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'Biggest Loser' host Alison Sweeney gets her dog into the weight-loss game

December 14, 2010 |  6:25 pm

"The Biggest Loser" host Alison Sweeney and her dog Winky As "The Biggest Loser" gets set to crown another winner Tuesday night, host Alison Sweeney has her eye on helping a different group shed the pounds.

Conveniently, this group — dogs — is used to shedding in general.

Sweeney, hardly the biggest control freak on "The Biggest Loser," got acquainted with canine calorie control after learning one of her dogs was obese. The "Days of our Lives" star has two rescue dogs, a Chihuahua named Jorge and a one-eyed Boston Terrier named Winky.

The vet said Winky, who'd gotten in the habit of eating food from both dogs' bowls, needed to drop 3 or 4 pounds to get back to a healthy weight of around 20 pounds — and dropping 4 pounds is a lot tougher than it sounds when it's 20% of your body weight.

"It's like how we overfeed children," said the mother of two, who hustled her oldest child off to school while chatting with the Ministry. In general, she said, "It comes from love, from caring, from wanting to make them safe and comfortable — to let them know we love them." Problem is, for a dog Winky's size, eating an ounce of cheese is like a human snacking on a hamburger and a half.

Once Fido's fat, however, "You realize that your way to show them your love is by controlling their food."

Having brought Winky back down to size, Sweeney's now a spokeswoman for Hill's Science Diet Weight Loss System. Think Jenny Craig or Nutrisystem for dogs, with an eye on training the humans to exercise restraint at feeding time.

"I didn't know what to do," she said. "I don't have a lot of time." (What, can't anyone balance two kids, two TV shows, a book and a website designed for moms to support other moms?) Sweeney said she was able to get her 5-year-old son into the act with the pre-measured food and biscuits.

"There's a learning curve" away from being unhealthy, she said, whether you're helping people or dogs change their lives.

As for the finale of "The Biggest Loser," Sweeney says viewers can expect the announcement of a big twist for Season 11 — and no, it's not that trainer Jillian Michaels will make the season, which starts in January, her last at the ranch.


Trainer Jillian Michaels leaving 'The Biggest Loser' [poll]

Drew Carey's weight comes on down, as 'Price Is Right' starts Season 39 [video]

John Goodman on losing 100 pounds: exercise good, alcohol bad, new clothes already too big

— Christie D'Zurilla

Photo: "The Biggest Loser" host Alison Sweeney, with a newly svelte Winky.