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We all know Ciara looks good, but according to the 33-year-old singer, she’s in better shape now, even after having son Future, 5, and daughter Sienna, 2, than when she entered the music industry singing “Goodies” in 2004.

“When I first started in my career, I weighed 20 lbs. more than I weigh now,” she told PEOPLE while at the Propel Co: Labs Fitness Festival event in Santa Monica on Saturday. “That was the first time I got introduced to eating five small meals a day to impact my workout.”

The results of consuming five small meals a day was substantial enough back then that the “Level Up” singer still practices eating this way today.

“When you’re eating small meals, your body starts to function like a well-oiled machine,” she said. “You’re using the restroom regularly so your body is really on clock.”

She supplements all the hard work her body is doing by drinking a lot of water, which we’re sure you’ve heard is important to do by now.

“I literally drink a gallon and a half a day,” she said. “It’s amazing how you can work out hard all day, but if you don’t eat right you won’t see the results you want to see and if you don’t drink that water you won’t get the results as fast as you want to get them.”

Of course, she also trains hard. Ciara notoriously worked out three times a day after having daughter Sienna to slim down after having Sienna. These days her workouts aren’t as numerous in number, but they’re still intense enough to keep her looking and feeling good.

“It’s a combination of plyometrics (jump training), cardiovascular work, and also weight lifting all in one kind of thing,” she said. “It’s a full on circuit that allows me to hit every target area.”

In a previous interview with PEOPLE, the star said she wasn’t very passionate about her fitness in those early days of her career, but decided to change things up when she realized what a difference consistency made for her physically.

“Just a few years back I decided to commit to my fitness and health lifestyle differently than I had before,” Ciara said in January. “I used to spot train a lot. I used to train for the occasion, like if I had to do a video, or if I had to get ready for tour, I would get ready for those moments, but it wasn’t as much of a daily thing for me.”

“What I learned by having that daily commitment — and it doesn’t mean that I go in the gym every day, because you need to let your body recover — but when I started to become more consistent, I realized how much better I felt, and how much easier my workouts became because it wasn’t so aggressive,” she added. “That’s game-changing on the body and the mind. I feel like I can conquer the world on the days I work out, and it’s very rewarding.”

Hit the flip to see for yourself the ways in which Ciara’s body benefited from her changes in activity and diet over the years, though it’s pretty clear. She’s certainly leaner and stronger now than she was in her early matrix-dancing days:

2004 MTV Video Music Awards - Block Party - Night 1

Source: John Parra / Getty

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