50 is clearly the new 30 if Jennifer Lopez’s ever-increasing hotness is anything to go by. As the superstar celebrates her 5th decade we celebrate her diet and exercise secrets
Acting, singing, dancing, judging talent competitions – what can’t Jennifer Lopez do?
We all covet her abs, toned upper body and of course that iconic butt. To keep in shape, J-Lo follows a strict diet and fitness plan that she rarely deviates from.
With the arrival of her 50th birthday (Yes, 50!) the superstar is currently touring around North America on her ‘It’s My Party’ tour.
At the beginning of her career, J-Lo faced rejection because of her curvy body and was told that she needed to lose weight. Now, her curves and incredibly toned abs are envied and admired by people all over the world.
In celebration of her birthday we took an inside look at the food and exercise habits that gave her the iconic body. Here are the 11 diet and fitness rules that she lives by:
1. Always stay hydrated and limit alcohol and caffeine
Let’s start with J-Lo’s diet. After all, maintaining your weight is more about what you put into your body than how much you exercise.
The first rule Lopez follows, unsurprisingly, is to stay constantly hydrated. It has been reported that she drinks upwards of seven glasses of water per day.
As your body is made up of 60 percent water, it is essential for overall health. Drinking plenty of water helps cleanse your body and prepare your muscles and joints for exercise.
‘Drinking plenty of water, especially before a workout, can help you push harder and get more out of your exercise routine,’ the singer told Hello Magazine.
J-Lo also told the magazine that she hasn’t had any alcohol in years, and doesn’t drink caffeine. She’s admitted to sipping decaf coffee in the mornings, but nothing stronger.
Alcohol carries extra calories and can seriously get in the way of your healthy decision-making by causing junk food cravings.
Lopez is a firm believer that you are what you eat, and carefully monitors what she puts into her body.
‘What you eat doesn’t just affect your body; it can also affect how your skin looks,’ she said.
2. Try a ‘no carbs, no sugar challenge’
Earlier this year, Lopez and her boyfriend, former professional baseball player Alex Rodriguez posted a challenge on Instagram that gave their followers some insight into what they eat.
They completed a ten-day ‘no carbs, no sugar’ challenge together that inspired many of their followers to do the same.
This ten-day challenge is similar to the Ketogenic diet. So, you increase your intake of protein and fat to replace the carbohydrates and get the required nutrition, then eat mostly healthy proteins, fat and sometimes dairy – aiming to cut out carbs altogether.
The Keto diet has been all the rage lately, so it’s no wonder that J. Lo got involved. This diet forces your body to go into ketosis which is when your system burns your fat stores instead of the carbs that you eat as its primary fuel source.
The purpose of the challenge is not to eliminate carbs long term, but to challenge yourself and vary your routine.
If you’re attempting this challenge, high-carb foods can be replaced with low-carb vegetables like courgette noodles, cauliflower rice and leafy greens. Eat plenty of protein at each meal, and snack on raw vegetables and nuts the rest of the time.
3. Stick to lean proteins, vegetables, complex carbs and water
When she isn’t doing a ‘no carbs, no sugar’ challenge, J-Lo still eats healthily but with slightly fewer restrictions.
The superstar sticks to a very specific diet that she does not deviate from – mainly proteins, low-carb vegetables, complex carbohydrates and water.
According to her trainer Dodd Romero, when choosing proteins J-Lo goes for lean, healthy options. He told Us Weekly that there are only a few approved sources – egg whites, chicken breasts, white meat turkey and grass-fed beef.
J-Lo doesn’t deviate from her diet of mainly proteins, low-carb vegetables, complex carbs and water
Even with these healthy protein sources, he says that J-Lo still limits them to three or four times a week. She eats healthy fish regularly to get her Omega-3s and 6s, such as tuna, salmon and sea bass.
When she eats carbs she always keep them complex – quinoa, sweet potatoes or brown rice.
Complex carbohydrates tend to be high in vitamins, dietary fibre and antioxidants which make them better for you than their simple carb counterparts (think: processed grains and sugars).
She often drinks protein shakes for breakfast, followed by protein and veg-heavy salads for lunch, and more protein and quinoa for dinner.
4. Eat organic and avoid fried or processed foods
Organic, clean foods will not only help you stay slim like Lopez, but also healthy. Many fruits, vegetables, and meats contain pesticides and other toxins.
Fried and processed foods can also contribute to weight gain, and contain high amounts of calories and unhealthy fats which can be difficult to burn off with exercise.
In an interview with People Magazine, J-Lo’s long-time trainer Tracy Anderson said that she always eats clean and avoids unrefined ingredients.
‘I have her eating very clean because she needs really good fuel for all the things that she’s doing,’ she said.
‘It’s all organic and it’s very well thought out, with the balance of very high quality proteins and a lot of nutrient-dense food… everything is fresh.’
When eating clean you should always use whole, unprocessed ingredients, and never drink your calories in the form of sugary soda and juice.
