Jillian Michaels Diet

Jillian Michaels, who is best known as trainer on the popular television program The Biggest Loser, has created an online weight loss plan that combines diet and fitness so as to provide dieters with ‘real solutions for weight loss’.

She emphasizes three major elements; diet, exercise and behavioral modification and says that they are all equally important if dieters want to achieve results.

The Jillian Michaels Diet Basics

Jillian’s online plan is based on the concept that in order to lose weight you need to consume less calories than you use.

At the beginning of the program you will be given a daily calorie goal and information on how best to calculate your intake.


The recommendations for both diet and exercise are customized depending on your answers to a simple quiz. The program will be adjusted according to your body shape, metabolic profile, emotional tendencies, fitness level, personal goals and health conditions.

The plan is balanced and includes all food groups but the exact ratios of proteins, carbohydrates and fats will vary depending on whether you are categorized as either a ‘fast oxidizer’ that runs better on protein and fats, or a ‘slow oxidizer’ that requires a greater amount of carbohydrates in the diet to function well.

Sample Diet Plan


Whole wheat bagel with jelly and almonds


Oven roasted turkey with cranberry wild rice


Beef lasagna with vegetables


Honey roasted peanuts

Find some more low Calorie meal ideas here.

Exercise Recommendations

Exercise is an important part of the program and you will be provided with a personalized exercise plan that can be done in your own home. Dieters are provided with support resources such as a fitness planner with a weekly exercise schedule and advice on how to perform exercises correctly.

Costs and Expenses

Membership to the online site costs $52 per quarter which works out to $4 per week.

Slim for Life

slim-for-life-jillian-michaelsThe book version of the Jillian Michaels Diet is called Slim for Life.

It is packed full of diet, exercise and lifestyle advice that will enhance weight loss. Michaels aims to dispel diet myths and urges readers to avoid fad diets that ultimately damage metabolism and make it harder to lose weight.

Slim For Life’s many tips are rated in the form of a point system that lets you know which are the most powerful and important

Those with a 3 rating are top priority and you should do everything you can to follow them.

Tips with a 1 or 2 rating are not compulsory. If they seem realistic to your lifestyle you can try them out and observe the results.

Personalized Action Plan

By choosing the strategies you like the most you will create your own customized weight loss plan. This approach enables you to pick and choose from the tips and advice throughout the book. You can implement what works for you, while avoiding those activities that don’t appeal.

The book does not include a structured meal plan but does outline three days of a healthy weight loss diet. Also included is:

  • Information on how to reduce calories in recipes
  • A list of recommended snacks that contain about 200 calories
  • Recipes for low calorie cocktails


  • Plan is adjusted to suit your personal body type, fitness level and goals.
  • Membership site provides over 100 recipes.
  • One week free trial.
  • Does not require gym membership as all exercises can be done in your own home.
  • Provides plenty of online support such as a members forum and access to ‘Ask Jillian’.
  • Addresses psychological factors involved in weight loss such as how to deal with emotional triggers that may cause overeating and the need for a system of support.
  • Jillian has the credentials and experience that show she is capable of producing results.


  • Dieters must commit for a minimum of five weeks.
  • Exercise facet of the program may be intimidating for dieters who are not physically active.
  • Does not provide options for special dietary requirements such as vegetarians, coeliacs or those with dairy intolerance.
  • Customizations are reliant on self assessment which may not be entirely accurate.

Sense of Community and Support

Online programs have been shown to lead to a greater degree of success due to the sense of community and support from other dieters and this is a major drawcard of plans such as this. The customizable aspect of Jillian’s plan and the emphasis on exercise and behavior modification sets this program apart as being unique.

The basic concepts of the Jillian Michaels Diet are not unlike many other weight loss plans but the online support factor may appeal to dieters who are familiar with her methods and would appreciate some help to stay motivated.

 By Mizpah Matus B.Hlth.Sc(Hons)

22 Comments or Reviews

Comments now closed
  1. MKS

    JE4 you are awsome and absolutely correct.
    I have been doing Jillian videos and have a Kines. friend who said the same thing. Maybe it’s time I found a new workout guru… like one with an ed-u-ma-cation….

  2. MKS

    JE4 you are awesome.
    I have been doing Jillian Videos and have just started reading up on her! WOW…. I may need a new at home workout…. Bye Bye Jillian.

