25 year old oscar nominee, Jennifer Lawrence, has a body to die for and it was trainer Dalton Wong that gave her the skills she needed to achieve it – here’s how
Hollywood actress and icon Jennifer Lawrence graced last night’s Oscars draped in a laced V-neck Dior gown, and it definitely snatched the ‘Best Dressed’ title in our eyes. This newly blonder bombshell was nominated for best actress for her role in Joy and known for her witty personality, out spoken views against dieting, and public rejection regarding pressures of body image. The 25 year old is relatable, talented, and hilarious. She’s a self-proclaimed and proud pizza-eater, so how is she able to maintain that incredible figure? Healthista’s Stephanie Wickens spoke to Dalton Wong, the trainer who showed J-Law how to get an amazing body without starvation diets.
She’s a self proclaimed and proud pizza-eater, but she’s still able to maintain an incredible figure
Celebrity trainer Dalton Wong is the author of The Feelgood Plan, and founder of private West London gym Twenty Two Training. He has helped to sculpt the bodies of stars such as, Kit Harrington, Amanda Seyfried, Zoë Kravitz, and of course, J-Law.
He’s the trainer that spring boarded Lawrence into a healthy lifestyle. When they first met in 2010, Wong trained the actress for three months in preparation for her role as the flexible, and formidable Mystique, in X-Men: First Class.
Lawrence writes in The Feelgood Plan that Wong changed her body, and gave her the skills to change her life. She says that he helped her to understand her body needs, how to exercise, when to unwind, and how to enjoy food. ‘I could never live on a diet,’ she explains, ‘Dalton taught me how to eat, move and live a delicious but healthy life. I will always thank him for that’. Lawrence goes on to say that they have remained good friends, and when she’s in London she loves to train in his gym, and then they go out for burgers and fries after.
In the lead up to X-Men: First Class, they spent between 10 – 12 hours a day together. Their day to day exercises included, running, weight lifting, yoga, resistance, and squats. Workout plans he and J-Law did together are featured in the book, such as the Espresso Energiser – (which combines strength circuit, high-intensity, and low-intensity exercises that increase metabolism, blast fat, and repair your body), and the Anti-Ager – (a 15-minute body-weight circuit that will boost your energy and make you look younger). Wong added, ‘we would do high intensity workouts in the mornings, such as cardio, and then relaxing stuff in the evenings, like yoga. Somedays I would just take her to have a massage.’
she loves to train in his gym, and then they go out for burgers and fries after
DALTON’S TIP: Chewing releases more nutrients from food. It also helps your stomach signal fullness to your brain quicker.
Using the principles of The Feelgood Plan, which consist of a healthy combination of diet and exercise, Wong was able to give J-Law the incredibly strong super-hero body she needed for the role – all in just three months. He highlights that this is why Lawrence is ‘such a lovely brand ambassador for my book’.
‘When we started working together, exercise and diets were new to her, so I was lucky enough to teach her about what foods worked for her body,’ explains Wong. He says that because he was one of the first to train with Lawrence in the early stages of her career, he was ‘one of the first that helped mould her’. He says, ‘I feel I am the trainer that started her [J-Law’s] education in nutrition, and taught her what foods would make her feel good.’ Wong was able to teach J-law the fundamental skills of the healthy balanced living that she has continued to use for the rest of her life, ‘What I taught her five years ago she still uses today.’
Wong was able to give J-Law the incredibly strong super-hero body she needed for the role, and all in just three months
He reveals that during their training Lawrence was ‘still able to go out with her friends, and still live a normal life.’ He explains that ‘It’s ok to have these lovely things in life, as long as you make sure that you exercise, and eat fruit and vegetables as well.’ He stresses that there is no need to completely avoid pizza and chips, it’s just about having the right balance.
DALTON’S TIP: Walking for 15 minutes is the best way to overcome unhealthy cravings
To get Lawrence’s body strong and healthy, Wong claims that he didn’t need to change her diet, he just needed to educate her on how to keep her eating habits balanced. For instance, he showed her why you need to eat vegetables, and why you need to be eating proteins. ‘It’s not about starvation diets,’ he says, ‘it’s about eating protein, a lot of vegetables, colourful foods, and foods that are dense in nutrition, like greens.’ He also taught her ‘why you need to have healthy carbohydrates, and why it’s not good to have processed foods and refined sugar’.
