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Moderation the magic for ‘Good Witch’ star Catherine Bell

BY CINDY PEARLMAN  | BIG PICTURE NEWS INC.

Though she plays a witch on TV, Catherine Bell actually can’t jiggle her nose sideways and get her wildest wish.

Which might be a burger and crispy fries today.

“Ah, that’s my favorite,” she says. “I promise myself that I’ll only eat half of the fries.”

Her “powers” on Hallmark’s “Good Witch” (7 p.m. Saturdays) do not burn off fried foods. In fact, only one person in real life actually believes that her art translates over into life.

“The only one who believes I really do have special powers is my 4-year-old,” says Bell, 46, calling from her home in Los Angeles. “He keeps asking me, ‘Are you a real witch, Mommy, or a fake one?’ I tell him, ‘You better brush your teeth and make your bed before we find out!’ ”

The actress best known for her time on “JAG” and on “Army Wives” juggles a busy TV career with mothering her son and daughter, 12. “When I got the offer to do ‘Good Witch,’ I thought, this is really cool because it’s unlike anything I’ve done in the past.”

Her secret to looking and feeling good? Moderation. The British actress says, “If you go on any extreme plan, you just won’t last and then you’re back to square one.”

Her moderation plan:

• FIND THE EXERCISE YOU LOVE AND THEN UP IT: “I’ve always loved Pilates,” she says. “But now I do what’s called Pilates Plus, which is like Pilates to the max. I do it on a reformer and it really makes me long, lean and stretched out, plus my muscles don’t feel too bunched up.” She adds, “Find the exercise you love, work at it and then don’t get complacent. Take it to the next level.”

• ADD SOME CARDIO. Bell says that Pilates is her first love, but she doesn’t ignore cardio. “I like a good hike because that’s working out, plus you get to experience the outdoors. It doesn’t feel like working out. I’m not a runner and that’s fine. A good walk is great cardio.”

• GET OUT OF YOUR RUT. Bell even admits to being an exercise dropout. “I go through phases – sometimes weeks at a time – where I haven’t worked out. You can’t ignore it. I know when I’m getting mushy. When that feeling strikes and you know you’ve put it off for too long, vow to start again today. Not tomorrow, but today. Hop on a treadmill for 15 minutes. Do something. You want to get back in the game. Once you start, you’ll find yourself doing more than you planned to do.”

• EAT FOR REAL LIFE. “”I do try to eat well,” Bell says. “But I’m the first one to admit that I love a good burger. I will eat that great burger and fries and love every minute of it. But that’s it. I had my treat. Then I go back to those salads with grilled chicken. You don’t want to take one cheat meal and turn it into a pattern. Also on that cheat meal, eat only half of the fries. You won’t miss the other half.”

• GET READY FOR YOUR CLOSE UP. Bell says that focusing on life’s big events is a great way to stay on track. For her that might include up-and-coming love scenes with James Denton on “Good Witch.” “He’s such a great guy and family man and dad,” she says of Denton. “As for our characters, it’s very possible that we might have a romance. I think the fans are like, ‘Get together already!’ We have that kind of chemistry. He’s a medical doctor. She’s all about Eastern philosophy. Even I’m like, ‘Just kiss already!’ “