What's the sense in working out, if all you're going to eat are doughnuts and cookies?

Recognizing that eating well is equally as important to a healthy lifestyle as physical exercise, New Canaan-based Fitness Together has launched a program that encourages its members to include healthy eating as part of their health regimen.

"People seem to think that all you have to do is exercise," said East Avenue franchise owner Sue Teoli. "I used to think nutrition was 75 percent of it, but as I get older I feel it's 90 percent."

Teoli, a former bodybuilder who bought the Fitness Together franchise in New Canaan about two years ago, has been building a clientele at the fitness center that focuses on individualized programs that feature one-on-one personal training with weight and cardiovascular workouts.

As she has gotten to know more clients in the area, she said she has begun to realize that people also are looking for information on good eating, an important part of losing weight as well as keeping the body fueled for exercise.

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"They need some guidance," she said. "It's the whole catalyst to losing weight."

The new program is called Nutrition Together and was developed by nutritionist and wellness coach Janet Brill. It is similar to the Weight Watchers program in that it assigns scores to food based on a points system and requires participants to keep a food journal to track their calories and food consumption.

"When I was in my 30s, I could lose 10 pounds like that," she said. "As people get older they can't eat as much -- and that's a shame because it's the time in their lives when they get to enjoy and appreciate food more."

The program also has an education component, and includes six sessions with a coach who will cover topics such as portion control, how to make better choices when eating out, smart snacking, shopping tips, and how to fit good eating habits into one's lifestyle.

"You can totally be human and work long hours in an office and still follow this," Teoli said. "You don't have to give up bacon. There's so many choices in the book to make your life easier."

Each participant in the program also gets a copy of a manual which contains loads of tips for eating healthy, a section on how to substitute healthier food choices, a guide to measuring portion sizes, sample eating plans, an accountability journal, and recipes that can be followed.

"Anyone can make a 5-day-a-week diet, but are you going to follow it," Teoli said. "You can't eat the same thing five days a week every week. This is a good reference for real life."

Teoli said the nutrition program is being offered in conjunction with a fitness training regimen, and encourages those who are interested to inquire at the fitness center in person. In certain cases, Fitness Together will offer the program to those who already have a fitness program ongoing.

For information call Fitness Together at 203-966-1044 or visit the studio at 33 East Avenue. Information is also available on the Web at www.fitnesstogether.com/newcanaan.