It’s not about starvation diets
Wong strongly believes that when it comes to fitness you should ‘only exercise to what your body allows you to’. He says that when he trained J-Law he devised workouts that would make her feel good, and get her in great shape without it being detrimental to her work.
‘When you go to the gym it should make you feel better and make you happier, not make you feel worse’, he explains. ‘If you’re stressed at work, and had planed to do an exercise class that is high intensity, your body might not be resilient enough to cope with it.’ Wong adds that it’s important that ‘you listen to your body, and figure out what type of exercises work for you.’
DALTON’S TIP: When you don’t give your body enough nutrients and energy to function, the first place your body goes to steal those nutrients from is your muscles.
He says that ‘there is a time and a place for high intensity, there is a time and a place for stretching,’ and he advises that if you find that you’re feeling exhausted and drained after a workout, then it could mean that it’s not the right exercise for your body. ‘I couldn’t exhaust Jennifer so much that she felt so sore at work the next day, my job was to make her feel better, fitter, and stronger, so that she could work better’.
As someone who advocates health and lifestyle, Wong believes that the way forward is for people to ‘start listening to their bodies, and looking at having a balanced approach to exercise such as combining yoga, pilates, and mediation. And that is what will help you on the road to a happier, and healthier life.’
‘It’s ok to eat chocolate, it’s ok to eat ice-cream, as long as you’re nourishing your body as well, and not depriving it of what it needs,’ he says. Wong explains that a good example of balancing your diet would be to eat foods high in protein at breakfast and lunch, but cut out protein for dinner. This will also help to satisfy your hunger during the day as protein foods, such as meat, will make you feel fuller for longer as it takes longer for the body to break it down.
It’s ok to eat chocolate, it’s ok to eat ice-cream, as long as you’re nourishing your body as well
Dalton’s Tip: If you stick to eating a vegetable diet at night it will digest quicker than meat, and therefore you will have a better chance of having more of a restful nights sleep
Wong highlights that eating meat before bed will cause your body to go into overdrive as it breaks it down for digestion, whereas, if you eat your meat at breakfast or lunch, your body has the entire day to break it down properly.
Wong says that the importance of eating the right foods at the right times is demonstrated through your ability to achieve certain goals. For instance, a good breakfast with quinoa or a little bit of rice might mean you will feel more focused in a business meeting, or eating baked sweet potato with avocado for lunch could mean you reached your full potential during a workout. So it’s just a case of matching the right foods to what will help you achieve a certain goal.
DALTON’S TIP: Remember that every time you eat something, you should think to yourself, ‘is it going to help or hinder a goal I want to achieve?’
If you’re looking to use your diet to cure conditions, such as bloating, then Wong says you need to be mindful that ‘certain foods you eat will react differently for you than they might with someone else, so you need to figure out what foods are triggers for your bloating’.
common foods that sometimes trigger bloating can be, gluten, dairy, lentils, and even salads
He explains that ‘common foods that sometimes trigger bloating can be, gluten, dairy, lentils, and even salads.’ Wong says that a good method of discovering which foods cause your bloating is simply a process of elimination. For example, note down all the foods you suspect trigger your bloating, and one by one you test each food, obviously not together. If you try bread and you bloat up, then you know to avoid bread. If you try chickpeas and you don’t bloat up, then you know you can include them in your diet.
Wong says that it’s important to remember that you need to know which foods MIGHT bloat you before you start eliminating everything, otherwise you might cut out foods that could be contributing to your health.
He highlights that if you’re looking to start a diet, you can’t just go online and follow any random diet, you need to devise a diet that is specific to your body needs and triggers. He says ‘a diet plan that might work for someone else doesn’t necessarily mean it will work for you.’
Wong concludes, ‘My most important advice is that everyone should learn to be their own nutritionist, and their own trainer. And that’s what my book is all about, it is educating people on how to listen to their bodies in order to make themselves feel good.’
The Feelgood Plan: Happier, Healthier and Slimmer in 15 minutes a day, by Dalton Wong & Kate Faithfull-Williams can be found on Amazon for £10.49.
Dalton Wong is one of the world’s leading health and fitness experts. His training method is methodical, challenging his clients to reach new goals with personal attention and care. As an expert in nutrition, he also designs bespoke diets according to individuals’ goals.
Follow him on twitter: @dalton_wong
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