updated 03/14/2013 AT 6:00 PM ET
•originally published 03/15/2013 AT 12:05 PM ET
Naomi Watts is a pin-thin actress, but she says she doesn’t get that way from depriving herself of good food.
“Luckily, I have fairly good genetics, but I do exercise,” she told PEOPLE on Wednesday at The Hollywood Reporter and Jimmy Choo’s 25 Most Powerful Stylists luncheon in West Hollywood.
“I really do enjoy my food. I don’t starve myself, because if I start denying myself, that’s when I want to eat most of all. It’s fine. I’ve pretty much always been this size. It’s more about just staying in shape.”
But she admits – as she grabs for a cookie at the Soho House-held event – that awards season put a little more pressure on her to maintain a flawless physique.
“It’s so good to be able to eat [what I want] again,” the Erdem-clad The Impossible star said with a laugh. “I probably exercised more during [awards season] than I would normally. You’re showing your arms. At my age you have to work a little harder, it’s true.”
The actress, 44, has raised her two little ones Sasha, 5 and Kai, 4, to take on some of the same lifestyle habits as herself and partner, Liev Schreiber.