Sine last May when he was crowned Idol 5 champ, the 30-year-old has lost 22 pounds, slimming his 6-foot 1-inch frame from 215 lbs. to 193 lbs. In the March 26 issue of People, Hicks attributes the weight loss to ditching unhealthy eats for salads, brown rice and fish. He's also replaced the comfort of fried chicken with chicken-noodle soup.
"It's good for your throat," Hicks told People. "It's also comforting, but it's light."
He added that he also has a "serious exercise regimen," running for 45 minutes every other day. Of course he dons a hat so nobody knows who he is. "I've walked through a thousand fans and nobody notices," Hicks told People. With abduction from a Soul Patrol fan out of the equation, the country crooner said there's another reason why running could lead to his disappearance.
"I just take off running," Hicks told People. "I'm scared about running because I might not ever come back! I would be like Forrest Gump; Run all over the country... pop up in some cool coffee house in Seattle with just my guitar."
Currently on a 53-city tour to promote his self-titled album, Hicks is still trying his hardest to keep fit.
"The fans who come to my shows mean a lot to me. I want to give them a good look," he told People. "I use a lot of the stage as exercise. [My dance style is] signature me ... it's original and it's authentic. I wear jackets, and with those lights, I'm sweating off, like, two pounds a night!"
Still, when he gets a day off from touring he also takes the occasional break from dieting.
"[It's] kind of like my one sin day," Hicks told People. "I look for chocolate cake. If you're gonna do it, you might as well do it that way!"