“I wanted to give my body time to adjust,” Milano tells PEOPLE. “But about six months after Elizabella was born, I started focusing on losing the weight and making sure I was healthy and at my best for my family.”
She started by adapting a low-carb diet on her own and once she only had 20 lbs. left to lose, the Project Runway All Stars judge turned to Atkins.
“This journey with Atkins is about me feeling better overall, having more energy and reaching my happy weight,” says Milano, a spokesperson for the brand.
Despite sticking to the program since the summer, Milano says her meals aren’t much different than her family’s meals.
“I enjoy all my favorite foods. I love chicken and fish; I eat lots of vegetables, healthy fats, low sugar fruits, cheese, and nuts. Some of my favorite things include parmesan-crusted chicken with cheesy cauliflower bake and tacos night with fresh guacamole. I have all the fixings and just use lettuce cups in place of tortillas,” she says. “In fact, Atkins inspired me to learn how to cook for myself and my family using foods that are lower in carbs.”
As for exercise, “My workout routine includes running around with my kids, does that count?” says Milano, who adds she’s also a fan of group classes like spinning. “However, I’ve learned that exercise alone is not enough for a healthy lifestyle.”
Check out her daily food log below, and pick up the new issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands now, to read more about her diet.
6 glasses of water with lemon
Protein shake (2 cups almond milk, 1 oz. whey protein powder, ½ small banana and ¼ tsp. cinnamon)
1 cup coffee with 2 tbsp. almond milk
Atkins Harvest Trail Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Caramel Bar
1 to 2 cups herbal tea
2 crab cakes over 3 cups baby greens with 2 tbsp. vinaigrette
2 oz. sliced chicken breast with 1 tbsp. aioli
6 oz. salmon with 10 cherry tomatoes roasted with olive oil and 2 cups sautéed spinach sprinkled with pink salt
Total Calories: 1,444
“Alyssa has a great on-the-go breakfast with good protein from the powder (although I prefer a vegan protein powder), carbs from the banana and fat from the almond milk,” says dietitian Keri Glassman of nutritiouslife.com. For lunch, “crab cakes and greens are a good mix of veggies and protein, but the cakes are still fried, so this should be more of an indulgence.” Glassman also praises Milano’s “perfectly balanced” dinner. “It’s her best meal of the day, which is not always common. Good job!”
NOTE: It is recommended that women eat at least 1,200 calories per day, and men eat at least 1,800 calories per day.