Believe it or not, but there are women who don’t stress about the scale. Yes, you could call them genetically blessed – or skinny bitches – but the truth is they’ve got some secret weapons up their skinny jeans. I should know: most of my friends fall into this category. So, I polled them all for their stay-slim secrets. Some of their daily food rules will surprise you (beer isn’t a no-no); all are easy to follow.

RULE: Follow the apple rule

When I want something bad for me, I question whether or not I’m hungry enough to eat an apple (or some other fruit or veggie). If not, then there’s no way I’m hungry enough for something bad.

RULE: Weigh calories to satisfaction
If I’m going to cheat, it has to be worth it. For example, I skipped the Girl Scout Cookies that my husband bought because the taste didn’t warrant all the calories/crap I was putting into my body. Ice cream, on the other hand, is always worth the splurge.

RULE: Know your body
Everyone’s body is different. Knowing what your body can and can’t handle and how food affects you is important. If I “cheat” too much and don’t balance it with my workout schedule, I will see a difference.

RULE: Shun sneaky sugar
Be aware of how much sugar is in everyday foods like ketchup and muffins. Eat limited amounts of those things or pass them up all together.

RULE: Fruits and veggies are free
Eat as many as you like!

RULE: Pass on processed
This especially goes for treats. If I want a cookie, it can’t come with a wrapper; it has to come from my oven or a local bake shop. Anything made from scratch is fair game!

RULE: Don’t deny yourself
I love salads and fruit and chocolate and pizza – and eat them all, I just limit how often I have the not-so-good-for-you stuff.

RULE: See no evil, eat no evil
I won’t buy certain things because I know I can’t resist the temptation once at home… like BBQ potato chips. I can kill a tube of Pringles in 5 minutes flat.

RULE: Drink wisely
I skip the soda and for the most part try not to drink my calories (beer and wine are the exception). I have the occasional diet soda as a treat, but for the most part I sip on zero-calorie seltzer water (I love fizz) and herbal tea.

RULE: Skip the scale
I don’t weigh myself. The number doesn’t matter; how your clothes fit does. When my jeans start getting tight, I scale back on my portions.

RULE: Get physical everyday
Try to do something active every day, even if it’s a short walk. I tend to eat healthier when I’m exercising; it just makes me feel better all the way around. And if I do miss a session, I work a little harder the next time.

RULE: Graze, don’t gorge
I tend to “graze” more than eat actual meals. When I do eat a real meal, I don’t down large portions. Even at restaurants, I’ll split a salad or appetizer, then split an entree.

RULE: Have a healthy fallback
On those days when I’m too tired to make dinner, instead of hitting the drive-thru, I have a few quick and easy favorites always on hand: veggies and hummus, eggs for omelets, peanut butter on Ezekiel bread. They give me the nutrients and energy I need and require very little prep.

RULE: Don’t fret over 5 pounds
Don’t beat yourself up over a bad day here and there. You can always make it up.

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