Paula Deen’s New Outlook on Weight Loss

03/16/2015 at 03:50 PM ET

Paula Deen Dr. Oz
Sony Pictures Television

Paula Deen is on a health kick, y’all!

After lying low following her 2013 scandal, the country chef is back with a new low-fat cookbook, a new podcast and a brand-new outlook on her diet.

Appearing on Monday’s Dr. Oz, Deen discussed her weight loss, which was spurred by a Type 2 diabetes diagnosis — one, Deen admitted, she didn’t believe at first.

But after a follow-up doctor’s appointment, the chef relented: ” ‘Okay, I really am diabetic.’ At that point, I went home to my kitchen and I threw out everything that was white. White bread, white rice, white potatoes, white pasta. I did that for four months, y’all! Just four months.”

The result? “I lost 35 or 40 pounds and now I’ve brought everything back into my kitchen, just like anybody’s kitchen,” Deen, 68, said. “But the thing that I’m really trying to focus on is moderation. Moderation. Moderation. Eat a cookie, just don’t eat six of ‘em! Because no one wants to go their whole life thinking they can never have anything good again.”

Paula Deen Dr. Oz
Sony Pictures Television

Famous for her love of butter, Deen has let some of her comfort-food favorites back in the kitchen – especially when she’s having a tough day. “I love to bake cakes and cookies. If I’m stressed, that’s one of the ways I handle it because I get lost in all those wonderful flavors, and then, poor Michael [my husband] comes in and has to face six or eight cakes,” she told Dr. Oz. “He said, ‘Oh, my god, you got to get through whatever’s bothering you quick.’ ”

But otherwise, Deen has been embracing healthier ingredients. “My son Bobby introduced me to yogurt. It’s got that same richness and consistency that you get from mayonnaise. But a lot, lot better for you. You can switch it out with yogurt, anything that calls for that kind of creaminess,” she said.

And how does she know the right amount to use? Well, for the chef, it has to pass the visual and taste test. “I do a lot of eye and tongue,” she explained, to which Dr. Oz replied,  “That can be misinterpreted, you know?”

Deen’s answer: “I know. A lot of things I say can be misinterpreted.”

–Michelle Ward

Share this story:

Your reaction:

Add A Comment

PEOPLE.com reserves the right to remove comments at their discretion.

Showing 1 comments

Barbara Mansfield on

I would like to receive Paul Dean book of trimming the fat

Sign up for our daily newsletter and other special offers.
    Choose your newsletters
Thank you for signing up! Your request may take up to one week to be processed.
    see all newsletters