Lean in and listen closely because I’ve found the secret to a fit and healthy body. You will never have to try another fad diet or ridiculous cleanse again. All you have to do is follow these three simple steps:

1) Stay active

2) “Eat Food. Not too much. Mostly plants.”

3) Read Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual

Sound too good to be true? I promise it’s not. Unless you have a medical condition, I’m going to go out on a limb here and say something that usually isn’t very popular to say on the internet. There is simply no reason to be overweight or out of shape. Excuses? Sure. But cold, hard facts? No way.

I naturally have a fairly slim physique but I’m certainly not maintaining it by eating fast food everyday for lunch. I work out a minimum of three days a week on average and I cook healthy meals at home. My philosophy has always been to live as cleanly as possible, which is what Food Rules is about. Author Michael Pollan looks beyond the studies and recommendations of scientists and government and offers tried and true rules that he says, if you follow, will lead to happier, healthier lifestyle. I highly suggested the illustrated version which includes 19 additional food rules and yes, beautiful illustrations by artist Maira Kalman to oogle over.

 Avoid Foods That Have Some Form of Sugar (or Sweetener) Listed Among the Top Three Ingredients

Place a bouquet of flowers on the table and everything will taste twice as good

I’m not a doctor, or a nutritionist, or a scientist. I’m just a girl who loves fried chicken and wants to have the body of a super model. If you combine what you read in Food Rules with at least 30 minutes of exercise a day, you’ll see a healthier happier you. If you’re already thinking “But I don’t have time”, stop it right now. I used the say the same thing until recently, I came to a point where I stopped believing my own excuses. Instead of watching an hour of TV, go for a walk. Instead of meeting your girlfriend for cocktails, ask if she wants to do a yoga class first. Too busy to cook on weeknights? Spend Sunday afternoon preparing food for the week.

There’s always an excuse waiting just around the corner. It’s up to you whether you want to huff and puff your way to it or run right past it.

Images: “Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual” 2011, Penguin