Padma Lakshmi says staying thin after weeks of filming "Top Chef" and being presented with tons of delicious dishes isn't easy — and it's hard to keep off the pounds!
The 47-year-old host told Access Live hosts Kit Hoover and Natalie Morales that as she's gotten older, she gains even more weight than she used to during taping of the show. Padma says on average she's consuming 7,000-8,000 calories a day during the show and she's required to taste everything the's presented with, including stuff that's not usually on her diet.
So when the cameras stop rolling — she cuts down the calories ASAP!
"I don't drink alcohol. I don't eat fried food. I don't eat red meat. I don't eat an dairy, except low-fat cottage cheese and non-fat yogurt. I don't eat sweets. Oh, and I don't eat flour," Padma shared about her diet restrictions. "I am at my skinniest right now because I finished filming the show for a few months."
As for what she does eat? Padma says she prefers to stick to a plant-based diet because she was raised as a vegetarian.
"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," she dished. "I eat a lot of vegetables and fruits. I eat fish and chicken and shellfish. I also eat a lot of lentils and beans."
Outside of her diet allowing her to truly look her best, Padma says she also feels better about herself.
It's hard to believe Padma is really adding to her waistline during the show's filming — because she always looks fabulous. But she says she's got a special trick to make sure she looks fabulous even when she's a little heavier than her normal self.
"Go up a size," Padma explained. "It's better that it fits you well. No one is looking at your tag. Everyone tries to squeeze into one size jeans. It just makes you look like a sausage."