Mr. Bad Food feels a need to come clean this holiday season. Not only do I watch American Idol, but over the years I have used my home phone to cast votes for a select few contestants. The only eventual winner I voted for: Carrie Underwood who took top honors in Season 4.
So why I am risking my Man's Club membership with such a confession? The truth is I was seeking a lead-in for today's blog on Carrie's fitness and diet secrets!
The gorgeous queen of country music discusses all aspects of her life in the January issue of Self magazine, but I'll key in on her comments about eating and exercising since they hit close to home for me and my Diet-to-Go family.
Carrie is an acknowledged vegetarian... someone who appears to be blessed with a body that doesn't require much maintenance. Yet she admits to the occasional problem.
"When I gain weight, it's in the spare-tire area," she tells Self. "I've told trainers abs are a physical impossibility for me. And every single time, they're like, 'Well, we'll get you abs!'
"So do I have them? No! But they're as flat as they're probably going to get. Push-ups work out everything. If you do them right, you'll feel it in your abs. I do four sets of 10 to 20."
In a sick sort of way it is a comforting thought to know that even the beautiful people have flaws.
Carrie's Workout Tips
So how does Carrie -- someone constantly on the go with touring and recording -- find the motivation to exercise? In the Self article she advises that you...
1) Make exercise accessible
"I have Exercise TV on cable. Jillian Michaels's videos will kick your butt. She's my trainer and she doesn't even know it!"
2) Work toward an event
"Everybody has things they want to look nice for: anniversary, birthday, reunion. I'll think to myself, 'Oh, that award show is coming up.' Or... 'I have a photo shoot in four days!' It's nice to set goals."
3) Revel in success
"I love it when I feel good about myself. I'll look at a photo and think, 'My arms look great!' And then I go work out my arms. Once you're enjoying things about your body, you realize how much you want to keep them that way or make them better."
So what about the dieting part of this diva's daily routine? I was amazed to find a farm girl from Oklahoma won't eat meat.
So how does the vegetarian stay fueled for her high-octane life?
Carrie's Food for Thought
1) Eat for energy
"If I eat too much before a show, I just want to sit down. Too little, and I'm starving. So I eat something small, like Quorn, a tasty meat-free protein, and green beans."
2) Keep a food diary
Carrie says she's been tracking her intake for three years. She counts calories regularly to stay on top of things.
"Once you realize, it's like, 'No wonder I've plateaued! No wonder I've been gaining weight!'" she says. "Little things really do add up."
3) Enjoy your favorite foods, healthfully
A few years ago Carrie admitted, "My food indulgences are pizza, and I love... cheese. I have a big problem controlling myself with the cheese."
Her favorite recipe for a healthy, 250-calorie personal pizza: 1 Flatout wrap with 1/4-cup sauce, 1/2-cup fat-free or 2% cheese and loaded up with veggies.
As I wrap up this column, I hear the angelic strains of Carrie singing her huge hit Before He Cheats... Is it a holiday miracle? Nope! It's just an Ellen rerun playing in my distant family room!
Merry Christmas to all and to all a good life!
You'll find more great insights on Carrie Underwood in the January copy of Self magazine.
Author: John McGran