Ana Gasteyer Dishes on Keeping the Family Healthy in the New Year

Ana Gasteyer Dishes on Keeping the Family Healthy in the New Year
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Ana Gasteyer Dishes on Keeping the Family Healthy in the New Year

After her son was born, Ana Gasteyer realized that she'd put on 20 pounds. "I was doing what every new mother does which is literally grab the animal crackers while trying to run somewhere else," explains Ana. "[I was] not getting very much sleep, [and I was] over-caffeinating—everything that really isn't all that good for weight."

"My husband had gained 80 pounds, and we were both basically just fat and miserable; it was a really fun, fat, miserable time," jokes Ana.

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Like many looking to lose weight, the comedian tried many different diets, everything from juicing to not eating carbs, to no avail. "I'd eat my first waffle and I'd blow up again," Ana explains. But stumbling upon Weight Watchers, proved to be a breaking point for her and her husband. "We eat lots of vegetables, lots of fruits and make good choices," she says. "My husband has lost 80 pounds and I've lost 20 and I've kept it off for a year."

Now, Ana let us in on a few secrets of how she's staying healthy in 2014 and helping her family do the same.

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Share your smart choices with you family.

"We are able to celebrate, eat and have a good time and make smart choices," Ana shares. "We've felt more in control so that obviously bleeds into your household overall. You start to buy whole grain breads for your kids and a lot more fruits and vegetables."

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Stock up on fruits and veggies.

"My daughter is a vegetarian, but for a long time that just meant that she ate carbs. My husband called her a 'starchitarian,'" Ana says. "But by default now, because I do a lot of prep, I always have snap peas, blanched or steamed broccoli, jicama and cherry tomatoes around, and she eats a much greater number of vegetables for a vegetarian."

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Find a good cookbook.

Ana has been cooking from the new cookbook, Weight Watchers What to Cook Now: 300 Recipes for Every Kitchen. "It has great, healthy, colorful, yummy options," she says. "It is not a depressing diet book."

"I'm the queen of 'what is the healthiest version of the bad for you thing,'" she admits. "[The cookbook] has better for your Chinese take-out like moo shu pork, which is really delicious, and a seafood hot and sour soup that I've tried and it was a big hit. They are easy go-tos and you can pretend that you are having Chinese take-out!"

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Clean to burn calories.

While Ana now walks, bikes and takes the stairs over the elevator, she also burns calories just by cleaning. "You think, 'I don't feel like cleaning up, but I earn a point if I do it for an hour!'"

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Don't stress about your kids' eating habits.

"My son is a nightmare," she shares. "He eats an incredibly limited number of things, so I've had to cheat my way around a few things, and not spend so much time worrying about it. It can really drive you insane. You can make yourself crazy feeling like your children are nutritionally deprived."

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Win where you can.

"My biggest go-tos with my son are V8 juice which has been phenomenally successful and marinara in general. You can puree and hide things Jessica Seinfeld-style in marinara. I can do that with silken tofu, I can do it with butternut squash and I can do it with pumpkin; it is pretty easy to hide," Ana offers.

"I have a Vitamix, which I use every day. Wild blueberries are so your friend in the war of hiding vegetables. They are so sweet you can put kale in with wild blueberries and no one is the wiser."

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Look at the big picture.

Ana believes that "as long as there is a healthy motivation, you can break some rules."

"The big picture is more important than the micro when it comes to picky eaters," says Ana. "A little chocolate milk in a healthier drink is better than nothing healthy at all. We do a vegetarian protein powder with cocoa, sugar and a really ripe banana, but at least we are getting some vegetable protein."

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Split it.

When Ana and her husband eat out, they often each get salads and then split the entree. "You don't normally need as big of a portion as you think," she says.

Similarly, to celebrate the coming of fall, Ana and her kids will split a piece of their favorite pumpkin pie rather than each have their own. "We didn't have to eat the entire pie to celebrate."

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Watch a funny workout video.

With services like Netflix and Amazon Prime, you have a plethora of fitness videos at your fingertips! "[There are] tons of tons of fitness videos, and you can super make yourself laugh. You can do Jane Fonda, Tae Bo the next day, Zumba, and just have a great time. If it is raining, what could be a more fun afternoon than sweating with the oldies with Richard Simmons and then you are 30 minutes more fit."

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Travel with food and work out after.

Ana travels between Los Angeles and New York when shooting Suburgatory and began traveling with a salad. "That was the biggest behavioral change in terms of commuting. It isn't just being hungry when you are on the road; you are exhausted, you are lonesome and I'd always feel really sad. It was unconscious, but I'd always eat whatever carbohydrates I could get my hands on. Now, I bring my own lunch and I always make myself exercise the day that I travel. It is hard to make yourself exercise when you land, but it is life changing."

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This season on Suburgatory

"I love my show," shares Ana. "I just saw Cheryl Hines, we just did the Wendy Williams Show, and she was like 'the show is insane.' There are so many hilarious, funny things that happen this season. The Shays are all over the place because Ryan went off to college and there are some very strong choices made in response to keep the family together that are pretty funny."

Image Credit: Richard Cartwright/Disney ABC Television Group/Getty


Saturday Night Live alum and Weight Watchers spokesperson Ana Gasteyer recently conquered three great feats. The mother of two wrapped up season three of ABC's hit show, Suburgatory (episode two airs tonight!), while also dropping two dress sizes and encouraging her family to eat healthier and stay active.

How did she do it? Check out the slideshow above for her family-friendly healthy eating tips and even a few secrets from Suburgatory's new season.

Catch Suburgatory​ Wednesdays at 8:30/7:30c on ABC!

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