5. Overcome cravings by eating protein and smart snacking
Lopez doesn’t starve herself to get her fit body, in fact she does the opposite. She eats every two to three hours to support her metabolism.
She doesn’t typically gravitate toward sugary snacks or processed foods between meals, instead, opting for fresh vegetables.
‘I also love to relax with my kids after a workout and share a healthy snack with them,’ she told Hello Magazine. ‘I always carry fruit and veggies with me to give me something to snack on between meals.’
If she needs something a bit more filling than vegetables, she goes for protein.
Protein is known to help reduce food craving because it keeps your hunger at bay throughout the day – especially if you eat it for breakfast in the morning.
6. Don’t try to be perfect – allow one cheat each week
It’s okay to reach for a sweet treat every so often, as long as you’ve earned it by eating well and not skipping your workouts for the week – at least those are the rules Lopez follows.
J. Lo’s cheat snacks of choice are a square of chocolate or a cookie once a week.
Notice we said cheat SNACK, not cheat day or meal.
Just because she is a strict follower of her diet, doesn’t mean she never gets cravings. She also doesn’t believe that you have to be perfect – it is okay to slip up on your routine occasionally.
7. Never skip a workout
Lopez trains like an athlete, and always gives 100 percent every time she steps into the gym. She also never skips a workout – even when she is on tour. Some may think working out is a chore, but not her. She credits her established exercise routine as the reason she is so happy.
Morning workouts are best for her because of her hectic schedule. Starting the day with a workout ensures that she has enough energy and motivation to keep her going – before life gets in the way.
In order to inspire her, J-Lo also makes exercise a social activity – frequently working out with her boyfriend.
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Thank you @dallascowboys & @cowboysfit for a great workout! #repost @arod ・・・ Big thank you to my good buddy Jerry Jones and the @dallascowboys for treating us to an amazing workout. We appreciate the hospitality and privilege of using your tremendous facility. If you want to see more of our workout regimen, sign up to @fitplan_app.
8. Mix up your exercise routine
J-Lo likes to mix up her workout routines so that her body never becomes accustomed to a certain exercise. If a workout becomes easy, it most likely isn’t getting you the results you need.
She has multiple different trainers in different locations around the country, each of which have a different style of coaching.
In Los Angeles, she works out with Anderson (mentioned above), known for her Tracy Anderson Method and focuses on upper body, core, thighs and booty.
In New York, J-Lo trains with David Kirsch and Ngo Okafor. With David she tends to do short bursts of interval training. Ngo’s method involves an hour of circuit training and a half hour of cardio.
As recently as this year, she has trained with Dodd Romero, a trainer and lifestyle coach who has worked with Lopez’s boyfriend Alex Rodriguez for years.
In addition to working out with multiple trainers, J-Lo also likes to incorporate dance into her workouts.
9. Try J. Lo’s go-to moves
J-Lo’s trainers have shared go-to moves that keep her in shape using medicine balls, Bosu balls and dumbbells as well as body weight moves.
Her go-to ab move is the glider plank to pike, which also works the arms and shoulders. To make this move more challenging, she incorporates a knee tuck. To do this, she tucks her knees in towards the chest while planking.
According to David Kirsch, she does low squats and platypus walks to exercise the legs and glutes.
An important part of what keeps Lopez looking not only slim, but fit, is that she never skips upper body day. For this, she does Spiderman push-ups.
10. Take care of your skin by getting regular facials and wearing sunscreen
We all aspire to have a glow like J. Lo’s who keeps her skin looking so young and flawless with regular facials and never being caught outside without wearing sunscreen.
The singer told InStyle that because she wears a lot of makeup when performing, she chooses not to wear any in her downtime to let her skin rest.
She also credits not spending too much time in the sun as a reason why her skin has maintained its youthfulness. Frequent exposure to the sun can cause premature aging and cause lines or wrinkles to appear on the skin.
11. Meditate and get plenty of rest
Lopez is a fan of transcendental meditation for its ability to reduce stress.
She typically meditates twice a day – once in the morning and once at night and told Us Weekly this keeps her grounded gives her a sense of inner peace.
Even though J. Lo has been in Hollywood for multiple decades, things can still sometimes get overwhelming for her.
‘I learned transcendental meditation this year because it’s overwhelming at times. Doing all of the things I do, at once,’ she said.
Transcendental meditation is different from mindfulness meditation, because it focuses on transcending thought and reaching a state of pure awareness. In comparison, mindfulness meditation is focused on being present in the moment.
One of the most important ways to take care of your body is to get plenty of rest, and Lopez always follows this rule.
She tries her best to always get eight hours sleep each night, no matter how busy she is during the day.
‘I love to get a good nine or ten hours of sleep. But, I can never get that,’ she said. ‘So, seven or eight is mandatory. Otherwise, I just don’t feel right. I start feeling crazy, I get emotional and I feel tired all of the time.’