Looking to shape up in the New Year? Tracy Anderson has got you covered! The fitness expert and creator of the Tracy Anderson Method has trained everyone from Gwyneth Paltrow to Jennifer Lopez—and now she’s sharing her best fitness and diet tips with PEOPLE.

—Gabrielle Olya

Be honest with yourself about the body you want

Have a real conversation about where you’re at with your health. You need to find exercises with some sort of strategy behind them, a strategy for how you want your body to look and perform. Even if the CrossFit class down the street works with your schedule, for example, you shouldn’t be taking that class if you don’t want a CrossFit body. Similarly, if you want to look like a bodybuilder, then you’re not the best candidate for my DVD. Get real with yourself. Understand how you move. For help finding your personal fitness strategy, use my new streaming program or my Metamorphosis program.

Exercise five to seven days a week

If you don’t work out one day, you’re going to stay the same or gain weight. It’s fine if you want to give yourself a day to rest, but know that as long as you’re not exercising in a way that’s invasive to your body, you can exercise seven days a week. It cracks me up when people say, “How long do I have to commit to this exercise program?” or “How long until I can just do this two to three days a week?” That’s not reality. We need to get used to taking care of our bodies. To put it in perspective: We spend five minutes a day brushing our teeth, and teeth are tiny in comparison to the rest of our bodies. So if teeth take up five minutes of your day, the rest of your body can take up 30 to 60 minutes.

Photo: Raskind & Smallz/PEOPLE Great Ideas

Diet and exercise go hand in hand

The biggest mistake my clients make is saying, “I need to lose weight before I work out.” You never want to just “diet” weight off before you start working it off. Exercise is part of it! If you have weight to lose, you have to train yourself to be good at exercise. And diet is definitely important, but it’s not about calorie restriction—it’s more about eating whole and organic foods. You should enjoy foods that are life-giving instead of damaging to your body. Avoid processed foods, and include foods that as are as close to nature as possible, as well as greens and superfoods like mulberries. I eat organic chocolate every single day.

A good playlist can be the key to a good workout

I love music so much! Working out to music is something that people need to do. On my workout playlist right now: “Live Forever” by Travis Barker, “Courtesy” by PRhyme, “Divine Sorrow” by Wyclef Jean, “Got Love” by Tove Lo, “Dangerous” by David Guetta, “I Own It” by Nacey, “Style” by Taylor Swift, “0 to 100” by Drake, “Smooth Criminal” by Michael Jackson, “Booty (Remix)” by J. Lo, and Bleachers’ album.

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