Authors: Jillian Michaels
If you’re thinking the above recommendations are no fun and you want your Sunday-morning Bloody Mary or your Friday-night margarita, think about how fun fat is. It’s not. You really get into trouble with alcohol when you start adding the sugar-laden mixers to the booze. Plus, habitual indulgence in alcohol is linked to all kinds of health-related issues, from cancer to dementia. Also, not fun. Ultimately. I want you to be grateful that I’m letting you have two drinks a week, even if they aren’t fun ones, but I’m not a
bitch. Here are a few slimmed-down versions of common cocktails, in case you just can’t live without one:
2 ounces SKYY Infusions Coconut
2 ounces club soda
Splash of pineapple juice
Squeeze of lemon
Mix all ingredients with ice, and serve in a highball glass.
2 ounces white rum
12 mint leaves muddled in a glass
1 teaspoon Truvia sweetener
1 ounce fresh lime juice
3 ounces club soda
Mix all ingredients with ice, and serve in a highball glass.
1½ ounces 100% Agave Tequila Milagro Silver
½ ounce Patron Citronge Orange Liqueur (or substitute pomegranate juice)
4–5 ounces sparkling natural lemon- or lime-flavored mineral
water (Trader Joe’s has a good one)
Squeeze of lime
Mix all ingredients with ice, and serve in a tall glass.
We all know that water is good for weight loss; it helps curb hunger, flushes out toxins that make us sick and fat, boosts energy, and speeds metabolism by up to 3 percent. While 3 percent may not seem like a lot, when you add it up over the course of a lifetime, it makes a big difference on your waistline. I guarantee it.
There has been a lot of confusion over the years about how much water we should drink. Eight ounces a day, a cup every hour, six cups a day—the list goes on and on.
Here’s the deal: our water and hydration needs vary and depend on a host of factors, which range from weather changes to activity level to our unique biochemistry. The best rule of thumb to stay optimally hydrated is to drink until your
pee looks like lemonade. If it’s darker in color—apple juice—you need more water. If you’re taking supplements, it may be bright, and that’s okay; but if it turns brownish, you need more water. It really is that simple.
If you’re wondering or worrying about what type of water you should drink—as in
alkaline (water that has a low pH balance) or ionized (water with ionized minerals that have an electric charge)—don’t. This isn’t one you need to overthink. While some research does say that alkaline and/or ionized water may be best for you, you don’t need to get fancy with your water to get its slimming or health benefits. If you don’t have access to these waters, or if they’re too expensive, don’t sweat it!
What about bottled or tap? Easy! Tap. Just because water is bottled doesn’t mean it’s contaminant-free. In fact, it can be quite the opposite. City water is highly regulated and monitored for safety. Bottled water is not. Technically, the FDA monitors bottled water, but it turns out that about 70 percent of bottled water sold in a state is exempt from federal regulation. Many bottled waters have tested positive for bacteria, man-made chemicals, and arsenic. Going with tap saves you money and saves the environment. You keep the landfills from overflowing with plastic bottles and you reduce carbon emissions caused by transporting the water from distant locations to your fridge.
But wait—you’re not out of the woods yet. Drinking tap water still leaves you at risk for lead, chlorine, pesticides, fungicides, herbicides, hormones, antibiotics, and nitrates. You can check on the quality of your local water by calling the EPA’s safe water hotline at (800) 426-4791 or check out its website:
Your best bet is to filter your tap water. Reverse osmosis filters are a great option. They remove all heavy metals and viruses and some pharmaceuticals. Or you can go with an activated carbon filter like Brita. The quality varies from product to product, but most will remove heavy metals, pesticides, and some pharmaceuticals.
I can slim down by switching to diet soda.
Chuggin’ that crap is definitely pudging up your paunch. Remember our conversation about chemical
obesogens? A study at Purdue University found that rats given artificial sweeteners ate more calories and gained more weight than rats given sugar. Stick with water!
Last thought on water: bubbly versus flat?
Carbonated water is created (or exists naturally) by dissolving carbon dioxide (CO2) in water. This creates carbonic acid, which is more acidic than regular water (it falls somewhere in the range of apple and orange juice) but is much less acidic than your stomach. It’s important to understand that the human body maintains
pH equilibrium on a constant basis and that its pH will not be affected by water consumption. Some concern exists regarding tooth enamel erosion due to the increased acidity, but a 2001 study in the
Journal of Oral Rehabilitation
showed that while sparkling mineral waters showed slightly greater erosive potential than still waters, the potential was considered low and was on the order of one hundred times less than that of soft drinks.
Some bottled or canned carbonated water contains added
sodium to decrease the acidity and improve taste. If you’re on a low-sodium diet and consume bottled or canned carbonated water, make sure to pay attention to the sodium content and choose lower-sodium options.
When all is said and done, hydration is the most important part of this equation. Just drink water, carbonated or flat, alkaline, ionized, or plain—until you pee lemonade.
