Jillian Michaels Diet


The Jillian Michaels diet focuses on self, science, and sweat to help dieters achieve weight loss, toning, and increased health and fitness. As of 2018, Michaels's business endeavors consisted of exercise videos; numerous books on diet, exercise, and weight loss; and a website that featured a blog, a podcast, and a fitness app.


Jillian Michaels is best known as one of the stars of the popular television program The Biggest Loser, which aired on NBC from 2004 to 2017. The Biggest Loser pitted two teams of significantly overweight individuals against each other to see who could lose the most weight. Jillian Michaels was a strength trainer and life coach for one of the teams of contestants. The strategies that she used on the show to help her contestants lose weight are some of the techniques that inspired her diet and exercise program. Michaels last appeared on the show in 2014. NBC cancelled The Biggest Loser in 2017 following accusations that contestants had been given weight loss drugs to make them lose weight rapidly and were malnourished. Michaels has also appeared in a series called Sweat, INC. on the network Spike and in Just Jillian on E!

Jillian Michaels.

Jillian Michaels.

Jillian Michaels was also co-owner of the now closed Sky Sport and Spa fitness club in Beverly Hills, California. She is certified by two programs for personal trainers, the National Exercise and Sports Trainers Association and the American Fitness Association of America. She began doing martial arts at age of 14 and became experienced in Muay Thai and Akarui-Do, two forms of martial arts. She achieved the status of black belt in Akarui-Do. Michaels believes that she brings a special understanding to people struggling with their weight because she has not always been fit herself. She said that at one time she was 50 pounds overweight. She used her own experiences in becoming fit and healthy to design a program to help other people reach their weight and fitness goals.


Michaels sells an app that, for a monthly subscription fee, provides users with meal plans, customized workouts, and other fitness tracking features. Her website offers a community for users, which many find helpful for maintaining their fitness goals. Her blog features articles on such topics as building immunity through diet and how to keep the liver healthy.

Jillian Michaels's diet begins with a very basic premise: for weight loss to occur, calories going out have to be greater than calories coming in. Calories out include all calories lost through basic day-to-day activities as well as calories burned providing energy to the body's cells during the day. This baseline caloric use is added to the number of calories that are burned during exercise. Calories in include all calories from any food and drink consumed during the day. Calories out need to be greater than the calories coming in. This way fat will be broken down to provide the additional calories the body needs.

Jillian Michaels breaks her diet down into three parts: self, science, and sweat. Each of these comprises one of the parts she feels is important for successful, long-term weight loss and better health. Her diet provides information, recommendations, and opportunities for dieters to customize their programs in each of these areas.

By “self,” Michaels means all of the psychological and emotional issues and problems associated with eating, bad habits, and being overweight. She shares many of the insights she gained when she was overweight and how she managed to overcome her problems.

Michaels focuses largely on ways to change problem behaviors. Problem behaviors include any kind of eating behaviors that stem from reasons other than hunger or necessary nutrition. These include eating when feeling stressed or upset rather than when hungry. Michaels believes that it is important to identify and change these behaviors because these are often the reasons that people have difficulty controlling their calorie intake. She provides suggestions for changing these behaviors and offers alternative ways to deal with underlying issues, such as stress. She also offer suggestions for coping with the emotional aspects of being overweight. Throughout all of her diet and exercise programs, she provides inspiration to help dieters overcome setbacks and find the inner force to keep going and meet their goals.

The science portion refers to information about basic nutrition and how the body uses food and calories. Michaels believes that the reason many diets do not work for most people is that they are general and are not designed to meet the individual needs of the dieter. To this end, she believes that there are three different ways that people metabolize food and that a diet cannot be successful unless it is specifically designed for a dieter's metabolic type. The three types she identifies are fast oxidizers, slow oxidizers, and balanced oxidizers.

Michaels believes that dieters with different metabolic types need different combinations of fats, protein, and carbohydrates to make their meals the most efficient. Fast oxidizers change the carbohydrates in their food to energy very quickly, and thus tend to have spikes of blood sugar right after meals. Because of this, Michaels says that people who are fast oxidizers should eat meals that have higher levels of protein and fats, which are converted to energy more slowly, and lower amounts of carbohydrates, so that the energy levels are more stable during the periods after and between meals.

A macronutrient that the body uses as an energy source. A carbohydrate provides four calories of energy per gram.
Dietary supplement—
A product, such as a vitamin, mineral, herb, amino acid, or enzyme, which is intended to be consumed in addition to an individual's diet with the expectation that it will improve health.
An inorganic substance, such as zinc, copper, and iron, found in the earth, that is necessary in small quantities for the body to maintain health.
More than 20% over an individual's ideal weight for height and age, or having a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or greater.
A nutrient that the body needs in small amounts to remain healthy but that the body cannot manufacture for itself and must acquire through diet.

Slow oxidizers are the opposite of fast oxidizers, and they have metabolisms that break down carbohydrates into energy very slowly. Michaels suggests that slow oxidizers should eat meals that contain large percentages of carbohydrates and lower amounts of fats and proteins. Balanced oxidizers should eat balanced amounts of all three (fats, proteins, and carbohydrates). This is because their metabolism converts food neither very quickly nor very slowly. Michaels provides a detailed quiz to determine what kind of metabolizer a dieter is so that menus can be customized effectively.

