Rita Wilson on Her Family’s New Diet: ‘We’ve Really Cut Back a Lot on Sugar’

05/09/2014 at 04:35 PM ET

Rita Wilson and Tom Hanks
Alberto Rodriguez/NBC/Getty

Life is still sweet for Rita Wilson and Tom Hanks.

After learning that Hanks had been diagnosed with Type II diabetes late last year, the couple made diet and fitness a new family priority.

“We’ve really cut back a lot on sugar, and we find time in every day to exercise,” Wilson told PEOPLE at the movie premiere of Fed Up in L.A. on Thursday. “We actually walk and hike together. We’re not going to be doing duo, tantric yoga, or whatever,” she added with a laugh. 

“When [you] were younger, you used to watch what you eat and exercise because you wanted to look really awesome, and now it’s because you want to feel really awesome,” she said.

There was reason that food and fitness were on her mind: the documentary, co-produced and narrated by Katie Couric, focuses on the dramatic rise in obesity rates in America over the last 30 years.

“We do have an obesity crisis in our country, and I think it’s going to be a very powerful film in terms of creating awareness to that fact, just being aware of what you eat and what you put into your body,” Wilson said.

“This is where it all begins. It’s always about awareness — at the end of the day, or at the beginning of the day, you have to be aware of what’s happening in order to make any changes.”

The changes in her family’s life, which Wilson said were immediate, even came with a special bonus.

“When you start feeling so much better and the weight starts coming off and your energy is so much more vital, you don’t miss the things that you thought you really needed, because you feel so much better,” she said.

Wilson and Hanks may be proof positive that the couple who plays together, stays together: The couple just celebrated their 26th wedding anniversary.

“Sadly, on our actual anniversary, Tom was away working,” Wilson said. “But we celebrated the week before. It was so amazing. We kept just saying it to each other, ‘Seriously? Twenty-six years? Where did it go? It’s gone so fast.”

—Lance Debler, reporting by Reagan Alexander

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Showing 14 comments

sal on

I have never liked Rita Wilson! She’s overrated!

dzyjne on

I love Rita and Tom…the best approach I have found to is when I watched the Fat Sick and Nearly Dead video by Joe Cross. It has changed my life and how I view foods. I have not had caffeine in a year, no milk products or sugars; unless they are natural sugars from the fruit/veggies I eat. Best wishes to Tom in his treatment and hopefully recovery of his illness.

esi on

Love Tom Hanks! She is a lucky woman! Well done, by the way, focusing on health. It is not the fat the major enemy, it is sugar, carbs, because if taken more than the body needs, it is converted in fatty acids and stored in fat tissue.

DaisyMoon on

I have always liked Rita Wilson! She’s underrated!

dellis3404 on

adore this couple! good for them!

Selena on

Well, considering the fact that Tom Hanks is now a diabetic, I would think the first thing they cut back on was sugar. Pretty sure this has less to do with Katie Couric’s “epiphany” than his diagnosis. And not really sure why it takes Katie Couric to point out the ridiculous amount of sugar American’s consume……this info has been around for years…….DUH.

guest on

@selena, oh shut up! If it causes more people to take notice, what harm has it done? I’m amazed that some commenters come here just to spread their negativity all over complete strangers.

Selena on

Guest, YOU should shut up and grow a brain. You seem like the type who sucks up all the drivel the “stars” have to spew. Grow a brain and start thinking for yourself!!

Crystal on

Love these two. Great couple.

Flo on

He seems to be overly cocky.

JM on

I like this couple – a lot. However – I wonder how many of these actors have been faithful to their wives when married this long …. it’s such a fickle business.

charlotte on

Love her and love her and Tom together! Good for them all around.

lola on

I hope they read deeper into diabetes, because sugar is not the main cause as a lot of people would think. It is most commenly caused by white flour foods….bread, pasta, potaoes, rice. Cut those out for a few weeks and slowly add whole grains back in the diet really works. My husband’s doctor told him ” wow, I don’t know what you’ve been doing, but continue to do it. Your numbers have never been this good.” And he also lost weight. Leave that 3rd item off your plate for a few weeks and see the difference, but of course always include your doctor.

lola on

Congrats Tom & Rita on the 26th anniversary!! Now that is wonderful!

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