Jillian Michaels has made it clear that she thinks the keto diet is a “bad plan” that deprives the body of essential nutrients. So if not keto, what would the longtime trainer recommend? Essentially, Michaels recommends keeping it simple.
The first step, she says, is to cut out processed foods.
“You don’t want to eat processed foods — that’s obvious. Foods with a ton of chemicals; that goes without saying,” Michaels told PEOPLE Now in December. “Use common sense with your food choices. No chemicals; nothing overly processed.”
The mom of two says that processed foods affect more than just your weight.
“Things like fake fat, fake sugar, processed grains, processed sugars; essentially wreak havoc on your on your body chemistry,” she said. “So beyond obesity, you’re looking at your skin, your hair your nails, your liver, your heart, your kidney your brain; kind of everything.”
Instead, Michaels has previously said that she likes to start the day with a meal that includes healthy carbs, like a multi-grain English muffin with almond butter, or oatmeal with apples and pecans. And rather than snacking throughout the day, she aims to eat every four hours, so around noon she’ll have a lunch of fish and veggies, followed by a snack another four hours later and dinner at about 8 p.m.
In her Ripped in 30 meal plan, Michaels suggests an apple berry banana smoothie or a mozzarella stick and pear as a snack. For dinner, she opts for protein-packed meals like a BBQ chicken and black bean burrito and roasted salmon.
If that sounds too healthy, don’t worry — Michaels knows it isn’t realistic to be a perfect eater all the time, and previously told Health that she likes to be an 80/20 eater.
“Make 80 percent of the food you eat healthy and take 20 percent of your daily calories and make them fun,” she said.
And Michaels says that one of those fun foods is sneakily healthy.
“Chocolate — dark chocolate — is actually great for you because it has antioxidants and polyphenols that help to fight the free radicals in your body that cause aging,” she told PEOPLE Now.
And while Michaels hates keto, she is into another trendy way of eating — intermittent fasting.
“The reason intermittent fasting has gotten so much hype lately is because there are definitely anti-aging benefits to it,” she said. “However, fasting is not synonymous with starving. Yes, the two can intersect, but they shouldn’t. fasting is a period where you’re not eating, not ‘I am not eating enough.’ Totally separate.”
Michaels said that she likes this system because you’re not cutting out any food groups the way you do with keto. Instead, you’re eating those healthy foods she recommends, but for a set amount of hours.
“So we’ve already had this built in intrinsically for thousands of years, it’s called breaking the fast, otherwise known as breakfast,” she said. “It’s a period between your last meal of the day and then the next meal tomorrow. A 12 to 16-hour fast overnight, and common sense. Don’t overeat.”