This is How Audrey Hepburn Stayed So Slim (Without Ever Dieting)

Having a Hollywood-ready figure might be simpler than you think.

Iconic actress Audrey HepburnPhoto: Shutterstock

Audrey Hepburn: the Breakfast at Tiffany’s star remains a style icon even 25 years after her death (in fact, people are still dressing up as her for Halloween). She played a major part in the popularity of the little black dress, and, with a 5’7″ stature and 110-pound weight, had an enviable figure. In fact, many have speculated that she had an eating disorder, but she did not. For most of her adult life, she led a very healthy lifestyle. In an interview with People, Hepburn’s family revealed the “secret” to her lifelong slim figure—and there’s really nothing secret about it.

According to Hepburn’s son, Luca Dotti, his mother never dieted; in fact, she “loved Italian food and pasta.” He adds that she ate “a little bit of everything,” but ate more grains and less meat. Robert Wolders, Hepburn’s significant other for the last 13 years of her life, also shares details about her daily eating habits, and they’re really…normal. For breakfast, she would eat toast and jam; for lunch, veal, chicken, or pasta; and for dinner, often soup with meat and veggies. After dinner, Hepburn would indulge in a few pieces of chocolate and often a little bit of Scotch as well.

And yes, she did exercise, but again, nothing extreme. Wolders says that he and she used to walk a lot, and that “she could outwalk [him].” However, her exercise regime was always balanced and manageable.

So it seems that she owes her slim figure, in part, to practicing moderation, though Wolders admits that she did have a very healthy metabolism. (Here’s how to boost your own metabolism at any age.)

However, Hepburn’s weight wasn’t always healthy; in fact, she spent much of her youth battling starvation. She was born in 1929 in Europe, and lived in the Netherlands during the German occupation of the nation. For a traumatic few years, she survived mainly on plants such as tulip bulbs. Until the liberation of the Netherlands in 1945, she was sick with jaundice and dangerously underweight. However, as we know, she went on to lead a very healthy lifestyle…not to mention become a cultural icon.

Plus: 30 Healthy Snacks No Adult Has to Feel Guilty About Eating

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Originally Published on Reader's Digest