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Soooooooo, I may have tricked you.

Okay so I tricked you 100%.

The number one exercise you need to be doing if you’re trying to lose weight is actually not an exercise at all.

You see the first thing you need to do when trying to lose weight is not hitting the gym, or buying kettlebells, it’s examining what you eat.

You need to get real up close and personal with your food. You didn’t eat ‘a cobb salad‘, you ate salad greens, bacon, tomatoes, some sliced chicken breast, an egg, some avocado, cheese, and vinaigrette. You didn’t eat a hamburger, you ate a lean beef patty on a wholewheat bun, with ketchup, pickles, lettuce and tomato.

It’s time for you to know what food is in your food, and how what you eat affects your body, for better or worse.

I’ve seen outrage everywhere about becoming obsessive about food, and I want to say now, I’m not encouraging that at all. I do however think it’s important that you guys get interested in what you’re eating, and get informed about what it can do for you, instead of simply dealing with the effects of what it does to you.

Here are a few tips that might help:

1. Read the ingredients list
Generally speaking I would advise you to skip most things that come in a jar. I once tried to make a pasta with jarred asparagus. It was bad. It was so bad. Anyway, that aside, before you buy anything that comes in a jar, can, or squeezy package, then read before you put it in your basket.

It can seem like a tedious job but it’s worth it, and once you’ve compared a couple different brands of the same food, you’ll see how. For example: one brand of mustard might contain water, sesame seeds, sugar and vinegar; whereas another might contain water, sesame seeds, white wine, salt, lemon juice, and a preservative. These might seem like negligible differences, but calories, carbohydrate and fat levels can differ massively between both. You’ll never know until you check.

2. Buy your ingredients and cook your meals yourself
One of my favorite meals is southern fried chicken. ‘But how can you eat southern fried chicken and lose weight?’ you may ask. DIY. I make my own, duh. Yes, it takes longer to arrive on my table but it’s well worth the wait. Buying all non-processed ingredients (oats, chicken, eggs, chili, garlic, salt + black pepper) means I know exactly what I’m eating, and I can skip things like buttermilk, white flour, and butter, that add extra fat, and unnecessary calories.

3. If the food has cooking instructions that read ‘microwave’ or ‘oven’, it’s best to skip it
I know it’s 3am and you want pizza, and you want pizza in 15 minutes, but you can actually do this yourself. Here’s what you need: A tortilla, tomato puree, ready grated cheese, basil, and any other toppings you want to add. The best thing about this method is that you can cook it the microwave without all the preservatives and oils you would have found in a microwave pizza. Who cares about 15-minute pizza? You can do this in 5.

/Femi, The Girl Who Hates Working Out

RELATED: What We Think Health Is vs What It Really Is

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