The sweat refers to exercise. Michaels believes that not only is exercise the most effective way to increase the number of calories going out but that the average number of calories burned during regular daily activities increases as overall fitness and muscle mass increases.


Jillian Michaels's diet and exercise program is intended to allow people to lose weight, become more fit, and achieve better overall health and wellbeing. Michaels also intends it to give people the ability to feel better and more empowered in their daily lives as they take control of their weight, appearance, and health.


There are many benefits to losing weight and being fit. The benefits of weight loss can be very significant, particularly for people who are obese. Individuals who are obese are at higher risk of diabetes, heart disease, and many other diseases and disorders. The risk and severity of these disorders is generally greater the more obese a person is, which is usually a result of high insulin levels and insulin resistance. Weight loss can reduce the risk of these and many other obesity-related diseases. Increased exercise can also reduce the risk of cardiovascular and other diseases. Michaels's online presence can provide users instantaneous answers to their questions. Many dieters enjoy using fitness apps and participating in online communities, which can make them feel less alone and more engaged with their quest for fitness.


Anyone thinking of beginning a new diet and exercise regimen should consult a medical practitioner. Requirements of calories, fat, and nutrients can differ significantly from person to person, depending on gender, age, weight, and many other factors such as the presence of any diseases or conditions. Pregnant or breastfeeding women should be especially cautious because deficiencies of vitamins or minerals can have a significant negative impact on a baby. Exercising too strenuously can cause injury, and exercise should be started gradually until the dieter knows what level of intensity is appropriate.


It is important to remember that the contestants on The Biggest Loser worked out for several hours a day and adhered to very strict diets, and although they usually lost a lot of weight in a relatively short amount of time this would not necessarily be the result for all dieters. Contestants on the show were closely monitored by physicians and other professionals, and their diet and exercise plans were specifically tailored to their dietary needs and levels of fitness.


With any diet or exercise plan there are some risks. It is often difficult to get enough of some vitamins and minerals when eating a limited diet. Anyone beginning a diet may want to consult a physician about whether taking a vitamin or supplement might help reduce this risk. Injuries can occur during exercise, such as strained or sprained muscles, and proper warm-up and cool-down procedures should be followed to minimize these risks. It is often best to begin with light or moderate exercise and increase the intensity slowly over weeks or months to minimize the risk of serious injury that could occur if strenuous exercise is begun suddenly and the body is not sufficiently prepared.

Research and general acceptance

Although Jillian Michael's diet has not been studied specifically, limiting caloric intake and eating a diet low in fats and carbohydrates and high in vegetable and plant products is in line with general recommendations, although some current research suggests that many people might have better results with a higher fat, low-carbohydrate diet. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends a minimum of 30 minutes per day of light to moderate exercise for healthy adults. Following Michaels's fitness and exercise program would exceed these minimum recommendation.

See also Biggest Loser diet ; Bob Greene's diet .



Michaels, Jillian. Making the Cut: The 30-Day Diet and Fitness Plan for the Strongest, Sexiest You. New York: Harmony, 2008.

Michaels, Jillian. The Master Your Metabolism Cookbook. New York: Harmony, 2016.

Michaels, Jillian. Unlimited: A Three-Step Plan for Achieving Your Dreams. New York: Three Rivers, 2012.

Michaels, Jillian. Yeah Baby! The Modern Mama's Guide to Mastering Pregnancy, Having a Healthy Baby, and Bouncing Back Better than Ever. New York: Rodale, 2016.


Abbasi, Jennifer. “Interest in the Ketogenic Diet Grows for Weight Loss and Type 2 Diabetes.” JAMA 319, no. 3 (January 16): 215–17.

Mateo, Ashley. “Jillian Michaels: The No-B.S. Rules You Must Follow to Lose Weight this Year.” Women's Health (January 1, 2018). https://www.womenshealthmag.com/weight-loss/jillian-michaels-weight-loss (accessed March 6, 2018).


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your-metabolism-diet (accessed March 6, 2018). Jillian Michaels official website. http://www.jillianmichaels.com (accessed March 6, 2018).

Matus, Mizpah. “Jillian Michaels' Diet.” Free Dieting. https://www.freedieting.com/jillian-michaels-diet (accessed March 6, 2018).

Wilson, Lawrence. “The Oxidation Types—Fast, Slow, and Mixed.” Center for Development. https://www.drlwilson.com/articles/Oxidation%20Types%201104.htm (accessed March 6, 2018).


Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 120 South Riverside Plaza, Ste. 2190, Chicago, IL, 60606-6995, (312) 899-0040, (800) 877-1600, http://www.eatright.org .

Office of Dietary Supplements, National Institutes of Health, 6100 Executive Blvd., Rm. 3B01, MSC 7517, Bethesda, MD, 20892-7517, (301) 435-2920, Fax: (301) 480-1845, ods@nih.gov, https://ods.od.nih.gov .

Helen Davidson
Revised by Amy Hackney Blackwell, PhD

  This information is not a tool for self-diagnosis or a substitute for professional care.