I had the incredible experience of going on the Jillian Michaels Ultimate Wellness Cruise at the end of 2010. Read about my workout with Jillian here. In addition to working out with Jillian on the deck of a cruise ship sailing through the Caribbean, I was able to attend her nutrition lecture and learn how she thinks about healthy eating. I loved everything she had to say.
So what advice does “TV’s Toughest Trainer” have to give about nutrition? Here’s a little summary of what she said:
Diet and fitness should go hand in hand, 50/50, when trying to lose weight and get in shape. You can’t just choose one.
The perfect diet is super clean, seasonal, whole foods. No preservatives, artificial sweeteners, artificial coloring, HFCS or MSG. “They cause mutation in the body. I cut out poison whenever I can.”
There’s a numbered scale Jillian uses when choosing food. She says, “If 1 is organic broccoli, and 10 is a twinkie, I live my life between 1 and 5.” She says a 5 would be snack foods that don’t contain any artificial stuff.
She doesn’t believe in tons of small meals all day long. “If you’re constantly eating, your body doesn’t have to dip into its fat storage to burn fat. Eating too often is not for weight loss.” She recommends eating every 4 hours, but says that after 4 hours your willpower is often compromised.
Save room for a healthy dessert or wine, but “eat low calorie desserts, and don’t have more than 3 drinks per week, max.”
Insist on getting enough sleep. “Lack of sleep is interpreted as hunger by the body.”
Stay low on the glycemic index when choosing foods. This means avoiding foods with sugar, white flour, or anything that spikes your blood sugar.
Avoid hormones, trans fats, and BPA in foods. This means to choose organic, hormone-free animal products, stay away from hydrogenated oils, and avoid canned foods that use BPA in their lining (Eden Organic is a great canned brand that is BPA-free).
Cancer is a modern disease that forms because of all the chemicals going into our bodies. “We are biochemically out of whack from the things we put IN and ON our bodies. Our genetics can’t handle the foreign information and it manifests as disease.” This idea is shared by many of the teachers I had at IIN.
Don’t eat carbs 2-3 hours before bedtime. “Sleep is inhibited by insulin from carbs. If you don’t sleep well, you’ll feel hungover and just overeat more. It’s all connected.”
So what exactly DOES Jillian recommend to eat? You can find out in her cookbook, the Master Your Metabolism Cookbook. With more than 120 quick, healthy and delicious recipes, you’ll find lots of great ideas.
Any last words from Jillian?
“Eat clean, real food.”