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Jillian Michaels: Making the Cut

Jillian Michaels: Making the Cut

The famed Biggest Loser coach pens her second book about serious weight loss.

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Fitness guru, Jillian Michaels, known for her tough approach for losing weight on NBC's The Biggest Loser, has written a guide on how to drop those pesky last 10 or 15 pounds in 30 days. "Making the Cut: The 30-Day Diet and Fitness Plan for the Strongest, Sexiest You" sets itself apart from the myriad of fitness and weight loss books at your local bookstore because Michaels' program uses the process of oxidizing as a way to determine what kind of a metabolism your body has in order to lose weight effectively.

Michaels takes you through the steps to determine what kind of an oxidizer you are: slow, balanced or fast. Your new body classification then dictates what you'll eat supported by Jillian's own menus and recipes. She promises that you will feel comfortable in a bikini if you commit to her disciplined fitness and diet regimen. As part of Making the Cut, you must take a body fat percentage test and a "fit test" before starting the program as a measure to evaluate your pre and post self.

Michaels does not under estimate the power of the mind in the battle to lose weight. She includes helpful tips and advice for how to improve self-esteem and confidence. The book is also full of various exercises to improve strength, flexibility and endurance. Michaels also unveils some well-kept celebrity diet secrets to get your body prepared before a big event.

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  • Inexpensive
  • Making the Cut’s approach to weight loss is personalized and sensible
  • Program focuses on the mental aspect of losing weight in addition to the exercise and nutrition components
  • Jillian Michaels is a popular weight loss coach with nearly 20 years experience
  • 30-day promise may be ambitious for many individuals aiming to lose weight
  • Making the Cut is not for individuals wanting to lose more than 20 pounds
  • Science behind the oxidizer theory has not been firmly established

Michaels supplies a list of recipes and menus for each of the three oxidizer classifications. As part of your commitment to the Making the Cut program, you are supposed to adhere to her menu and calorie plan.


During Making the Cut, you'll take a “fit test” which is outlined in the book. The test establishes your level of fit-ness and you are then required to exercise about 5 hours each week. Michaels provides you with various exercises to do. She also has her own line of exercise DVDs that can be purchased at an additional cost over the book.


There is no refuting Michaels’ knowledge and training expertise when it comes to getting in shape and losing weight. Her 30-day promise, like any similar promise is no guarantee but it packs a three-pronged approach of diet, exercise and mental awareness to help you to lose those lingering pounds. The clinical science behind her oxidizer theory is scanty but her belief that the road to weight loss is a personal journey that begins with changes in behavior, lifestyle and self-motivation is an important component that many diet plans disregard.

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(Page 2 of 4, 66 total comments)


How I understood the workouts is that a quick 30 second break is to be taken between circuits. Upon completion of all the circuits a second set is required. Would you gain the same results from weight lifting alone? I think this book is for those who have plateaud from strictly lifting weights. My Day 1 was yesterday. I've been weight training for years and I have never broken a sweat like this. I completed all the circuits but was unable to do the DB presses on body ball so I modified. I could not do the circuits twice. I'll push myself harder today. I am psyched to continue. Jillian really knows how to shock the muscles to see results. The posts have been great to hear. Glad eveyone is enjoying it.

posted Jan 26th, 2010 11:37 am


I have just started the workout today. bit confused, as i did all the circuits, and came home and now wondering if i was suppose to go thru the circuits twice. If i do them once thru will I get the same results?
Also still wondering if doing straight weightlifting will do same results? Any feedback would be great.

posted Jan 25th, 2010 7:27 pm


I'm just starting the program (started the diet last week; but started the exercises a couple days ago), and like it so far. It can be overwhelming if you put yourself in the "Jillian Box" (i.e., can't eat ANYTHING that's not on the menu; HAVE to eat what she says, when she says). Some of her recipes are really good, but I'm a slow-oxydizer and really don't like fish - so am having to improvise a bit.

I'm a bit confused on what Smart Start is! I found Smart Balance (butter substitute) - is that the same thing? I too went out and bought a box of Smart Start cereal, and am pretty sure that's not what she's referring to (lol).

posted Jan 24th, 2010 5:34 pm

Dawn Livesey


I usually can follow a plan real well. The problems come around when it doesn't work with your lifestyle, or something is missing from the picture.

Today is Day 10. I have yet to have a sweet craving, feel like I didn't get enough to eat, or vomit from a bad recipe. Jillian's oxidizer plan is phenominal! I am so shocked my body is working well with the meal plan, and I don't crave sweets after my meal! I miss drinking with my friends, but I just became automatic DD for 30 days! So, today is Day 10, I've lost 9 lbs so far, my body is almost instantly getting toned and trim, especially in the ab area. People noticed right away that I look lighter and thinner. What a compliment!

The only negatives I have: 1) it costs a lot to buy things you don't normally use while cooking. 2) cooking EVERY meal is difficult on a tight schedule. 3) making a recipe for 4, when I am one person seems to be a bit wasteful. I freeze what I can and share the others. The recipes taste so yummy!!!!

