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Padma Lakshmi Gains 15 Pounds, Goes Up 2 Dress Sizes During Every Cycle of Top Chef

Padma Lakshmi covers the November/December issue of Fitness.
Padma Lakshmi covers the November/December issue of Fitness magazine.

Ever wondered how Top Chef host Padma Lakshmi manages to stay so svelte while she's surrounded by decadent cakes and savory dishes on the Bravo reality series. It turns out that she's actually just like Us! 

Lakshmi, the cover girl of Fitness magazine's November/December issue, says she goes up two dress sizes every season of the competitive culinary series from the eating she does on the show. The 43-year-old doesn't hold back from professing her love for foods like "pizza, nachos, cheese, potato chips, [and] fried chicken" as long as her eating habits are "in moderation."

Related: PHOTOS: Celebrities -- They're just like Us!

The drop-dead gorgeous mom, who shed 45 pounds after giving birth to 3-year-old daughter Krishna in 2010 admits her post-baby bod took 13 months of grueling work. “It was hard. I went from a size 4 to a size 14 when I was pregnant." The beauty adds, "What’s interesting, though, is that, in my experience, men don’t want skinny girls. When I was a size 14, I got much more attention from men than I do now.”

Related: PHOTOS: Hollywood's hottest bikini bodies

As for her dietary habits after each season of Top Chef, Lakshmi says she follows "a clean diet: no meats, no sweets, no alcohol, no cheese, no fried food, no wheat." Despite all the restrictions in food, the host turns to copious amounts of exercise, working out "five days a week, boxing three days, lifting weights the other two." She also says her secret workout weapon is the stairs!

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No wonder her sleek physique remains a mystery: She works hard to stay in shape. "I love food way too much to starve myself just to look good," she says. "I will put in the work at the gym so I can enjoy what I eat.” 

The November/December Issue of Fitness hits newsstands on Oct. 29.

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