Dancing With the Stars

Ricki Lake: Dancing Does Wonders for My Arms

10/17/2011 at 01:00 PM EDT

Ricki Lake started dropping inches from the get-go while training for Dancing with the Stars, and now her progress continues.

"I've lost a lot of inches all over," the actress and TV host, 43, tells PEOPLE. "Definitely in my arms, and my arms were particularly one of the things I hated most about my body, so it's nice to see them slimming down."

She also says she doesn't expect to be Hollywood thin – and names Chynna Phillips and Jennifer Grey as examples – but aims to do what she can.

"I'll never look like these women and these professional dancers," she says.

But she does admit to having a prop under her clothes. "I'm wearing Brooke Burke's Baboosh thing," she said during a practice session, referring to a belly wrap from Burke's Baby Baboosh line. "Because it helps me with my posture, and it also makes me sweat."

She says after dancing five hours a day with partner Derek Hough, "I'm exhausted. I'm committing to this 110 percent ... coming in with a good attitude ... and going home and eating a balanced meal. It's really that simple."

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