In any foodie's eyes, the Zweben sisters live the high life. Quickly glancing at their wildly popular Instagram account, you'll find yourself craving burgers, lobster tails, ramen, dumplings, caviar spaghetti, and Reuben sandwiches, all at once. The girls behind the blog Sisterhood of the Unbuttoning Pants spend their days taste-testing the best of New York's culinary scene (and beyond). Anyone who's ever attempted to sustain themselves on Manhattan restaurant food alone can attest that this type of diet will get you really unhealthy really quick (but it will also delight and amaze you at every bite).
When we met Daryl Zweben at a super-indulgent food event recently, we were amazed by how fit and healthy she looked—and her sister was no different. Immediately, our curiosity was piqued: How can anyone live on pizza, tacos, and fried clam sliders and look like they spend their days at yoga health retreats? We had to find out the Zweben sisters' secret. Ahead, how to eat literally everything you want and still stay fit—that's the real key to the sisterhood of the unbuttoning pants.
Adopt a Morning Routine
Above all, the sisters swear by a healthy morning routine to kick off the day on the right foot, especially when evening plans are sure to be indulgent: "Our food days get pretty intense, sometimes with multiple meals and events a day," explains Daryl. "If we don't have a breakfast commitment, I usually keep it light in the morning, and Ali and I typically meet around lunch. Since I usually wake up full from the night before, I'll make a smoothie with berries, banana, vanilla almond milk, vegan protein powder, and a scoop of almond butter."
Always Find Time to Work Out
No matter how busy the Zweben sisters' schedule gets, they're never ones to skip a workout: "Regardless of what the day brings, we hit the gym as early as necessary to get our metabolism going and hopefully working for us for the rest of the day," says Ali. "We also try to walk as much as possible, even it means making some food discoveries on the way." By making exercise a top priority, you can burn off all those indulgent calories.
Between events and restaurant reviews, the sisters stress the importance of regular detoxes. "When I want to detox, especially before an event or vacation, I steer clear of salty food and snacks that cause bloating, and I cut out dairy and refined grains." For Ali, it's a matter of balancing nights of guilt-free eating with days of clean and easy-to-digest foods: "After over-indulging, the key is just to give your body a break with some clean simple foods—nothing too rich or hard to digest. I turn to grapefruit, avocados, leafy salads, sushi, sashimi, and green tea," she says.
Between mac 'n' cheese servings and ramen bowls, the Zweben sisters may seem like they don't pay attention to their diets—but on the contrary: What they consume is extremely calculated. The two key secrets are focus and balance. "We try to stay focused when we are dining out," says Daryl. "We can taste the bread on the table to get an idea of how it is prepared, but at the end of the day, we would rather save the room in our stomachs for the real stars of the meal." For Ali, it's important to balance meals throughout the day to ensure that she gets all the right nutrients: "If we know we have a burger event or Italian feast for dinner, we will plan lunch at somewhere nutritious and delicious like Westville, which has great salads and market sides, or Dizengoff for clean, filling hummus."
Drink Lemon Water
Both sisters agree on one drink of choice to keep them hydrated and sustained throughout the day. "We drink a ton of water with lemon, either sparkling or still," says Ali. "It helps keeps us hydrated and feeling full—we never waste calories on sugary drinks or sodas. Only wine." It's all about prioritizing what's truly important.
Curb Your Cravings
Like any self-respecting foodies, the Zweben sisters have cravings. For Daryl, it's Italian: "Growing up in New Jersey, I can never go too long without my red sauce Italian! Pasta, parm, and pizza are always calling my name!" For Ali, it's anything salty: "I crave salty foods, so I usually go for homemade popcorn, nuts, cheese, or hummus (as much as I would love to pretend I only dip with crudité, it is usually crackers or pita chips)." Their trick for snacking mindfully is something they also apply to desserts at events: "Neither Ali nor I have much of a sweet tooth," says Daryl, "so we are able to resist a lot of desserts, or else stop after one bite." By eating a small amount, it's easier to indulge in cravings without guilt when they hit.
Share Your Meals
The Zweben sisters being die-hard foodies, they want to taste everything on the menu—but their trick to keeping portions under control is to share everything: "Since we are sisters, we can get away with sharing a burger instead of scarfing down a whole one ourselves," says Daryl. "Although, we sometimes fight for that last bite!" If you're eating at home, eating on a smaller plate in a contrasting color can also help with portion control.