Jillian Michaels doubles down against keto: ‘I promise you, it’s not good for you’

If you want to hear Kaiser/Chandra and me talk about the keto diet and how much we love carbs, check out the Gossip with Celebitchy podcast #2 at about 17 minutes in. We talk about the keto diet, a very low carb, moderate protein, high fat diet, after the controversy over celebrity trainer Jillian Michaels speaking out against it. That was back in January and Jillian got into public arguments with several celebrity keto enthusiasts at the time, particularly Al Roker and Jenna Jameson. Well Jillian has stuff to promote and she’s not backing down. On the Adulting podcast she called keto bad for health and wellness and said that its benefits, like reducing insulin resistance, can be achieved without going into ketosis.

On the latest episode of the #Adulting podcast — hosted by wellness expert Nikki Sharp and comedian Zack Peter — Michaels mentioned the diet while discussing her new book The 6 Keys, which addresses the myths and misunderstandings associated with aging.

Emphasizing the importance of a diet filled with protein, fat and carbohydrates, Michaels said, “your cells are literally made up of those three macronutrients,” so “the best diet[s] for anti-aging” would be those that encourage people to eat a “balanced, clean version of protein, fat and carbs.”

This contradicts the basic premise of the carb-restrictive keto diet. “That’s just one of the many reasons why keto is a terrible, terrible idea,” said Michaels. “People can criticize me all they want, but the bottom line is, it’s science and the science is there — and (keto) is bad for your overall health and wellness.”

She also pointed out that some people who follow the keto diet claim to have “reversed any insulin-related health issues,” such as diabetes, since the diet prohibits white flour and white sugar.

But Michaels says healthier diets can help people achieve the same goals.

“We can accomplish those things…without going into ketosis,” she shared, referring to the metabolic process in which the body burns stored fat instead of glucose for its daily energy.

Michaels went on to point out that keto can also negatively affect the liver and thyroid, as well as the anti-aging process.

“I promise you it’s not good for you and there are better ways of doing it,” she added.

[From People]

Keto is a medical intervention developed to help kids with epilepsy, it’s not designed for every day people to lose weight, although of course it can achieve that. While there are definitely benefits to cutting down carbs, as Jillian mentioned there are ways to do that without eliminating them and putting your body through ketosis. If it works for you that’s great and it’s probably healthier than the crap I eat, (Ben & Jerry’s Half Baked chased by some popcorn was the last thing, although I swear I balance crap like that out), I just think that cutting carbs entirely is too extreme. Also I tried researching this and while a keto diet can reduce epilepsy and improve blood sugar control the longer term effects are unknown. So it’s not the worst diet surely but there are better ways to lose weight, if that’s your goal and you’re not on it as an elimination or doctor-ordered diet.

Damn look at this workout. This is why I’m not a fitness professional and am just a dabbler. I love carbs and cardio.

Embed from Getty Images

Embed from Getty Images

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

52 Responses to “Jillian Michaels doubles down against keto: ‘I promise you, it’s not good for you’”

Comments are Closed

We close comments on older posts to fight comment spam.

  1. 2lazy4username says:

    Carbs and cardio girl here, too. In my opinion, a sustainable formula is lots of fresh veggies/fruit + anything else in moderation + consistent exercise =happy and healthy.

  2. Kirsten says:

    RD here and although I disagree with some advice Jillian gives on nutrition, I am agreeing with her here.

  3. Mimisnowball says:

    I think keto is a solution for people who have a lot of weight to lose. I don’t know that it is a good idea to do it long-term.

    • stephanie says:

      I agree.

      I have maybe 5 -7 lbs I could stand to lose and I won’t be doing that with keto

  4. Rose says:

    My cardiologist was not a fan.

  5. Case says:

    I feel like every fad diet is ultimately bad for you. It’s about eating a variety of things in moderation with an emphasis on veggies, drinking a lot of water, exercise, and willpower.

  6. LORENA says:

    Agree! Also, you can limit your carbs without going full on keto

    • Annika says:

      Exactly! Reducing carbs is a great idea for most people!
      Keto isn’t bacon & diet Coke 24/7.
      I still consume some healthy carbs, & most of our protein comes from fish, seafood & chicken. Because those are our favorites anyway.

