Jillian Michaels on the Keto Diet


The new year has definitely brought on a lot of this as well. Lots of friends and colleagues recently who (innocently) have come to the same conclusion after “trying” keto for maybe a week or so. “I don’t know how you do it, you must have so much willpower. I get that it works but it’s not for me.”

I think there’s a lot of people out there along the lines of “it would be ideal to lose weight” vs. “I absolutely have to sort out these metabolic issues or I’m going to have a horrible future, and it’d be nice to lose weight as a side effect as well”.

That’s not to say there’s any one reason to do keto that trumps any other, some people do it for every benefit, some just to make fasting easier and enter autophagy, others just to lose weight. But I think if you’re in it for a more critical reason than just wanting to feel/look better through losing some weight, you won’t run the risk of potentially seeing it as yet another diet in the book of diets (knowing all others you’ve tried before have failed), being impatient and quitting early before any benefits are realized. Instead you’re more likely to be in it for the longer haul and stay committed even if results are slow at first.

(Brian) #22

Maybe it’s different when you come to a point where eating the McDougall diet and exercising like a fool leaves you obese, diabetic and spiraling towards an imminent unpleasant death. Maybe from that perspective, “trying” keto isn’t so much of a lazy attitude “I’ll try it for a while and see if I like it”. Maybe it’s more of a, “DAMN, if I don’t do something different, I’m gonna die.”

For some of us, this low-carb / keto “fad” has been what has saved our lives. If you tried it and didn’t like it or didn’t need it, well, good for you. Some of us needed it. Some of us actually like it. Some of us thrive on it very well. Some of us find it very satisfying.


If food is just a fuel and you only need 1500 calories to keep things running, why would you NEED to eat 2000 calories?

Again, how efficiently can the body run?

But, yes, a lowered metabolism makes things worse if you go back to old eating and lifestyle habits. Things would have ended badly anyway, but it does make it worse.

(Scott) #24

I was able to lose 50 pounds through deficit and lots of exercise. I almost immediately started gaining it back. I saw the Magic pill by accident channel surfing and was intrigued by it and started my research into keto. I liked what I found and while I want to lose weight I also want to be able to maintain too. Weight is only a small part for me. I truly believe this is the way I was meant to eat and it is a healthy way to eat from now on. No fad for me!

Oh and no T2D here but I was alarmed when after the fact I found out that my skin tags under my arms are a sign of insulin resistance.


We were talking specifically about the Biggest Loser contestants and why so many put the weight back on. You suggested they just were lazy and went back to old habits because of that, even tho that’s demonstrably untrue. Can YOU live on 500 calories a day?

(John) #26

The whole “biggest loser ruined metabolism” thing has a flaw.

Perhaps their metabolic rate was already at the low end of normal, which is why they gained so much weight in the first place? So then when they lost all the weight, and it was measured then, and compared to other people at their new low, it was lower than the people who had not lost a lot of weight.

In other words, there is no way to know if those people were already “ruined.”

I was just thinking - if I end up getting down to my maintenance weight, and my metabolic rate is lowered so that I don’t need as much food to maintain my weight - why is that a bad thing? Sounds like I would save money and time. It’s like having a more fuel-efficient car.

It would only be a bad thing if my hunger returned and I was always ravenously hungry while at the same time not needing to eat. Right now, I can go without eating rather effortlessly.

(Adam Kirby) #27

Let’s flip that around… if your body normally operates on 2000 calories and now only burns 1500, what are the consequences of that? What bodily processes have been downregulated to accomplish this?


The irony there is that it used to require much more willpower to refrain from eating more food on my non-keto WOE than it does to eat a fraction of those calories I eat now on a keto WOE.

Before keto, I needed to finish that bag of Oreos. I didn’t have the willpower to stop. Now, the willpower to not even start is not an effort at all.

As they say, we are a slave to our habits. For what it’s worth:

On average, it takes more than 2 months before a new behavior becomes automatic — 66 days to be exact. And how long it takes a new habit to form can vary widely depending on the behavior, the person, and the circumstances. In Lally’s study, it took anywhere from 18 days to 254 days for people to form a new habit.

(Adam Kirby) #29

The key piece of information is that when most of these people regained the weight, their metabolisms did not correspondingly go back up.

