Dolly Parton is on the road for her Pure & Simple Tour through November, and she knows that when living on the road, it's important to eat well and right.

"I cook a lot of food before going and I put it in the freezer," she tells People. "I'll cook country things, like chicken and dumplings."

The country legend tries her best to keep healthy, because gaining weight makes it more difficult for her to fit into her stage costumes each night.

"I have to stay on a low-carb diet when I'm on the road because my show clothes are so tight and I can't afford to gain like I used to in the past," she admits. "There is nothing more uncomfortable than trying to wear those tight-ass clothes when you're too big for them!"

Like most of us, Parton admits she has to work at not indulging ... but she does cheat every once in a while.

"I have to work at it cause I'm a little old thing. I'm just 5'1 and I still have that country girl appetite, so I have to watch it," she confesses. "I just cheat on holidays and special days and then eat the things I really love."

Parton — an icon not just in country music, but in entertainment — knows that she makes an impression on people, especially young artists. She admits it can be frightening to be up on a pedestal, saying, "It is kind of scary in a way – you think, 'Oh, don't put me up on that pedestal! What if I fall off?'"

Adds the star, "But people know me pretty good. I don’t claim to be anything I'm not. I just am who I am and people accept that and that makes me feel good."

Dumplings also make her feel good.

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