Valerie Bertinelli: How She Keeps Off the 40 Lbs.

08/03/2011 at 11:40 AM EDT

Valerie Bertinelli: How She Keeps Off the 40 Lbs.
Valerie Bertinelli
Courtesy Prevention Magazine
Valerie Bertinelli didn't skimp on trips to the gym when she was trying to lose weight. And now that she's 40 lbs. lighter, not much has changed.

"I mix treadmill running with exercises like push-ups, walking lunges, crunches," she tells Prevention magazine in its September issue of her exercise routine.

The Jenny Craig spokeswoman, 51, who displayed her bikini bod on the cover of PEOPLE in March 2009, gets a little help when she hits the gym – from personal trainer, Christopher Ross Lane.

Bertinelli says those looking to lose the pounds should consider digging into their pockets – at least for a little while – to hire a trainer.

"It's a really good investment," she says. "Health clubs all across the country have them, and you don’t need one for any longer than one or two weeks. Get some good stuff. Write it down. Then do it on your own."

Workouts aside, the Hot in Cleveland star says she still goes out to dinner – she just plans ahead.

"If I know that I'm going to go out to dinner, I have a light, light breakfast and a light, light lunch, so I can indulge," she says. "It's more about portions. If I start restricting myself with any food, I'm going to obsess about it. Eventually I'll indulge, and I won't stop."

And if she overindulges, she gets over it.

"Sometimes I'll beat myself up for having too much, and then I'll go, okay, that's it,' " she says. "Did it, move on, be better next time."

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