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Book Review of Jillian Michaels's Master Your Metabolism

Weekend Reading: Master Your Metabolism by Jillian Michaels

The key to mastering your metabolism, according to the new book by Jillian Michaels? Hormones! But not in the way you normally think of hormones.

In Master Your Metabolism: The 3 Diet Secrets to Naturally Balancing Your Hormones For a Hot and Healthy Body!, the Biggest Loser trainer explains how the myriad hormones that make up your endocrine system — including cortisol, ghrelin, testosterone, and leptin — work to keep your body healthy and balanced.

One of the new anti-diet books, this incredibly detailed guide combines personal memoir, serious science, and healthy eating recommendations to shed light on how artificial additives and other external factors can sabotage our weight-loss efforts. The book starts out incredibly academic, defining the various hormones and how they work; it was too much scientific jargon for me. But after wading through that I learned a lot. To find out what,


Michaels's basic premise is that the toxins in processed foods, nonorganic produce, prescription medications, and the environment can throw our hormones out of whack, wreaking havoc on our systems. She writes, "Any and every body function you can imagine is controlled by your hormones." Her "three diet secrets" divide the book into three phases: removing these toxins from your life, replacing them with healthy foods, and rebalancing your hormones through diet, sleep, and exercise.

She offers a strict and simple meal plan that involves eating every four hours and tells you how to look at all the labels in your pantry and toss out the really bad stuff. She also acknowledges that we can't eat perfectly all the time and offers suggestions for good but not great foods. Along the way, she adds personal touches, like memories of being an overweight kid and confessing that she hates to exercise (which I have a hard time believing).

I like how the book offers different reasons for eating healthy than the ones we're used to hearing. It really made me think about how bad junk food really is and how every decision about what we put in our bodies has a ripple effect. This certainly isn't a book you can absorb with a quick skim; it's very dense with information. But I learned a great deal reading it and plan to return to it as a reference.

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