Huffpost Healthy Living

Jillian Michaels Answers Your Questions (Q&A)

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You sent in your questions for Jillian Michaels. Now the fitness trainer, who appeared on reality shows The Biggest Loser and Losing It With Jullian, has answered them. For more Jillian Michaels, you can check out her recently released book, UNLIMITED: How to Build an Exceptional Life or visit her website at

1) Do you recommend we deal with our emotional issues before diving head first into a new fitness or weight loss program? -- Asked by HuffPost reader Cindy from Modesto, California

When it comes to weight loss or reclaiming any aspect of our physical health an integrated synergistic approach of diet, fitness, and "self help" works best.

2) What can I do to make maintenance (of my weight) more manageable? -- Asked by HuffPost reader Sharon M. from White Plains, New York

Maintenance mode is actually much easier than weight loss mode. All you need to do is balance you calories in with your calories out. Simplest way is to buy a pocket calorie counting book or use an ap to count calories in and then invest in a body media device to monitor calories out. If you don't eat more than the calories your burning you won't gain back weight.

3) I love to walk but can only do so for about 15 minutes before my knees give out. Is there anything else I can do? -- Asked by HuffPost reader Barb from Oregon, Wisconsin

There are many things that could be happening here from bursitis to patella tendinitis to ITB syndrome. I highly recommend a session with a physical therapist so you can be diagnosed and the appropriate exercise and stretch regimen can be prescribed.

4) What are the best things to eat before and after a workout? -- Asked by @stephajramirez from Derry, New Hampshire on Twitter

Eat about an hour before you train. Not too much or you will likely get cramps while training. A snack consisting of an equal blend of macronutrients is ideal. Something like an apple with almond butter or a whey protein shake with So Delicious coconut milk. This will help keep your blood sugar stable and your workouts energized. After training you want if you are trying to bulk up you'll want to eat within the hour and you'll want plenty of amino acids. If not I would recommend sticking to your daily eating schedule. So if you're eating every four hours wait until your next meal and again shoot for a blend of high quality macronutrients. Quinoa with salmon and vegetables is an ideal example.

5) How can I get better at planks? I can't seem to hold one for longer than 30 seconds. -- Asked by @GingerGeri from Toronto, Canada on Twitter

Try core based training modalities like yoga and matt pilates.

6) What do you know about the hormone leptin and it's role in weight gain and loss? -- Asked by HuffPost user babybelle from Fairfax County, Virginia

Leptin is a hormone that regulates energy intake aka appetite and metabolism. It's important that you balance leptin levels for optimal metabolic function. Sleep has been shown to help and consuming white fish like cod or snapper.

7) If you choke down enough veggies do you get used to them? Do you have any advice for picky eaters like myself to eat healthy? -- Asked by HuffPost reader Kristin Westman

Try different veggies! You're not locked into something you hate. Broiled carrots, grilled eggplant, sautéed spinach - the options are endless surely there are a few you'll like. AND try cooking your veggies differently. This will help you find variations that you might like.

8) Might "The Biggest Loser" better serve the public by showing less of the gym and competition and more depiction of healthful modeling of ways to seek appropriat­e therapy, get in touch with one's feelings and attack the root cause of obesity? -- Asked by HuffPost user Bob Alberti

You are preaching to the choir with that statement. Despite my constant pressing of the producers to show more of the deeper internal work, Biggest Loser is a game show at the end of the day and they were not open to change the way they produce their show.

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