How to get an ageless body like J-Lo in your 50s

As J-Lo reveals her sensational naked album cover, this is how to lose weight, improve skin quality and muscle tone after 50

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Last night Jennifer Lopez, 51, posted a naked picture of her toned body to Instagram. The tastefully shot photograph is the artwork for the album cover to her new single, In the Morning, dropping tomorrow. 

Styled with minimal make-up and her hair cut into a new tousled bob, Lopez's honey-toned, glossy body is pictured against a stark black background for maximum impact.

Jennifer Lopez's curves have been a talking point since she came onto the music scene in her twenties, but it's another thing altogether to maintain that level of muscle tone at 51. Sure, Lopez is blessed with good genes and has the means and resources to maintain a strict health and fitness regime. 

But when you hit your fifties, icon-clad discipline is only part of the answer. In order to maintain a healthy, youthful looking body after 50 you need a targeted approach. Here, we unveil four easy ways you can tone up and maintain your weight in your fifties and beyond.

  1. Sleep: It's well documented that a lack of sleep can affect the rate at which we lose weight and sadly, sleepless nights become even more common once we hit our fifties for a number of reasons from stress levels to hormone  deficiencies. Nutritional Therapist, Eve Kalinik, says: 'stress releases cortisol, your waking hormone, and it typically spikes in the night between 2-4pm which can mean that those who are under a tremendous amount of pressure can be wide awake in those hours of the night, leaving you feeling dreadful the next morning. This then leads to a cascade of poor food choices from too much caffeine to eating sugary foods and energy drinks - two known sleep saboteurs that can cause weight gain and water retention.'  Kalinik advocates a stress-relieving practice before you even tackle your diet, as the burden of chronic stress and anxiety has a profound effect on your adrenal glands. “When your adrenal glands are working overtime, it starts a cascade of health problems from poor sleep to numerous long term gut issues especially as you age.' While you cannot always control the stressful environment you’re exposed to, Kalinik says you can control your response to it in small achievable ways. 'Take the hour before you go to bed to remove stress – and that includes the anxiety around getting to sleep. That might mean writing down concerns and ‘brain dumping’ from the day so that you alleviate this stress rather than it swirling around in your mind. Instead create a soothing cocoon, for example by taking a warm bath, reading a book or doing some meditation or deep breathing exercises.'
  2. Hormones: Peri-menopause symptoms typically occur in your 40's before entering the menopause in your fifties. While this varies from person to person the slow reduction of oestrogen, progesterone and testosterone in women can make it harder to maintain the toned, fit look of youth. Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is a basic way to balance levels of oestrogen and progesterone but a prescriptive approach is best. Miss Tania Adib specialises in gynaecological issues from gynaecological oncology to hormone therapy. She says, 'hormone replacement therapy is most effective when it is bespoke to that individual, it's all about getting the dose of each hormone correct. When you get the balance right it can have profound effects on mood, sleep, weight and general well being.' 
  3. Diet swaps: When you hit your fifties it's not only important to watch your weight, which tends to settle more on the mid section, you'll need to eat smarter too. The best way to do this is to focus on proportions. Fill the majority of your plate with fresh vegetables in as many colours as possible to feed your cells with the nutrients and antioxidants they need to fight free radicals, combined with protein, complex carbohydrates and healthy fats such as avocados or coconut oil. Furthermore, ditching sugar is paramount as you age as it causes inflammation that has a cascade of negative effects from puffy eyes and blotchy skin and a drop in insulin which is vital for stabilising blood sugar levels and keeping your appetite at bay. J-Lo is a fan of the no-carb, no-sugar diet which she spoke about when training for her movie Hustlers. Meanwhile, experts are finding that constant grazing can hinder fat loss as your body needs at least four hours to properly digest your food, so drop the snacks and stick to two to three healthy meals a day. 
  4. Resistance training: Lean muscle mass reduces with age therefore it is vital to incorporate some form of resistance training from resistance bands to weights. Not only does muscle help to burn more calories, it is responsible for J-Lo's toned look.  A daily ten-thirty minute routine with squats, lunges and side steps using resistance bands will help to prevent injuries and tone up legs and bottom. Try Twentytwotraining mini band kit to follow at home. 
J-Lo shows off her washboard abs on Instagram