January 02, 2018 08:00 AM

Mama June Shannon has a few weight loss secrets up her size 4 sleeve!

“It’s all about portion control for me,” Shannon, 38, tells PEOPLE exclusively in this week’s issue, on stands Friday. The reality star dropped 300 lbs. earlier this year from her onetime high of 460 lbs.

“It’s not easy to eat like you’re ‘supposed to’ and hit the gym all the time, but I’m just trying to maintain it the best I can,” she adds.

Watch the full episode of Mama June: How I Kept Off 300 lbs., streaming now on PeopleTVGo to People.com/peopletv, or download the app on your favorite streaming device.

Larry Busacca/Getty Images for GLAAD; Paras Griffin/Getty Images

In addition to making better food choices and working out whenever she can, Shannon admits that one of her secrets is that she sleeps in until 1 p.m. — and skips breakfast.

“This sounds bad,” she adds, “but I’m more of a snacker.”

  • Watch the full episode of Mama June:  How I Kept Off 300 Lbs., streaming now on  PeopleTV. Go to People.com/peopletv, or download the app on your favorite streaming device.

A typical snack for Shannon consists of grapes and cheese, and then for dinner she’ll make a healthy meal like “baked chicken and quinoa” or “baked pork chops, corn and beans,” which she describes as her go-to dish.

Perry Hagopian

And the reality star isn’t afraid to indulge her sweet tooth from time to time. “If I’m craving something sweet, Little Debbie jelly cakes are my favorite cheat snack,” she says.

RELATED VIDEO: Mama June Says Her Quest for a Revenge Body Became an ‘Emotional’ Journey

The reality TV star documented her drastic transformation on WE tv’s Mama June: From Not to Hot, in which she spent upwards of $75,000 to have gastric sleeve surgery, breast augmentation and skin removal surgery on her “turkey neck,” “bat wings” and stomach — where a combined total of 9 lbs. of skin was removed. The reality series returns for season 2 on Jan. 12.

  • For more on Mama June, pick up this week’s issue of PEOPLE, on stands Friday

“I get on the scale religiously,” Shannon says. “I fluctuate, but the most I’ve gained back is five pounds.”

“My legs are still a little bit fat and I have a jiggle-o and some cottage cheese, but I feel like I got what I wanted,” she continues,  adding that “when I look in the mirror, I’m happy.”


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