Jillian Michaels, best known as the fitness trainer for the television series The Biggest Loser, is the author of Master Your Metabolism: The 3 Diet Secrets to Naturally Balancing Your Hormones for a Hot and Healthy Body!
In this book, Michaels explains how hormones – including cortisol, ghrelin, testosterone, and leptin — work to keep your body healthy and balanced. Michaels shares three secrets that will allow dieters to engage all of these weight loss hormones so as to repair their metabolism.
In Master Your Metabolism, Michaels explains some basic concepts that will help you to restore your metabolism to its optimum. Michaels says that by following the principles outlined in her program, not only will you lose weight, but you will also reduce your risk for heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. Michaels also offers guidelines to tackle conditions such as menopause and hypothyroidism.
The basic concept of this program is that toxins in our food, prescription medications and the environment can affect the delicate balance of the body’s hormones. According to Michaels, avoiding these toxins will help you to lose weight, especially if you have struggled with losing the same 5 to 20 pounds over and over again.
There are three main components of the program:
REMOVE ‘anti-nutrients’ from your diet
Foods containing ‘anti-nutrients’ include chemicals, trans fats, hydrogenated fats, refined grains, high-fructose corn syrup, artificial sweeteners, artificial preservatives and colors, MSG, and other additives.
RESTORE foods that speak directly to fat burning genes
This includes low glycemic fruits and vegetables, organic lean proteins, and foods containing omega 3 fatty acids.
REBALANCE energy and hormones for effortless weight loss
This is achieved by paying attention to maintaining a balanced diet, adequate sleep, and regular exercise.
The book includes a fairly restrictive diet plan that involves eating a meal every four hours containing a balance of protein, carbohydrates, and fat. Dieters are advised to reduce their intake of starchy vegetables, dried and canned fruits, soy, alcohol, full-fat dairy and fatty meats, canned foods, and caffeine.
Michaels also advocates the use of organic foods so as to reduce pesticide exposure. She says that some foods like meat, dairy and eggs should always be organic, whereas others, including tough-skinned fruits and vegetables, are okay to buy conventional sometimes.
Dieters are also encouraged to reduce toxin exposure in the home, by disposing of potentially dangerous chemicals used in the kitchen, bathroom, and garden.
Michaels highlights ten ‘power nutrient’ food groups:
1. Legumes (peas and beans)
2. Alliums (onions, leeks, shallots)
4. Meat and eggs (this group also includes fatty fish like salmon)
5. Colorful fruits and vegetables
6. Cruciferous vegetables (such as broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower)
7. Dark green, leafy veggies
8. Nuts and seeds
9. Organic, low-fat dairy
10. Whole grains
Scrambled egg whites
Southwest chicken salad
Halibut skewers with eggplant, peppers, and onions
Michaels says that it is necessary to undertake a structured exercise program including gym visits of four to five times a week in order to get results. Her exercise advice is: “Do it even if you hate it.”
Master Your Metabolism retails at $26.
While excessive toxicity may be a factor in stubborn weight gain for some dieters, Michaels downplays the relative importance of monitoring calorie intake for successful weight loss.
At the same time the recommended meal plans are actually quite low in calories, averaging around 1300 per day. Ironically dieters who follow this plan as a long term approach to weight loss, especially in combination with the intense exercise regime recommended by Michaels, are likely to cause damage to their metabolism.