Friday, August 7, 2009

Staying Fit When Eating Is Your Job

“Padma Lakshmi, the model, actress and cookbook author, knows it would be hard to ask for sympathy for her occupational plight. While filming for “Top Chef,” the TV show for which she serves as judge and host, part of her job is to taste food from some of the country’s best chefs every day for five weeks. ‘That’s tasting 16 to 17 bites of each dish we test, each with 17 to 20 ingredients or more,’ she said in an interview. And because the contestants try to make their foods as delicious as possible, ‘they have a tendency to infuse them with more fat,’ she said. Each season, Ms. Lakshmi, 38, keeps two dress sizes on the set for when the weight starts to pile on: she is 5-foot-9 and typically she puts on 10 to 15 pounds a season. ‘I just try to cut myself a break — I know I’m going to gain weight,’ she said. ‘In my job, I eat the most when I’m working the most.’

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