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Four rules make losing weight easier

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If you made it your New Year's resolution to eat healthier and get fit but you're struggling on a diet plan, you may be trying too hard.

Nutrition experts say you can get in better shape without going on a diet.

You might be exercising regularly, but experts know that isn't enough.

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

Cannady runs a hospital fitness center but 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 said.

Tonya Johnson is the director of Nutritional Services at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.

She's also a mom who makes healthy eating a priority in her own home.

"I'm the fruit lady - the crazy fruit lady at the ball park - my kids don't eat nachos," Johnson said.

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

Rule 1: 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," Johnson said.

Rule 2: Focus on portion control

"Get a smaller plate eat smaller portions, that's gonna help with long-term weight loss," Johnson said.

Rule 3: Only keep healthy foods at home like low fat yogurt, lean protein and fresh fruits and vegetables

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

Rule 4: Make 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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