Healthista has called upon the ultimate weight loss guru. Jillian Michaels shares 11 ways we can lose weight and keep it off for good
If there’s one woman who knows a thing of two about diet, fitness and weight loss, it’s Jillian Michaels.
The 46-year-old fitness guru is well known in the fitness world after her ten year gig as a trainer on NBC’s hit weight loss show The Biggest Loser – and for her abs of course.
Not only that, but Jillian has trained well known celebrities such as Pink, Julia Roberts, Amanda Peet and Sarah Paulson to name just a few. Jillian has also created many successful workout programmes, such as Bodyshred, Body Revolution, Jillian Michaels Killer Abs and most recently the Jillian Michaels App.
Jillian has trained well known celebrities such as Pink, Julia Roberts, Amanda Peet and Sarah Paulson
As a renowned fitness and nutrition expert with a keen interest in healthy living since the age of 18, Jillian has amassed an Instagram following of 1.3 million, where she shares her expertise, fitness tips and workout videos, as well as inspirational life quotes.
The TV star has built a fitness empire around empowering people who want to lose weight do so in a healthy and sustainable way.
So who else could we have reached out to other than Jillian for some advice on how we can drop the pounds and keep them off for good? Here are 11 diet and fitness tips from the one and only Jillian Micheals…
#1 HIIT and resistance training burns the most calories
HIIT training is extremely effective for getting lean and losing weight quickly, especially when done in conjunction with resistance training. Both these training types burn the most calories, during and after the workout.
That’s why I design my programs so that the individual trains each muscle group twice a week with two days of rest before training that muscle group again.
So a training schedule for my clients would look something like this:
- Push Muscles (chest, shoulders, triceps, quads, obliques): Monday & Thursday
- Pull Muscles (back, biceps, glutes, hamstrings, abdominus rectus): Tuesday & Friday
If someone is a fan of traditional cardio, I advise that they do this up to two more times a week, but they must take at least one day off, preferably two. So that means they have Wednesday, Saturday or Sunday open for cardio.
#2 Don’t consume more calories than you burn
The reason most people don’t see results when they think they are doing everything right is because they aren’t creating a calorie deficit, even if they think they are.
Either someone will think they are eating healthily, but still eating too much, or they will be eating less, but not doing enough exercise meaning there isn’t enough of a calorie deficit to lead to steady weight loss.
That’s why counting calories is important. Even if you don’t like to do it, if you want to lose weight it’s a tool you need to get used to.
weight gain, weight loss, weight maintenance are all an energy equation
Look at it this way, weight gain, weight loss, weight maintenance are all an energy equation. Yes, there are certain foods that can affect your metabolism, but not in a hugely significant way. This is not an opinion of mine. It’s scientific fact. It’s called the law of thermodynamics.
This means that energy isn’t created or destroyed in a vacuum. Food has calories and calories are units of energy. Consume more energy than you burn in a day and it will be stored as fat. No matter how healthy the food you are eating is.
And remember that eating for health and weight loss are not the same thing. There have been numerous studies whereby doctors and scientists have simply reduced someone’s calories but let them eat the same garbage and they still lost weight.
Is it healthy to eat crap – no. But eating less crap will help you lose weight. Ideally you want to be eating healthy foods and you should not be overeating.
#3 Choose exercise that you enjoy
Exercise and the ‘right’ type of exercise depends on the individual. Ultimately, the most effective form of fitness is the one someone will show up for.
So if you love dance class, spinning, walking or jogging, then do it. Whatever you choose, do it consistently.
That’s why I design programs to blend multiple types of fitness, from HIIT training, weight lifting, yoga, metabolic circuits and so on. By trying a variety of different exercise, you are training for every modality of fitness – strength, speed, power and flexibility.
It’s wise to change up your workouts too so you don’t hit a plateau or cause injury from doing the same movements repetitively. I advise that you add a couple of different types of workouts to your training every two weeks.
#4 Fitness apps are designed to help you reach your goals – use them!
The great thing about fitness apps is that you can access them on any device, any place, any time, anywhere – your phone, tablet, apple watch and your TV.
Plus, nowadays the technology allows for a completely custom experience whereby you can personalise a program for the client.
When someone downloads the Jillian Michaels App they can tell me their fitness level, workout of choice, time frame, available equipment and I am then able to customise a workout for them as an individual.
The great thing about fitness apps is that you can access them on any device
Or they can use any of the programs I’ve already created as they are all available on the app. Whether it’s my entire DVD library or any other programs they would want to use (HIIT, weight lifting, yoga, kickboxing, kettlebells), it’s all in there.
Even the meal plans are totally customised, from food preferences, calorie allowance, servings you want to make and more.
