Jennifer Lopez is 46 years old and she looks good. The Grammy-nominated singer/actress/American Idol judge has been a household name since the 1990s for both her artistic talents and her rocking body. In 2014, she even released the insatiably catchy “Booty” with Iggy Azalea, a song that focused solely on well… we think you can guess. (Just a warning, the video isn’t all that SFW.)
But she’s not magically gifted with a tight, toned physique. Her diet and exercise regimen is extremely dialed in, and her personal trainer, Tracy Anderson, recently shed some light on how the pop star stays fit and healthy. The best part? It’s attainable.
Her diet is “all organic and it’s all very well thought out, with the balance of very high-quality proteins and a lot of nutrient-dense food,” Anderson explained in an interview with People. Unlike the much more restrictive diet of Tom Brady and Gisele Bündchen, J. Lo keeps things fresh, simple, and clean and abstains from caffeine and alcohol. That said, J. Lo reminded us in an interview with People last April, “We’re all human. I don’t think you should beat yourself up if you make a mistake or if you have a potato chip.”
Treating yourself every now and then is one thing, but consuming processed foods on a regular basis can take you down a pretty dark path. Many studies show that processed foods that are high in sugar have negative impact on metabolism, and can lead to heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. Processed foods are also often high in refined carbs, and a large consumption can lead to obesity and chronic diseases.
If you want to start working your way toward a diet like J. Lo’s, here are six ways to start eating clean.
1. Start fresh
The first step of eating clean is to remove junk foods from your life so they are less accessible and tempting, Ilana Muhlstein, R.D., explained in an interview. “After that, focus on eating just one percent cleaner every day rather than thinking of it as an all or nothing process.” She suggests making small changes each day, like choosing lemon juice and olive oil over processed bottled dressings.
2. Limit processed foods
Processed foods are extremely prevalent in the American diet, so even if you removed them from your life one week, it’s easy for them to creep back in. So how do you cut out junk food more permanently? “Don’t buy it,” Muhlstein says. “It is that simple.” She warns that even if you’re just picking it up for someone else in your family, there is a high possibility that it will find it’s way into your mouth. “Order, shop, and fill up on only clean foods.”
3. Eat more fruits and veggies
Muhlstein recommends a diet comprised of at least 50 percent fruits and vegetables. “They are loaded with vitamins and minerals and contain phytochemicals, enzymes, and antioxidants,” Muhlstein says. “They’re also packed with water and fiber, which makes them so filling!” Because of this, eating these foods can aid with weight loss.
4. Limit salt and sugar consumption
The key to removing prevalent sugar and salt from your diet is to start small. “Choose plain yogurt rather than flavored, and choose fresh fruit to satisfy your sweet craving.” If you find that you’re eating a lot of salt, you’re also probably eating a lot of packaged, processed foods. The easiest way to move away from these foods is to cook for yourself. “Use spices like cumin, garlic and onion powder, turmeric, paprika, and black pepper and lots of fresh herbs to add flavor,” Muhlstein says. “Eventually, you won’t miss sugar and salt, but it takes time to adjust your palate. You just have to stick with it.”
5. Buy organic (when possible)
Eating organic all day every day might be impractical for your budget. We understand that. “If organic fits into your lifestyle and you can afford to buy organic foods 100 percent of the time, I highly recommend it,” Muhlstein says. “If you don’t, I recommend prioritizing organic eggs, dairy, and meat when possible.”
6. Go easy on yourself
J. Lo has a pretty strict stance on alcohol and caffeine, and that might be unrealistic for you. But you’re not doomed if you don’t cut those foods out of your diet. “Nobody’s diet is 100 percent ‘clean’ and it doesn’t have to be,” Muhlstein says. “As long as a vast majority of the foods you consume are whole and natural and ‘clean,’ there is always room to enjoy treats.”