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As part of her job duties as a judge on Top Chef, Padma Lakshmi is required to eat incredibly indulgent, rich meals nearly every day of the week. For someone who takes in thousands of calories a day, the 49-year-old looks incredible.

Padma Lakshmi
Padma Lakshmi | Jordin Althaus/E! Entertainment/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images

Her recent Instagram post of herself in a teeny bikini is proof of her discipline and dedication to keep herself fit.

Find out how Lakshmi looks so great while eating so much!

How many calories Lakshmi packs on during ‘Top Chef’

Sampling meals from contestants on the reality competition series means for Lakshmi tasting food that has been cooked in lots of butter, or deep-fried, or swimming in cream. It’s a blessing and a curse for Lakshmi, as she wrote in a guest column for The Hollywood Reporter in 2017.

“When filming Top Chef, I consume about 5,000 to 8,000 calories a day. We start with anywhere from 15 to 18 contestants, and I have to take a bite or two from each of their plates to adequately judge each dish. Every day. It adds up. I typically gain anywhere from 10 to 17 pounds every season. Once I get home, what’s taken me six weeks to gain takes me 12 weeks to take off.”

How Lakshmi keeps the pounds off

To look at the model, it’s obvious that some of the credit for her physique must be hereditary. Still, that doesn’t mean she can inhale filet mignon, silky pastas swimming in sauce, and rich desserts to her heart’s content. She must have some kind of regimen to keep her body from getting too used to the extra weight she gains during each season of the food competition.

“I drink a lot of water—three liters a day,” she told Health in 2017. “I can tell by how much I’m peeing. And I eat really healthy, but I’m not talking about calories. I’m talking about nutrition. I eat as many colors as I can. If a salad doesn’t look colorful, it’s not good enough.”

Asked about how she recovers after each season of heavy eating on the show, Lakshmi revealed that for the particular season that had just ended, “It was OK. I didn’t gain as much weight as I normally do. [I usually gain] 10, 15 pounds—the maximum I’ve gained is 17. This time I only gained eight, because of a couple of reasons. One, I managed to work out more. I got a personal trainer to come to my hotel room.”

Lakshmi’s proof that her method works

For the evidence that Lakshmi’s method is going great, look no further than her Instagram account. This week, she posted a photo of herself in a black string bikini, revealing more than just skin.

What fans saw is the physique that definitely does not look like that of a person who eats as much as a sumo wrestler for a living.

Simply and confidently, her post message was “Feeling fine at 49.”

Lakshmi should keep doing what she’s doing because it is clearly working in her favor!