Carrie Underwood Ate as Little as 800 Calories a Day After 'American Idol'

How she turned around her fitness routine
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Carrie Underwood just released her own fitness manual and lifestyle app, but the country star didn’t always stay in shape in the healthiest of ways.

Underwood admitted she was consuming as few as 800 calories a day when she was on tour after winning “American Idol” in 2005. In an interview with Women’s Health, the now 36-year-old said reading online comments about her appearance contributed to her poor diet choices.

“I shouldn’t care what other people think about me,” she said. “I would ‘fall off the wagon,’ then feel terrible and repeat the cycle... Your body is screaming out‘I need more calories, I need more carbs!'"

Carrie says experience has taught her that the key to looking great the safe way is structure and rules. She eats three healthy meals a day and snacks smart, while occasionally indulging in dark chocolate and red wine.  And the exercise that’s required to sustain her demanding career? She also calls it her anti-depressant and anti-anxiety medication.

“That’s a part of my personality I need to be better with,” she said. “I’d love to sit in a bubble bath, but that’s not going to happen. My self-care is my gym time, and that’s a stress reliever for me.”

WATCH MORE: Why Carrie Underwood Will Never Wear a Triangle Bikini

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The new fitness manual is called “Find Your Path: Honor Your Body, Fuel Your Soul, and Get Strong with the Fit52 Life.” She created it with her personal trainer and her nutritionist. Here’s how the publisher describes it:

“Carrie shares her personal journey towards optimal health, from her passion for sports as a kid, to the pressure to look perfect and fit the mold as she launched her career after winning American Idol, to eventually discovering the importance of balance and the meaning of true health.”

An accompanying app is available for download on iOS platforms now. Underwood says it’s designed for busy people and their busy lives.

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