‘The Biggest Loser’ Trainer is Selling Some Losers: Why, Oh Why Is Jillian Michaels Pushing Diet Pills?

JillianMichaels“America’s Toughest Trainer” has gone too far.  I hate to see Jillian Michaels get into the supplement business — especially with the types of products she’s chosen to put her name on.   Jillian has a devoted following on NBC’s The Biggest Loser (even with her tough love approach).  She’s even scored her own show called Losing It with Jillian, so I’m sure there will be a lot of eager dieters ready to swallow her weight loss pills — which promise to control calories, burn fat, detox and cleanse.

Sure, she looks great.  No denying that.  But why is Jillian now an authority on nutrition?  Why is she pushing diet pills when she preaches about “no shortcuts” so often on The Biggest Loser. She’s gotten  Run Faster Mommy and Healthy and Sane upset over this apparent flip flopping on her “no magic pills” advice.

Yes, we’re all disappointed.

So, exactly what are in these pills?   The Quickstart Rapid Weight Loss System ($99 at GNC) contains the Jillian Michaels Maximum Strength Calorie Control and the Jillian Michaels Maximum Strength Fat Burner.  The Calorie Control capsules are…

“…a proprietary formula specifically developed to restrict your caloric intake automatically.  In other words, when you take this compound before main meals, you eat less…but the best part is you won’t even know you’re eating less.  It’s like an automatic diet.  What could be easier!”

You’re supposed to take two capsules with a full glass of water 15 minutes before main meals.  They’re described as a high energy formula to fight “diet fatigue.” The instructions say to limit your caffeine throughout the day.  You know why?  You’re getting a giant  jolt of caffeine with these diet pills.  This can especially be worrisome for people who are sensitive to stimulants or caffeine, or have an existing health condition such as heart disease or high blood pressure. The ingredients include:


Xanthine complex
Yerba Mate leaf
Coffee bean extract (70% caffeine)
Guarana extract (a caffeine like compound)
Cocoa extract
L-glutamine
L-tyrosine
Damiana leaf extract
Ginger root powder
White willow bark powder

Primarily you’re dosing up on caffeine and relying on an ingredient, Yerba Mate, that has fallen flat when it comes to weight loss.  Even though this ingredient claims to have weight loss powers, scientific research has shown otherwise.  A review of existing studies on weight loss supplements in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that Yerba Mate (along with several other dietary supplements) is not effective for reducing body weight.  The researchers concluded that the evidence on Yerba Mate as a weight loss aid is not convincing and the supplement is not recommended for over-the-counter use.

The Maximum Strength Fat Burner is formulated to “encourage lipolysis (release of fat from mature cells), promote preferential loss of fat mass and inhibit activity of phosphodiesterase.”  Fat chance. The pills contain:

Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA)
White willow bark powder
Grapefruit extract
Bitter orange extract
Blood orange extract
Sweet orange extract
Coleus forskohli extract
Tribulus terrestris extract
Xanthine complex
Yerba mate leaf
Coffee bean extract
Guarana seed extract

Once again, there are a lot of stimulants in these pills and an ingredient, CLA, that won’t likely do much fat burning for you. A study on CLA that was published in  the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that “daily CLA supplementation for 1 year does not prevent weight or fat mass regain in a healthy obese population.”  The remaining ingredients are basically fillers.  They may sound nice, but don’t offer any real benefits.

JillianDETOXThe line-up also includes Jillian Michaels Triple Process Body Detox & Cleanse plus Probiotic Replenishment. Now it’s really getting strange.  The primary ingredients are magnesium oxide (described as detox & cleanse magnesium) and a proprietary blend of probiotics.  And there’s a long list of extracts from roots, barks and fruit.  The directions say to take 2 capsules with a full glass of water twice a day for 7 days.  The “treatment” may be repeated every 3 to 4 months as desired.  Here’s a great rant about this troubling product from You Are Not a Fit Person.

I don’t get it.  With Jillian’s success, why did she have to go this route.  These products are expensive and there’s no evidence that they’ll be effective.

They also contain a lot of stimulants and questionable ingredients that may not even be safe for some people.

Why is Jillian not following her own advice?  Why is she touting a quick fix, when she preaches about hard work — discipline and daily physical activity.

Sure, there will be plenty of testimonials and people who will swear by the supplements.  But I still think the products are losers. I suggest you stay clear of Jillian Michaels weight loss system.  Watch her show, even buy her tapes.  Just don’t pop the pills.

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