Singer Ciara. (Picture: Reuters)

Singer Ciara has lost 9kg since the start of her career and admitted she didn't get properly into her fitness before she was in the spotlight.

The Like A Boy singer says it wasn't until 15 years ago when she first emerged on the music scene, that she started to follow a strict meal plan of five small plates a day.

Ciara told PEOPLE: "When I first started in my career, I weighed 9kg more than I weigh now. 

"That was the first time I got introduced to eating five small meals a day to impact my workout.

"When you're eating small meals, your body starts to function like a well-oiled machine. 

"You're using the restroom regularly so your body is really on clock."

The Level Up singer - who has the help of personal trainer Decker Davis - claims eating smaller meals still works for her today, and shared that her secret to good health is to drink a lot of water.

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Ciara said: "I literally drink a gallon and a half a day. "It's amazing how you can work out hard all day, but if you don't eat right you won't see the results you want to see and if you don't drink that water you won't get the results as fast as you want to get them."

The '1,2 Step' hitmaker - who has two-year-old daughter Sienna with husband Russell Wilson and five-year-old son Future Zahir with ex-partner Future - focuses on jump training, cardiovascular work, and weight lifting to help her hit her target areas. 

When working out with her husband Russell, she said: "It's ... what I like to call 'good love competition'. "We motivate each other and it's really fun."

Ciara previously admitted being healthy is "a way of life" for her and she always tries to raise the bar higher when it comes to her own fitness.

She said: "I feel like it's all about your own personal understanding and expectations that you have of yourself. I definitely, in my mind, want to always raise the bar high because being healthy has to be a way of life for me. And that's the level I set. I don't want to set a level where I am trying to make other people happy, either.

"I think it's important to always raise the bar high, keep the bar high in life for whatever you're trying to achieve because that's gonna ultimately allow you to keep doing bigger and better things. I think it boils down to your own understanding of what makes you feel beautiful."