Sinclair Cares: Get in better shape without going on a diet

Following four rules can make losing weight and getting fit easier than you might think. (KATV)

You're back in the gym, exercising regularly, but you probably already know that's not enough.

"You can work out as much as you want, if you don't eat right, your results won't be what you want them to be," said Natalie Cannady, a working mother.

Cannady runs a hospital fitness center, but she still finds it hard to get the diet part right for herself and her family.

My 6-year-old-daughter, Kendall, she is a snack machine.

Cannady says she's worked with a dietitian to come up with a nutrition plan she can stick with.

Tonya Johnson is the director of nutritional services at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.

"We want people to have lifestyle changes," Johnston said.

Johnson is also a mother who makes healthy eating a priority in her own home.

"I'm the fruit lady, The crazy fruit lady at the ballpark. My kids don't eat nachos," she said.

Johnson said following four rules can make losing weight and getting fit easier than you might think.

No. 1: Avoid diets and diet products

"No matter what pill they want you to take or drink they want you to drink, you're restricting your calories and increasing your exercise. So, you can do that on your own without a pill, without a product," Johnson said.

No. 2: Focus on portion control

"Get a smaller plate. Eat smaller portions. That's going to help with long-term weight loss," Johnson said.

No. 3: Don't buy junk food

Johnson said keep healthy foods at home, like low-fat yogurt, lean protein and fresh fruits and vegetables.

"Then when you get hungry, instead of grabbing the bag of chips or the cookies, you're going to grab what's in your house and that's going to be a healthier item," Johnson said.

No. 4: Cook at home

Johnson says the key to it all is making your own meals.

"A lot of our food dollars are spent eating out when really we could eat healthier at home for a lot less money if we planned ahead," Johnson said.

"We're getting out of the eating out all the time, thank goodness, getting back to cooking," Cannady said.

So far for Cannady, it's been an easy transition and one she's confident her family will be able to follow through with for not just the year but for a lifetime.

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