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It’s awards
season – which means stars are under pressure to rock the red carpet. Carrie
Underwood looked amazing at the GRAMMYs – wearing a sleek Nicolas Jebran black
gown with a sweetheart neckline. Now, Carrie’s trainer, Erin
Oprea
, has written a book, The 4x4 Diet, that offers those same
fitness tips Carrie used to transform her body into awards season shape. 

 

Oprea says they’ve been preparing with “clean eating, watching
sodium, watching starches – and not just Carrie, but also Lee Ann Womack and
Hillary Lindsey. It’s hammering down on the cheat meals, cutting back, and
buckling down.”

 

 

ETONLINE

ETonline chatted with Oprea to get real-world tips on losing
weight, slimming down belly fat, and increasing your energy.

 

PICS: Carrie Underwood Works Out With Her 5-Month-Old Son Isaiah

 

1.

Get
a Fitbit or a Step Counter

 

 

“Make 10,000 steps a day your goal. A lot of people don’t realize
how sedentary they are,” Oprea warns. “Our bodies are built to move and our
bodies hurt because we sit all day, and the more we sit, the more we hurt, and
the more we hurt, the less we move, so it’s this big cycle you have to break.” 

 

Oprea is all about practical fitness steps, and she knows that achieving
10,000 steps in one lump sum during the day just isn’t feasible. “Who can do
that?” she asks. “Instead, get up in the morning and go for a 15-minute walk,
that will clear your mind, and get you awake.” Look for incremental gains -- if
you’re going grocery store shopping, park in a far spot. 

 

Be mindful, though -- if you are pushing a shopping cart or a
stroller, your steps won’t be counted. Oprea suggests, “I put my Fitbit through
my shoelaces, or if you’re on a bicycle, put your Fitbit through your
shoelaces.” 

 

2.

Cut
Starches at Night

 

 

If you feel puffy, heavy, and low energy in the morning, chances
are you ate starches late at night. Oprea advises to start eating starches
early in the day, so you can use the energy rather than store it overnight. For
dinner, swap pastas, rice, and potatoes for lean protein and veggies.

 

3. Cut Down Your Sodium 

 

 

Oprea says when people tell her, ‘I can’t lose this little bit,' sometimes it’s just the salt. Read the labels of your food, buy the ‘no sodium
added’ versions, and you’ll notice a difference in how your body feels, she
says. Oprea advises limiting yourself to 1,500-2,000 mg of sodium a day. 

 

4. Season Food Differently

 

 

If you do love salt, try Morton’s light salt as an alternative.
“I used to salt my pizza,” Oprea admits. Learn to season your food differently,
she says, by adding “cilantro, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika. Mrs. Dash
seasons are my favorite seasonings. They’re all no sodium.” 

 


WATCH: Carrie Underwood on Stage Talking About Her Son Isaiah's First Steps

5. Plan Your Alcohol 

 

 

It’s not practical for Oprea’s clients to cut alcohol completely,
so she recommends planning it out. “If you’re trying to have two drinks a week,
and you know you have five events a week, which ones do you really want to drink
at?” she says. Oprea suggests avoiding “the real sugary drinks and the heavy beers.” 

 

6. Multitask Your Exercise

 

 

If you’re a mom and are shuffling around to your kids’ sports
commitments, utilize that time! While at your children's soccer games, or
activities, bring a jump rope to their practices or do some high-intensity reps
during downtime. 

 

Hear the sweet story behind Carrie's amazing necklace from the  GRAMMY red carpet here: