Paula Deen Addresses 30-Pound Weight Loss

Paula Deen Book Signing - P 2012
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Paula Deen Book Signing - P 2012

The Southern chef, who once sang the praises of butter, sugar and fat, now eats salads, baked fish and vegetables.

No more Krispy Kreme hamburgers for chef Paula Deen.

Deen, 65, spent her entire cooking career praising Southern dishes laden with butter and sugar, as well as deep fried foods. But she paid the price for her eating habits when she was diagnosed three years ago with Type 2 diabetes. And when she announced her diagnosis earlier this year, the celebrity chef caught flack for becoming a spokesperson for a diabetes drug in addition to selling an unhealthy diet.

Even fellow chef Anthony Bourdain criticized her for promoting an unhealthy diet, tweeting: "Thinking of getting into the leg-breaking business, so I can profitably sell crutches later."

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Six months ago, Deen got dead serious about her health. Since then she’s lost over 30 pounds and has gone public in People magazine on how she did it. "I do think differently now about food," Deen admits. "It took me a couple of years to get to this point. You can make a few small changes, they can add up to big results."

To lose the weight, she substituted fried chicken and mashed potatoes with Greek salads and baked fish. Her old favorite Krispy Kreme hamburger -- a half-pound beef patty topped with bacon and egg fried in butter and served on two glazed donuts -- is off Deen’s menu now.

"I'm redoing the way my plate looks. I'm doubling up on salad or vegetables and putting smaller portions of carbs and all that. I try to walk 30 minutes a day," she says.

But she still misses her old treats, which she says she now enjoys in moderation.

"It is tough, let's be honest," she admitted. "Absolutely, and once in a while you can eat two biscuits - you just can't do it every day three times a day."