‘I tried Jennifer Lopez’s diet and exercise routine for a week, and I’m sold’
Jennifer Lopez is known to have a body of a 21-year old at 51 thanks to her clean diet and intense exercise regimen. So Stephanie Nuzzo decided to put both to the test for a week – and was left surprised with the results.
Since the ’90s JLo has been lauded for her incredible figure (remember the green Versace dress?) And somehow, even at the age of 51, the entertainer’s rig still won’t quit (remember the return of the green Versace dress?)
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Seeing as JLo is the epitome of fitness goals for lots of people, I figured it was high time I gave her approach to health a whirl. I mean, there are few celebrities more in sync with their bodies than this New York local.
After a little digging, I found the practices that make up Jenny’s diet and exercise regimen. I then attempted to follow this routine for a week, praying it would help me grow a booty even half as impressive as hers.
Here’s how that experience went…
JLo’s diet was way more approachable than I expected
According to Harper’s Bazaar, JLo is not one to cut down on food for weight loss (glad to hear it). What she does do, however, is follow a clean diet free of anything processed or refined.
Breakfast, according to Hello! and HollywoodLife, is usually a smoothie with protein powder, berries, quinoa milk, Greek yoghurt and honey, or oats – also with berries. I rotated between these two meals and used WelleCo’s Nourishing Protein for my smoothies.
Lunch and dinner were usually made up of fresh veg and protein (mostly salmon or chicken) combined with a brown rice or sweet potato. No lie, it was pretty delish.
Snacks were always fresh fruit or nuts and, perhaps most notably, caffeine and alcohol were entirely off the cards. Wild, I know.
Lopez is quoted by HollywoodLife saying: “I don’t drink or smoke or have caffeine. That really wrecks your skin as you get older.” Instead, she apparently drinks water all day. While technically this rule is more about skincare than fitness, it is part of her diet, so I included it in the mix… sadly.
In terms of food, I was satisfied all day and never really felt like I was “dieting”. All my meals were filling and tasty and easy to put together.
Where I really struggled (read: failed) was the lack of caffeine. I drink a lot of coffee. About four cups per day (yes, I just heard your jaw hit the floor). So, going cold turkey for this story did not go well. I literally had a two-day-long headache and felt like I couldn’t concentrate on work. Was this placebo? Possibly. Did I still want to smack my head into a wall? Absolutely.
While I find supplements like Tropeaka’s Tone BCAA+ usually give me a noticeable energy boost, nothing worked to get me through my caffeine withdrawals this time.
So, I reached out to some skincare experts for clarity why I was torturing myself.
Dr Ryan De Cruz, Consultant Dermatologist for Australia’s first teledermatology subscription service, Software, explained that JLo’s words aren’t gospel. He shared that while excessive amounts of caffeine or alcohol can aggravate skin conditions, there’s no need to completely cut either.
“It’s just about having that balance rather than making a blanket statement such as, ‘exclude alcohol completely or exclude caffeine completely,'” Dr De Cruz said.
“There’s really no evidence to back that up.”
Skin therapist Diandra Politano echoed this point, sharing that when it comes to coffee, dairy is often the element doing damage to your skin.
“Daily brings on inflammation,” she explained.
“So, if you have a breakout, it’ll exacerbate that. Bring back your coffee and add almond milk instead.”
With JLo’s theory debunked, I convinced myself I was allowed one coffee per day. This killed the headaches and allowed me to feel like a human again.
On to fitness…
HollywoodLife has quoted Lopez saying, “I work out three or four times a week”. The woman must work hard because looking at her, I was expecting to hear seven days.
Reportedly, JLo’s training schedule is a mix of strength training, cardio, circuit-style workouts and, naturally, dance. So, during this week, I took on a boxing class, a HIIT session, a dance class and a strength training workout.
Most of the workouts were similar to my regular routine. So, while they were challenging, I wasn’t out of my depth. This was refreshing for a celeb fitness challenge.
Then I went to the dance class.
I visited Dance Central in Sydney and trialled their (socially-distanced) Brazilian Samba class. The style of dance wasn’t necessarily JLo-specific, but man was it high-energy. After an hour of cardio, I was a puffed-out wreck. I had an incredible time, though.
So, what were the results?
When it comes to my physique, I didn’t see a change. But remember, this was only a week!
I did see an improvement in my skin, however. This was undoubtedly aided by a facial at the end of the week, but I noticed breakouts clearing well before then. My guess? Less coffee and more water (at least two litres daily) were a winning combo.
When it comes to energy, that bounced right back up once I re-introduced coffee. And because I’d implemented a new limit to my vice, my sleep habits improved. I began passing out an hour earlier than usual. I also started waking up before my alarm (what?!)
All-in-all, I can say that while I may not have developed a booty like Jenny, these changes had a significant impact on my day to day life. Clearer skin; better sleep and the opportunity for a regular boogie? How could I not be Feelin’ So Good?