4 Eating Habits Jane Fonda Swears By to Feel Amazing at 85
Jane Fonda has been passionate about diet, health, and fitness for a long time. Whether you've been a fan of hers since her 1980s workout videos or her decades-long activism, or are a newer Fonda lover who watched her in Netflix's Grace and Frankie and is heading to theaters this month to watch her new movie, 80 for Brady, Fonda fanatics everywhere can recognize just how amazing it is that she's still feeling so healthy and active at 85 years old.
In fact, it was around Fonda's 85th birthday in December 2022 that she announced on her blog that her non-Hodgkin lymphoma was now officially in remission.
"Last week I was told by my oncologist that my cancer is in remission and I can discontinue chemo. I am feeling so blessed, so fortunate," Fonda wrote. "I thank all of you who prayed and sent good thoughts my way. I am confident that it played a role in the good news."
The star continues to celebrate her health in other facets of life as well. In August 2022, Fonda starred in H&M's Move Campaign alongside JaQuel Knight, the choreographer known for many of Beyoncé's most iconic dance moments.
"It's about moving in a way that keeps your body healthy and strong," Fonda explained to Vogue while describing the ad campaign's purpose and meaning.
Fans adore Fonda's love of movement and fitness, but what about her food and nutrition habits? Read on to learn more about Jane Fonda's diet and how it has helped her maintain such a full and healthy lifestyle.
She rejects fad diets.
In 2012, Fonda shared 10 of her favorite health tips for weight loss in a video for BeFiT.
"Most diets focus on weight loss on the scale, and they impose temporary and often unhealthy restrictive behavior," Fonda explains in the BeFiT YouTube video clip. "Unfortunately, this scenario sets us up to fail."
"Studies estimate that 80% of dieters will regain all or most of the weight that they lost within two years," she continues. It's for this reason that of the 10 tips for weight loss she shared with BeFiT, Fonda emphasizes the importance of forgetting fad diets as ninth on her list.
"Fad diets are the ones promising unrealistic results. You should not try to lose more than two to three pounds per week, max," Fonda says, before following up with her eighth piece of advice: "Do not weigh yourself. I don't even own a scale!" Fonda proudly proclaims.
She never skips breakfast.
In the BeFiT featuring Fonda's video top-10 weight loss tips, she also notes that her fourth weight loss best practice is simply to eat breakfast.
"Every morning, commit to starting the day with a nutritious breakfast. People who do so tend to lose weight," says Fonda. "Breakfast, by the way, is the most important meal of the day, and making a good choice there will set you up for success for the rest of the day."
In fact, research certainly backs up Fonda's point, showing that skipping breakfast can slow your metabolism and potentially lead to weight gain.
She is not super rigid & embraces balance.
For someone who focuses so much on health, Fonda also seems to genuinely know how to find balance and enjoy the food that life has to offer, while also eating healthy when she can. According to Fonda's top-10 weight loss tips in the aforementioned BeFiT YouTube video, following a diet plan that's too rigid and limiting is ultimately not practical or sustainable.
"You don't want to feel deprived," she says. "You can't sustain that over the long haul. So, if you have a piece of chocolate, it's OK—just don't eat the whole box, or maybe take a longer walk tomorrow."
Fonda later expands on this sentiment in a 2022 interview with Vogue.
"I eat a fairly healthy diet. I'm not rigid," Fonda reportedly told Vogue. "I have cut way back on red meat. I've cut back on fish because fish supplies are dwindling. I eat vegetables. I eat salads. I eat fresh food. I'm just careful about what I eat. I don't eat a lot of sugar, except lately I have."
During this interview, she also revealed to fans that she's not afraid to eat "unhealthy" food because she will always walk it off when she can.
"I was in Italy for two and a half months making the sequel to Book Club, and ate gelato and pasta every single day while I was there," Fonda explained. "But I never gained weight. I would get up at six in the morning before the heat hit and walk for an hour, hour and a half, two hours on days when the work permitted me to do that. I walk a lot, and that helps me."
She doesn't eat a lot of meat.
Fonda focuses on eating plenty of healthy food throughout the day, which for her means consuming a lot of produce and not much meat or fish.
"I eat fresh fruits and vegetables every single day. I eat almost no meat. And I've cut way back on fish," Fonda told Well + Good in a 2020 interview. "There are places in the world where fish is people's only source of protein, so in a country like ours, where we have other choices, we should reduce our eating of fish."
To hardcore Fonda fans, this comment regarding the lack of accessibility to a diverse range of proteins in other countries compared to the variety available in the U.S. shouldn't come as much of a surprise. The celebrity has been a political activist and humanitarian for decades, advocating on behalf of civil, women's, and environmental rights. One example of her activism is her relentless commitment to Fire Drill Fridays, a weekly protest demonstration to combat the climate crisis led by Fonda on Capitol Hill. (In fact, on February 3, 2023, at 11 a.m. PT/2 p.m. ET, you can tune in and Fonda's Fire Drill Friday demonstration via virtual livestream, during which she will discuss ocean conservation with Greenpeace USA Oceans Campaign Director, John Hocevar.)
As you can see, Jane Fonda's diet is full of balance, determination, and room for imperfections. She rejects rigidity in a way that is refreshing to those of us who sometimes feel we can't get it right, and her youthful vibrance at age 85 is living proof of what can happen when making smart healthy eating and lifestyle choices becomes part of your regular routine.
If you weren't a fan of this passionate, fiery, Hollywood legend already, hopefully this closer look into her values and lifestyle has helped you discover a new fondness for the powerhouse that is Jane Fonda. And if you're looking for laughs over the upcoming weekend, you can catch Jane Fonda in her latest movie 80 for Brady, alongside Lily Tomlin, Sally Field, Rita Moreno, and Tom Brady, premiering in theaters everywhere on February 3, 2023.
A previous version of this story was published on May 6, 2022. It has been updated to include additional copy and proofreading revisions, additional research, new media embeds, and updated contextual links.