Jillian Michaels is a health and wellness expert, personal trainer, best-selling book author and life coach from Los Angeles, California. She is also the creator of the multi award-winning My Fitness app

If you missed Jillian at the Wellness Your Way Festival in Denver, you can read about her approach to healthy weight loss here.

LN: When talking about weight loss, your message is exercise and a healthy diet. What are some of your top food choices for a healthy metabolism and why? 

When discussing what foods optimize metabolism, we first need to address what metabolism actually is. Metabolism IS your hormone balance. It’s our hormones that determine the rate we store and burn fat, where we store fat, how much muscle we can build and maintain, etc. So, foods that inhibit cortisol production, boost human growth hormone and testosterone, inhibit insulin production, etc. Foods high in vitamin C can help inhibit cortisol production. Whey protein with branched-chain aminos helps to boost growth hormone. Gut health also plays a part, so foods with probiotics like yogurt, kefir, kimchi are also good. 

LN: What are your thoughts on the role of diet pills in healthy weight loss? Is there a place for them?

It really depends. When it comes to fat burners there is the good, the bad and the worthless. I would recommend avoiding all prescriptions involving weight loss. Back in the day, things like Fen Fen or Alli were all the rage, but they were extremely bad for your overall health. Then you have worthless over-the-counter supplements that did nothing and were a waste of money.  What would work would be a natural caffeine-based product to help enhance athletic performance in the gym (which burns more calories during the workout and after).  Plus, studies have shown that caffeine also can curb appetite, speed metabolism and mobilize fat stores. Nowadays we call those supplements “pre-workouts” because fat burners are no longer PC.  The product I use has organic coffee bean, matcha and beetroot powder. 

LN: For someone who is overweight and struggling to commit to exercise and a healthy diet, what are three bits of advice/motivation you can share to help get them started?

1. Find your why. Lasting motivation comes from within, and if you have the “why” (the purpose for doing the work) you can tolerate the “how” (the work associated with the goal). 

2. Get educated. Taking action is key, but action that’s misinformed is destructive. Conversely, informed actions can yield powerful positive results that can empower and continue to motivate. So, learn the simple science of weight loss (calories in, calories out). How to work out in ways that burn more calories. How many calories are in the foods you are eating. How many calories you are burning in a day. How many calories are in a pound. Weight loss isn’t easy, but ultimately it is a simple science and having the information clears up the confusion and facilitates better results.

3. Build support. Whether it is friends, family, an online community, having people in your corner you can talk to will make all the difference. That’s one of the features in my My Fitness app I’m most proud of. The community of people is fantastic. So, if you don’t know where to begin with regard to the information, my app has the meal plans and the workouts, but it also has the forums and boards for people to vent, get support and make friends.