Padma Lakshmi Ditches Her Grueling Emmys Diet for Her Daughter

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For the first time since 2006, when Padma Lakshmi took over as host of Top Chef, the 46-year-old isn't worried about fitting into a tiny dress for the Emmys.

In a guest column for The Hollywood Reporter, Lakshmi revealed that during filming for Top Chef, she consumes about 5,000 to 8,000 calories a day. After six weeks of filming, she says she typically gains anywhere from 10 to 17 pounds every season. And the crazy dieting it took to squeeze into a size 0 dress for the Emmys a few months later was just part of the job for the former model—until her seven-year-old daughter Krishna took notice.

"I find myself in the unique position of eating for a living while still being expected to look a certain way... let's call it 'red carpet ready,'" she wrote. "While I can clearly point to the many ways our society constantly reinforces this pressure, the truth is, my own vanity also plays a big role. I want to look good, to be fit and to fit into those fancy couture dresses."

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"It's always a nail-biting extravaganza at fittings, praying that a few pretty dresses that came down the runway on a teenage model who is a size 0 will miraculously fit my 40-something body," she continued. "It's like a poem: no meat, no wheat, no cheese, no fried foods or sweets. And, of course, no alcohol."

This year, just as Lakshmi was set to begin her grueling pre-Emmys routine, she wrote that Krishna stopped her dead in her tracks.

"She's noticed, and suddenly, she's told me and others in our circle, 'I don't want to eat because I'm watching my figure,' or, 'I weigh too much,'" Lakshmi revealed. "Her comments stopped me dead in my tracks. Her words scared me. Language matters. We send signals to our daughters every day. And I am her first touchstone of femininity."

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"Every message I telegraph about food and our bodies is important," she added. "So, this year, I've decided my weight will not be my focus. If I need a bigger dress, so be it. That one day—or any day—on the red carpet isn't nearly as important as making sure my daughter doesn't measure her worth by her dress size."

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We couldn't have said it better ourselves, Padma.

SHOW TRANSCRIPT

Hi, I'm Padma Lakshmi, I'm taking a break from Top Chef to announce the World's Best City as voted by Travel and Leisure leaders. The city of [UNKNOWN] in Mexico was voted best city in the world. This [UNKNOWN] site is a beautiful colonial town that's idealic, has great architecture, wonderful restaurants. And warm people. This win is so well-deserved. I've actually spent time in San Miguel de Allende. We filmed a finale there for Top Chef. It's a wonderful place. The shops and galleries are amazing and the food is delicious. Whether you're going to a fine dining restaurant in the town square or a little taco stand for tacos al pastor, you really can't go wrong. [UNKNOWN] and congratulations San Miguel, I'm sure I'll be back very, very soon. [MUSIC]
 
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