Credit: Perry Hagopian

Name a diet, and Chelsea Settles, the star of her own eponymous MTV reality series, has tried it.

But when the 5-foot-8 recent college grad -- who once tipped the scales at 325 pounds -- decided to fully dedicate herself to healthy eating, she really saw results.

"I got focused," the 24-year-old reality star told Us Weekly of maintaining a strict diet of high-protein, veggie-filled meals and starting to exercise.

Though diet and exercise played an integral role in Settles' slimdown, the aspiring fashion exec reasons that the pounds really started coming off when she changed her mindset.

"I started to eat for the right reasons -- for fuel -- not because I was bored or emotional," she tells Us. "I'd never really believed I could change. But as soon as I visualized what I'd look like if I did and stopped making excuses, change happened."

Just nine pounds away from her weight loss goal of being under 200 pounds, Settles relishes all that comes along with her new flattering figure.

"I love looking in the mirror and appreciating what I see!" she says. "[It] feels like a dream."