Wearing a black wrap dress with a blue and pink abstract pattern cinched at the waist, Kelly Clarkson hit the red carpet for Audacy’s 10th Annual We Can Survive concert in Newark, New Jersey, on October 14. “She looked incredible,” says an eyewitness. “Her dress really accentuated her tiny waist.”

Immediately, fans started to wonder: How did she lose the weight? And how did she do it so quickly? Some even speculated that Kelly, 41, could be on the popular new diet drug that has taken Hollywood by storm. “But she’s not,” a source tells Life & Style. “She’s limited her sugar and carb intake. She’s cut out soda, chips, biscuits, cheese and tortillas. And she’s added exercise, mostly cardio, into her weekly routine. She’s lost about 40 pounds. She feels amazing.”

Her shocking slimdown comes after her nasty 2022 divorce from Brandon Blackstock. “Kelly, like many people, can be an emotional eater, so she gained weight during the divorce,” says the source.

In 2015, the American Idol alum also revealed she’d been diagnosed with a thyroid problem in 2006. Her weight fluctuated over the years as she welcomed two kids, River Rose, 9, and Remington Alexander, 7, with her ex. At one point, she shared she’d lost almost 37 pounds with the help of Dr. Steven Gundry’s book The Plant Paradox, which purports that some foods (including many plants) contain inflammation-causing proteins called lectins that can inhibit weight loss. “[The diet] is basically about how we cook our food, non-GMO, no pesticides, eating really organic,” she said in 2018.

New Body, New Life

Kelly has made other big changes recently to improve her health, including moving her talk show from L. A. to New York. “I knew I needed a fresh start and couldn’t be in L. A.,” she says. “I really wanted to be in Montana, but you can’t do a show from there quite yet. So I was like, ‘The only other option would probably be New York.’ I feel like a weight has lifted. That move was very needed. The thing I’m most excited about with Season 5, on a selfish level, is just showing up to work smiling and actually meaning it. That’s a beautiful gift that you don’t realize until you’re out of it.”

Kelly is also in therapy, she revealed this past summer. “I do love it. I actually started when I was married, you know, obviously having difficulties. It gives you so many tools for how to navigate certain situations. Also, you have somebody outside your circle that doesn’t know anything but just knows what’s happening in the now. That was really helpful.”

The goal for Kelly, says the source, is to be as healthy as possible — mentally and physically. “She wants to be healthy for her kids and look good for the new season of her daytime talk show,” says the source, “but she really did this for herself.”