Why Jillian Michaels is Wrong About the Ketogenic Diet

Jillian Michaels put out a video on why the Ketogenic diet is bad for you. The video is very poorly researched and shows that while Jillian is great at counting backwards from 10 and screaming at people, her command of the facts of Ketosis are fairly limited.

This will make more sense if you watch the video above but here are the notes.

On Only Seeing Part of the Picture

This is a bad analogy but it does speak to the frustration I felt when I started looking into these dietary studies.  

For instance, Dean Ornish’s studies that put people on a Vegan diet but also had them remove sugar, processed grains, exercise and stop smoking and then reported these amazing results.  

Was it from all the whole vegetables or the removal of the crappy carbs, increased activity and cessation of smoking.

Could we get these same results if we did all those things but also included meat in the diet.  Turns out the answer is probably yes.

Jillian Explains How to Get into Ketosis

Ok, this is pretty fair explanation of how you get into ketosis.  

I’ve known people who can eat up to 50g of carbs a day and be in ketosis but good on her for at least understanding what it takes to get into ketosis.

Jillian Says Ketosis is a State of Metabolic Emergency

Ketosis is not a state of emergency.  It is a perfectly normal state. Every one of us was born in a state of mild ketosis and most of us can get in and out of ketosis very easily after a brief transitional period.  

Our ancestors lived a large part of their lives in ketosis before the invention of widespread agriculture.

Ketosis Means you are Using Stored Fat for Fuel

YES!  If you are obese, it’s awesome to be able to use stored fat for fuel!

Does Ketosis Reverse Type 2 Diabetes

Not just “people”. A controlled study from VirtaHealth showed massive rates of Type 2 Diabetes reversal.  This is a real thing that has happened for many people including my wife.

Ketosis Increases Fertility

Ok, so she just rolled her eyes through this whole segment while saying a bunch of things that are absolutely true.  You can heal your pancreas by reducing its workload.

No carbs means less insulin needed which means you stop burning out your beta cells on you pancreas which means better pancreas function in the longterm.  

Also insulin can stimulate the ovaries to produce more testosterone which reduces fertility and increases your risk of PCOS. In fact a joke in the keto community is one of the side effects of keto is often pregnancy.

Ketosis Prevents Overeating

None of that is true.  The reason keto works is because it is hard to overeat on a high fat diet.  You don’t have to count calories, you just naturally eat less calories.

I lost 200 lbs over 3 years on keto which means I maintained an average calorie deficit of 700 calories a day every day for 3 years.  Here’s a link to the post I did about that.

I think there is a helpful experiment you can do to see why this is. Go to McDonalds and eat your favorite meal with a soft drink and pay attention to how many times you refill your drink.  Go back the next day and do the same thing but this time bring a gallon of milk and fill your cup up with that instead.

I guarantee you won’t be able to fill your cup up as many times with the milk as you could with the Coke even though it is taking up the same amount of physical space in your stomach.  Why? Because the milk has more fat in it which triggers your satiety hormones faster causing you to push away from the table sooner.

As for meal timing, it is the keto community that has really brought the message of intermittent fasting to the foreground of this discussion. Most people on a ketogenic diet begin to fast spontaneously because again, it’s hard to overeat on a ketogenic diet and you just don’t get hungry as often.  

I rarely eat more than twice a day and routinely work through an 8-12 hour shift at work with no food.

Does this woman think we are just shoving steak in our mouths all day?

Jillian Uses Words for the First Time Ever

Oh good grief.  Where do we start.  This honestly sounds like she learned a lot of new words and is just throwing them against the wall to see what sticks.  

I’m really not sure where the idea that a ketogenic diet shortens telomeres is coming from because everything I’m reading says a ketogenic diet mimics fasting which reduces the rate at which telomeres shorten.

If someone can point me to where she is getting that idea, it would be helpful.  As for your metabolism being over run with constant food, that just isn’t a thing. Again it is hard to overeat on a ketogenic diet.

In fact it is the higher carb diets like the ones she advocates for that tend to cause more overeating problems especially if you are carb addicted like I was.  

A little carbohydrate always led to a lot of carbohydrate for me as surely as night follows day. Eating a few carbs for me and people like me is like telling an alcoholic to just drink one drink a day.

I think part of where this is coming from is the only exposure she has had to the ketogenic diet I can find online is some terrible keto shake she is making with someone and I can see how if you think you have to drink a shake to be in ketosis or lose weight with a ketogenic diet, you would have an issue with it.  

If you told me I had to drink a shake or juice to lose weight I know exactly what would happen because I did that after watching Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead years ago.

No amount of weight loss was worth that torture. Just eat real food and don’t be afraid of steak.

Exercise Makes Us More Insulin Sensitive

So…that’s true.  Exercise is an important and effective way to increase insulin sensitivity but let’s not discount the idea that you need less insulin sensitivity when you are producing less insulin.  

Also exercise takes time and you can reduce your insulin load by reducing carbohydrates in your diet immediately.

Jillian Touts Her Credentials

Yeah we also read the NY Post expose where many of your “clients” on the Biggest Loser were starved, encouraged to take weight loss drugs, dehydrated and most importantly gained a lot of the weight back.  

Your way tends to break metabolisms and cause more harm than good.

Jillain Talks About Side Effects on Ketogenic Diet

All those terrible side effects like long term sustained weight loss without having to have a terrible woman screaming in your ear.

Jillian on Anti-Oxidants

Antioxidants are great. You know what’s better?  

A diet that causes an extremely low amount of oxidative stress like the ketogenic diet.  Less oxidative stress means less need for antioxidants.

As for Polyphenols, you eat low glycemic berries on the ketogenic diet if you want them but I have yet to see a really convincing study that says polyphenols are advantageous if you are already on a low carb diet.

Or just eat food that doesn’t cause oxidative stress.

Jillian Says Mangos and Papaya Are Important

Your gut can digest foods just fine without mango and papaya.  How does this woman think people survived that didn’t live in the tropics?

Jillian’s Way Breaks Metabolisms

Unfortunately we’ve seen the end result of Jillian’s training and dietary expertise.  

Have you ever seen a Biggest Loser reunion show? Nope. Why? Because everybody’s fat again.  

No thanks Jillian, we have listened to you and people like you for long enough.

If you are overweight or obese I encourage you to give the ketogenic diet a try.  Eat high fat foods like red meat, dark meat chicken, pork and full fat dairy if you can tolerate that.

Eat whole vegetables. Stay away from sugar, grains, starch and polyunsaturated fats like corn, vegetable and canola oil and see how your body responds.  

If you would like to join a support group, go to MySugarFreeJourney.com/28day and join our FaceBook group or reach out to me and I’ll help in anyway I can.

Thanks for watching and please hit the subscribe button and leave a like.  Thanks!

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