American Idol winner Kelly Clarkson lost an amazing 30 pounds in six months by eating smaller portions and doing lots of cardio exercise.

While Kelly, 29, has always insisted she’s happy with her curves, the Grammy winner decided to slim down after she began dating fitness-minded talented manager Brandon Blackstock, 35, the son of her longtime manager.

While reducing portion size has been critical to her weight loss, exercising five days a week has also helped. So what exactly is Kelly’s workout routine?

“I do cardio. I run,” Clarkson tells the July 2012 issue of Redbook. “I strength-train using my own body weight. I don’t like free weights, because I build muscle easily.”

While Kelly’s thrilled with her weight loss, she has no intention of starving herself down to a size zero.

“Really, what I try to instill in my fans is to be healthy and happy,” says Kelly. “I have no desire to be super-skinny.”

The best part of working out is how strong and healthy it makes her feel. “It’s very empowering,” she gushed.

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