Queen Latifah on Staying Fit, Fabulous and Philanthropic at (Almost) 40

02/03/2010 at 05:45 PM ET

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Queen Latifah is turning 40 in March — not that she’s focused on the numbers. “To me as long as you’re young at heart, it really doesn’t matter how old you are,” Latifah tells PEOPLE. “To me, age is really how you feel on the inside.” But with time, she has learned valuable health lessons that she wishes she’d practiced earlier. “I wish I had known more about nutrition and exercise and how really good it could affect you at a younger age. Then I would have kicked it up a lot sooner,” says the Jenny Craig spokesperson, who has kept off the 20-plus pounds she shed using the weight-loss program for almost three years. Nutrition is key: “I don’t really diet. I kind of keep everything in moderation, exercise and eat right. I eat a lot of vegetables and lean meats, and I drink a whole lot of water,” Latifah says, before admitting her weakness: “Mac and cheese…I gotta have it!” Beyond her dedication to staying healthy, the star is also committed to the Haitian relief effort, co-hosting the BET Network’s “SOS Saving Ourselves — Help for Haiti” telethon with Diddy and Pharrell, airing this Friday, February 5 on BET, Centric, MTV and VH1 at 8 P.M. EST. The Procter & Gamble- and Pepsi-sponsored event will benefit charities including Wyclef Jean’s Yéle Haiti. Latifah also hopes to give on a more personal level by building orphanages, and possibly even adopting: “I would love to, but it’s going to take some time because things are in a bit of disarray down there. That is definitely something I would try to do. There are a lot of kids who are in need of a good home now, and I definitely think I can provide that.” -Arnesa A. Howell

FILED UNDER: Diet/Nutrition , Fitness

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Julie on

Queen, you are “bringing it”, my Sista. I love you so much. You are keeping it real ALL OF THE TIME!!! I’m so glad to have lived in the era that “Queens truly rule.” I’ve followed you all of your career and you just keep getting stronger. You got me by a year and a half, but I still wanna be just like you when I grow up!!!!

ChiefSlapaho on

On what planet is she fit and healthy?

Queen Latifah on Staying Fit, Fabulous and Philanthropic at (Almost) 40 : Safer Diet on

[...] Read more on People Magazine [...]

John on

Queen Latifah is not one to give advice on anything to do with nutrition or exercise. She looks like she is extremely overweight and I wouldn’t listen to anything she has to say related to diet or exercise. I’m surprised Jennie Craig would hire her or Valerie Bertinelli to be their spokespersons.

lyle on

she’s not extremely overweight! all you who think so must be anorexic or something. at least she eats the mac and cheese and doesn’t vomit it up.

mary on

She’s beautiful. not everyone has to be stick thin to be beautiful. And she wants to help people. wow, some of the posts here are very shallow. lots of skinny girls talking smack. go eat a slice of pizza, LOL

daniela on

I love Queen Latifah, but she is not “fit”. She’s still overweight, even after the breast reduction and 20 or so pound weight loss. I’m not saying she should be stick then, even that is not “fit”, but she’s still at least 25 or 20 pounds overweight – sorry! And this is coming from someone that was the same size as QL at one time!

Christal on

I think Queen Latifah is a beautiful person. She is representing the full figured women to the fullest. Some of these comments are ridiculus, it’s obvious that some of you are hating on her. Wake and see that it’s 2010, stick figures are out and the volumptous is in. Healthy doesn’t always mean a size 2,3,4,5, a person can be a size 12 and still be healthier than the 2,3,4,5. Keep doing what your doing Queen!!

Frederika on

Yes, I think we can all agree she is not a small women. However, she looks healthy – far from being truly overweight. Some people just aren’t built to be a size 2 or 4. I think that’s okay as long as you have some kind of fitness regimen and eat moderately healthy. I speak from myself when I say that being thin and going to the gym can’t become an obsession – there has to be a happy medium somewhere…anyway, just my opinion.

Eryn on

Queen looks amazing for 40! She is beautiful on the inside and outside!

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