There is snacking in moderation; there is savoring food. And then, there is whatever Jennifer Aniston likes to do with chips and M&Ms. In a new InStyle cover story, Aniston revealed that whenever she's stressed, she likes to eat "a chip." Now, if you're anything like me (or InStyle editor Laura Brown), you might be wondering: Just one chip? To that, Aniston replied: "Usually. I'm good at that. I can have one M&M, one chip." (One M&M? Like, a microdose of M&Ms?) "I know, that's so annoying," Aniston concluded, leaving readers stunned.
The revelation isn't annoying, though, as much as perplexing. I mean, it must take this woman months to get through a bag of Lay's, and those are notoriously half-air anyway. So, naturally, we have a lot of questions about how a person can ever just eat a single chip or a single M&M. Namely: What kind of witchcraft is required to stop the urge of eating multiple chips, and multiple M&Ms? And does Jennifer Aniston plan to reveal her source?
For the sake of this article, and in the name of journalism, I tested Aniston's theory: I ate one chip to figure out whether this trick can actually alleviate any stress or even hunger — and although I didn't feel an overwhelming urge to eat more, it had no impact whatsoever on my mood.
M&Ms, however, are much harder to self-regulate. And after a little digging, I learned that there's actual science behind this: In 2012, researchers from the University of Michigan discovered that eating chocolate can increase levels of a chemical called enkephalin, and it's this same chemical that makes us crave sweet food in the first place. So, is Jennifer Aniston just a superhuman when it comes to self-control?
We shouldn't be all that surprised by any of this, though. Aniston is known for her unconventional eating habits: She infamously drinks celery juice and black coffee for breakfast, and then eats at 12:30 p.m. Insider's Rachel Hosie attempted to mimic her diet for one week and, well, her headline speaks for itself: "I tried Jennifer Aniston's morning routine of fasting, meditation, and celery juices for a week, and I never want to do it again."
Aside from juice, coffee, and single chips and M&Ms, Aniston also revealed that she's started to reintegrate carbs into her diet. "Everyone's very afraid of the bread basket, and I'm no longer afraid," she told People in June. "As long as it's all done in moderation."
Just one chip might be taking the idea of moderation a little too far, but hey, we all handle stress differently. When it comes to M&M consumption, though, I might stick to Kim Kardashian's advice: heat them up, and eat as much as you want.