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.
A Challenging Plan"It's getting harder," he explains. "I'm just kind of at a little plateau right now, which I think is pretty normal, according to my doctor. The weight was falling off at first, and now it's just coming off slower. The smaller you are, the harder it is to lose weight. The last 10 or 20 lbs. are really hard to get off. I would like to lose more than that. I'm still dropping, but I'm just not dropping like I was in the beginning, which was about 4 lbs. a week."
Despite the lull in his weight loss, Bono is continuing along strong with his journey.
"There haven't really been any bad parts to this so far, except certain stuff that I miss eating," he says. "But ultimately, I would much rather look and feel better than eat those things. Everything else has been really great. I feel better and when I look in the mirror, I like what I see better."
But when it comes to offering guidance to others going through the same thing, Bono will steer clear.
"I don't want to ever be that guy [to give advice]," he says. "I've struggled with weight my whole life. I don't ever want to be the guy to say, 'Just do this.' For me, it was finally getting to a place where I was willing to do whatever it took to deal with this. When you get to that point, then whatever way you choose to do it, it's going to work."
And Bono is adamant about keeping it off.
"I'm willing to kind of never eat the things I like again," he said with a laugh. "Never say never, and I know it happens a lot, but I really want to do everything I can to avoid gaining it back. I'm not going into it thinking I'm going to do that. I'm going into it thinking I'm too old to [expletive] around with that. I need to keep my weight down, moving forward, in order to be healthy."
He's looking good.