Legs for Days! Carrie Underwood's Most Important Fitness & Diet Secrets
STOCK UP ON BETTER-FOR-YOU FROZEN FOODS
Sometimes whipping up breakfast seems unrealistic most mornings, and that's okay — it happens to the best of us, including the country crooner. She told Cosmopolitan: "I stock up on frozen breakfast burritos just in case I'm making something for [2-year-old son] Isaiah and run out of steam before I can make something for myself."
GOING HARD AT THE GYM DOESN'T HAVE TO HAPPEN EVERY SINGLE DAY
Though the superstar singer is known for her sculpted legs, she admitted in an interview with E! that she isn't working out as much as she used to — and she's fine with that. “I used to work out six days a week,” Underwood shared. “But now that’s a little rare, sometimes it’s one or two times a week and that just kind of has to be okay. And it is okay because whatever I’m doing that’s keeping me out of the gym is important.”
DO AS MANY LUNGES AS YOU CAN
"This is what people come to me for. Carrie Underwood has beautiful legs," her trainer Erin Oprea told PEOPLE. "That's what I love doing. So here's one thing I find absolutely so useful – lunges."
EAT HOME-COOKED MEALS WHENEVER POSSIBLE
"We hardly ever takeout or eat out because I don't like to," she revealed to Cosmopolitan. "It's not that I'm an amazing chef — I stick to the basics, like roasted veggies and stir-fries — but I like knowing what's in my food, and it's hard to tell when someone else makes it for you."
ALWAYS TRY TO SQUEEZE IN 20 MINUTES OF EXERCISE
The rule will come in handy when you're just not feeling a full-blown workout. As for what Underwood does? "I can go run for a little while, I can go do some tabata rounds, I can do something," the singer told PEOPLE. "Sometimes I'm like, my workout today is going be running around after my kid. If we're going to go to the park, why not run there and push him in the stroller? Then I get a good cardio session to and from, and then he gets to play, so everybody wins."
… BUT IF YOU'RE WAY TOO BUSY, DON'T BEAT YOURSELF UP
"I've gotten a lot better at doing what I can when I can, but also cutting myself a little slack," she told PEOPLE. "You have to!"
KEEP A FOOD JOURNAL
"I've kept a food journal forever, since I'm a bottomless pit, and I can out-eat everyone I know," Underwood told Cosmopolitan. "It's like there's no sensor between my stomach and brain that says, 'Hey, you're full, stop eating!' Once I recognized that about myself, I started tracking my diet, which helps me make better choices and pay attention to what I'm eating. I also write down which exercises I'm going to do later on."
PLAN YOUR WORKOUTS IN ADVANCE
RECRUIT A PINT-SIZED WORKOUT BUDDY
The singer's son, Isaiah, is a total yogi-in-the-making — and Underwood is all about it.
LIMITING CALORIES ISN'T THE WAY TO GO
"I wasn't eating enough calories, but it wasn't because I was trying to starve myself," she told PEOPLE of how she handled her health and fitness over a decade ago. "I just didn't know how many calories I should be eating." The strict vegan, who hits the gym for 90 minutes at a time whenever she can, added: "I weigh more than I did when I was at my smallest, but I have a lot more muscle tone."
DRESS UP FOR YOUR WORKOUT
Truth: A new set of stylish exercise gear can be the ultimate motivator. "I used to go to the gym in ratty old sweats, but if you already feel good going into your workout, it just kind of gives you that little extra lift," she shared.
DO IT FOR REASONS OTHER THAN PHYSICAL APPEARANCE
"It's all about realizing why you do it," she told PEOPLE of staying body positive. "I want to be a great mom and I want to be around for him for as long as I possibly can. I want to feel good about myself, I want to set that example for my child and make that a priority, because he's watching."