NEW YORK — Jillian Michaels orders two eggs over easy with a smidgeon of oil and two slices of dry toast.
Coffee? “Two strong cups, 400 milligrams, fights pancreatic cancer,” she says, “plus Alzheimer’s, Type 2 diabetes and improves cognitive functions.”
Not that Michaels is a health-nut goodie-goodie. “I still drink alcohol,” she says. “And I haven’t been to the gym in five days.”
No wonder. There’s this grueling book tour on top of an always-heavy workload, plus the routine demands of parenting a 3-year-old daughter and an 11-month-old son who, along with her partner, Heidi Rhoades, have come with her on this recent New York visit.
But all is never lost, says Michaels, in the battle to lose weight and be healthy. “Even if you’re just standing while you’re talking on the phone,” she offers, “you can burn up to 300 calories in a day.”
That’s the sort of forgiving advice found in her latest book, Slim for Life: My Insider Secrets to Simple, Fast and Lasting Weight Loss (Harmony Books).
“It’s my softest approach to weight loss,” says Michaels, a wellness coach to whom the word “soft” is seldom applied.
After all, she is famous as the drill-sergeant trainer on NBC’s The Biggest Loser, a 5-foot-2 force of nature who doesn’t hesitate to throw her tautly muscled weight around.
But during this recent breakfast she seems different from her Loser persona. Clad in jeans, sweat shirt and Ugg boots, her hair pulled under a newsboy’s cap, she could pass for half her 39 years. She is animated, high-rev. But no way overbearing.
“I wanted to write a book where you felt like I was sitting right there with you,” she says, “providing a simple solution for every problem or complaint I’ve ever heard.”
Fitness is too time-consuming, complicated, costly, inconvenient, plus I’m hungry all the time – Michaels has heard every excuse.
“I wanted to integrate the answers and knock down the myths and the fad diets,” she says.
In her book, every strategy comes with a point system scored from 1 (a “bonus” tip) to 3 (most effective and important). Total the strategies you’re able to adopt to predict your rate of weight loss, she says.
If some of this stuff gets a little technical (she prescribes workouts complete with calories-per-minute burned for each exercise), Michaels also packs the book with simple no-brainers: Eat before you head to the party so you’re less tempted by those fatty hors d’oeuvres. Nix foods tagged with “danger words” like smothered, loaded, tender, deep-fried and creamy.
For imbibers who aren’t satisfied with the occasional red wine, she offers low-cal cocktails.