Jennifer Aniston is one of those celebrities who just seems to look better as she gets older, don’t you think? She looks just as good (if not better) now than she did when she was playing Rachel Green on the hit sitcom Friends – What’s her secret? Sure, some of that gorgeousness can be credited to having good genes, but that’s not the end of it. Jen keeps herself looking young and vibrant by ensuring a few different things – She gets lots of sleep, works out about six days a week, drinks lots of water, and follows The Zone Diet.
What exactly is The Zone Diet?
For the purpose of this article, I’m going to try and stay away from calling this a diet and refer to it as an eating plan, simply because a “diet” is generally used to explain a way to eat until you lose some weight and can return to your regular eating schedule – The Zone is an entirely attainable eating plan that you could easily follow long term without having to worry about lack of nutrients or feeling hungry all the time.
In this eating plan, your calories are limited to about 1,200 if you’re a woman and about 1,500 if you’re male. That might seem a little low (especially if you’re an active person), but you’ll still eat five times a day (three meals and two snacks).
The Zone gives you a lot of freedom when it comes to what foods you’re allowed to eat, as long as you remember the general rule of thumb – 40:30:30. That means that every plate you put together should be 40% carbohydrates (fruits, veggies, and whole grains), 30% Protein (white meat chicken and/or turkey, fish, beef, eggs, nuts, and tofu), and 30% healthy fats (olive and fish oils, avocado, etc.).
Keep in mind when you’re filling your plate up that anything white has lost most if not all of its nutritional value (bread, rice, etc.) and remember to stay away from Trans fats. As far as snacks go, there are actually Zone bars that you can buy in most grocery and health food stores if you don’t want to have to make yourself two healthy snacks a day.
Because this eating plan gives you so much freedom, it’s a perfectly viable option for vegetarians, vegans, people who are gluten-free, and meat eaters alike. Another spectacular benefit is that you don’t have to worry about what on earth you’ll eat when you go out to a restaurant or family dinner.
The Zone Diet Plan
To show you that you will indeed get enough food on this diet, here’s an example of what you might find yourself eating in a day:
An egg white omelet with veggies sautéed in olive oil on whole grain toast with a coconut water-based smoothie.
Fruit salad and a handful of nuts, (Alternatively, a Zone Perfect snack bar).
A veggie salad with white meat chicken and an oil-based dressing.
A Zone Perfect snack bar, or some whole grain pretzels and a piece of fruit.
A piece of salmon with some brown rice and veggies.
As you can see, even though you might not be taking in a whole lot of calories, you’ll definitely be taking in quite a bit of food. Remember that staying hydrated by drinking lots of water will also help you shed that excess water weight.
The Workout Plan
Sticking to the eating plan alone might yield you some great results, but if you want your body to look as amazing as Jen’s, it’s going to take a little more work. I mentioned earlier that she works out at least five-six days a week – Doing cardio, Pilates, yoga, and Budokon (which I’ll explain soon). Here’s what Jen had to say about keeping fit while on the road to the people at InStyle magazine:
“I work out almost every day, at least five or six days a week. I do 40 minutes of cardio: spinning, running, the elliptical, or a combination of all three. Then I do Pilates one day a week, and I do yoga in addition to that three days a week. I try to mix it up.”
She also says that she travels with 8 lb (3.6 kg) weights whenever she needs to stay in a hotel so that she can do arm exercises while watching TV or chatting on the phone. She stretches before going to bed and sometimes even throws in a couple of sit-ups for good measure. Clearly, this woman is dedicated to her body.
Jen recruited her BFF Courtney Cox, and together they took on Budokon – A martial arts style that has been credited as very physically demanding. Budokon is a workout program that uses facets of meditation and various yoga poses; Cameron Shayne created the program as a way to “create balance and permanent change in the entire system”. The program takes a ton of discipline; it isn’t easy, but if you’d like to give it a shot, you can do so here:
Does it work?
Obviously, it’s a little farfetched to think that following this eating and exercise plan is going to make you look just like Aniston, but I wouldn’t say it’s unrealistic to think that you could achieve a body look close to hers if you can manage to stay as disciplined as the 45-year-old starlet.
I can only hope I look that good at 45.