Yes, that’s right. I said, “Eat more, Exercise Less to Lose Weight.” Are you confused now? Everything you’ve been taught about weight loss and exercise is wrong.

Eating Free encourages eating homemade food, cooking, savoring flavors, and eating the food you love free of guilt. Here is a typical scenario: you are spending hours and hours at the gym, with the hopes to lose weight and complaining that you have no free time. Next you go to the grocery store and buy pre-made, pre-packaged foods or foods from the deli section or buy the take-out. Well guess what? You are most likely eating more sodium, fat, sugar, and calories than if you made that food at home from scratch. Therefore, stop busting your butt 5-days a week for an hour or more at the gym. Instead, spend time buying and preparing your food. Buy fresh food. Take time to cook the food at home in a controlled environment where you know exactly what oils, butters, sugars, and salts are going into your dish. Then, you can control what you eat. And you can Eat Free.

Also, when you put your own flavor into your meals, the food truly tastes better. All senses are enhanced: the house fills with delightful aromas, we can hear the sizzle of the cooking food, and different textures are present from different food items. All these components enhance our eating experience.

Exercise is still important for heart health, stress management, boosting those happy hormones, and maintaining our lean muscle mass. However, 80% of our weight is controlled by the foods and drinks we consume and the effort we put into preparing and planning that food. If you are not taking the time to do this, then skip the gym and go to the grocery store to manage your weight loss success.

Remember: the “E” in Exercise should be for Enjoyment and Entertainment, so treat it as such. The Food, our food preparation, and our food cooking should be prioritized. What are you cooking for dinner tonight?

Sarah Koszyk, MA, RD, is a nutrition coach at Eating Free who cooks with love and loves to eat.

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