VALERIE BERTINELLI PACKS ON 50 POUNDS!

Published on: April 7, 2014
Photography by: NBC Universal/Getty Images
VALERIE BERTINELLI PACKS ON 50 POUNDS!

Formerly slimmed-down star Valerie Bertinelli has regained the weight she lost and more – one pound at a time!

The “Hot in Cleveland” cutie has packed on 50 pounds, a source says.

Valerie, 53, apparently started getting heftier when she put together a cookbook, but our sources say her weight really ballooned after she broke her foot and couldn’t exercise.

“Valerie is desperate to shed the flab,” revealed an insider.

“She’s been trying to hide her excess weight by wearing black and having people stand in front of her during photos.”

The insider adds that Valerie was even taking advice from Dr. Oz on how to keep the pounds off during a recent appearance on his show with her “Hot in Cleveland” co-stars.

“Even though the odds are against it, she wants to be back in her bikini by summer!” con­cluded the insider.

As The ENQUIRER has re­ported, the former wife of rock star Eddie Van Halen dropped 49 pounds on the Jenny Craig program – slimming down from a pudgy 172 to a fit and fabulous 123.

But in 2012, the 5-foot-2 star’s weight crept up when she be­gan cooking up a storm – and sampling the results – for her cookbook, “One Dish at a Time.”

The book – whose title is a take-off on the sitcom “One Day at a Time” that made her famous in the late ’70s and early ’80s – is a collection of the actress’ favorite recipes from family and friends.

Valerie later shed the weight that she’d gained while prepping the cookbook. But keeping it off was tough, and she put about 15 pounds back on between June and December 2013, sources said.

Then, her weight woes mount­ed after she fractured her left foot in a bizarre accident at home in late December.

On Dec. 30, Valerie shared a photo on her Twitter page of her­self in a hospital bed, and wrote: “Surgery tomorrow. That’s what I get for trying to chase the cats off the counter.”

Later, she added that, “fingers crossed,” she’d be running by spring.

“Meanwhile, Valerie couldn’t work out and her figure went to pot,” said the source.

Valerie admits she’s been letting herself go while waiting for her foot to heal.

“It’s been a little hard for me to work out,” she told talk-show host Wendy Williams.

“So you feel the weight creep­ing back on and there’s not much you can do about it except bring your portion sizes way down, and I’m not about to do that!

“So I just need to get mov­ing more, but I feel good...I just want this foot to get better already.”