“Sometimes when I’m filming ‘Top Chef’ I do get palate fatigue because you’re just consuming so much food. You’re not only consuming so much food, but you’re consuming so many different types of food,” she told FOX411’s Pop Tarts column. “But the reason I do what I do is because I have this ability to talk infinitely about food.”
Yet it doesn’t always have to be expensive, exotic and/or gourmet. Lakshmi counts fast food as one of her favorite indulgences, and admitted dinner hosts often get anxious when having her over for a meal.
“Especially if it’s at a private home and the host will be like, ‘I can’t believe you’re eating at my table.’ But when I’m not working, I’m not judging food. I only judge whether I want a second helping based on how full I am. I honestly could be happy with a plastic container of movie theater nachos,” she continued. “It doesn’t always have to be Chateaubriand. It can be a beautiful slice of pizza or turkey sandwich. I love pretzels and popcorn and all sorts of food."
Lakshmi is currently taking her passion for all things culinary to another level by partnering with Napa Valley winery Sterling wines in its national search for the Sterling Ultimate Host, a competition to find the host who can tackle any occasion with ease. A series of Sterling Wine-themed challenges will be issued to this brand’s Facebook community to put their hosting know-how to the test.
Making a living out of her love of fine cuisine also means the India-born beauty has to be extra cautious that the scales don’t tip too far one way, and unlike most Hollywood stars, Lakshmi isn’t afraid to admit she has to work super hard to stay trim and toned.
“(Keeping my weight down) is really difficult because I do consume a lot of food. If I splurge today and go out and have a huge cheeseburger with french fries and an ice-cream cone, than tomorrow I’m probably just going to eat a piece of grilled fish with veggies and some brown rice. Everything is okay once in a while; you just have to have balance. If you splurge one day, you make up for it the next day. Or you go to the gym that’s really how you do it,” she said. “I exercise a lot, I exercise much more than people think. I do have to work it, I’m lucky to have a good metabolism, but I do really work.”
And if you want to work out Padma-style, don’t skip the weight room.
“As women get older it’s really important to lift weights. I know a lot of women run out and just do cardio, and I certainly do, but you have to do both. So I jump rope, I’ll box, run up and down stairs, get on the elliptical, and run on the treadmill,” Lakshmi added. “But weights are equally as important, you actually burn more calories lifting weights than cardio. Just having a well-rounded exercise plan is the key – even stretching, which I know I don’t do enough of.”