Chrissy Metz tells PEOPLE she will slim down as part of her personal and professional arc, but not by "drastic" means

Life is imitating art for Chrissy Metz.

The This Is Us star confirms to PEOPLE that she will have to go on the same weight loss journey as her character Kate.

“It’s definitely a conversation that we’ve had, and it’s in my contract,” Metz tells PEOPLE, emphasizing that both she and Kate will be shaping up “in a healthy manner.”

In practical terms, that’s meant the 36-year-old actress “started incorporating a better eating regimen and started to do things personally, but not something so drastic because it’s going to be a lifestyle change not just for Kate but for me.”

Metz continues, “I have to be aware of not losing too much weight because of the show. … I want to do it in the right way. It’s a gradual process.”

Credit: Courtesy Cheryl McLean

Having struggled with her weight since she was a young girl, Metz previously told PEOPLE: “When I turned 30, I had this epiphany that my life is my own and my choices are my own.”

And one of those choices lately has been to take a tip from her super fit on-screen dad Milo Ventmiglia. She revealed to PEOPLE recently that his own fitness regimen has inspired her.

“Milo actually works out with a really amazing trainer who does this thing called Rise, and Milo’s been doing it for seven years and he doesn’t look too bad,” she said. “I’m really excited about starting that. I think it’s 35 to 40 minutes, and you don’t have to kill yourself to see results.”

The actress, who has embraced breaking out as an inspiration for body positivity since This Is Us premiered, made sure to emphasize in speaking with TVLine on Friday that “whether or not I lose weight or stay the same, it’s purely a choice of mine for health. Not because I think that plus size, curvy, voluptuous, big bodies aren’t attractive — because I think they’re awesome and sexy. … I’m not selling out the big girls. I don’t do that. That’s not me.”

This is Us airs Tuesdays (9 p.m. ET) on NBC.