- The celebrity personal trainer Jillian Michaels has been outspoken about her dislike of the trendy ketogenic diet.
- The keto diet involves eating lots of protein and few carbohydrates to put the body in a fat-burning state that can lead to quick weight loss.
- Michaels called the keto diet a “fad” and a “terrible, terrible idea” in an April interview, and she told INSIDER she still stands by those comments.
- She also suggested a “common sense” eating plan with balanced amounts of protein, fat, and carbohydrates.
- Visit INSIDER’s homepage for more.
Jillian Michaels has said it once, and she’ll say it again: She’s not a fan of the ketogenic diet.
In April, the celebrity fitness trainer called the keto diet – which involves eating lots of protein and fat and few carbohydrates so the body enters a fat-burning state – a “terrible, terrible idea” because of its restrictive nature.
Michaels also dissed the diet in an interview with People in May 2018. “Don’t do keto,” she said, adding that the diet is nothing more than a fad.
In a recent interview with INSIDER about her 100-mile walking challenge to raise money for global refugees, Michaels further explained her thoughts on the keto diet and offered tips on how to eat instead.
If you don’t have an insulin-related health problem, you should skip keto, Michaels says
The ketogenic diet was created in the 1920s, but back then it wasn’t used for weight loss – rather, the diet was a way to help people control epileptic seizures.
More recently, the diet has been found to reduce blood-sugar levels in people with Type 2 diabetes.
Michaels told INSIDER that while she understands the purpose of the keto diet for people with diabetes, she doesn’t see it as a solution for others who are seeking a quick weight-loss method.
The keto diet isn’t “meant to be an ongoing way of life,” she said, though people stay on it for years on end.
“People aren’t talking about the downsides,” she told INSIDER. “When the body is in a ketotic state, you’re changing your biochemistry, and that can damage your thyroid, attack the s— out of your liver and kidneys, and your cells don’t function optimally.”
A healthy diet includes a variety of foods, including carbs
Michaels suggested that rather than trying keto for weight loss, people should try an eating plan she called “very common sense.”
“Don’t eat too much food, period,” she said. “When we look at people gaining weight, it has to do with how much food they’re eating.”
Michaels said people looking to lose weight should make sure to eat fewer calories than they’re expending daily. On average, a woman has to eat about 1,500 calories daily to lose one pound a week, while a man has to eat about 2,000 calories for the same result.
Additionally, people should focus on the quality of their food to glean health benefits beyond weight loss, like a healthy heart.
“Just eat more whole versions of your favourite foods, including carbs, protein, and fats,” Michaels said. “Don’t eat steak fat and protein with fillers.”
Though Michaels didn’t prescribe a specific type of diet, she said the types of foods found in a Mediterranean diet – think fish, nuts, olive oil, and lots of veggies – make up a solid framework for most people to model their eating.