Here's how to get into better shape without going on a diet

One tip to lose weight is to load up on healthy foods like fruits and vegetables, for snacking at home.

The holidays are over, and you are back in the gym.

But you probably know that's not enough.

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

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

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

What to do?

Tonya Johnson, director of nutritional services at the University of Arkansas for Medical Services, can help. She has four rules for losing weight and for feeling better.

No. 1, she says, is to avoid diets and diet products.

"No matter what pill they want you to take or what 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

Next, focus on portion control.

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

Check out your pantry and refrigerator. They should contain healthy foods 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."

The key to it all, she said, 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.

Cannady and her family are taking that advice.

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

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