04/25/2012 at 08:35 AM EDT
Gladys Knight may not have won
the mirror ball trophy on Dancing with the Stars
, but she does have something to brag about – a slim new figure!
The soul singer, 67, says she started a health program shortly before partnering up with Tristan MacManus for the show, and since then, she's shed a whopping 60 lbs.
"[Tristan] helped [by] wearing me out," Knight told reporters with a laugh backstage after she was eliminated on Tuesday night, adding that Freshology's Getslim with the Stars program helped her lose weight.
"You've got to eat healthy and you've got to put a little movement into it," she says.
For breakfast, for example, Knight says her pre-rehearsal meals consisted of a PowerBar, a protein drink and fruit.
And while she walks away with a fine new physique, it's not the only thing Knight will take away from her time on Dancing
"[I won't forget] the family and friends I've made, the knowledge I've gained," she explains, while sticking close to MacManus. "It wasn't just about dancing, but getting to know different personalities and how they operate and carry themselves. There are so many life lessons here."