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