Jillian Michaels has long been a voice in the health and fitness world. on Advocate Now, she sets the record straight on some health trends that aren't actually all that healthy.
One of the first fitness myths that the longtime TV personality wants to dispel is the belief that excessive sweating (through saunas, etc.) leads to weight loss, or detoxes the body.
"There are definitely health benefits to deliberate heat exposure, which is a different conversation," Michaels tells Sonia Baghdady of Advocate Now. "But people who get in there and think, 'I'm sweating out toxins.' No, you're not. That is the job of your liver, your kidney, your spleen."
Jillian Michaels on Mental & Physical Health | Advocate Now
Another myth, Michaels says, is the belief that completely cutting out carbohydrates is beneficial, as the body relies on the food group. For a similar reason, juice cleanses or other detoxifying trends can often be harmful rather than helpful.
"So much of the health benefit in fruit and vegetables is the fiber eating. The actual piece of fruit or the actual vegetable. And cleanses are just such an outdated concept," Michaels explains. "You want to cleanse your body, remove garbage that you're eating, putting good stuff filled with micronutrients and fiber, ideally organic, wherever possible or affordable. And that's cleansing."
She adds: "Use common sense and you'll be just fine. Then make the better choice eighty percent of the time. Twenty percent of the time you can have that meat lover's pizza."
But the biggest myth Michaels wants to dispel is the idea that fitness is a strictly physical subject. She says the one thing she would change from her time on popular weight loss series The Biggest Loser would be providing contestants access to mental healthcare.
"The show needed a psychiatrist and a psychotherapist," she says, continuing, "Because when people are unhelpfully overweight, it's not because they're lazy ... it's because there's something inside of them that is choosing — usually unconsciously, and they don't realize it right either — to buy a larger size or to overeat. And helping them understand why and then giving them the tools to cope with whatever was driving them to that destructive pattern is what they need to get better long term."
Michaels believes that mental and physical health go hand-in-hand, and that anyone can achieve their version of health if they also put in the effort.
"If you utilize fitness, nutrition, you can gradually rebuild somebody's self-worth and self-esteem. They can change their biochemistry, right?" Michaels says. "It's helping you give them the belief in their ability, the belief in their worth, which is really important because ... they are not going to believe in a reality they haven't experienced."
Michaels' podcast, Keeping It Real, is available to stream on Apple Podcasts and Spotify. For more interviews like these, watch Advocate Now on The Advocate Channel.
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