It seems like "Top Chef" TV host Padma Lakshmi leads a perfect life: Eat delicious food, wear fabulous clothes and stay slim. Right? Wrong, says Padma, who is now confessing that she gains two dress sizes every season of the cooking show, reported the Huffington Post on October 24.
"I love food way too much to starve myself just to look good," Padma declared. "I will put in the work at the gym so I can enjoy what I eat."
But Padma does pay the price for indulging after each season, when she shifts to clean eating and lots of exercise. Her post-filming diet consists primarily of "no's."
After each season, Padma sticks to a low-carb diet with "no meats, no sweets, no alcohol, no cheese, no fried food, no wheat. And I work out five days a week, boxing three days, lifting weights the other two."
But Padma learned a lesson when she tried to lose her baby weight. Padma is normally a size four. But when she was pregnant with Krishna, now three-and-a-half, Padma wore a size 14.
"It took 13 months to get the weight off. It was hard," she said. "What's interesting, though, is that, in my experience, men don't want skinny girls. When I was a size 14, I got much more attention from men than I do now."
As a result of that recognition, Padma has a more relaxed attitude about gaining weight than more celebrities.
Reflecting on gaining weight during "Top Chef," Padma said, "I get bigger for me, then I lose weight."
In a typical season, the "Top Chef" queen admitted that she gains about 15 pounds in six weeks. And it takes twice as long to shed the weight.
"I take like 12 weeks to lose it because it always takes longer to lose it. I love the food and I love my job and it's worth it," she said cheerfully.
Padma loves food so much that she's even authored a cookbook: "Tangy Tart Hot and Sweet: A World of Recipes for Every Day" (click for details).