Padma Lakshmi Estimates She Eats ‘7,000 To 8,000 Calories A Day’ While Filming ‘Top Chef’

Here I was, impressed by The Rock eating 1,000 calories of cod every day. That’s ordering off the kids menu compared to Padma Lakshmi’s whopping Top Chef diet.

The host revealed to Women’s Health that while filming Bravo’s food-based competition series, she (and presumably Tom Colicchio and Gail Simmons) eat between 7,000 to 8,000 calories every day. For reference’s sake, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends “1,600 to 2,400 calories per day for adult women and 2,000 to 3,000 calories per day for adult men.” Top Chef requires three times that.

While working on the Bravo competition series, Padma may sample and judge more than 30 dishes an episode at the start of the season, eating upward of 7,000 to 8,000 calories a day… “My parents are diabetic,” she says. And though Padma isn’t, her doc did prescribe a preventive medication to regulate blood-sugar levels while she’s filming. “Those chefs are cooking to win, so they’re putting in as much lard and butter and salt as they can.”

To offset the days where she’s eating the same number of calories as there are in 14 Big Macs, Lakshmi secured “a doctor to monitor her weight and blood work before and after each season,” and in the before times, when going to the gym was still possible, she would work out “at least five times a week for 90 minutes.” The host/author credits pilates, in particular, for “[changing] my body. It made me strong in places I didn’t know I needed to be.”

Anyone who can down 7,000 calories in a day sounds plenty strong to me.

(Via Women’s Health)