Jennifer Aniston's Best Health and Fitness Tips Through the Years

Aniston started focusing on her diet early in her career after an agent told her she didn’t get a part because she was “too chubby.”

“I was like, ‘What?!’ ” she told PEOPLE in 2016.

Though she didn’t take the comment too seriously at first, Aniston soon realized that her “diet was terrible.”

“Milk shakes and French fries with gravy [laughs]. It was a good thing to start paying attention.”

These days, Aniston urges body acceptance. 

“It’s time to just stop thinking beauty is in the shape of a size 4 and the right butt size and the right waist size and the right measurements,” she said in 2018. “It’s just old. We’ve done it. We’ve been there. Let’s move on.”

Aniston enjoys different types of workouts, from yoga to The Class by Taryn Toomey to the elliptical. She typically takes a spin-yoga class three days a week, which is 25 to 30 minutes of spinning and then 30 to 40 minutes of yoga. Three other days, the star does a weight-training workout at home.

“It’s basically just using my own body weight,” Aniston previously told PEOPLE.

Or she’ll just stick with cardio. “I usually do a trifecta. Fifteen minutes on the bike, 15 on the treadmill running and then 15 on the elliptical. You have to shake it up, you know, muscle confusion.”

On a typical day, she’ll start off with a cup of hot water with lemon — “it’s great to put that alkaline into your body first thing in the morning,” she says — followed by a cup of coffee with low-fat milk and stevia. For breakfast, she has a protein smoothie with “bananas, cherries, blackberries, a greens powder, a collagen peptide, a little cacao powder, chocolate stevia drop and chocolate almond milk,” she says. “You can see I like chocolate-flavored. I don’t like protein taste.”

Aniston will grab a hard-boiled egg as a mid-morning snack, and her lunch favorite is seared ahi tuna with cucumber and lentil salad. “Maybe olive oil,” she adds. “I use Bragg’s amino acids to replace soy sauce.”

If she gets hungry in the afternoon, the actress might grab a cheese stick “or a cup of soup” before dinner. Recently she enjoyed roasted chicken with spiraled zucchini and pesto sauce, but she also has a favorite spaghetti carbonara recipe for more indulgent days.

Aniston understands that what worked in her 20s may not be as effective now. 

“It’s funny, it’s a really quick transition from not a care and now all of a sudden, we’ve got to really be mindful of what we put inside our bodies,” she told PEOPLE in 2016. “And how we sleep and take care of ourselves. You can get away with a lot in your 20s.”

Aniston said education is key.

“As I’ve gotten older there’s just more awareness around what is good for my body internally, externally, physically,” she added to Glamour that year. “It’s all about reading labels and being aware and conscious of what goes in. If our bodies aren’t being taken care of then our work starts to suffer and we’re [not getting the most from] our daily lives.”

“I have said this before but it’s the truth — I really think hydration is so important. And sleep!” Aniston, the spokesperson for SmartWater, said in 2015. 

Aniston admits that she gets sick of her usual workouts from time to time, just like everyone else.

“Of course I [get bored],” she told PEOPLE for the 2016 Beautiful issue. “It’s when I take breaks and then I get back into it, that’s when it’s hard. But once I’m back into it, I love it and I crave it.”

And if she’s really not feeling it, the Friends star motivates herself to exercise by envisioning her next indulgence. 

“Just to do it. Bite the bullet. Just bite the bullet and do it,” she said. “Think of a wonderful pasta or Mexican meal that you want to have on the weekend and dangle that in front of you like a little carrot.”

Aniston said that she’s become more liberal with her diet over the years. 

“I’m not as strict as I was,” she said. “It was always sort of a monitored watch. Then I thought just give yourself moderation.”

But generally, she tries to fill up on fresh foods. 

“I don’t let eating habits get out of control where I need a reset button,” she told Yahoo! Food. “My general philosophy is to eat healthy. It’s pretty clear: eat as much organic fruits and veggies as you can, keep sugar [intake] low, drink tons and tons of water, and get good sleep.”

“I allow myself to indulge once in a while,” she continued. “I’m good at keeping my starches to a minimum. I don’t like ‘white’ foods, and I’ll always cut back on some breads if I’m trying to slim down for something special. But I don’t give myself any rules anymore.”

Aniston started boxing over the last year. 

“Boxing is a great way to get aggression out. You get a mental release of all this crap you’re taking into your ears and eyes every day and have little fantasy moments imagining who you’re actually punching,” she said. 

“It’s the longest workout I’ve actually stayed with consistently other than yoga,” she said. “There’s something about the mental aspect of boxing — the drills, your brain has to work, you’re not just sitting on a bike. It’s amazing.”

And her boxing instructor, Leyon Azubuike, said that Aniston is already a pro. 

“She’s very diligent. She is ready to work out hard, every single time she hits the gym,” he says. “Whether it be a 45-minute session, whether it be a 2-hour session, she’s always ready to go. Incredibly consistent and hardworking, and that makes my job a little bit easier. She’s a very good, natural athlete.”

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