Tips & Advice

Jillian Michaels Keto Criticism (And Why She’s Wrong)

Is Jillian Michaels keto criticism correct? Michaels is a huge celebrity in the fitness sphere. She has been around nutrition a lot and we shouldn’t just dismiss what she said because it’s anti-keto diet. She recently gave an interviewing outlining why the keto diet is bad, in her opinion. The video is on YouTube and she has some strong views on the subject.

Jillian Michaels came to fame as one of the trainers in the television series, The Biggest Loser. The show was, for a time, incredibly popular and followed teams of obese contestants going through exercise and calorie-restricted diets in an effort to lose weight. Despite its popularity, they have never had a reunion show for all The Biggest Loser contestants. The reason? Because most of them have regained their weight and it would be embarrassing to have a reunion show where almost everyone was fat again.

Calorie-restricted diets do not work long-term

The fact is, calorie-restricted diets do not work because they are impossible to follow in the long-run. This is one reason why the keto diet is so effective – it’s easy to follow and sustainable. In other words, keto gives you permanent, sustainable results. You are not constantly hungry and relying on willpower (which is always limited). With the keto diet you can eat until you’re full and because it’s high in healthy fats, you stay satiated. You never have to go hungry or battle hunger pangs.

In her video, Michaels agrees that keto does help with weight loss; that it does help reverse type 2 diabetes; that it does help with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) and that it does help with fertility issues. She admits all that. Keto helps with all these and then some.

Jillian Michaels’s Keto Criticism #1: Keto is a fad diet

Jillian Michaels keto criticism implies that the interest behind keto is misplaced. She says that the touted health benefits are not unique to keto and she says she’s achieved the same results with her diets. And that’s probably true. Because if you took any obese woman and fed them lettuce for six months, they would lose weight. They may very well reverse their type 2 diabetes, their PCOS and may become pregnant. But, sooner or later, they would head to the nearest buffet to put all the weight back – and more. (As proved by almost all Biggest Loser participants) Why? Because calorie restriction is torture. Calorie restriction is suffering, it is hunger and it is never a long-term solution.

So yes, she’s probably done those things with her diet but then she stops looking and they gain all the weight back because no one can starve themselves forever. It is not sustainable; it is not in human nature to do that. We’re hardwired to eat and if we get hungry enough, we’ll eat anything. Anyone who’s tried Weight Watchers or the Biggest Loser diet can remember the battle with gnawing, ravenous hunger. That’s not sustainable and it’s not biologically appropriate.It makes no sense from a physiological standpoint to say “Hey, here’s this new diet. Just start starving yourself and do that forever” because that is what calorie restriction is.

Jillian Michaels’s Keto Criticism #2: Ketosis is bad

Michaels admits that keto helps with many health conditions but then says ketosis (burning fat as fuel) is “a state of emergency in the human body”. Now we’re not sure where she gets that from. This is a very ill-informed opinion. Ketosis is a very natural state of being for the human system 10,000 years ago. Virtually, every human was in ketosis. Most of the day and most of the year that’s how we lived up in the northern latitudes when there was nothing to eat but fatty meat and maybe a few vegetables.

We didn’t have the huge Frankenfruits that we have today to knock us out of ketosis back then. We had to eat lots of animals and animal products and we ate a few vegetables if we had to or if we could find it. So to say that ketosis is a state of emergency is incorrect. When you wake up in the morning from fasting, while you were asleep, you’re often in ketosis. Newborn babies are in ketosis and breastfed babies are in ketosis. If you just eat the natural, appropriate, proper human diet, you’re in ketosis much of the time. And so to say that it’s a state of emergency is just wrong. Michaels obviously hasn’t read much into the physiology of nutrition or ketosis or she wouldn’t have said something silly like that.

Jillian Michaels’s Keto Criticism #3: There is no calorie-restriction with keto

Jillian Michaels next keto criticism is that there’s no calorie restriction on keto… and we agree! We don’t think about calories because when you’re eating the ketogenic way, you’re going to naturally restrict your energy intake. Why? Because the fat keeps you full, the protein keeps you full and so you are going to ultimately restrict calories but you’re not going to waste your time counting calories. That’s what Jillian Michaels and many others want you to do: count calories and restrict them. But here’s the problem: that’s not working. We’ve been trying to do that for a hundred years and people are just getting fatter and fatter.

Did you know that calorie restriction as a hypothesis for weight loss has been around for 100 years? And yet we have this obesity epidemic and type-2 diabetes epidemic in this fatty liver epidemic. Again, calorie-restriction doesn’t work. That is the wrong paradigm. That’s the wrong mindset. You have to think about eating the correct foods then your body will take care of all the rest. You don’t have to count calories.

Criticism #4: Keto ignores restricted feeding

Jillian Michaels says there’s no consideration of meal timing on keto which we find hilarious because Michaels herself was not talking about restricted eating when she was promoting The Biggest Loser diet. There was no talk of intermittent fasting. Before you heard of the ketogenic way of eating, chances are you never thought of time restricted feeding or eating or intermittent fasting. To say there’s no consideration of meal timing on keto is an uninformed statement.

Keto and low-carb eating naturally makes you go to a time-restricted feeding window because you’re just not hungry once you’ve eaten all that good fat and protein. You’re not hungry and so often you’ll skip a meal. You’ll just forget to eat because the natural state of the human body is not to be hungry all the damn time.

Now, if you’re eating the Weight Watchers diet or The Biggest Loser diet and eating lots of carbs, you’re hungry all the time and you’re having to eat every two or three hours. So we would say the exact opposite of what Michaels said here is true. The ketogenic way of eating brings to the forefront time restricted eating and intermittent fasting and meal timing more than any other diet has ever done.