Fitness apps really are helpful, and they are often way cheaper than a gym, so make use of them.
#5 Balance and common sense are the key to success
I believe in balance and common sense, and keeping it simple.
By balance I mean, don’t over eat and move your body up to four times a week for around 20 to 30 minutes.
And by common sense I mean look at your food choices. Don’t eat garbage more often than you eat healthy foods.
#6 The 80/20 rule works
I live by the 80/20 rule, and that’s because it works.
That means I make sure 80 per cent of my food comes from healthier choices such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, ocean caught fish, legumes and grass fed beef.
don’t go over the amount of calories you burn in a day
Then the 20 per cent of my food choices consists of a glass of wine, a piece of pizza or some ice cream. This way I am making sure I never over eat. I eat as many calories as I burn in a day so around 1800 to 2000 depending on whether or not I trained that day.
As long as you don’t go over the amount of calories you burn in a day you won’t gain weight – this is an extremely effective way of losing and maintaining weight. It’s how I’ve kept myself fit while being a mom of two and running a business.
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Bringing it back to the benefits of a Mediterranean diet today! Hummus toast. YUM. And you can make hummus from black beans or sweet potatoes as well as chickpeas. You can spice it up with a little cayenne or jalapeño for a kick. Bottom line, it’s easy to make or you can buy pre-made. It’s a great blend of macros and it’s got a ton of fiber, healthy fat for better digestion and heart health! Eat up! It’s a perfect snack. pic: @oatmeal_stories
#7 Eat more whole foods and try fasting overnight (for at least 12 hours)
I always aim to eat foods in their most whole form and try to avoid eating fake garbage, and it’s what I advise my clients to do also.
By garbage I mean fake fats, processed grains, refined sugars, preservatives, food colouring, pesticides, hormones and meat raised with antibiotics and hormones. Of course we can’t avoid this all the time, but try to limit the amount you do eat.
Personally I do the following: I eat every three to four hours (breakfast, lunch, snack, dinner) over a 12 hour period and I do an overnight fast of 12 hours. That means if I eat my last meal around 8pm, I won’t eat again until 8am.
I always aim to eat foods in their most whole form and try to avoid eating fake garbage
Not everyone follows the same diet though, and there are different diets for different people such as, vegan, gluten free, vegetarian, omnivore, and even Keto. That’s why the Jillian Micaels App includes registered dietitians who optomise nutrition no matter what meal preference the client chooses.
As much as I would love to tell a vegan to have some grass fed beef once every two weeks it’s the equivalent of telling someone to believe in a different God. It’ll never work. So instead my team looks for any potential nutrient deficiencies and works hard to combat it.
#8 Think about your WHY
My job is to help people find their ‘why’. People can tolerate the how (the work and sacrifice associated with the goal) if they have the why.
I have many ‘whys’ – from being a role model to my kids, to feeling strong and confident in my own skin, leading by example for people who follow my programs, living to be 100, meeting my great grandchildren and the list goes on and on.
So tell me, what is your why?
#9 Don’t drink your calories
Remember the common sense I mentioned above? That includes the simple things like don’t drink your calories.
Water, tea, coffee and milk is allowed but avoid fruit juice, soda and kombucha as they are often full to the brim with sugar and additives.
Don’t get trapped into believing those fad juice diets will work. They are complete crap and hold potential threats for your health in the long term. Remember, common sense eating.
Alcohol in moderation is fine and even has health benefits, but if you are looking to lose weight, try not to consume more than four glasses a week.
#10 Supplements are a great addition to a healthy diet
Supplements – this is where I can get a little nuts. I believe that even though it’s ideal to get your nutrition from your food, our diets often aren’t varied enough and in some cases the soil our food is grown in can be depleted of nutrients.
So, I supplement to make sure I’ve covered all bases and to make sure my body is getting all the nutrients it needs to be as healthy as it can be.
Supplements – this is where I can get a little nuts
I take a greens powder with adaptogens and antioxidants, krill oil, a symbiotic (pre and pro biotic combo), multi collagen with MSM glucosamine chondroitin and if I get sick I take an immunity blend with everything from garlic and acerola to ashwaganda and elderberry.
I love the Alaya Naturals brand because they are privately owned. All their formulas are heavily researched and their ingredients are organic and ethically sourced from top quality.
#11 Stop comparing yourself to others
I will never be five foot nine and I have a small butt and no boobs – sigh. I will never look like someone else but who cares about looking like someone else anyway?
You can be the best version of yourself though and that’s what matters. Be you – that’s what makes you unique and special.
Jillian Michaels, health and wellness expert and creator of the Fitness by Jillian Michaels App.
Follow Jillian on Instagram: @jillianmichaels