      • Betsy says:

        “Keto isn’t bacon and diet coke 24/7” 🤣 It is for the people I know personally who do it. But they have had their own spin on every fad diet, so…

  7. Victoria Taveras says:

    I understand why people seem wary of this. But in my case I suffer from endometriosis and had also developed high blood sugar and high triglycerides . We do consume carbs just do it in moderation, its actually not that hard but at the end of the idea, even though im happy ive lost some weight the reason I will maintain Keto is because me period pains have been reduced about 80%. I used to have to be constantly medicated to handle me period pain and also be able to function. Ever since I started keto, even on the longer or heavy periods I hardly have to take any pain medication and as someone who has had this since I was 14 (im now 40) its been life changing. You can say you dont agree with it thats ok but to dismiss it all together, thats why I have a problem with Jillian Michaels position

    • Snowslow says:

      I had very bad periods (long and painful) and a very troubled hormonal cycle. Primrose Oil capsules and Raspberry leaves capsules have really made my life much easier. I know I keep saying this but it’s true. However, having a lighter, totally healthy diet helps too, around the time of the period especially. I’m not a nutritionist so I won’t say anything about keto.

    • Dazed and confused says:

      I am so sorry you’ve had to deal with endo. It is horrible. I had it from about age 13 until I got a hysterectomy at 39 (9 years ago). Unfortunately, the high triglycerides and hyperinsulimia stuck around. I started a lazy keto in February and my triglycerides dropped over 350 points to normal range in weeks. My fasting insulin is much better also. And I’ve lost almost 20 pounds.

      When I was trying to get things figured out – and putting on 60 lbs in the process – I had an incredibly clean diet. The type of diet that Jillian might recommend. But I kept getting worse until I drastically limited my carbs and increased my healthy fats.

      The way I understand it, high triglycerides is an indication of inflammation — which you most certainly have a lot of with endometriosis.

      Wishing you well on your endo journey.

  8. Cate says:

    A woman I know was doing keto and seriously picking her GREEN vegetables based on which had the least carbs (like, brussels sprouts vs. lettuce). Any diet that has you keeping carbs so low that you have to make choices like that is not sustainable long-term.

    I do think there’s a case to be made for low/moderate carb diets, and for being very vigilant about sugar intake. But keto is several steps too far.

    • Betsy says:

      It just seems silly to pick a diet like that (and I am not including people for whom keto is medically indicated). My diet has acres in which I could improve, but it just seems a mockable diet if someone is bogging down to that extent.

  9. Nicegirl says:

    not Sure about the Keto plan except if medically indicated, I’m on an elemental diet rn to help with medical issues and I wish another way would work for me. I think her body is bananas and I wish I’d taken better care of mine.

  10. Tracy says:

    I have done Keto for 5 years, coming up in June. Over that time I’ve lost around 70 lbs and maintain it, but without strain.

    It’s NOT for everyone, and I’m not an evangelist for it. On occasion, I’ve gone off because I wanted whatever food I wanted— but I’ve always returned because at this point the mental clarity is worth it to me.

    I’m 36 and just got back from my yearly physical results a few weeks ago, where my doctor gushed at my bloodwork numbers across the board. When we discussed keto originally, she had done some genetic testing where she explained that because of whatever markers I have going on, that genetically, keto is not a bad choice for me at all. My numbers and weight back this up after years of it.

    The thing is, it feels so good I can’t see myself stopping. BUT THAT’S ME.

    Also, some people use ketosis for some very unhealthy habits. Even though one could maintain keto by only eating a pound of bacon every day, I would feel like crap and I can’t imagine it would be good for me. In practice, my meals mostly look like protein and vegetables with awesome sauces and occasionally lots of cheese. I love cheese.

    Anyway, Jillian seems like she needs some press, so here she is again.

  11. Other Renee says:

    This is an unhealthy diet for the majority. The ketoers tried to bully her for stating her opinion and good for her for not backing down.

  12. Annika says:

    My opinion as to why Keto gets so much hate here is that people are addicted to sugar & terrified of fat, especially as women, we are conditioned to think that fat is bad bad bad.
    People are still using the food pyramid, which was created about 30 years ago, as their guide to consume carbs as the main component of their daily good intake.
    We are loving Keto over here at my house. It works for us.
    You do what works for you.

    • Tracy says:

      Totally agree! We have some really outdated ideas about what is actually healthy. And the “fat is bad” thing that hit about 30 years ago has hurt several generations of people.

