03/19/2007 AT 12:00 PM EDT
When Hilary Duff lost a noticeable amount of weight two years ago, she chalked it up to healthier eating habits
But now, the singer-actress, 19, admits she felt pressure from the media to get thin.
"I did get skinny," she tells Britain's Mail on Sunday
. "I've felt that pressure like everyone else in my position. When a newspaper comes out that says 'Duff Puff – she must have gained 15 pounds' or something like that, how would any normal person react?"
She continues, "It's so mean, but everyone keeps buying that stuff and talking about it, so it's not going to go away."
Duff, whose 2½-year relationship with rocker Joel Madden ended in November
, tells the magazine: "I felt like we were great together, and being on my own is great too."
After a trip to Europe to promote her new album Dignity
, Duff is now back home with her sister Haylie, 22.
The two live together in Los Angeles in a house they shared until recently with their mom, Susan – who just moved down the street, much to her daughter's chagrin.
"It was her idea," Duff says. "She said, 'I want to give you guys more freedom,' and I'm like, 'I don't want that. I want you here.' So I call her every day and I still always consult her before any big decision."