Carrie Underwood Admits She Only Ate 800 Calories A Day After Being Called ‘Fat’ On ‘American Idol’

Carrie Underwood revealed in a new interview with Women's Health that 'haters became my motivators' after fans of 'American Idol' started calling the 2005 victor 'fat' on message boards, leading to her challenging diet.

carrie underwood
View gallery
Image Credit: Peggy Sirota for Women’s Health magazine

Carrie Underwood loves her fitness and healthy living diet. But it took the Country singer, 36, quite a few years to narrow what worked best for her. Having grown up on a cattle farm in Checotah, OK, Carrie made the choice to go vegetarian at about 13-years-old. Though she never really partnered it with any solidified form of exercise, she always felt comfortable in her skin. That is, until American Idol thrust her into stardom and message boards started taking a toll on her self-esteem. Carrie recalled in a profile with Women’s Health, published on March 2, seeing the comment “Carrie’s getting fat,” on a fan site during her time on the reality competition show. While she never really paid attention to that sort of unwarranted criticism, it did affect her.

“I shouldn’t care what other people think about me,” the “Drinking Alone” singer shared with the outlet. But she did concede that the hurtful words formed the catalyst that began her healthy living journey. “I was tired, and I kept buying bigger clothes,” she recalled. “I knew I could be better for myself, and I let my haters be my motivators.” After winning the fourth season of Idol, Carrie and her fellow contestants went on tour and she started paying more attention to what she was putting in her body.

Things were going well in the first few days of her lifestyle change. “I was sleeping better, and I had more energy for our grueling schedule.” But then she chose to take the diet one step further. By eating 800 calories a day, Carrie started to notice that her energy wasn’t as consistent and she would break with her diet a lot more often than she wanted to.

carrie underwood
Carrie Underwood poses for Women’s Health Magazine’s March 2 profile [Peggy Sirota for Women’s Health Magazine].
“I would ‘fall off the wagon,’ then feel terrible and repeat the cycle,” she described. “Your body is screaming out, ‘I need more calories, I need more carbs!’” Although she didn’t have the knowledge then, Carrie now has the help of her personal trainer, Eve Overland, and her nutritionist, Cara Clark to not only guide her in her fitness and diet journey, but also give Carrie the knowledge she needs to impart to other women.

carrie underwood
Carrie Underwood on the cover of Women’s Health Magazine [Peggy Sirota for Women’s Health Magazine].
Now a mother of two sons — Isaiah, 4, and Jacob, one-month — with her husband, NHL player Mike Fisher , Carrie knows her body better than she ever did! The Grammy winner still maintains an incredibly healthy lifestyle that works for her, but always includes some semblance of balance and fun! In closing her time with the outlet, Carrie shared that she believes “Physical fitness makes everything else possible.”

More From Our Partners