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Low-carb diet, Zumba dance workouts fueled Jordin Sparks' 55-pound weight loss

Jordin Sparks' 55-pound weight loss due to low-carb diet and Zumba dance workouts
Kevin Winter/Getty Images, Jordin Sparks Instagram

Singer Jordin Sparks has maintained her impressive 55-pound weight loss since 2011 with a low-carb diet and rigorous cardio workouts.

The 6-foot-tall Sparks, who once weighed more than 210 pounds, now weighs 155 to 161 pounds and feels better than ever.

“I go anywhere from 155 to 161, so I'm right around there," Jordin told the Today Show. “It feels really good. Yeah. That’s how much I weigh, Hollywood."

Low-Carb , High-Protein Diet

Sparks said she tried every fad diet to slim down, including an extreme version of the vegetarian diet and the Master Cleanse juice fast. She found the winning formula was simply to eat less, make healthier food choices, and cut back on carbs, especially after 5 p.m.

Jordin usually starts her day with a protein shake or bar and an apple. For lunch, she has arugula salad with grilled chicken, lemon, and olive oil, and for dinner has steak and salad. She usually snacks on Greek yogurt.

Jordin, who once couldn't do a single sit-up, now makes exercise a part of daily routine. Sparks runs, does Pilates and Zumba dance workouts, swims, boxes, hikes and does fat-torching circuit-training sessions.

Sparks, who won "American Idol" in 2007, is proud of her weight loss, but said she was happy with her looks even when she was heavy. "I loved the way I looked before,” she said. “I was comfortable with how I looked."

Wants to Encourage Positive Body Image

Sparks was motivated to slim down to become healthier, not to get skinny. "A lot of it has been really focusing on becoming healthier," she said. "It wasn't about being a zero or anything like that.”

Jordin said overhauling her diet and committing to regular exercise has not only changed how she looks, but how she feels about herself. She hopes her transformation will inspire other women to take charge of their health.

“I know that there are some women who struggle to even look themselves in the mirror,” she said. “And I hope that those women who are struggling can watch this and go, ‘You know what? I'm OK with who I am. I'm beautiful in my own way.’"

Sparks, who once wouldn't be caught dead in a bikini, now proudly shows off her sleek swimsuit body on Twitter to her 4 million followers. She's thrilled that the response she has received for her weight loss has been so positive.