What to Read Next

Paula Deen Attributes Her 36-Pound Weight Loss Success to ‘Moderation’ and ‘Normal Portion Size’

Suzy Byrne
The Juice
January 3, 2013
View photos

Nearly a year ago, Paula Deen announced that she was living with type 2 diabetes. Since then she has shed a total of 36 pounds – and she’s keeping off the weight.

"It's about moderation,” the 65-year-old Southern chef says in the February issue of Woman’s Day. “I just needed to learn to eat a normal portion size and not overindulge.”

See More of Paula Deen’s Diet Rules in Woman’s Day

In addition to regularly walking on a treadmill, she has overhauled her diet, with an emphasis on portion control. The foodie still eats many of her favorite things – including her famous peanut butter pie – but she does so on a much smaller scale. "It's amazing how little changes will give you big results," she tells the magazine.

Read The Paula Deen Interview in Woman’s Day

While the the 5-foot-6 foodie’s typical dinner used to include chicken fried steak, mashed potatoes with gravy, green beans with bacon, and biscuits that were “so good – I'm not gonna lie," she tells Woman’s Day, her plate looks much different these days. "Now we do a 3-oz portion of steak, which my husband, Michael, weighs on a scale, and I'll sear it in a skillet or put it on the grill. We'll sauté the green beans but without bacon. And maybe a tomato salad with onions. No bread!"

A Look Inside Paula Deen’s Home

Deen hasn’t completely changed though. "In my refrigerator, there's no light mayonnaise," Deen says. "I'd rather eat less of the real thing and have it taste really good than have diet stuff that tastes awful." To offset things like real mayo, she eats plenty of greens – and enjoys every bite. "I'm on a Brussels sprout kick! They're selling them in those microwave steam bags, so I steam them, then put them in a frying pan with a little butter and olive oil until some of the outer leaves start getting a little brown. They're out of this world."

View photos

This new lifestyle is a drastic change for Deen, who built her food empire by sharing high-calorie recipes with her fans on her cooking shows and in her books and magazine. One of her most famous creations, The Lady’s Brunch Burger, was a hamburger topped with bacon and a fried egg on two doughnuts – and let’s not forget the Twinkie Pie or Deep-Fried Stuffing on a Stick. But she had to rethink her way of cooking in January 2012 when she announced she had quietly been suffering from diabetes for three years. And her announcement – which was timed with an endorsement deal for a diabetes drug – caused a wide-spread backlash about her motivation for speaking out in the first place.

Five Healthier Recipes From The Deens

"Honey, I was in denial – for a couple of years," she tells Woman’s Day about why it took so long for her go public with her diagnosis and change her ways. But she’s not looking back. “I want to be here for my grandchildren. I think about them every day. My daddy was dead at 40. My mother was dead at 44. And look – I'm 65 and I'm still here! Go, 65! Waking up every morning is very exciting for me, to see what the day is going to bring."

For more of Deen’s interview, pick up the February issue of Woman’s Day, on newsstands January 8.

Bounce Back From The Holidays & Transfer A Balance

Holiday fun means holiday spending. Don't pay interest on your purchases for up to 15 months with the top ranked balance transfer credit cards.

Walden University - Ph.D. in Psychology

Earn your Ph.D. in Psychology and make a positive impact within your community, organization, and profession. Request free information!

Help Erase Credit Card Debt with a Personal Loan

Are you paying too much on your credit cards? Consider a Personal Loan to help consolidate your payments.

This Movie Deal Is Sure To Get Your Attention!

Get 4 Disney Movies For $1 With Membership. See Details. Exclusive Titles, Merchandise, Offers & Discounts. Plus, Free Shipping On Your Initial Order!

The Platinum Card®

Earn Premium Travel Rewards With Your American Express® Card. Apply!

Switch and save!

Switch to Progressive and you could save an average of $548.

Drivers With No Tickets In 3 Years Must Read This

United States drivers are surprised that they never knew this. If you drive less than 50 mi/day, you better read this...

Hilton HHonors™ Card

Earn 40,000 Hilton HHonors™ Bonus Points. Apply for Your Card Today.

How Much Could Drivers Actually Save By Comparing?

EverQuote's simple online tool allows drivers to identify the best rates for them. Find out how much you could be saving on auto insurance.

VA Mortgage Rates In 2016

VA Rates as Low as 2.75% (3.028% APR) 15 Year Fixed. Exclusive For Veteran & Military Takes 1 Min!

How Older Men Tighten Their Skin

Men, reduce the look of wrinkles, sagging skin and fine lines with this affordable and effective skin tightening treatment without leaving your home.

Drive part-time, full-time, or anytime with Uber!

As an Uber independent contractor you can get paid to drive your own car! We connect you with riders, and you work when you want to.

Banks Are Worried Homeowners Will Do This.

Homeowners are surprised and furious. If you owe less than $625,000 on your home, you better read this.

Read This Before You Buy Medigap Plan F

Plan F is the most popular Medicare Supplement plan, but there's another Medigap option you should consider.