If you are ready for the commitment, IT WILL WORK!

posted Jan 13th, 2010 2:10 pm



Im in day 4 of the workout and ive already lost 5 pounds. its hard, but it works!

posted Jan 2nd, 2010 1:48 pm


My husband and I started program 5 days ago. I wish book would have picture for every exercise - that would save some time on reading and imagining how it should be. Food is costly - that's true. For the first week we've already spent around $200 on book, scale, food and spices. Next week should be cheapper :) Good news is that we trying new foods that we would of never bouthg on our own! Learning healthy leaving it a healthy thing. Worked out through the pain first 4 days. Good stuff

posted Dec 6th, 2009 12:10 am



I just finished up my first week, and GEESH! The workouts are INTENSE, but I love it! (I had trouble getting up and down my stairs for a few days, but now I'm loving the way I feel!) I also made photo copies of the workouts, with little notes, to bring to the gym. I have to admit that I'm not following her diet plan (it's PRICEY, and I already have a personal nutritionist), but my healthy eating and self-lead workouts alone were NOT yeilding the results I wanted. By adding Jillian's "Making The Cut" circuits, my body is already changing! I can't WAIT to see what day 30 is going to be like ... and JUST in time for the NEW YEAR! I'm SO happy with it, and I plan on repeating her 30 program every month.

posted Dec 5th, 2009 2:39 am



My 3rd day and I am in PAIN all over my body. And the diet is making me eat more than what I used to eat and foods that I've been avoiding... like cheese and beef. I feel strong and I really hope i see some changes after 30 days...be ripped as she said. I need to shed at least 15 lbs of fat. Okay ....i'll be back with more of my results. Oh bytheway... do i have to add a cardio work out in addition to what she've already wrote in her book. I'm only doing her workouts and no additional excercise like running or cycling.

posted Nov 12th, 2009 2:06 pm



I'm a week in and have already lost a good 3 pounds. Everything feels tight and my husband even commented that there is less of me! The diet is fairly easy to follow and I have had results even though I cheated occasionally :-) I can't wait to keep this up for 30 days! A must buy!!

posted Oct 13th, 2009 11:48 am


I just started this a few days ago and am doing a blog every day along with it - please follow me and feel free to ask questions and help keep me motivated!!

posted Oct 12th, 2009 11:52 pm


i dont think people who have the last 20-5 pounds to lose are looking for a magic 30 day plan. we know it doesn't happen like that. the workout plans are something that mix up your workouts and help you get past that wall that we all feel at some point in our workouts!
i love it! i feel like i'm back in high school conditioning again!
good luck!

posted Sep 15th, 2009 3:39 pm


I just completed day three...I've lost 4 lbs so far. The day by day diet and exercise plan work for me!!!

The food is amazing and Jillian's pancakes take some work but are worth the effort!!!

posted Aug 13th, 2009 12:18 am


this is response to ande's posting. How can smart start be the cereal when it says the melt it sometimes. What is everyone else using as smart start?

posted Jul 1st, 2009 4:50 pm


I'm about to start this tomorrow with my mom and my sister. We've been preparing for a few days. I'm so excited! My goal is to lose 10 pounds and tone up. I've looked through the workouts and they'll kick my ass but hey...real results don't come cheap! :)

posted May 27th, 2009 1:02 am



This is my second attempt at Making the Cut. I have always been athletic. Running track/playing basketball, and now I am an aerobics instructor at a gym. But this really helps to shock my regular routine. I am making conscious food choices and i do feel that it has made a great difference. My workout partner and I are now on Day 9 and pushing! Be sure to use good form!!!!

posted May 26th, 2009 1:54 pm


Thank goodness you girls posted about the Smart Start. I had no idea what this was, so I googled it. I found Kellog's Smart Start, and a vile looking liquid fish oil mixture called Smart Start...I was just about to make one of the chicken dishes in the book, and was going to add Smart Start CEREAL!! Haha, I guess it's supposed to be the butter substitute instead

posted May 2nd, 2009 8:32 am


I am on day 3 and I can already tell my body is getting healither. Just drinking all the water has made a huge difference. And I got one of her videos to help me along and they are hardcore but I feel stronger the day after.

posted Apr 29th, 2009 2:17 pm


Hi I'm Amber. I'm starting Making the Cut tomorrow & I'm so excited to get started! I want to lose 20-25 pounds but I don't think 5 pounds over the book's recommendation is going to hurt anything. If I don't lose the full 25 in thirty days then I'll just continue the diet until I do. The only problem I have is that some of the exercises require gym equipment that I don't have access to. I'm 17 (almost 18 though) and I still live with my mom so I can't really afford a gym membership. I guess I'll just try to find different exercises that work the same muscles & do those in place of the gym exercises. I'm so glad to see all of these positive diet reviews! It just gets me that much more motivated to start! I'll be sure to update as I make progress! :)

posted Apr 26th, 2009 4:23 pm



I am definately into this program. I am only on day 5 and I have lost 3lbs and feeling good. I have stepped up the workouts to do each circut twice. I feel like I want to throw up when I am done but my body feels great and I am wet with sweat!!

posted Apr 1st, 2009 11:52 pm



I'm on day 9 of the plan, and I love it! I'm seeing results, and I've lost over 5 pounds. My body just feels better!!!! The recipes are awesome, and the workouts kick butt! I too have felt like I'm going to vomit at times, but I just keep pushing myself. I definitely miss the margaritas, but it will be WELL worth it in the end!!

posted Apr 1st, 2009 1:23 pm


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