Natalia Vodianova: ‘It’s Better to Be Skinny Than to Be Fat’

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Natalia Vodianova. Photo: Francois Durand/Getty Images/Getty Images

Natalia Vodianova took part in a panel discussion at the British Vogue Festival over the weekend, where she made some ballsy statements about women and weight. The comments were sparked by British Vogue's executive fashion director Calgary Avansino's question: "It's undeniable that models are very thin, expected to be very thin, and thinner than 99.9 percent of the population. What message should you be sending out?" Vodianova didn't hold back; see what she had to say about her diet, losing weight after childbirth, and how she trains (or doesn't) before running a marathon each year.

On how images of thin models affect women: "Come on, guys, it's better to be skinny than to be fat! We eat well, we exercise — please, do the same and you will look like this. I'm sorry, but today the NHS [Britain’s National Health Service] are fighting against obesity, children are taken away from their parents because they’re too fat … And here we are, defending that we are healthy and skinny."

On her diet: "I respect my body — my body is my temple. If I eat like a pig, I feel like a pig."

On losing weight after childbirth: "I must say I actually came to [an event at] the V&A after giving birth to [my son] Victor, three days later, and I was wearing Givenchy Couture."

Her advice to women who want to lose weight: "I don't want to offend people who are trying to lose weight — if you want my tip, everyone should look into the only diet I've ever done. When I was little I had ulcers in my stomach from not eating very properly. I had really bad digestion and suffered from it for a long time. Then somebody recommended the blood type diet. Ever since, I have more energy and I've been doing it for five years now. It really works for me. It's not about eating more protein or more carbohydrates — it's which protein you eat, and which carbohydrates."

On exercise: "I run [a marathon] once a year; I don't train. It's true!"