  3. L.

    wow@all the hate. Jillian keep doing what you do.

  4. Kari

    I am no trainer and have no formal diet education, I do know that I have been on a lot of different programs over the years and have been attempting to lose weight for about 15 years! My take on it is that if you are more educated than her and think you can do better than go do it, don’t sit here typing negative messages about others, because the view is pretty good from the cheap seats. I can say that carrying around an extra 100# is probably much more unhealthy than the workouts and diet that she is recomending. I think that if this program can inspire you and keep you motivated that you should go for it. There are way more unhealthy programs out there. And if you have a better idea that can get you results then by all means market it! There are so many Americans out there that are so overweight that they will go to any extreme to try to lose it. It is so scary what some people are putting into their bodies, and I think that her idea of eating whole foods and buying local and organic, along with a maybe not so perfect exercise program(in some eyes) is so much better than some other ways.

  5. lane

    I’d say Jillian Michaels got lucky as hell being cast on that show with her lack of credentials, and she’s obviously running with it. It really is disgusting the number of fitness magazines, etc that give her credence as being a serious diet and fitness expert. She seems to think that being a fat teenager and then ultimately getting fit makes her an expert. But since the public is buying it, I guess you can’t blame her for making the most of it.
    (example of her poor training technique: in her 30-day shred dvd she does a 3-2-1 training technique (3 min strength, 2 min cardio, 1 min abs). Immediately after doing 2 minutes of intense cardio the last thing a person should do is lay down to do crunches with your heartrate sky high! Even a certified personal trainer with no degree would know that.

    • Ausha

      Lol. Sounds like it’s too hard for you. She gets results! They don’t call her Americas toughest trainer for nothing!

  6. Veronica maynard

    Go Jiilian Michael’s! You were born for this and it shows within yourself and in the people that you help personally and inspire across the nation, along with Bob. I have been watching the show since day 1 and think your great.

    People have to know there is no quick way to keep the weight off for life if they don’t work at it. Jillian and Bob help the individuals melt the pounds, but it is up to them(contestants and others) to keep it up for the rest of their life. It’s not easy, that’s why they constantly say, “LIFE STYLE CHANGE”, NOT “GO BACK TO YOUR OLD WAY OF LIVING.” I believe in some of the above comments, the negative people are forgetting about that.

  7. lori shea

    great site. Thank-you.
    I tried to do the rating and could not.

  8. Fit minus Fiction

    Excellent comment, JE4.

    Just because someone can create results quickly enough to keep their clients motivated, doesn’t mean they did it the safe—or sustainable—way.

    To start with, the strength training they show on The Biggest Loser is scary — those poor people are on the path to orthopedic problems if they continue with the kind of exercises she’s given them.

    But overall, proof of the show’s false expertise is in its contestants: many of them gain the weight back. Which is exactly what happens when you do weight loss the wrong way. (Yes, there is a scientifically-researched right way, that creates long-term sustainability.)

    The fitness and supplement industries aren’t regulated the way the medical industry is, even though they are directly related to health. The more you come to realize what is fact, the more you realize just how much of what we hear is fiction.

  9. vero

    I think she is wonderful she keeps me motivated and I do her 30minute videos and their doing wonders for me keep on doing everything your doing and keep making videos especially the yoga workouts. Thanks a lot!!!

  10. Mike

    I also have a degree, not in health science, but a degree nontheless. However my point is that I learned a lot in school but I learned more when I started to practice in my field! There is no replacement for experience!

    I do cardio with Jillian’s CD’s every morning and weight train in the evening. It most defiantly works for me! BTW- I’m also a NPC pro bodybuilder so I know a good program when I see one.

    Keep it up Jillian!

  11. Stephanie Aguirre

    Losing weight and “mastering you metabolism” is not rocket science. it’s as simple as doing what she says, and even if she doesn’t memorize exactly down to the very molecular level of losing weight she shouldn’t be judged for this.

    Her fame and success is attributed and a direct result of her perseverance, something that does not necessarily equate to a degree, something that was born within her to succeed in her area of interest.

    No degree can account for the winning attitude she has, and just because you have a degree does not mean you can automatically motivate people to lose weight, that’s the hardest job, the most critical part of losing weight and helping others do so. Just because you have a degree does not mean you’re useful, she’s definitely proved herself and her ability beyond the means of a degree.

    if you’re so great with your degree and memorized knowledge, why aren’t you Jillian Michael’s? why must thou judge others?

