Carrie Underwood's healthy eating secrets

Our gorgeous January cover girl, country crooner Carrie Underwood, is a longtime vegetarian. But that's not what keeps her so sleek! She knows that being meat-free isn't a free-pass to nutrition nirvana. "Think of all the pasta you can eat, the pizza. You can do nachos and all sorts of cheesy things," she told SELF. So how does Carrie stay slim? Read on for her top 3 tips...

Eat for energy. "If I eat too much before a show, I just want to sit down. Too little, and I'm starving. So I eat something small,like Quorn, a tasty meat-free protein, and green beans."

See Carrie Underwood's style transformation!

Keep a food diary. Carrie has been tracking her intake for three years! She counts her calories on a regular basis, to see how it all adds up. "Once you realize, it's like, 'No wonder I've plateaued! No wonder I've been gaining weight!'" she says. "Little things really do add up."

See our tips: Carrie's stay-fit tricks!

Enjoy your favorite foods, healthfully. In 2007 Carrie told SELF "My food indulgences are pizza, and I love... cheese. I have a big problem controlling myself with the cheese." Two years later, it looks like she found a way to have her pizza and eat it too! Here's her recipe favorite formula for a healthy, 250-calorie personal pizza: 1 Flatout wrap with 1/4 cup sauce, 1/2 cup fat-free or 2% cheese and loaded up with veggies.

Want to know more about going veg? Check out SELF's guide to being a healthy vegetarian and these delicious vegetarian recipes!

Want to know more about Carrie's healthy habits (including how she gets such clear skin, her biggest pet peeves and her American Idol predictions)? Pick up SELF's January issue, on stands now!