Mastering My Metabolism

I recently finished reading Jillian Michaels’ newest book, Master Your Metabolism. Straight off the bat, let me tell you that I thought it was a fascinating read, and I recommend that you check it out for yourself.

The book is all about your hormones and how they affect your overall health, including, of course, weight loss. There are hormones that help you to lose weight, and others that make your body hold on to fat. Everything we eat – as well as products we use in the home (cleansers, cosmetics, plastic, etc), and environmental toxins – mess up our body’s natural hormone balance and makes it more difficult for us to lose weight.

It starts out with a chapter about Jillian. She talks about being overweight and binge eating as an adolescent, and then how she lost the weight. Even as recently as the first few seasons of The Biggest Loser, she had a hard time just maintaining her weight. So she “consulted top experts in the field of metabolism and discovered that she’d inadvertently been abusing her endocrine system for years. After “fixing” her own metabolism, she decided to share what she learned by devising this simple, 3-phase plan that engages all the weight-loss hormones (including the friendly HGH, testosterone, DHEA; and the not-so-friendly: insulin, cortisol, and excess estrogen).”   – From Amazon.com product description.

The next few chapters were pretty heavy, for me at least. She goes over all the major hormones, what they do and how they are affected positively or negatively by our food and environment. In fact, she even says at the end of the first chapter that if you want to jump right into the plan that you can skip a few chapters and come back to it later. For me, though, I didn’t want to blindly follow a bunch of rules without knowing why. So I read the heavy chapters.

Incidentally, Jillian Michaels is not a doctor or a nutritionist. However, she’s done a ton of research on the subject and there are over 20 pages of references in the back of the book. And she clearly knows how to help people lose weight…

Let me just tell you, this book is a bit frightening. We all know High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) isn’t good for you, but do we all know why? I know I didn’t. And it’s in everything. What about hydrogenated fats? And refined grains? And artificial sweeteners? It’s crazy to think about all the terrible things we’re putting into our bodies – and our children’s bodies.

I know that it will be incredibly difficult to follow this plan to a T. However, I have decided that I will do my best. To cut out as many processed foods and non-organic meats as possible. To eat whole grains instead of refined grains. To eat as much real, whole food as I can (which will be necessary since I’m cutting out all the processed garbage!). In fact, my husband and I cleaned out the refrigerator this weekend and threw out all the crap – and there was a lot of it, believe me.

(Interestingly, most of my low-fat/low-calorie foods got thrown away. After reading the list of ingredients – and knowing what to look for – I was appalled at what I’d been eating on a regular basis, under the guise of eating healthy. I feel a little tricked.)

I know that I’m still going to eat out a few times a week, and that I will occassionally eat food that friends and family have prepared. In these situations, I know that I will have little control over what I am eating.

But that’s ok.

I figure, if I do as much as I can as often as I can, that I will certainly create a positive effect. I’m not one to have a defeatist attitude and say that because I can’t be perfect I shouldn’t put in any effort.

The Master Your Metabolism plan is not an “all or nothing diet,” like Atkin’s, for instance. It’s a lifestyle. I’m going to remove as much of the worst things – processed foods and nonorganic meat and dairy – and do as much of the other things she talks about in the book, as possible. I suspect it will get easier as I go along, and if there’s any truth to this, I’ll notice a difference in how I feel and on the scale… and that will make it even easier!

I’ll keep you posted on how it goes. In the meantime, I think you’d get a lot out of this book as well. Check it out, and Master Your Metabolism, too!

9 Responses to “Mastering My Metabolism”

  1. Jessica Says:

    I go organic whenever it’s feasible, and let me tell you, the organic milk lasts sooo much longer than the other stuff. I have no idea why. I’ll have to lend you my book about reading food labels and what to look for. I’d like to hear more about the things you discovered in the book!

  2. Stephen Says:

    Sounds fascinating. I would like to make better decisions, but I’m too lazy to find out which ones are really bad for me (besides the obvious). Also, eating properly is really expensive. I know, I know, what’s my health worth? More than I can afford right now, that’s for sure.

  3. Kim Says:

    I have to say I might pick up a copy of the book. Sounds like it goes right along with what I try to do. I always look at the ingredients on things, and the shorter the better. If there is a big list of stuff I can’t pronounce, chances are it’s no good for anyone. If I can’t tell where it came from, I try to stay away from it.

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  6. South Beach Steve Says:

    Sounds like a great read. I’ll have to put it on my list.

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