  12. Ali

    Oh gosh. THOSE meals are meant to help you lose weight? Ugh, please. So unhealthy. She’s just making money off of The Biggest Loser fans who trust her.

  13. JE4

    As someone with a 4 year degree in kinesiology, I can see the flaws with Jillian’s training methods in every episode of the biggest loser. Her understanding of biomechanics and anatomy is horrendous, and her training flaws are easily picked out by individuals in the exercise science field. I would like to say that if you speak to any academic in the field, they follow the consensus that her knowledge is completely inadequate (and almost a joke).

    Furthermore, it takes years of studying biochemistry to fully understand the workings of the metabolism. Manipulating metabolic rate isn’t as “cut and dry” as Jillian would have you believe.

    Finally, having 17 years of fitness experience does not make someone an expert in their field. Someone could spend 20 years arguing with their spouse, but that does not make them a lawyer. Prior to my university education, I had 15 years of competitive athletic experience. In no way did that measure up to the knowledge I gained in my degree.

    Kinesiologists and athletic trainers are individuals who deal with people’s health on a daily basis. They impact muscle and bone health, joint function, and disease prevention. In many nations (e.g. Australia), they are considered health care professionals, and must pass a board certified exam before practicing. For those who assess their trainers based solely on image, I can assure you that trainers with a university degree are still physically fit and aesthetically pleasing. However, these trainers can also name every metabolic intermidiate involved in glycolysis and lipid metabolism. They can also name the origin, insertion, and neural innervation of every muscle in the body. These trainers also subscribe to the latest research published in peer-reviewed literature. If you have to choose between two trainers who both appear to be fit, wouldn’t you want the one with the formal university training?

  14. Karen

    Jillian has over 17 years of martial arts experience. Additionally, since 1993 she has held personal training certificates from two of the leading certification programs (NESTA and AFAA) in the country. She has been recognized by the American College of Sports Medicine for her work in exercise nutrition and in using supplements for training and performance. I think 17 years is enough time to have some idea of what works and what doesn’t and her methods have worked over and over again on The Biggest Loser show. I think she knows a lot more then most of us do that’s for sure. Reading books and studying health and fitness can be done without a degree.

  15. Kyle

    I agree completely with Corinne. Kate, just because she has a “nice” body doesn’t mean she has the qualifications or expertise in these areas. Being in good shape doesn’t mean you understand the science behind diet and exercise.

  16. Kate

    She shouldn’t even have to be trained in those fields, someone with the body of hers doesn’t need that background. Look at her, and look at yourself…I think she’s in the right.

  17. Corinne Carey

    I find it amazing that someone with no health education or formal training can market these ideas successfully. Yes, she is a great TV personality and does her job on Biggest Loser well. However, she has absolutely no training to be making diet recommendations. PLUS, if you look at what she says, it’s basically what the US government has established as healthy (for the most part). I encourage everyone to do your research, and find a qualified dietitian to help with your weight loss goals. Good luck.

  18. mary

    i am doing Jillians online plan, I love it i don’t have alot of weight to lose but it’s the best program i have ever done

  19. Megan

    I’m curious about what credentials Jillian Michaels has that make her an expert on healthy weight loss. There have been lots of plans like this on the market, and she’s clearly a good personal trainor for those on the biggest loser, but is she just certified as a personal trainor or does she have credentials such as a B.S. or M.Sc. in kinesiology, exercise science, or dietetics?

  20. melina coutom

    love her exercise tapes love her on the show and now would like to try her diet

  21. Hollie

    I will complete Jillian’s book “Making the Cut” officially tomorrow. The results are incredible. As a former college athlete though, I must warn you, the exercises are tough. If you can get through them, you will be greatly rewarded though with the appearance of your “new” body. I had about 20 lbs to lose, I’ve lost almost 13, but I’ve gained over 20lbs of muslce mass, can’t complain too much about that. Making the Cut is for people that want some muscle, not a low number on the scale. Jillian you are amazing. Thanks for the wonderful program to get a super hot body. I haven’t got Jillian’s body yet, but after the holiday’s I plan on going through the routine again and see what happens. I’m darn close though.

Last Reviewed: March 28, 2021