padma lakshmi

Padma Lakshmi Reveals Strict 'Top Chef' Diet

Lakshmi cuts out alcohol, fried food, red meat, dairy, sweets, and flour

Top Chef star Padma Lakshmi divulged the secrets of the strict diet she adheres to when she’s off camera. During an interview with Access, Lakshmi told the hosts that while filming she consumes “at least seven to eight thousand calories a day” and that she makes sure to give herself “license to eat.”

“For legal reasons, I have to make sure I try everything, so I just give myself license,” she told Access. “As women, we’re conditioned to try and do everything, and you can do everything — you just can’t always do it at once.”

But the way that she eats on the show has definitely influenced the way Lakshmi eats at home. The TV host claimed that she has gained anywhere from 15 to 17 pounds while filming, and that to get it off and keep it off afterward is “really hard.”

“There are no tricks,” she said. “It’s just really eating healthy.”

“I don’t drink alcohol,” the 47-year-old began. “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.”

However, there are foods the Top Chef host does eat. “A lot of vegetables and fruit. I eat fish and chicken and shellfish,” she revealed. “I also eat a lot of lentils and beans. When I’m not on the show I’m pretty plant-based.”

Thinking of following a more plant-based diet? These vegan alternatives are so good you won’t miss meat or dairy.

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