Bravo Insider Exclusive!

Create a free profile to get unlimited access to exclusive videos, sweepstakes, and more!

Sign Up for Free to View
The Daily Dish Top Chef

Padma Lakshmi Reveals Her Diet Plan to Make Up for Eating 7,000 Calories a Day on Top Chef

Now that Season 15 has wrapped, the judge is making a few tweaks to her eating habits. 

By Jenny Berg
Do the Top Chef Judges Think They Could Win If They Competed on Top Chef?

For Padma Lakshmi, consuming delicious — and not always low-calorie — meals is all in a day's work. While filming Top Chef, the judge says she consumes some 7,000 to 8,000 calories a day! But, when the winning Cheftestant is selected and the show goes on hiatus, Padma makes a few tweaks to her daily eating routine. 

How to Watch

Watch Top Chef on Bravo and next day on Peacock.

Speaking to Access, Padma shared that she typically puts on some 15 pounds during filming. And she put on 17 pounds during Season 4 while in Chicago, home of deep-dish pizza. As it turns out, it takes a bit of effort — and saying no to pizza — to shed that weight. 

"To get the weight off it’s really hard, there are no tricks, it’s just eating healthy," Padma said. "I don’t drink alcohol. I don’t eat fried food. I don’t eat red meat. I don’t eat any dairy, except low-fat cottage cheese and non-fat yogurt. I don’t eat sweets. Oh, and I don’t eat flour." 

But, there are plenty of things the foodie does keep in her diet. Among her top picks for eating clean: "I eat a lot of vegetables and fruit," she said. "I eat fish and chicken and shellfish. I also eat a lot of lentils and beans. When I’m not on the show, I’m pretty plant-based. I was raised as a vegetarian in India and in America. We had a vegetarian home. I didn’t really start eating meat until I was a teenager, so I’m used to eating like that. It’s hard for your body to process meat.”

The mostly plant-based cookbook author also has a fashion tip to prevent looking like a piece of meat. "I have clothes from a size four to a size fourteen, from when I was pregnant, and go up a size,” she said. “No one is looking at your tag. It’s better that it fits you well — everyone tries to squeeze in one size of jeans, it just makes you look like a sausage.” 

Watch Padma explain her eating habits, below: 


Any health-related information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of a physician or other qualified health provider for any questions you may have regarding a medical condition, or before embarking on any diet, exercise, or wellness program.

Want the latest Bravo updates? Text us for breaking news and more!