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The JLo Diet: Is It Worth A Try?
Published on September 21, 2022 and last updated for accuracy on October 7, 2022
Jennifer Lopez is one of the highest-paid Latin Women in the world, she can sing, she can dance and she can act. She was first getting critical acclaim in her portrayal of the famous Latin star, Selena. Jennifer Lopez or JLo, or as she is more commonly known among her fans, has become a superstar since that portrayal, releasing in several multi-platinum albums and highly successful concert tours as well as blockbuster movies.
She is incredibly talented and attractive, but more than that, her career has now spanned three decades, but she has not shown signs of stopping. She has transcended pop-star icon and is considered to be a cultural icon, having succeeded in the US and globally despite coming from an American Ethnic minority (in the States).
Another amazing thing about her is how she’s kept her figure as well as her health despite so many years on the road, performing and wowing her fans wherever she goes. JLo attributes a lot of that to her diet, and workout regimen. She looks just as amazing as she was 30 years ago in a bikini or in the extravagant outfits that she has become famous for. “I don’t deprive myself. But I’ve learned the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle.” she once told People Magazine. (1)
Of course, we don’t have access to personal chefs and private trainers but we do have access to information regarding how she takes care of her body.
What is JLo’s Diet?
Jennifer Lopez has not exactly released a book that talks about her diet. She has, however, revealed quite a lot of information about how she treats her body, what she eats, how often and the reasons why, in several Magazine, TV, and Radio interviews.
According to reports, at her current age of 53 years old, she stands at 5 feet and 4 inches and weighs approximately between 54 to 62 kilograms, based on some interviews and more recent approximations. (2) This means that her resting metabolic rate should be around 1400 calories a day, that is how many calories she would be burning a day, which means, as well that in order to maintain her figure, that would be how much food she is consuming if she is not exercising.
If we count her exercises, she works out for an hour 4-5 times a week. (3) that is about 250 calories burned, she also dances and rehearses which could burn 200-400 calories an hour depending on the intensity of her rehearsal. Of course, there’s not enough information which helps us specifically say how many calories she eats a day but we do know that with her level of activity, it is possible that on an average day, she does not exceed 1800-2000 calories in order to maintain that figure, again depending on the level of physical activity, as she may eat more or less depending on that.
Reviewing the JLo Diet
We also know that she holds true to many basic, and well-accepted fitness and health norms.
1. She drinks a lot of water a day.
Her trainer says that the superstar drinks a lot of water during the day, drinking at least 7 glasses during the course of the day. (4) Of course, this may have something to do with how active JLo is because everyone’s hydration needs are different.
It makes sense though, Water has a satiating effect on the body so your body does not feel as hungry. Additionally, a lot of us confuse our thirst signals with hunger signals and end up eating food because we think we feel hungry, when in fact, the body just needs more water.
JLo has also been quoted to drink water in her famous bling cup and that she has avoided both alcohol and caffeine, going as far to say that she “hasn’t had caffeine in years”
2. She eats a lot of whole foods.
She prefers to eat fresh food. Simply put, whole foods are foods that are either not processed at all, or processed minimally. She likes to eat organic food only, she prefers eating green leafy vegetables like kale and spinach as well as cruciferous vegetables. Not all vegetables are the same though and Jennifer knows that. The Latin superstar avoids vegetables like carrots and corn which are high in natural sugars.
She also likes eating healthy carbs like sweet potatoes, brown rice, quinoa, and oatmeal, according to her trainer. It would not be surprising to find out that fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, seeds, and whole grains comprise a lot of her diet. Eating plenty of vegetables results in reducing Arthritic Pain and other symptoms. (5)
Whole foods are beneficial because they help keep the good gut bacteria in your digestive system well fed. It has also been linked to reduced heart disease risk. (6)
Many whole foods are also high in fiber, which boosts digestive efficiency, metabolic health, as well as satiation. In one 12-week study, people with diabetes or prediabetes stuck to a whole foods diet that combined fresh meat, fish fruit, vegetables, eggs, and nuts, experienced a 26% reduction in blood sugar levels. (7)
It might even be one of her secrets to keeping her skin beautiful, clear, and wrinkle-free, despite all those years. Dark chocolate and avocado help protect skin against damage while eating more vegetables, fish, beans, and olives has been suggested to reduce wrinkles, slow the loss of elasticity, and have anti-aging effects on the skin. (8)
3. She avoids processed foods.
It is well known that heavily processed food contains a lot of added sugar, sodium, and fat in order to taste better. Because that’s what they are made to do, to taste good so you keep buying them. Excessive amounts of sugar, sodium, and fat not only add to your calorie count without providing your body with essential nutrients but can also lead to serious health issues such as obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes. A 2020 study found that excessive sugar intake is now recognized as a key risk factor for obesity, diabetes, as well as cardiovascular diseases. These results suggest that sugars may represent a modifiable risk factor for breast cancer prevention. (9) Some processed foods that may seem natural but are actually loaded with either sugars or added fats are Fruit Juices, Salad Dressing, Flavored yogurt, energy bars, energy drinks, and even instant oatmeal and cereals. Because they are processed, adding sugars that improve the taste but not the nutrient content of the food is an easy way for people to eat and purchase them.
