Carrie Underwood Explains Why She Enjoys Counting Calories

Fitness is a huge part of Carrie Underwood's life, and healthy eating is one of the main components in leading a healthy lifestyle. In a new interview with Women's Health, Underwood opened up about how she stays on track with her nutrition, sharing that she enjoys counting calories.

"I love rules," she said. "This is how I feel good about myself, and this is how I operate."

The "Southbound" singer added that she also counts her macros, which means tracking the amount of protein, carbs and fats she eats every day. She uses the MyFitnessPal app and has found that her sweet spot is 45 percent carbs, 30 percent fat, and 25 percent protein. "I do have my vice, and it’s red wine," she shared. "It's good for my heart, right?!"

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While she gave up eating beef as a teen after seeing calves she had grown up with get neutered, Underwood shared that she truly became conscious of her nutrition during her time on American Idol in 2005, when she saw comments on online message boards, including one that read, "Carrie's getting fat."

"I shouldn't care what other people think about me," she reflected, adding that the carb-heavy meals she was eating weren't helping her feel her best. "I was tired, and I kept buying bigger clothes. I knew I could be better for myself, and I let my haters be my motivators."

During her tour post-Idol with the other contestants, Underwood began counting calories and increasing her exercise time.

"I was sleeping better, and I had more energy for our grueling schedule," she said. Some days she at as few as 800 calories, and that restriction eventually backfired with periods of overindulgence and low energy levels.

"I would 'fall off the wagon,' then feel terrible and repeat the cycle," Underwood recalled. "Your body is screaming out, I need more calories, I need more carbs!"

Around 15 years later, the mom of two has created the fitness book she wishes she had had at the time, Find Your Path: Honor Your Body, Fuel Your Soul, and Get Strong With Fit52Life. Available on March 3, the book will include tips from the Grammy winner as well as meal plans, recipes and workout programs including Underwood's own Fit52 workout, which involves a deck of cards and exercises that can be done at home, and guidelines for keeping a weekly food and workout journal.

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"I want to be healthy and fit 52 weeks of the year, but that doesn't mean I have to be perfect every day," Underwood shared as part of the book's official description. "This philosophy is a year-round common-sense approach to health and fitness that involves doing your best most of the time — and by that I don't mean being naughty for three days and good for four. I mean doing your absolute best most of the time during every week, 52 weeks of the year."

Photo Credit: Getty / Axelle/Bauer-Griffin