PICTURE: Padma Lakshmi, 42, Flaunts Amazing Bikini Body in Miami

USMagazine, Monday, December 10, 2012, 1:00pm (PST)

Top Chef -- or Top Model?

Padma Lakshmi is in her sixth year as host of Bravo's competitive cooking show Top Chef, but she looks like she could be a contestant on another long-running reality series.

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On Saturday, Dec. 8, the 42-year-old star hit the beach in Miami, where she revealed her runway-ready bikini body. Frolicking playfully in the Atlantic Ocean, the former model and single mother to Krishna Thea, 2, flaunted her toned physique in a blue fringed bandeau top and matching side-tie bottoms.

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Having modeled since she was 18, the India-born brunette beauty isn't shy about showing off her curves. In 2009, she posed nude for Allure magazine, and just last month she stripped down to nearly nothing for a feature in Playboy. But that fit figure doesn't come easy -- especially since a big part of her job on Top Chef is eating anything and everything the contestants plate for her.

"My digestive tract is ironclad and can really take a beating," the host told Playboy of the rich foods she samples for the show.

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"Having been a model for 15 years, I...know a thing or two about how to dress if I've put on a few pounds," she added. "And I usually gain between 10 and 15 pounds over six weeks each season. Then I spend 12 weeks working it off."

Top Chef: Seattle -- the 10th cycle of the series -- airs Wednesday nights at 10 p.m. on Bravo.

This article originally appeared on PICTURE: Padma Lakshmi, 42, Flaunts Amazing Bikini Body in Miami

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