How Nicole Scherzinger broke the diet cycle

Nov 21, 2011 at 8:37 p.m. ET

Nicole Scherzinger says she dieted from the time she was 14 years old but has finally figured out how to break the cycle. Here's what she told Shape.

Nicole ScherzingerNicole Scherzinger has a body many women would die for -- but she says crazy dieting and exercise are not how she got there.

The X Factor judge tells Shape, "I started jogging and counting calories when I was just 14. I've been on every diet you can imagine."

"By the time I was in the Pussycat Dolls, I was on the scale all the time.

It became my enemy because I noticed that when I exercised really hard, I'd gain weight."

The star says she has finally figured out the key to a perfect figure: everything in moderation.

"Now that I'm in my 30s, I've stepped off the scale -- I just go by how my clothes fit," she told the mag.

"I'm more accepting of my body and have learned to really embrace it. These days it's all about finding balance. My new motto is: 'Stay active, eat everything in moderation and stop being so tough on myself.'"

Skipping meals is not on her agenda. "Actually, I eat -- a lot!" she said. "Even with my crazy schedule, I never skip meals. I'll often have soft-boiled eggs, smoked salmon and whole wheat toast for breakfast; cold cuts, veggies and fruit for lunch; and usually chicken or fish with rice and more vegetables for dinner."

"But to really satisfy my cravings, I turn to my roots," she said. "I was born in Hawaii, so I love dried tuna dipped in soy sauce, kalua pig [pork cooked in an underground oven], banana pancakes with coconut syrup and chocolate-covered macadamia nuts."

"My gosh, I could gain ten pounds just talking about those foods."

Read the complete interview with Nicole Scherzinger in the new issue of Shape.

Image courtesy Shape