As far as hazards of the trade go, Padma Lakshmi knows she's got it pretty good with her Top Chef gig.
In the new issue of Playboy (on stands Nov. 20), the Bravo host discusses her tendency to pack on the pounds while she films the reality show.
"My digestive tract is ironclad and can really take a beating," Lakshmi says of the rich foods she samples for the show. Before filming begins, the mom to Krishna, 2, preps for some inevitable weight gain by thinking about what to wear on camera.
"Having been a model for 15 years, I . . . know a thing or two about how to dress if I've put on a few pounds," Lakshmi, 42, reveals. "And I usually gain between 10 and 15 pounds over six weeks each season. Then I spend 12 weeks working it off."
After more than six years of sampling the creations of wannabe Top Chefs, Lakshmi says her palate has become so refined, "If I kissed you, I could probably tell you what you had for lunch," Lakshmi boasts.
Just because she's used to fancy, innovative cuisine doesn't mean she needs special treatment during date nights.
"A lot of men get frustrated with me, actually, because I am like a guy. Honestly, I'm like a truck driver trapped inside this body," she shares. "I don't want to be your best friend. I don't expect you to give me a birthday card or send me flowers. I don't need fancy trips. You could take me across the street. Don't get me wrong. That stuff's nice, but I am a physical and sensual person. I love to be held. I love massages. I'm just not a Hallmark kind of gal."