When Jennifer Lawrence flaunted her incredibly toned body at the Oscars on Sunday, there was at least person cheering her on: her former trainer, Dalton Wong. The two met five years ago on the set of X-Men: First Class; Dalton helped her get into superhero shape for her role as Mystique. The lessons he taught her stayed with her, and she thanks him for that in the foreword for his new book, The Feelgood Plan: Happier, Healthier & Slimmer in 15 Minutes a Day. "He changed my body for that movie but gave me the skills to change my life," she writes. "We remain good friends; when I'm in London I love to train in his gym, then afterwards we go out for burgers and fries with his family. It's all about balance." Here, Dalton shares the secret to J.Law's amazing look.
1. She learned to stay hydrated. You've probably seen the quote attributed to Isak Dinesen, the pen name of the author Karen Blixen: "The cure for anything is salt water—sweat, tears, or the sea." Dalton also believes in salt water, but in drinking it, and he taught J.Law to mix a little salt water in with regular water, lemon water, and coconut water throughout her day.
Keeping your body hydrated is super important when you want to be in your best shape physically and mentally. "You don't have to slam back water all the time, but you have to sip water throughout the day," he says. And, if this recent study is to be believed, you'll save yourself 200 calories every day just by drinking a few extra cups of water.
2. She controlled her portions. Yes, being that she is Jennifer Freaking Lawrence, she will indulge in mac and cheese, fried chicken, and pizza. "I could never live on a 'diet,'" she writes in the foreword for Dalton's book. But he suspects that even when she's out with Aziz Ansari, she's not eating all of the everything. She's probably enjoying food in moderation and trying different dishes without finishing them.
Here's a chart featuring "The Rule of Two," which Dalton taught Jen and that you should keep in mind if you're trying to work on portion control.
3. She got enough sleep. "I've always told her that when you're traveling and you arrive somewhere and you're really fatigued, have a power nap," Dalton says. "Relax. Let your body recharge. Try not to burn the candle at both ends."
4. She learned to have fun with exercise. "It's part of her job but I try to make it fun," Dalton says. "We got on really well with each other so she would do the things I asked without a fight." The key for the rest of us is to find things we're really passionate about, Dalton says. "Whether it's a sport or a gym class, you need to like what you're doing so it doesn't feel like exercise."
5. She ate chocolate. "One thing I said she could have occasionally, but not all the time, was 75 percent dark chocolate," Dalton says. "I'd rather give you something you want, like a little bit of dark chocolate, than have you not eat it and crave a whole chocolate bar." Curb the craving instead of restricting yourself.
8. She figured out what she could drink, booze-wise. Wine is better than a wine spritzer, and a vodka soda is better than a White Russian, as you'll see in Dalton's charts below.
6. She worked on her posture. Dalton worked on Jennifer's posture, because that automatically makes you look better. One of his "bread and butter exercises" for her was the T-bird. To do it, bend your knees slightly with your knees over your ankles and your hips pushed back. With your back straight, let your arms hang down and turn your thumbs out. Raise your arms to create a T-shape with your body. Squeeze between your shoulder blades and keep your core engaged. Perform the move for 1 minute.
7. She managed her stress. When Jennifer was on set and in full hair and makeup, she couldn't work a sweat, but she could focus on stretching, breathing, and meditation. Dalton recommends taking deep breaths from the diaphragm to reduce stress instantly. "Inhale through the nose, filling your lower belly, lower rib cage, then up through your chest and throat," he writes in his book. "Exhale through the nose for a count of three."
9. She worked her ass off. "Ever since I've known her, she has been really hardworking," Dalton says. "She makes sure she does some sort of movement, she eats the correct amount of food, she manages her lifestyle and her stress, and she makes sure she enjoys her life. When you put all those things together, you become a very balanced person. She's also really committed to her career, and that's what makes her such a wonderful role model and actor."
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