Chaz Bono: How I Lost 43 Lbs. – and Hope to Lose More

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Chaz Bono's 2013 has gotten off to a healthy start!



The former Dancing with the Starscontestant, 43, has already dropped 43 lbs. since announcing his public mission to lose 50 lbs.beginning in mid-November.

He's now upped his goal to dropping a total of 80 lbs.



"I've been sticking to a really strict diet," he tells PEOPLE. "It's not any type of starvation thing. I'm just cutting out a lot of stuff and eating primarily protein and vegetables and fruit."



Bono, who weighed 250 lbs. pre-diet, first addressed his goal publicly with Dr. Travis Stork on an episode of The Doctors, after being approached by the show to get help.



"That episode was the most uncomfortable I've ever been on television in my life," Bono admits. "I had been wanting to lose weight. It was something I had been trying to do and failing at. This opportunity just kind of came in, and my initial reaction was 'absolutely not.' And after that, the more I thought about it, I realized I've been wanting to deal with this issue and somebody's willing to help me do it, so I decided to throw my pride away and get help."



The initial weight-loss process actually wasn't too challenging. He shed the pounds with the help of exercise and the Freshology delivered-meal plan.



"It hasn't been that long, but when you're a guy and you've got a lot of weight to lose, the initial stuff comes off pretty easily," says Bono, who'll return to The Doctors Wednesday to show off his weight loss. (check local listings). "You start to see results and you want to keep going. It's not to say you don't have cravings sometimes, but I'm very happy with how I'm looking and feeling. Especially when I'm traveling or I have to go out to eat or whatever, it's actually kind of easier than I thought to [eat healthy], so that's been good."



But now, the pounds aren't coming off as easily.

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He's looking good.