All right, if you’ve decided to turn in your soda can for a glass of water—but you simply cannot stomach the thought of drinking it plain—here’s a great tip for you. Flavor your water with cranberry, pomegranate, apple, lime, or grape juice—add just a splash to banish the bland. Be sure to choose all-natural, pure juice, not the cocktail versions with tons of added sugar and crap.
A product I love called
Soda Stream allows you to create your own natural sodas. You can customize the carbonation of your water (lightly fizzy, medium, or super bubbly) and add whatever natural juice you like most. It’s great for the environment, saves you a fortune, is good for getting your water quota in, and is a godsend for those struggling to give up sodas.
Bob Harper and I swear by this machine; it helped us both tremendously when we wanted to kick our diet soda habits once and for all.
If you’re one of those professed nonwater drinkers, try using a small glass (highball or juice) and drinking it all in one swoop. That’s one down—only a few more to go. You can easily repeat it throughout the day. By evening, you’ll be surprised how much water you drank with ease and without the angst of staring at a tall, full bottle throughout the day.
If you tend to not drink enough water
you’re a nosher, include foods in your diet that have naturally high water content and low calorie counts, such as watermelon, zucchini, and cucumbers. These can add water to your daily intake and let you munch without eating up your calorie allowance—literally.
☐ Live in the red.
☐ Get the lowdown.
☐ Clear out the kitchen cabinets.
☐ Downsize: switch to “slim-size” portions.
☐ Discriminate—don’t eliminate.
eat chemical crap.
☐ Don’t skip.
☐ Fill ’er up.
☐ Write it down, add it up.
☐ Bag it.
☐ Baby-step your way to fewer calories.
☐ Land, sea, or tree.
☐ Go back to nature.
☐ Keep it clean.
☐ Forget about fat-free.
☐ Eat in Technicolor.
☐ Follow the four-by-four rule.
☐ Snack smart.
☐ Make it a production.
☐ Follow the 80/20 rule.
☐ Don’t drink your calories.
☐ Go local.
☐ Be seasonal.
☐ Keep to a two-drink maximum.
☐ Tap it—bottled versus tap water.
☐ Use flavorful disguises.
☐ Do small, not tall.
☐ Eat water-packed foods.
Total number of
As I mentioned in Chapter 1’s “
Live in the red
” tip, you have to burn roughly 3,500 calories to lose a
pound. (Your personal number could be higher or lower.) While most likely you’ll have to eat less to achieve this deficit, the true speed of your results, and the maintenance as well, will be highly dependent upon the how, when, and why of your
exercise regimen. Following a healthy diet is imperative to keep you from gaining weight, but to truly shed the pounds and shred your physique, a smart, powerful fitness regimen is equally important.
The following tips and tricks are perhaps some of the most important in this book. You have to move to lose weight and/or to maintain a sexy slim physique,
you don’t have to work out for hours and hours to get amazing results. Just as with your food choices, the key is the
of your training, not necessarily the quantity. So pay close attention, because what you’re about to learn is going to save you hours and hours of time, blow your mind, transform your body, and make your workouts way more manageable and enjoyable.
Proper gear is key to both safety and performance. Wear comfortable, properly fitted footwear and clothing that’s appropriate to the weather and the activity. It’s worth the initial investment, trust me. I remember when I first got into road biking, I thought the whole getup looked ridiculous. The pants with the butt pad made me feel like I was wearing a diaper. So I went on a ride one day in my sweats. By the end of it, I thought the seat was going to have to be surgically removed from my backside. Take it from me—having the right gear is critical.
If you don’t know what to buy, ask someone who is well versed in the sport. My horse trainer helped me buy the proper boots for my height and level of skill. My surf instructor made sure I bought the proper wetsuit for my size, gender, and the water temperature I usually surf in. A great place to start is to go to a shoe store or a sporting goods store and ask the salesperson. Different sports require different features and functions in their attire, so make sure you specify what you’ll be doing. Have the salesperson help you take into account your anatomy, gait, level of fitness, and so on, based on your sport or activity.
As a rule of thumb, buy your shoes a half-size larger than you normally wear, as feet tend to swell during exercise. You can get by with a great pair of cross trainers; they’re constructed for heavy usage. If you’re pursuing a specific sport or activity and are really focused on it, it’s better if you purchase shoes to optimize both comfort and performance. If you want to run, then get running shoes. And don’t
wear them for your cardio classes at the gym—they don’t provide enough lateral support. Same goes for indoor cycling, CrossFit, or dance, whatever your sport.
When it comes to what to wear, you want to wear clothing that doesn’t restrict your movement. You’ll want tops, pants, and socks made of wicking fabrics, which have special properties to draw the moisture away from your skin and back into the fabric, so you and your clothes don’t end up being a sweaty mess. Fabrics like organic cotton, merino wool, and bamboo, to name a few, offer a multitude of benefits that can enhance the workout experience and are absolutely worth the investment. Look for clothes with fabrics that have: