After hosting and judging eleven seasons of Top Chef, you'd think the always-stunning and in-shape Padma Lakshmi had superhero genes. After all, the job requires that she constantly sample food made by the show's Chef'testants.
But now, she reveals that staying fit when she's filming isn't exactly a piece of cake. "It's not easy," she confesses to Hamptons magazine. "So much of what we were given physically has to do with our genetics and our luck. But I'm not that girl anymore—I've had a baby; I eat for a living."
So how does Padma manage to look so flawless when she's eating and judging all those amazing dishes? You guessed it: constant exercise. "I have a funny picture of myself that my makeup artist took on set—I'm wearing a black dress, but I'm actually doing push-ups backstage," she reveals. "I carry a jump rope in my bag. I work out whenever I can."
How about when she's not filming? Padma admits she takes slightly more extreme measures to speed up the weight-loss process between seasons. "Now that I'm not on Top Chef, I have gone into a major food detoxification. That means no wheat, no red meat, no cheese, no sweets, no alcohol, no fried food—and the last two I have to say are the most difficult," she says. "I usually gain 15 pounds in the time it takes for us to shoot Top Chef, and it takes me double the time to lose it."