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How Ciara Dropped 60 Pounds in 4 Months

Our kickass September cover girl Ciara has come a long way from Goodies—her 2004 debut, chart-topping album. In the past year alone, 29-year-old has released her sixth studio album, starred in the NBC series I Can Do That, went on tour, and had a baby, just to name a few. (She also started a much-talked-about relationship with Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, a frequent fixture on her Instagram!)

We caught up the singer in the middle of the video shoot for her single "Dance Like We're Making Love" and found out how she stays strong and focused on success.

On losing her baby weight: "When I was pregnant with Future, one thing I learned quickly was, don't ever let a pregnant lady be hungry, because when I was, I was like the Tasmanian Devil! I indulged in all the good food the world has to offer. After he was born—when I couldn't exercise yet—I kept eating, and I gained 60 pounds. But as soon as the doctor said I could start training again, I was on the treadmill the very next day. Once I got back into it, I worked out two or three times daily. I would go to Gunnar [Peterson] first for my one-hour training session, then I'd have two more cardio sessions later in the day. That, along with a really clean eating plan, was how I lost 60 pounds in four months. It was a very intense program, and I was extremely focused on it."

On her love for boxing: "Gunnar puts me through an hour-long plyometric cardio circuit that always includes boxing elements. What's amazing is that you're getting three-in-one training: It's hitting your muscles; it's a cardiovascular workout; and it's a mental exercise. You have to be superfocused when you're boxing. After I've done a few rounds, I feel as if I can conquer the world."

Her dieting tricks: "First, I give myself a break. When I'm on a strict eating regimen, at some point I have to have French fries, a cheeseburger, and some pizza. And Oreos and vanilla ice cream! I also believe that drinking tons of water and flushing out your system is crucial for training. It really helped me drop the weight. I tell myself that water is my medicine and that to stay well, I have to drink a gallon of it every day."

Her hilarious dieting mantra: "'The food isn't going anywhere.' You know those days when you think you have to have a plate of pasta right now? When I'm trying to be good, I take a minute to ask myself, Do you really need to eat all this crazy stuff? It will still be around if you want it later.'"

On achieving success: "I truly believe that if you put your goals in writing, speak them out loud, and work for them, they will happen."

For more from Ciara, pick up Shape's September issue, on newsstands August 18, and go behind the scenes at her cover shoot.