    • Steph says:

      Nop, not me. I don’t really eat sugar but that’s not my thing anyway but still love eating desserts. My mom used to give really healthy food growing up. I still eat pasta and lots of carbs. I eat healthy fats etc. People should focus on their bad habits and maybe try to learn how they got them and eat healthy. And if they have a serious issues with their body, maybe go with a special diet. Doing a diet just because or medicating without a drs advice its not my thing

    • elimaeby says:

      Agree to a degree. I definitely think women who lived through/grew up in the 90’s were bombarded with the “fat is bad” message. However, all carbs aren’t created equal. My father is a nutritionist, and my family never focused on how many macros per meal. We were more about eating all of the macros in their most natural forms as often as possible. Sure, we had chips and ice cream here and there, but most of it was whole grains, veggies, lean proteins and full-fat dairy. The biggest diet rule I was taught was to look for added sugars and to avoid “low fat” labels. We as a society ARE far too addicted to sugars and have no clue how ubiquitous they are.

      I’ll put away my soapbox now.

    • Erinn says:

      I’d say a lot of the hate is coming from the fact that it was designed for for helping controlling pediatric epilepsy – not weight loss.

      Add in the increased risk of heart disease and diabetes, risk of serious muscle loss, increased risk of kidney stones, and the fact that doctors are saying it should only be done under clinical supervision and only for extreme cases.

      I think you’re underestimating the intelligence of most posters on this site.

      • Annika says:

        Erinn: my hubby’s doctor put him on Keto. It seems to be helping him a lot. He sees the doctor every 3 months for tests & updates.
        And for some who are diabetic or prediabetic keto can actually help rather than make it worse.
        I’m not underestimating the intelligence of posters here (I know most people are quite informed on this site) I’m speaking about the population in general. In a comment further down this thread I mentioned the Dude Mentality approach to keto & I disagree with that approach completely.

    • Jen says:

      There isn’t one size fits all for weight loss or lifestyle change either. Keto works for some and not for others. Calorie restriction doesn’t work across the board. Keto also might not work for some.

    • isabelle says:

      Women have been so lied to about exercise, diet and foods. Women’s magazines are hugely to blame. Something Jillian is very guilty of partaking in and recruiting. She has been on many covers of junk fitness magazines, gave them tons of interviews and they are the very dogs spreading godawful fitness and diet info.

      • Harryg says:

        Agree. That you should exercise fifty hours a day “to burn calories” is ridiculous advice.
        Diet will fix a lot of problems. Butter is good for you.

    • lucy2 says:

      Agree about the sugar, fat, and food pyramid.

      For certain people it seems to work well, but I always think people should talk with their doctor. Stuff like this diet get overblown in the media and suddenly everyone is doing it, whether it’s good for them or necessary or not.

  13. Snowslow says:

    My issue with keto is its sustainability: it’s not great for the environment to eat that much meat and dairy. It seems like a very backward way of looking at nutrition.

    • Wendy says:

      Nah, you just have a skewed idea of what keto is. Google vegan keto or vegetarian keto.

    • Annika says:

      As a keto enthusiast I do agree you with on that!
      I think the average dude’s enthusiasm for keto is that they think Cool, I can eat bacon & steak all day! Which is, in my opinion, a lazy approach to keto.
      It’s healthier if people consume a variety of protein & fat sources, like olive oil, avocados & avocado oil, coconut oil, etc.

  14. Sheamus says:

    Carbs and cardio for me too. I have a couple of friends who are on keto and one of them has lost over 100 pounds. I’d be way too concerned about the long term effects of the diet, it just seems too extreme. I think in some people’s circumstances, if done properly and under the supervision of a doctor the diet might be ok. Definitely not for me though!

    My mother-in-law is on keto…bless her heart. She has no idea what she’s doing. I asked her about the diet, what she eats, etc. and she could never give me any real answers. She came to visit my husband and me for a few days and I swear the only things she ate the entire time was really fatty beef, avocados, and coffee with heavy cream. Going out to eat with her was a nightmare because she refused to eat anything on the menu because none of it was “keto-friendly” (well, not keto-friendly in her definition of the diet 🙄)

    • lucy2 says:

      And that right there is the perfect example of what I just posted about above – people who don’t know what they’re doing becoming obsessive about it and not working with their doctor or a nutritionist.

  15. yiza says:

    I have a friend who has been on a Keto diet forever and lost a lot of weight. It helped them battle sugar addiction and works for them because they can eat keto and not overeat but when they get into the sugar/carbs there is no stopping.

    That said to make it work you basically have to stay pretty low carb and commit to it as a lifestyle. Time off means regain. It’s not for everyone but it works for some very limited number of ppl.

