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How Carrie Underwood Stays Trim

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Mar. 24 2009, Published 7:55 a.m. ET

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When Carrie Underwood won American Idol in 2005, she also scored a slimmed-down figure thanks to her busy schedule.

“I don’t really have time to eat junk food,” the vegetarian said.  

Flash forward four years, and Carrie showed off her gorgeous gams during February’s Grammy Awards. Next up she’ll be baring her body at the ACM Awards in Las Vegas on April 5.

How does she keep her legs lean?

“My legs have always been really muscular,” the Last Name singer, 26, says. “Actually, if I work them out a lot, they can get, like, really big, so I do lots of squats and running. I work out four to six days a week. Even if I don’t do a lot, I just do cardio. It makes me feel better.”

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The Oklahoma beauty doesn’t always diet, but award shows provide meal motivation.

“I do so good when I have a goal,” Carrie says. “I’m like ‘I’ve gotta look good because I’ve gotta wear this, that and the other,’ so I’m really good but I’m so off-the-wagon right now.”

How does the three-time Grammy winner cope with the pressure to be thin?

“I don’t think -- for me, at least -- there’s a pressure to be thin. I think there’s a pressure to be healthy because I go on the road. Last year, we did 148 live shows. We did so many concert dates. We were out on the road for months at a time, so for me it was a pressure to be healthy for myself, because if I wasn’t, then I’d get sick or I’d have a lot of problems when I was on the road.”

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While Carrie doesn’t struggle with her weight, she steps up to defend Jessica Simpson – despite the fact she’s dating her ex, Tony Romo of the Dallas Cowboys.

“I‘m 5’3,” so if I put on five pounds, it looks like a lot more than it actually is,” she says of Jessica’s weight controversy. “I think she’s shorter than I am. The first thing I hear people say when they meet me is ‘oh my gosh, you’re so short, you’re so little’ because everybody looks so much bigger onstage and on TV and whatnot, so I think it’s kind of unfair.”

Watch OK!’s exclusive video of Carrie Underwood performing with David Cook during the American Idol Experience now open at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Florida.

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