefly followed a low-carb diet years ago but said she's not a fan of restrictive diets, preferring to focus on healthy, organic ingredients and portion control. She said she learned a lot about nutrition from former "Biggest Loser" trainer Jillian Michaels.
The blonde beauty credits a "well-balanced diet" for helping her maintain her 30-pound weight loss for almost 20 years. Alison's usual breakfast is oatmeal with blueberries, and she loves snacking on Greek yogurt, almonds and experimenting with quinoa recipes.
Sweeney, who ran the 2012 Los Angeles Marathon, also works out regularly, alternating between running, yoga, hiking, spinning, and strength-training. "It's really important to find a workout you enjoy doing," she said.
'I Will Miss Jillian'
Another critical component of being healthy and slim is getting enough sleep, said Sweeney. Studies show that inadequate or poor-quality sleep causes weight gain and depression and also makes you look older.
Alison said she sleeps better than ever, thanks to SleepIQ by Sleep Number, a technology that measures average breathing rate, heart rate and movement to track how she's sleeping. "It's like a food journal for sleep," she said.
Alison recently started filming season 16 of "The Biggest Loser" and has nothing but praise for Jillian Michaels, who recently left the reality weight-loss competition.
"I'm thrilled that Jillian is moving on to projects she wants to do," said Sweeney. "I will miss her and wish her all the best."
Season 16 of "The Biggest Loser" premieres Sept. 11 on NBC.