Padma Lakshmi has been open about her struggles to maintain her figure while filming Top Chef (she once gained 17 lbs. in one season)—but head judge, Tom Colicchio, says he often has the opposite problem.
“She eats more than I do on the set because she does the quickfire challenges and the eliminations and I only do the eliminations,” Colicchio told PEOPLE on Wednesday. “I actually tend to lose weight believe it or not.”
The chef—who partnered up with Naked Juice to help promote their new cold-pressed juices made with botanical ingredients like lemongrass and lavender—also added that his schedule during Bravo’s cooking competition show affects his weight. “I work every other day so I have more time to workout then I do when I’m home,” he says. “So I usually maintain my weight or sometimes lose weight,”
For some of his best sweat sessions, Colicchio favors boxing. “I was at the fights in [Madison Square Garden] and some guy tapped me on the shoulder and said, ‘Tom Colicchio? Oh, I’ve been to your restaurants before.’ I’m like, ‘Okay’ and in between rounds we started talking and it turns out he’s a trainer who won the Golden Gloves in New York. He said, ‘Why don’t you come and workout?’ and so that was it,” he says. “That was eight years ago.”
WATCH: Padma Lakshmi Gained 17 Lbs. from Deep Dish Pizza on Top Chef
And while Lakshmi told PEOPLE and Entertainment Weekly editorial director Jess Cagle last year that she continues to consume “thousands of calories a day” during Top Chef, she does have a remedy for counteracting those calories: her “Cranberry Drano.”
The recipe for the drink calls for pure unsweetened cranberry juice, green tea brewed with honey, fiber powder, a vitamin C packet and water. “It all gets stirred up and handed to me two or three times a day before I go on set or right after I come off set to keep the pipes clean,” she says.