Fitness trainer Jillian Michaels has achieved national attention as a motivational trainer on NBC’s hit weight-loss show The Biggest Loser, a reality show where contestants compete to achieve the greatest weight loss. In the program, Michaels shows a propensity for tough love as she bullies her team members into exercising longer and harder to enhance their weight loss and body transformation. In Winning by Losing, Michaels attempts to capitalize on the program’s success by penning a weight-loss and fitness book based on the guidance she delivers on the highly-rated program. Unfortunately, despite her attempts to distinguish her plan from the countless others that have come before her, this book provides very little new information about weight-loss and fitness issues.
Michaels obviously knows that there is much competition for readers of weight-loss books and attempts to personalize her plan by espousing her “3-S” approach: self, science and sweat. The “self” component relates to the psychological aspects of losing weight, focusing on identifying and managing the external factors that cause people to overeat. It outlines the importance of taking inventory and managing your personal relationships, to rely on those that are positive and supportive,and avoid (or, if possible, eliminate) those that will likely hinder your progress. As part of this process Michaels suggests you take the time write down your long-term and short-team goals as well as the rewards you will treat yourself to as each is achieved.
The information on science relates to the actual mechanics of losing weight and toning your body. This section focuses on calculating your metabolic rate and determining the range of calories you will need to reach your weight-loss goals. She provides a quiz designed to determine whether you are a fast, slow, or balanced oxidizer - a factor she says offers a scientific explanation of how your body processes foods and should guide your food choices. In this section you will also find the staples of just about every weight loss book, namely a discussion on good carbs versus bad carbs and good fat versus bad fats, how to use the information found on food labels, and of course, some recipes to keep you on track.
The third and final component of Michaels’ plan, sweat, relates to the necessity of physical activity and offers a string of exercises to tone and develop each part of your body. The book offers clear, concise instructions for each exercise, accompanied by photographs for additional guidance. There is also a schedule for the types of exercises that you should perform during each week of a twelve-week plan.
Winning By Losing does provide a sensible diet and exercise plan that, when followed, will likely result in weight loss and an enhanced fitness level. The problem, however, is that her book merely restates and repackages the information that is already out there. So, if you are a fan of the Biggest Loser and a relative newbie when it comes to weight-loss and fitness books, then you might benefit from this book. However, if you are familiar with the weight-loss and fitness information offered by the more traditional experts, then it is unlikely you will gain much from the information Michaels shares here.