Don't use that four-letter word around Paula Deen. No, it's not a swear word; it's the word "diet."

Though the celebrity chef dropped 40 pounds before joining Dancing With the Stars this season, Deen tells E! News she doesn't like to use that word. In fact, she hates it!

"I hate the word diet. I don't even want to say that word with people as I'm trying to help them because you automatically start out feeling deprived and beaten," she says during a break from rehearsals with her DWTS partner Louis Van Amstel. "My favorite word in my new lifestyle is moderation. You know, we can have a cookie. It's that other five that we have that do the damage."

Deen, 68, recently released Paula Deen Cuts the Fat, which made the NY Times' best-seller list in its first week, and in the new cookbook, Deen took some of her classic recipes and "shaved down to show people that you can make these same, wonderful dishes but still keep them clean."

That approach to clean-eating and moderation is what helped Deen to drop 40 pounds. And it took that weight loss to give her the confidence to finally join DWTS after years of passing on the opportunity to join the ABC reality hit.

"This was either my fourth or my fifth year being invited to do the show, and I very quickly said no every year," Deen reveals. "And so I dropped 40 pounds and then when this invitation came in, my team was so happy and so I really accepted it for them and for my family. But I said maybe it would be doable now that I gotten four 10-pound bowling balls off of me, maybe I could struggle through!"

To hear more from Deen about her DWTS experience, including why 1989 was her pick for her most memorable year ever, watch our interview with her and partner Louis Van Amstel in the videos above!

DWTS airs tonight at 8 p.m. on ABC.

Paula Deen, Cookbook

Paula Deen Ventures

  • Share
  • Tweet

We and our partners use cookies on this site to improve our service, perform analytics, personalize advertising, measure advertising performance, and remember website preferences. By using the site, you consent to these cookies. For more information on cookies including how to manage your consent visit our Cookie Policy.