Jennifer Aniston’s daily regime: 7.30am workouts, 16 hours fasting, glasses of celery juice
Why exactly has the Friends star’s diet regime left us agog?
Jennifer Aniston: strict daily regime. Photograph: Valerie Macon/AFP/Getty Images
Want to look as lithe as Jennifer Aniston? The good news is that is takes barely anything to have a body like hers. The bad news is the barely anything means barely eating anything.
Hollywood’s wackily prohibitive diets, which make fasting monks look pure Dionysian by comparison, are nothing new. Marilyn Monroe reportedly started the day with a raw eggs whipped into warm milk. Beyoncé has glugged water with cayenne pepper and lemon juice. Elizabeth Taylor “enjoyed” cottage cheese with sour cream over fruit. Victoria Beckham ate five handfuls of food a day (with four children in the house, that is behaviour that verges on the saintly). Gwyneth Paltrow seems to have cut out so many food groups that it has moved her towards behaviours like steaming her vagina to pass the time.
So if there are as many weird mega-star diets as there are weird mega-stars, why exactly has Jennifer Aniston’s regime has left us agog?
To recap, the 50-year-old Aniston, who will star in The Morning Show on Apple TV+, show revealed in a Radio Times interview that she sticks to a brutal regime of 16-hour fasts. If that’s not punishing enough, she adds in green juices and near-enough daily workouts that start at 7.30am. For her cheat day, Jennifer reportedly allows herself a celery juice. She then “indulges” in a meditation, presumably to keep her sanity on her person. In the same interview, Aniston professes to have never even heard of a fry-up. I mean, Poor Jen indeed.
She told the magazine that she noticed a “big difference” when she goes without solid food for 16 hours. Intermittent fasting involves limiting consumption of foods and calorie-containing beverages to a set window of eight hours per day and then abstaining from food for the remaining 16 hours.
Health enthusiasts have claimed that the 16:8 diet is less restrictive than many other diet plans, and its most ardent fans often report weight loss, boosted brain function and increased life expectancy (always a boon when celery juice is your cheat treat).
Dietician Rose Jane Chambers wrote about the trend in her book 16:8 Intermittent Fasting, released this year: “I once heard it referred to as a ‘health strategy’, and I think that describes it perfectly,” she said. “When you’re in fasting mode, it’s only for a short time and it’s over before you know it.
“I’ve observed my patients successfully reduce their total and ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol, reduce their blood pressure, blood sugar and insulin levels, and report dramatically improved digestion.”
I know what you’re thinking: celery juice sounds like a choice beverage for people who have lost their mind. Yet the truth is that celery is actually having a bit of a moment. As of this week, #celeryjuice has more than 191,000 tags on Instagram. The movement has been promoted by Anthony William, a Paltrow-adjacent health expert who works under the moniker “Medical Medium”.
“While it’s great to consume other green juices or vegetables juices and add in items like spinach, kale, parsley, cilantro [coriander], or apples, drink those mixed juices at a different time than your straight celery juice,” he advises on his official website. Other celebrities, from Debra Messing to Kim Kardashian, reportedly swear by it as a nutrient-dense “cure-all” that helps with chronic inflammation.
Part of the reason Aniston’s ascetic meal plan probably sounds so striking is because she has always seemed like the kind of warm, smart and funny woman that many regular girls could see themselves being pals with. There has often been a charming, personable veneer of realness about her down the years. The roles she has picked down the years certainly add to this illusion; likewise, her personal life has turned her not just into America’s sweetheart, but America’s Girl’s Girl.
Whether by accident or design, it’s never been totally beyond the bounds of possibility that Aniston looks like she would be great company over a pizza and a beer.
Yet the truth is that her fasting, metronomic gym visits and celery treat sound pretty miserable. No doubt Aniston and her ilk would be inclined to defend such regimes as an occupational hazard in an industry where one’s body – and an unfeasibly slim one at that – is an actor’s foremost trade tool. Because nothing says aspirational, unattainable glamour and pretty-much-playing-by-Hollywood’s-rules like a very, very low Body Mass Index.
But hate the game, not the player. Were Aniston to discover the fry-up, Tutankhamun-style, swap her celery for spice bags and relax her health-kick grip, the tabloid narrative could practically write itself. “Poor Jen” would be a woman careening towards double figures on the weighing scales, and therefore careening out of control. “Friends” and “sources” would no doubt bleat into the ether about her “fragile mental health”. Unfortunately for Aniston, her low body fat percentage isn’t a testament to a miserable life; it’s an indicator that she’s right on top of things. Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels? Nothing tastes as good as to risk a tabloid roasting, more like.