Most of us are familiar with the phrase "eat like a bird," but former First Lady Jackie Kennedy gives that term a whole new meaning.
In her new book, Jackie's Girl, Kathy McKeon, Kennedy's assistant for 12 years, frankly describes her boss's life. According to McKeon, Jackie was so determined to maintain her 120-pound weight that she consumed only 600 calories per day. Per WebMD, a "moderately active woman" should eat almost 2,000 calories every day.
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Jackie was only 5-feet-7-inches tall, so that magic number of 120 seems even smaller on her tall frame. To maintain her goal weight, she adhered to a strict diet. In the morning she would eat a hard-boiled egg and tea. For lunch she would munch on cottage cheese and fruit, and for dinner she had a poached chicken breast and salad. She would snack on plain yogurt too during the day.
Despite such a limited eating plan, Jackie did occasionally splurge on a cheat meal: ice cream! According to McKeon, Jackie would sneak bites of the cool sweet treat in the evenings straight from the tub. Who among us can't relate to that?!
In general, the meals Jackie consumed were certainly pretty healthy. Eggs are chock-full of protein and keep your energy levels steady, while yogurt is rich in healthy probiotics and is, amazingly, a natural cure for insomnia. But limiting yourself to only 600 calories per day—especially when you're not trying to lose large amounts of weight—is not something we can get behind and certainly not a sustainable diet for longevity.
Of course, as the wife of the president, Jackie was expected to look picture-ready at all times. Her desire to stay at 120 pounds was probably part of that pressure—though we're so glad she enjoyed the occasional ice cream treat! Her attention to detail—in both diet and dress—is why she'll always be remembered for her impeccable style and class She was perfect the way she was!