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Valerie Bertinelli's New Body: How She Lost the Weight and Keeps It Off

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Valerie Bertinelli's Workout and Diet Plan

FITNESS: What's your usual workout?
VB: I'm not big on the gym. I would rather be outdoors. You really can get fit without an expensive gym membership or fancy equipment. I have this one-mile loop around my house that I like to do. My first goal was to walk the loop and make it up the hill at the end without stopping two or three times. Then, as I got in better shape, I tried to do it while wearing my weighted walking vest -- it felt so heavy, I couldn't believe I made it up the hill. Now, my goal is to jog the whole loop while wearing the vest.

FITNESS: Do you have a set schedule for when you exercise?
VB: No, I like to throw on jeans and a T-shirt and fit in a 15-minute walk here, 20 minutes there. It's fun to do activities with friends or family. On the weekends, for instance, we'll play Frisbee on the beach. There's a steep set of 102 steps I have to go up and down between the beach and my house. That's a workout! The day I shot the FITNESS cover, I must have gone up and down those stairs at least six times. By the end of the shoot, my calves were killing me.

FITNESS: What do you see as your biggest challenge in trying to maintain your healthy weight?
VB: I am an emotional eater, and those habits are really hard to change. If I'm feeling upset or stressed, I eat. There was one time when my boyfriend, Tom, was out of town; my son, Wolfie, was starting his senior year in high school; my new sitcom was launching the next day; and I was in the middle of shooting a pilot for a show. There were a lot of things to stress about. I sat down and ate almost an entire bag of chips. So my biggest challenges are making sure that I eat but don't overeat and that I don't eat for emotional reasons.

FITNESS: You talk a lot about having a negative relationship with food. Are there ways it makes you feel good, too?
VB: I love to cook. I enjoy the smells of a new dish; I like the camaraderie of cooking with Tom or my son. I'll put some music on in the kitchen while we work. And I've got some great new recipes thanks to my Jenny Craig program. One thing I'm always aware of is portion size. At some restaurants, when you order a steak they bring you a 48-ounce T-bone. That's just stupid. A serving is four ounces -- the size of the palm of your hand!


FITNESS: Speaking of which, what's your diet downfall?
VB: Certain drinks definitely put the weight on me. A glass or two of white wine is fine, but fruity drinks or hard alcohol -- that'll pack on the pounds.

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