Alexandra Burke's ''hectic'' work schedule caused her to gain three dress sizes.

The 29-year-old singer has revealed in 2015 she had piled on the pounds and gone from a UK size eight, which is approximately 28 inch waist, to a dress size 14, because her career meant she would skip the gym and ''gorge'' on late night takeaways instead.

Speaking about her rapid weight gain to Women's Health magazine, the 'Bad Boys' hitmaker said: ''By the summer of 2015, I'd piled on three dress sizes over two years, going from a size eight to a 14.

''My hectic tour schedule meant that I'd often skip the gym, miss meals and then gorge on takeaways late at night.''

At the time the 'The X Factor' champion - who won the talent contest in 2008 - wasn't ''overly troubled'' by her appearance because she in a ''happy'' romance and her career was blossoming.

She continued: ''I wasn't overly troubled by how I looked - I was in a happy relationship with my boyfriend Josh Ginnelly and my career since 'The X Factor' was going brilliantly well.''

But it wasn't until she thought about her late mother Melissa Bell - who tragically died in August this year - battle with type two diabetes she decided to take action and lose weight.

She explained: ''The evening my dress ripped while I was on stage performing the lead in 'The Bodyguard' musical, I knew something had to change.

''My mum has type two diabetes, which is associated with obesity, and had been unwell, so I knew that it was time for me to get healthy. I knew if I didn't, I'd risk developing diabetes like my mum.

''As a teenager, I ate healthily and was sporty at school. But now I needed help structuring my chaotic eating. I started eating six small meals-a-day: porridge for breakfast, soup for lunch, a dinner of chicken or fish, with salad, and fruit and nut snack in between. I suddenly had so much energy from eating regularly - essential when I was performing on stage at night.''

And Alexandra, who is currently competing on this year's 'Strictly Come Dancing', has started to work out almost every day in the week to maintain her slender frame.

She said: ''Healthy eating encouraged me to kick-start my gym routine. I now work out five or six times a week and my training schedule never changes, not even when I'm on holiday...

''Two years later, I'm three dress sizes smaller and two stone lighter, and I've built up muscle.

''It's been a slow process but the rewards are for the long term.''