4. She prefers eating nutrient-dense foods.
Since you can only eat a limited amount of food a day, you have to maximize the number of nutrients that you take in. JLo already minimizes empty calories by eating whole foods and avoiding processed foods. She enjoys quality proteins that are both satiating, delicious, and nutritious. JLo starts the day with eggs with the whites taken out and prefers lean meat and white meat such as turkey and chicken breast or grass-fed beef. She likes fish such as sea bass and halibut which are rich in protein and omega-3s and omega-6 fatty acids, as well as a handful of nuts each day for their protein and health benefits. Surprisingly enough, there’s something about the texture and taste of salmon which makes the superstar dislike it.
5. She does not deprive herself.
Total deprivation can result in binge eating. So JLo still eats some of the foods that she loves in moderation. That includes indulging in her favorite chocolate chip ice cream and cookies. Latin food is famously rich in protein, fat as well as spices, and flavor, and with that kind of cuisine, it can be hard to imagine saying no, especially at family dinners and get-togethers. But Jenny from the Block is known not to miss out on thanksgiving or holiday dinners, especially with her family.
Here are some examples of what we know about what the global icon that is Jennifer Lopez eats:
JLo starts her day with lemon water, a quick and easy-to-do drink that’s believed to help promote healthy skin and aid in digestion due to its Vitamin C content.
For breakfast, she goes with a fresh and natural protein shake mostly consisting of blueberries, cinnamon, strawberries, Greek yogurt, honey, lemon juice, and protein powder. She has since shared a shake she has for breakfast. This shake has 90 calories but is filled with nutrients and protein.
Natural protein shake
- 1 scoop of BodyLab TastyShake
- 3/4 cup strawberries
- 1/4 cup blueberries
- 1/4 cup raspberries
- 1/4 cup Greek yogurt
- 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/4 tbsp. honey
- 1/4 tsp. fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 cup ice cubes
This just goes to show that she may not be a “eat a heavy breakfast” type of person and would prefer to have something light and easy to consume to start her day. She is always on the go so it makes sense to have a shake for breakfast.
She goes for a kale salad with pumpkin seeds, crumbled queso, and shallots with olive oil and lemon juice dressing. J.Lo loves to have broccoli, peppers and zucchini with an olive oil vinaigrette. Some sites report that she likes to have fish and a salad for lunch like a finely chopped kale with queso, pumpkin seeds and a lemon juice, olive oil vinaigrette.
It’s essential to cut out processed and refined foods. The diet goes for a balanced, nutrient-rich diet.
Knowing her daily activities as well as her diet, she knows that by midday, she’ll start feeling snacky, as any would. That’s why she makes sure to always have healthy snack options such as fruits or vegetables and even protein-packed nuts to stave off the worst of her cravings. These snacks can be anything from a fruit or juice shake, protein drink, or yogurt. She has been also known to partake in her guilty pleasure of chocolate chip cookies. J.Lo doesn’t want to deprive herself and this shows just that, besides having a controlled snack like that helps to keep the energy level up, which we think is important for such an A-lister who does everything as she does.
Tostones are crispy, smashed fried plantain which is a beloved snack in Puerto Rico and in the Caribbean, they can be served as a snack or as a dessert.
For dinner, she always choose very high quality proteins, such as white meat turkey, chicken breast, and grass-fed beef, and vegetables, and complement it with quinoa or other complex carbohydrates.
Again, she tries to avoid processed and refined foods as much as possible for her diet. She enjoys having a very green and colorful plate with a lot of vegetables like asparagus, brussels sprouts, and kale. Puerto Rican food is also a delectable mix of rice, beans, vegetables, and meat so it is likely that those are served in her household as well. In an interview, she likes pork and chicken and pairs it with vegetables like sautéed brussels sprouts and baked yams.
Several Puerto Rican staples involve chicken and rice such as Arroz con Pollo, while there are others such as Bacalao Guisado, which is a fish stew made from salted dried codfish. She loves to eat dinner with her family at around 6:30. Which is very interesting because it’s relatively early, and assuming she does not partake in any further meals, that means that her body goes on a mini-fast until the first shake or meal she has in the morning.
For dessert, she allows herself a chocolate chip cookie once a week. She’s also a fan of chocolate chip ice cream. While dessert may not be a treat she indulges in every meal, it is safe to say that she does not completely cross out and avoid these guilty pleasures for the sake of maintaining her body.
Is This Diet Worth A Try?
Everything we’ve found about JLo, her routine, exercise regimen, diet, and reasoning for her diet is sound and grounded on good science. There’s no reason why you won’t want to try a diet like this, especially if you are trying to replicate or imitate the success she’s had in maintaining her figure. Try it and see if it works for you.