9 things we learned from Jillian Michaels

When Jillian Michaels - star of The Biggest Loser and author of 30 Day Shred - agreed to come into MNHQ for a webchat, we were more than mildly excited. Here's what we learned.

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1. Diet or exercise? Sadly it's both

"Think of your body as a car: forward is weight loss, and reverse is weight gain. When you eat right but don't work out, or work out but don't eat right, the car is in neutral. When you do neither, the car is in reverse. To lose at any reasonable pace, you must be doing both."


2. Ask yourself 'why?'

"The key to lasting motivation is to establish your 'WHY'. Identify all the reasons why you want to make a change, and the ways in which the quality of your life will improve. There's no reason too profound - just as long as it matters to you. You will find that with the 'WHY' in place, you can tolerate the 'HOW'."


3. Don't fake it if you want to make it

"You need to watch your calories - but avoid fake foods: fake sugar, fake flavours, fake fats, fake colours, etc. Allow 20% of your daily calorie intake to be 'sweet foods', but made with real ingredients. This balanced approach will keep you from feeling deprived, and will also prevent weight gain."

4. Go easy on the booze 

"Alcohol is public enemy number one when it comes to a weight loss regime - I recommend no more than four drinks a week. Choose clear alcohols with calorie-free mixers; have a tequila on the rocks with a splash of lime instead of the 500 calorie margarita; have a glass of wine instead of the 400 calorie long island iced tea...  I can't stress enough that moderation is critical."


5. Small children are no barrier to exercise...

"When my kids were very little, I used to strap them on my back (one at a time of course!), and take them hiking. A great jogging buggy can also be really useful in this area. I've also been known to do fitness DVDs in the living room while my toddlers mock me!"


6. ... And neither is age

"I have found that women in their 50s and 60s are often stronger than their daughters in their 30s. I could also reference the hard bodies of Jane Fonda, at 80, or Madonna, in her mid-50s. I've often wondered if this isn't because they have internalised life's hardships over the course of their lives, and allowed it to manifest into physical strength and fortitude."

7. Actually, not even pregnancy gets you off the hook

"The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG) has recommended that women maintain the same level of fitness during pregnancy that they had prior to pregnancy. This is a relatively good guideline for the intensity of your workouts. I highly recommend prenatal yoga and pilates for good core workouts during pregnancy."


8. What everyone really needs a bit of self-love

"What you may perceive as an imperfection or 'thighs that look heavy' is simply the beauty of your body at a healthy weight. It's really important that you appreciate and accept yourself where you're at now.  I finally began to realise, in my 30s, that nobody is perfect. Perfect is boring. It's critical we embrace ourselves as a whole, dimples and all."


9. And that post-baby bulge? That's actually freaking awesome

"You have a beautiful baby to show for it, so I suggest shifting your perspective - try to see these things as a badge of honour. Having the strength to carry a child in your body for nine months, and deliver that child, is a massive testament to your power and abilities."

Read the full webchat here.

Disclaimer: All the advice here is provided for general information only, and should not be treated as a substitute for the medical advice of your own doctor or any other health care professional.. Always consult your GP if you are in any way concerned about your health.

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Last updated: about 3 years ago