Ruben Studdard Backs Out of Diet Early

11/04/2004 at 04:00 PM EST

Ruben Studdard Backs Out of Diet Early
JOE SCHMELZER
Some two weeks after starting an ambitious weight-loss regimen, 449-lb. American Idol champ Ruben Studdard has decided to ditch the diet, PEOPLE reports.

Studdard, 26, who had lost about 12 lbs., initially chose to follow a low-carb, low-cal, medically supervised meal plan and display the results on the TV show Extra. But "I didn't have time to go in every day to meet with a nurse like the diet required," says Studdard, who is now trying a home-delivery meal plan and, he says, working out three times a week with a fitness trainer.

He says the number on the scale is not important: "I've never had an issue with my weight. I have always had a good self-image. I'm happy with who I am."

In New York this week to promote his upcoming gospel album, Studdard visited a morning talk show before heading back to Los Angeles. Asked what he had for breakfast Tuesday, Studdard deadpanned, "Regis and Kelly," referring to his appearance on the show earlier that day. When pressed, he explained that he hadn't eaten at all that day – and it was by then mid-afternoon. "Nope, I ate nothin'," he said.

Now that he is pursuing a weigh-loss plan that doesn't require the daily check-ins, Studdard says, "Everything is cool." And what foods does he miss? "I don't really miss anything."

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