The Real Reason Jackie Kennedy Didn't Like To Eat In Public

Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, also known to the world as Jackie Kennedy or just Jackie, was the epitome of grace and glamour, with an air of mystery always surrounding her. She tried her best to stay out of the public eye, but when the paparazzi would catch a glimpse of the former first lady and snap a pic, she'd usually be donning sunglasses and a scarf. Privacy was the name of the game for President John F. Kennedy's widow and the mother of his two children.

During her brief time in the White House, she made many public appearances and did her duties, but she craved privacy after her husband's assassination, which was a worldwide public event that also centered on her, as she was sitting next to JFK when he was killed. As her life became more guarded, Jackie herself became more guarded, but she allowed herself a little more freedom with eating — that is, as long as it was out of the public eye.

Jackie Kennedy would sometimes live on one meal a day

Baked potatoes seemed to be a staple of Jackie Kennedy's diet, according to Taste of Home, and sometimes the only thing she ate in a 24-hour period was a baked potato topped with caviar, a treat for the wealthy for sure.

And while she would indulge occasionally in more filling meals, she made sure more calorie-laden ingredients were omitted. For example, she loved risotto, but minus the cheese, which can often make that dish a bit dry.

According to Tish Baldridge, a White House staffer during the Kennedy administration, the first lady aimed to stay at 120 pounds and paid attention to what the scale told her "with the rigor of a diamond merchant counting his carats." If she saw herself gaining, a crash diet of fruit would usually follow (via Vanity Fair).

If you are struggling with an eating disorder, or know someone who is, help is available. Visit the National Eating Disorders Association website or contact NEDA's Live Helpline at 1-800-931-2237. You can also receive 24/7 Crisis Support via text (send NEDA to 741-741).

Jackie Kennedy wasn't a fan of simple fitness

While Jackie Kennedy watched her diet very carefully while still married to John F. Kennedy, she wasn't keen on a regimented fitness routine and definitely didn't like walking, according to The Palm Beach Daily News. The outlet obtained a report from a dermatologist she visited while still first lady prior to a summer vacation at the Kennedy family compound in Hyannis Port, MA on Cape Cod.

The report shows that she grew bored by walking but had promised she would get some fresh air in the summer of 1963 by taking a few walks out by the golf course in the area. She also stayed away from sweet treat indulgences as much as she could, with fruit seeming to be her main source of sugar. "I eat an apple once in a while when I have lunch with the kids," she reportedly told Dr. Erno Lazlo. In terms of alcohol, champagne seemed to be the one drink she enjoyed the most and imbibed.

However, she seemed to be concerned about her complexion and the doctor's notes specified that she would be careful of the burning sun. "She said she will stay out of the sun while on the Cape and always will wear a hat," Lazlo wrote in his notes.

Jackie Kennedy was proud of her slim self

One thing that was hard not to notice about Jackie Kennedy was her svelte figure. According to the book "Jackie's Girl: My Life With The Kennedy Family," author Kathy McKeon, who used to work for the Kennedys, wrote that Jackie ate extremely light meals like boiled eggs, cottage cheese, fresh fruit, salad, chicken, and veggies (via People). McKeon claimed that after her husband was killed, Jackie didn't seem to want to eat much at all, writing: "She never had much of an appetite, and the toll of the horror she survived was plain to see on her painfully thin frame." 

However, by 1968, when Kennedy married Greek shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis (via Biography), she decided she was ready to indulge a bit and enjoyed cocktail hours at home before heading out for the evening. Her other indulgences, however, occurred when most people couldn't see. After all, she had to retain that image she projected to the world.

"Sometimes we'd crash into each other at night in the kitchen pantry," McKeon wrote. "She didn't put on the light because she didn't want anyone to know she was in there!" One time, McKeon even found her indulging in one of the world's most popular classic desserts. "She was eating ice cream out of the container with a big spoon," McKeon wrote. "Not a teaspoon but a big spoon!"