Kelly Rowland doesn’t like to fool around. In fact, the best way for her to stay on track is by never slipping from her healthy lifestyle. The new The X Factor judge and former Destiny’s Child singer opens up in the new issue of SHAPE about how she keeps herself mentally and physically grounded. That killer body? She has to work for it, and work hard. “I work out five or six times a week. I feel better, look better, sleep better,” she says. “As I’m getting older, the Rowland family trait of having bigger bottoms is taking its toll on my hips and butt. The other day, [my trainer] had me doing squats that were so hard I wanted to kill her. But my behind is getting higher and tighter. Exercise really does change your body.”
And when it comes to food, indulging is not typically an option. The star has found ways to swap her favorites for healthier versions that please her just the same. “When I want a steak, I grill some Portobello mushrooms and put a little goat cheese on them,” she says. “And I’ve learned to satisfy my sweet tooth by replacing Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups with half a tablespoon of almond butter on half a banana.”
All of her hard work can be seen in the new season of The X Factor, premiering September 11 & 12 at 8/7C on FOX, where she takes on the role of mentor with Simon Cowell. “There are so many people who have given me wonderful guidance over the years. I can’t keep information that might be helpful to others all to myself,” she says.
The advice she’s received has certainly worked considering her stellar success. The star just released a new album Talk a Good Game, which includes a very personal single "Dirty Laundry." “When I was writing [the song], I thought my story of abuse was too personal to share, but my manager reminded me that so many women are in similar situations—and that as an artist I’m supposed to be vulnerable.”
For more on Kelly’s new music, fitness favorites, and go-to playlist, pick up the October issue of SHAPE, on stands and iPads nationwide on September 13.