Criticism #5: Keto disrupts cellular renewal

Another one of Jillian Michaels keto criticism says that “autophagy is totally out of whack on keto”. (Autophagy is your body’s natural recycling of cellular material.) Now if by totally out of whack she means that autophagy is ramped up greatly with keto then we agree with her. She’s right. The ketogenic way of eating is a fasting-mimicking diet. Fasting ramps up your rate of autophagy which is a very good and healthy thing. It’s one of the main reasons we fast. If you’re looking to increase your lifespan or your health span or both then keto plus intermittent fasting is the way to go.

Michaels next says that your telomeres are negatively affected with ketogenic diets now. (Telomeres are an essential part of our cells that affect how our cells age). The ketogenic way of eating is a fasting-mimicking diet and fasting protects your telomere length and the telomere length. What damages your telomeres is not the keto way of eating but it is instead the high oxidative stress caused by eating lots of carbohydrates.

Criticism #6: Keto is a high animal protein diet

One part of Jillian Micheals keto criticism focuses on the the ketogenic diet begin very high in animal protein and she’s absolutely right. We think that’s a very good thing for the vast majority of human existence on this planet. Humans have eaten as much animal fat and animal protein as we could get our hands on. We would argue that’s why we became homo sapiens. We are primates who are aware of our existence because of this huge brain that we have. That brain was fed with all the animal protein that we tried our best to get our hands on for all the thousands of years. Animal fat ensured our survival during times of food scarcity and cold winters.

When you actually look into the research that talks about animal protein being bad for you, you can quickly see the researchers’ bias. You can see the inconsistencies and just the flat-out errors of this research. Yes, the keto diet is very often high in animal protein but the ketogenic diet is not a high-protein diet for most people. Keto is a moderate – not high – protein diet.

Now there are some people who advocate high-protein and we don’t disagree with them. We think that probably works great for some people but for most people a high fat moderate protein ketogenic diet is the way they feel the best and get the best results.

Jillian Michaels keto criticism finishes by saying the ketogenic diet causes lots of inflammation. We have absolutely no idea where she gets this from. If any of you out there have eaten the ketogenic way you know that no other diet has ever relieved your inflammation in your joints, in your gut, in your oesophagus and your brain better than keto. She’s just plain wrong here!

Keto threatens traditional money-making diets

Many critics of the keto diet attack it because it threatens the money-making calorie-restriction diets that have been touted for decades – but which don’t work. The ketogenic way of eating is is really taking off because it works. It’s becoming almost mainstream now because the results speak for themselves.

There aren’t any huge celebrities making millions of dollars recommending keto. We just recommend it because it worked for us and it worked for our loved ones. It worked for cousins – even pets when tailored to be biologically appropriate. (Keto can even reverse type-2 diabetes in dogs). All this is a big deal and that’s why people are recommending the ketogenic way of eating.

The ketogenic movement is a grassroots movement. There’s no one at the top who “owns” the idea of the keto way of eating. It’s all of your friends and neighbours saying, “Keto changed my life and it’s permanent!” Maybe you should try it?

Jillian Michaels’s keto criticism hides financial motives?

Jillian Michaels has a fat burner capsule that you can buy at Walmart and if you know anything about weight loss and human nutrition, you’ll know that fat burners were a fad back in the 80s and 90s. They might cause a little bit of weight loss upfront but they’re not sustainable. They’re not long-term. They’re also very bad for your heart and many of them have been taken off the market because they’ve done damage to humans. Michaels sells her fat burner on Amazon. We recommend you don’t take a fat burner at all (and you don’t need ketone pills and potions). We think they’re a very bad, unhealthy way to lose weight. Again, they’re not sustainable, not long-term and they’re an artificial fad way to lose weight.

Jillian Michaels keto criticism is, we suspect due to keto cutting into her fat burner profits and maybe that’s why she made her video. She also has a diet application that you can get on your phone and it’s $15 a month. It’s a great idea for a business model but we suspect people are canceling their subscription to her application because keto is getting them what they want and they’re not having to pay $15 a month to get it.

Also, every book that Jillian has ever written is a calorie-restriction book: “You need to cut back on your calorie intake and you need to work out like a dog everyday forever – that’s how you lose weight.” No, it’s not.

Keto criticism is based on outdated ideas about weight loss

Jillian Michaels keto criticism is based on a bill of lies when it comes to weight loss:

  1. Fat makes you fat. Wrong. Sugar makes you fat, not fat.
  2. Calorie-restriction is the key to weight loss. Wrong. Calorie-restrictive diets are non-sustainable. Your biology won’t accept it.
  3. Exercise is the key to weight loss. Wrong. You can’t outrun a bad diet.

Keto rejects all these inaccuracies and puts your body in a state where true, sustainable, long-term and dramatic weight loss happens. And all whilst being safe, healthy and realistic.

Now for somebody like Jillian who’s always been metabolically blessed with lots of muscle and a low body fat it’s easy to preach that kind of stuff. But for people who have been morbidly obese and have tried Weight Watchers, The Biggest Loser diet or have joined the gym 15 times and quit – it’s not your fault. It’s because of that way of dieting – that calorie-restriction model – does not work long term. You might lose 10 or 20 or 30 pounds but you’re going to gain it all back plus five. So stop worrying about calories and start focusing on eating a proper human diet, hacking your hormones, mimicking fasting and that’s how you’re going to get the long-term sustainable benefits that you want from the keto diet.

If you’re motivated to trying the keto diet, we suggest trying our 28-day keto challenge. Everything is planned out for you and you just need to follow the instructions. No starving yourself, no hunger pangs and no bland, restrictive diets – give keto a try and it might just transform your life.

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