Staying healthy around the holidays can feel like an uphill battle, but Kate Hudson has a few handy tricks up her sleeves to help her stay on track. The actor is a passionate ambassador for WW (formerly known as Weight Watchers) and describes herself as "a disciplined foodie" who is focused on creating a sustainable healthy lifestyle for herself and others.
With the holidays rapidly approaching, TODAY Food called up Hudson to ask how she stays on track during the most indulgent time of the year and we also got her to dish on some of the Thanksgiving foods she's most excited to indulge in this year (spoiler alert: gravy and sweet potatoes are on the list!).
Everything in moderation
Life is pretty boring without a little bit of balance, and Hudson said WW helps her live the best of both worlds and stay healthy while also staying true to herself.
"I love food so much that I could never live any sort of kind of lifestyle that’s not open to anything and everything. If someone said I can't have bread I'd be like 'Wrong, girl!'" she said.
WW recently launched a new PersonalPoints Program that offers users an individualized path to weight loss and healthy living and Hudson appreciates that she can still indulge in her favorite treats while focusing on moderation, especially around the holidays.
"The goal is that we can live our life and we can enjoy everything," she explained. "If I know I'm gonna have a couple drinks one night at a party, sometimes I plug those in to WW during the morning of the party. It’ll take away my 10/11 points and then I will eat accordingly during the day."
Focusing on health, not just weight loss
It's easy to be laser-focused on calories and weight this time of year, but Hudson says it's important to look at the whole picture and make sure you're feeding your body, mind and soul to stay healthy during the holidays. For instance, she tries to stay as active as she can to stay on track while balancing her busy schedule as a working mom.
"If I’m not being active, I go crazy. If I’m traveling a lot and it’s been a week and I haven’t done anything that’s super active, I feel it mentally," she explained. "Something that gets me moving is really for my own sanity."
Hudson tries to make sure she's drinking enough water and getting enough sleep on a regular basis, but more so than ever during the hectic holiday season. “I’ve been really interested in sleep lately. I have that lucky thing where if you eat well and stay active, you sleep quite well,” she explained.
For those that could use a bit of help getting some more shut-eye, the busy mother of three recommends ditching digital devices in the bedroom and limiting the amount of liquids you drink before bed.
Having fun in the kitchen
Since joining WW a few years ago, Hudson has found a newfound appreciation for cooking as part of a healthy lifestyle.
"I try to encourage people to cook their own food. It’s great if you have kids because 'monkey see, monkey do.' Rani (Hudson's 3-year-old daughter) is my sous-chef; she loves to cook and loves food," she told us.
The mother of three explained that cooking often at home can really have a trickle down effect on your kids and teach them a fundamental way to live a healthy life.
"It really gets you motivated to feel as healthy as possible," she said.
This holiday season, the businesswoman plans to spend a lot of time in the kitchen whipping up some delicious dishes, especially for Thanksgiving, one of her favorite holidays.
"Every year, we make this broccoli surprise casserole made with every terrible ingredient possible," Hudson revealed.
The foodie also loves sweet potatoes and makes a dessert version that features plenty of spices, a brown sugar marshmallow crust and "tons of butter if you're feeling naughty."
"You can put walnuts or pecans on it. It's really beautiful and I like the way it looks on the table," she explained.
Hudson also loves cooking up some seasonal veggies like string beans, Brussels sprouts and she definitely has a soft spot for one Thanksgiving staple.
"My favorite thing is a great gravy but making a great gravy is not easy," she said. "Before Thanksgiving, I’ll start experimenting with different gravies to get it right. I do my prep work!"