Something is definitely wrong here.


Exactly what I’ve asked.

I get blood work done every three months, and have done so for years (my kidneys failed in 2007). If bodily damage was occurring due to my reduced calories and my reduced metabolism over the past 2 years of restricted calorie keto, why isn’t such damage showing up there? What should I be looking for? Instead:

  • I no longer need oxygen therapy
  • I no longer need insulin or metformin for my T2 diabetes
  • My kidney function has improved
  • My liver function has improved
  • My thyroid function has improved
  • My uric acid is down
  • My blood pressure is under control
  • My hunger is under control
  • My blood sugar is under control

My biggest problem is I’m still trying to unlearn nearly five decades of bad eating habits.

(Frank) #31

Exactly! Imagine a world where big ag, big pharma, and the fitness industry aren’t making money because everyone finally understood that I don’t need to excercise in a gym, eat corn, or take pills to be healthy. One can dream

(Adam Kirby) #32

You may not have tanked your metabolism like people on the Biggest Loser! If you don’t have the signs of metabolic slowdown like being cold all the time, weak, tired, hungry, brain fog, hair and nails not growing, etc, then I think you’re good.

There are 2 possibilities I see for metabolism on a diet.

  • You are getting your daily energy requirement from diet+body fat. No problem. Your metabolic rate should go down a little bit as you lose weight.

  • You are NOT getting your daily energy requirement from diet+body fat. Well, something has to give here. You may start burning muscle for energy, and your body may start turning down the thermostat. Neither of these is a good outcome.

I don’t think people who fix their hormones and avoid crazy shit like the Biggest Loser are doomed to a slow metabolism.

(Randy) #33

If you are eating at a deficit, but have fat to lose, you’re making up the deficit with your own fat. In that case you are not eating at a deficit. Your body is using the excess fat to make up the difference.

(Adam Kirby) #34

Unless your insulin is too high, in which case you’re not making up the full deficit from your fat. So in order to satisfy the first law of thermodynamics your body either has to burn muscle, turn down your metabolism, or both.

(John) #35

There is a school of thought, that since it seems very difficult to lose weight and keep it off, that we are all doomed, and that the only ones who can be saved are those who are still at healthy weights, and they should avoid gain at all costs because it is permanent.

If that’s the case, we should all just surrender to our fates. :cry:

Personally, I am going to go out fighting. If that means when I get to whatever healthier weight I can achieve, that I can only eat 1000 “calories” a day, then I am going to have a nice low grocery bill.


I’m 6’5" and about 480 pounds (lowest weight in decades and I had my stomach stapled 18 years ago). 500 calories is almost my protein macro. Do I need to eat more? I have plenty of stored fat. How many calories of fat do I really need to eat when I have so much stored up? TDEE doesn’t have to come entirely from ingested food.

I’m certainly living on thousands of calories less per day than I used to. I know my metabolism has slowed down, or I’d be losing more weight at the calorie level I’m at.


Before keto, my daily BM was sometimes as large as a 3-lb log of summer sausage. I had to use a plunger to break it up into pieces and then plunge the toilet every time I dropped one. Even had to have someone come in to clear out a blocked line twice. Today, my daily BMs are about the size of a cigar (or two). I haven’t needed to plunge the toilet in two years.

(Lonnie Hedley) #37

Awesome. Well, only because I’m a 36 year old child that thinks talking about :poop: is hilarious.


Certainly, it is harmful if the body starts metabolizing its own muscle tissue to satisfy its needs. But, is it harmful if the body is only metabolizing its own fat tissue to do so, but lowers metabolic rate to compensate for fewer calories coming in?

If we look at food only as a fuel, does a lowered metabolism cause harm?

(Bob M) #39

But if it lowers its metabolic rate to compensate for fewer calories coming in, that’s less fat you’ll be burning. It’s a catch-22, which is why Dr. Fung thinks fasting works, as it increases your metabolic rate.


That depends if you’re fine just surviving or if you want to live instead. I’d prefer not being cold, losing hair and nails, getting headaches, not having adequate energy, etc. If I can lose weight without slowing my metabolism, I get to have my proverbial cake and eat it too.