Kelly Clarkson reveals how she ‘lost the weight’

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Kelly Clarkson is building a new life — and a new look — in the big city.

As a single mother to 9-year-old daughter River Rose and 7-year-old son Remington Alexander, Clarkson, 41, now calls New York City home. “I was very unhappy in LA and had been for many years. I needed a fresh start,” she tells PEOPLE in this week’s cover story.

Kelly Clarkson covers this week’s issue of People.

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Of moving her hit talk show from LA to NYC, “We told NBC, ‘I’m not trying to be ungrateful, I can’t stay here anymore for my mental health, for myself and my kids.’ They also weren’t doing well. For the last few years, I was just pretending and smiling and doing what I was supposed to do, but you can only do splits until you’re broke .

Non-work days typically now revolve around hitting the town with her kids (whom she shares with ex-husband Brandon Blackstock, 47). “We often walk the dogs in the park. We’ll go for ice cream because my daughter will tire me out. We’ll make slime and go to the museum,” she says.

Kelly Clarkson performs for the Today Show on September 22, 2023 in New York City.

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Clarkson credits her moving activities for helping her get in shape. “Walking around the city is quite a workout,” she says. “And I’m actually in an infrared sauna right now. And I just got a cold dip because everyone had exhausted me.”

As far as her diet goes, “I eat a healthy mix. I lost weight because I listened to my doctor – I hadn’t done that for a few years. And 90 percent of the time I’m really good at it because the protein diet is good for me anyway. I’m a Texas girl, so I love meat – sorry, vegans in the world!

Kelly Clarkson attends the SiriusXM Next Generation event on November 8, 2023 in New York City.

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The move to NYC gave Clarkson the opportunity to “make appearances” for her show, which had just been nominated for a Critics’ Choice Award for Best Talk Show (the only daytime show and female host in the category).

“I’ve been going through a very hard few years, and even in the first season it was hard behind closed doors,” she says. “Just being able to feel good going into Season 5 and knowing that To be able to make sure my kids feel good – and the dust has settled. Season 5 is my first season to really enjoy every minute of it.

What advice would she give her 15-year-old self now? “It’s going to be easy,” says Clarkson. “I’ve always been the kind of person who’s a little hard on myself. I would say, ‘It’s not going to happen soon, but eventually it will get easier.’ Around 41, you’re really going to bring your mates together.’ ,

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