The 4 Healthy Lifestyle "Rules" Carrie Underwood Lives By

Sometimes, celebrities are guilty of going to insane lengths to achieve their enviable figures. Some go the super restrictive route, others devote unrealistic hours to sweating it out with a trainer. Most of the time, no matter how you look at it, their methods don't translate well to the average lifestyle. We can understand why celebrities go to these lengths, in many ways, looking their best seems to be part of the job description, but it would be nice to come across a plan that can work for us too. A plan that doesn't require lots of money we don't have and hours of time we can't spare. Enter Carrie Underwood and her trainer Erin Oprea. The complete details of Oprea's plan are found in her book, The 4x4 Diet, but the basic principles are applicable to all of us -- not just the rich and famous. As Underwood explains in the book's forward, this isn't a "diet" but more a "lifestyle." And this is the exact theory we've been preaching all along: healthy eating doesn't require going on a diet, it requires changing your approach to food. carrieunderwoodB (1) Oprea's plan doesn't involve counting calories or reducing your food intake to dangerously low levels, it is about learning to eat clean foods and eating until you are satisfied. Here are 4 tips from Oprea that you can easily apply to your healthy living efforts:

1. Cut out starches at night

While you don't have to give up eating potatoes and bread, Oprea suggests you stop eating them at night. Eating healthy carbs, like brown rice, oats, and whole grain bread, earlier in the day will provide you with the energy you need to power through your busy schedule. "The second you tell someone they can't have carbs, that's all they think about. It becomes an obsession. Or it works for a while, then they eat carbs again for the first time and they can't stop and gain a lot of weight," Oprea says. At night, our minds and our bodies start to wind down, which means we are burning fewer calories than we are during the day. The extra calories we consume with these sorts of carbohydrates is more likely to be stored as fat when eaten in the evening. Oprea suggests you cap your carb consumption at 3 or 4 p.m. This, of course, doesn't mean that you can eat as many carbs as you want during the day. Make sure you are still making balanced meal choices.

2. Cut back on sugar

By now, you likely know that sugar is not your friend. When you start trying to reduce your consumption, you will notice it is everywhere! So frustrating. Oprea suggests you shift your focus away from tracking the "natural" sugars you are eating, like the ones you find in fruit, and cut down on "added sugar." Pay close attention to nutrition labels and avoid buy/eating anything that has more than 5 grams of sugar per serving. Be aware that baked goods, sauces, and sodas are often loaded with extra sugar AND sugar can hide under different names. Watch out for ingredients that end in "-ose."

3. Cut back on sodium

Like sugar, sodium works against your healthy goals. Oprea suggests keeping your daily salt intake to under 2,000 milligrams. Again, pay attention to labels. Packaged foods, deli meats, cheeses and breads are often really high in sodium.

4. Cut back on alcohol

You don't have to give up happy hour completely but if you want to lose weight, you will have to watch your alcohol intake. Alcoholic drinks are basically empty calories. They offer nothing in the way of nutrition but will give you plenty of calories. To help keep your weight in check, Oprea suggests limiting your alcoholic drinks to no more then 2 or 3 per week. Finally, celebrity diet advice we can all follow! Eating clean and healthy is easier than you might think. But if you are feeling unsure, the BodyRock Meal Plans can help! The plans include 30 days of healthy meal and snack options that will help you create a healthier lifestyle. We provide you with a weekly grocery list so all you have to do is buy the ingredients and follow the recipes. That's right, we remove  all the guess work. No more confusion, no more misunderstandings. Are you ready? Get the meal plan here! Have you made any of these changes in your own life? What differences did you see? Source: Cosmopolitan

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