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Months after giving birth to daughter Krishna Thea, Top Chef judge and new mom Padma Lakshmi tells OK! about her no-panic approach to losing the baby weight. “You’ll see, I’m big,” she tells OK! of her noticeably fuller post-baby figure on Top Chef: D.C.

It was just March when Padma had to start shooting — just weeks after giving birth to daughter Krishna Thea. (The new season returned to Bravo on June 16.)

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Unlike stars who go into panic mode to get their body back before going on camera, the former size 4 model decided to just go with it: work first, diet later.

“I went from being bedridden to being in front of the camera,” says Padma, who had a difficult pregnancy due to endometriosis, a painful disorder.

“I needed to make sure I was healthy. I was breastfeeding and I wanted to be good at my job and that involves tasting food. I couldn’t worry about my weight and taste everything on the show.”

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But now, less than five months after Krishna’s Feb. 20 birthday, Padma is looking svelte, and she’s almost reached her goal. She tells OK! she wants the body she had last year at this time, when she stripped down to pose for Allure magazine.

For motivation, says Padma: “I have that un-retouched picture on my fridge.”

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When Top Chef went on hiatus in mid-May, Padma had to go from digging into anything and everything the cheftestants prepared (nice work if you can get it!) to cutting out indulgences. “I really watched what I ate.” She gave up ice cream and sweets, red meat and fried foods. She switched to non-fat milk, non-fat yogurt and low-fat cottage cheese. Padma also lowered her carb intake, limiting herself to healthy carbs like brown rice and wholegrain bread and eating carbs only in the morning.

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For exercise, Padma went back to her favorite workouts: running stairs — 42 flights at a time! — and boxing, which she’s done for nine years. Padma loves boxing because not only is it great for cardio and endurance, but she says that the focus boosts her mood.

“When you box, you really have to concentrate.”

Though she’s still a few pounds away from having the exact figure in the photo on her fridge, the new mom still isn’t stressing over it. “I like the way I look when I’m bigger, and I like the way I look when I’m smaller. They’re just two different versions of me. I can’t expect to look immediately the way I looked before. It is about feeling good about yourself and being healthy.”


FOR MORE ON PADMA’S NEW FITNESS ROUTINE AND HER LIFE AS A SINGLE MOM, PICK UP THE NEW ISSUE OF OK! — ON SALE EVERYWHERE NOW!


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