  16. A says:

    Hey! Sorry for posting this here. Someone here a few weeks ago recommended Noom as a great app to to lose weight. I downloaded the trial version without ever actually using it. I couldn’t find how to unsubscribe, deleted the app and forgot about it till a few days ago when I received a paypal charge for 78€!
    I emailed them about it, they replied that this is their policy and I will not get a refund.
    I did some searching and many people said they had trouble unsubscribing before the end of the trial on time as they require you to send a message to your coach or speak to someone on the phone ! I wrote a bad review on google play and a few hours later received my refund.
    Be aware.

    • Harryg says:

      Wow, thanks, I absolutely hate businesses that operate like that! Shady. Glad you got your refund.

  17. Jen says:

    Whether or not keto is healthy can be up for debate – much like whether the diet pills she was busted for giving her contestants on Biggest Loser were healthy (she claims they were fine, but producers disagreed). Either way, I take everything she says with a grain of salt given her track record.

  18. minx says:

    Any time I’ve made a drastic diet change I end up craving what I’ve eliminated, and gaining back weight. The only thing that works for me is moderation (even having desserts or treats) and upping my exercise.

  19. Oliviajoy1995 says:

    I dont care for Jillian Michael’s but two doctors I have seen and talked to about Keto says the same thing. It’s not good for you. As I was told, a high fat diet is never a good idea.

  20. Jackie says:

    My IVF doctor wants all his patients on keto and there have been a number of women who have gotten pregnant naturally after doing keto in preparation for IVF.

  21. Ash says:

    I do a modified keto diet. I was diagnosed as a diabetic this year and really just focus on keeping a sensible carb count. I’ve lost 40 pounds, my blood pressure and cholesterol are back to normal and my sugars are fantastic.

  22. Abby says:

    I’ve been on Keto since Jan and lost 30lbs. I have a lot more to lose so I will continue to stay on it. I will likely move to a more Paleo lifestyle when I’ve gotten to where I want to be, because I miss fruit!! I eat berries, but summer will be tough with all the fruity goodness.

    • Annika says:

      Paleo is my goal after this phase, too! That’s pretty much how we ate when I was growing up & we all very very healthy. Of course growing up on an organic farm where we produced our own food was a huge bonus, we had our own beef, pork, dairy, chicken, eggs, turkey, vegetables, fruit trees & berry bushes, & grains to make bread.
      How I wish I could replicate the same scenario for my children!
      My hubby’s doctor put him on Keto. I’m doing it to support him & open my eyes to how much unnecessary sugar I was consuming.

  23. CairinaCat says:

    My 14 year old son is on the keto diet
    One of his psych meds causes bad weight gain and intense carb cravings
    So he is on that to counteract it

    Also his pediatrician, pediatric endocrinologist, psychiatrist, nutritionist and two psychologists all said it would be good for him.

  24. Nona says:

    I’m a type 2 diabetic and started a keto-like diet a few weeks ago. It is amazing how my blood sugar reacts. I would never be able to get these results with cardio alone! But I do admit, I am not aiming at ketosis, just a very low carb diet. I also am not crazy about eating that amount of fat, but I definitely upped my fat intake. The result? My sugar/carb cravings were gone after a few days. Now, my cholesterol has always been excellent, so I don’t see a problem there. There just isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. And Jillian Michaels should know that.

  25. Kk2 says:

    Some new studies came out recently using rats that showed the keto diet worked well for male rats but not female rats (worked = weight loss and less insulin resistance). When the female rats were given a hysterectomy, keep worked ok for them i think. So obviously this is one study and it’s rats, but it’s more interesting to me than 100 anecdotes. Would also explain why a lot of scientific studies of the keto diet which did not separate by gender have had mixed results.

    I personally have no dog in this fight. I’m a moderate eater by nature and have no interest in any diet trend. But I don’t care what other people do/don’t eat.

  26. A.Key says:

    Well if people understood the concept of “moderation in everything” then we wouldn’t be having this conversation in the first place.

  27. Wilma says:

    As a type 1 diabetic it always annoys me when something works for type 2 diabetics and people start telling me how to eat based on that. Ketosis is really bad for me. It makes me feel sick and I need more insulin than I would if I would eat carbs that are slow to digest.

  28. Another Anna says:

    Okay, maybe this is a stupid question, but what’s the difference between Atkins and Keto? From what I can tell, they seem the same.

    I’ll admit, I’m not the healthiest eater in the world, but I can’t stick with a diet that doesn’t allow me some moderation and some indulgences. Keto seems like just another in a line of extreme dietary restrictions.