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Dumbbells and salad that Jillian Michaels recommends for personal health and anti-aging

Jillian Michaels: Fitness Expert Shares Her Keys to Longevity

Fitness expert and TV celebrity Jillian Michaels shares her personal health and anti-aging journey, her recommendations for a diet and exercise program, and key ways to age well.

Scientifically reviewed by: Holli Ryan, RD, LD/N, on July 2021. Written By Laurie Mathena.

Jillian Michaels is one of the world's foremost fitness experts, working with big-name celebrity clients like Julia Roberts, Pink, and Maria Shriver.

She starred on NBC's television show The Biggest Loser for more than 10 seasons as a personal trainer, has written eight New York Times best-selling books, and has released 20 fitness DVDs that have sold over 100 million copies.

Most recently, Michaels has become passionate about another critical wellness topic: anti-aging.

Michaels promotes a balanced approach to health and longevity, stressing a combination of physical fitness, healthy diet, taking supplements, and intermittent fasting.

Here, Michaels shares her own personal health journey, her recommendations for a diet and exercise program, and key ways to age well.

Being Transformed Inside and Out

Portrait of TV celebrity Jillian Michaels who promote a balanced approach to health

Michaels didn't always have the sleek, 5'3", 115-pound frame that she sports at 47 years old.

As a teenager, she was overweight, insecure, and a victim of bullying. That all changed when her mother introduced her to martial arts.

"Through martial arts I began to believe in my ability to achieve whatever I set my mind to," said Michaels. "I began to want to lose weight and started learning about 'diet' and nutrition. Over time, as I got more confident, I felt more capable. The more small successes I achieved, the more I began to set bigger goals for myself."

By 17 years old, Michaels had shed 60 pounds and was training for her black belt in martial arts—a practice that not only transformed her physical and mental attitude, but that ultimately launched her impressive career.

At 28 years old, Michaels opened her own sports medicine and personal training facility called Sky Sport and Spa in Beverly Hills, where she earned a reputation as a no-nonsense trainer who got results.

And by the time she was 30, Michaels became a household name when she became a trainer on NBC's hit show The Biggest Loser, a TV show where obese individuals competed to lose the most weight.

According to Michaels, The Biggest Loser “really helped give me an international platform to get out a bigger message of health and wellness.”

Beyond Fitness

Woman holding supplements and fresh broccoli

Since her time on The Biggest Loser, Michaels has continued to sound the alarm about the extreme dangers of obesity.

“Ultimately, in the US alone we lose roughly 30,000 people a month to obesity. Seven out of 10 Americans are on medication because of an obesity-related health condition,” said Michaels. “Obesity is the number one cause of bankruptcy in America due to the health issues it creates. It's been linked to cancer, heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer's, erectile dysfunction, glaucoma…the list goes on.”

Besides following a fitness routine, Michaels says that the best way to maintain a healthy weight is to follow three primary dietary rules: counting calories, eating all three macronutrients (protein, fat, and carb), and practicing moderation.

“It's simple science. Calories in our food equal energy. Fat is stored energy. If you eat more calories in a day than you are burning—no matter how many micronutrients that food may have—you will store that excess energy as fat.”

But quality is as important as quantity, which is why she tells her clients to eat food in its most natural, whole form. She also encourages following an 80/20 rule, making sure healthy food makes up at least 80% of your recommended calorie allowance.

The bottom line?

“Basically, don't overeat and use common sense with your food choices,” said Michaels.

Michaels' Longevity Plan

In her most recent book, The 6 Keys: Unlock Your Genetic Potential for Ageless Strength, Health, and Beauty, Michaels details six body processes that determine how we age—and more importantly, how to combat them.

This includes taking steps to minimize damage to macromolecules like DNA and proteins, controlling factors that affect your genes (epigenetics), preventing chronic inflammation (inflammaging), and delaying the shortening of your telomeres.

“Time has nothing to do with age, and genetics have very little to do with age,” said Michaels. “Aging is a component of accumulated damage from daily living. So how we live our life is what determines how we age. Period.”

One practical way to fight aging is to practice intermittent fasting, which Michaels incorporates into her personal life by leaving a 12-14-hour window between dinner and breakfast the next day.

“The benefits are really about overall health—not weight loss. When you give your body a window where it isn't focused on breaking down food, you free your system up to do housekeeping—clearing out dead and senescent tissue,” said Michaels. “Plus, it helps with insulin-related health conditions, and it boosts longevity by how it affects metabolic pathways and their connection to our longevity genes (sirtuins).”

Michaels is also a self-proclaimed 'supplement nut.'

“Even though I try to eat the most balanced suite of foods when it comes to both macro nutrients (protein, fat, carbs) and micronutrients (vitamins and minerals), it's still difficult to get all the nutrients in their optimal amount for optimal health. I use supplements as a catch-all safety net to ensure I get the recommended daily allowance (RDA) of everything I need.”

She says she also uses supplements to give her an “edge” when it comes to fitness, metabolism, and longevity.

As part of her personal regimen, Michaels takes a multi-collagen peptide supplement with MSM, glucosamine and chondroitin, an organic green superfood blend with adaptogens, a red superfood blend, a blend of probiotics and prebiotics, krill oil, a precursor of NAD+, resveratrol, and a multivitamin.

“I think it's important to almost everyone to age well. Aging well means vitality coupled with longevity. Who doesn't want that?” said Michaels. “I want to live my best quality life for years to come, for myself and to be around for my family.”

Personal Training with Jillian

Michaels' claim to fame is her intense fitness regimens, which include a blend of weight training, kickboxing, Pilates, yoga, and plyometrics.

Her workouts have gained a reptation for being tough, results-oriented programs—but they are not one-size-fits-all, and they are not designed for any specific age group.

In fact, Michaels cautions against basing a fitness program solely on age alone.

“Exercise programs are not built around age. It's about fitness level, fitness goals, and pre-existing injuries or conditions,” said Michaels. “I strongly suggest consulting with your doctor and a fitness professional to tailor a program based on your personal needs. Maybe you need to focus on increasing mobility or boosting bone density. There simply is no one-size-fits-all here.”

Over the years, people wanting to train with Michaels have turned to one of her 20 fitness DVDs, which have sold over 100 million copies worldwide.

More recently, Michaels has launched an app for smartphones and tablets called The Fitness App by Jillian Michaels—putting the decades of Michaels' expertise right at your fingertips.

“The Fitness App has personalized workout programs to help you meet any goal, satisfy any exercise preference, and suit any fitness level,” said Michaels. “You can train at home, in the gym, or outside—no equipment needed.”

The app also features an advanced meal planner that individualizes your meal plans.

Launching this app is yet another way that Michaels helps people achieve their goals—something she says gives her a sense of purpose.

“I love playing a role in someone's journey to a better life—giving them tools to become happier and healthier,” said Michaels. “This brings so much meaning in my life. I can't imagine doing anything else.”

If you have any questions on the scientific content of this article, please call a Life Extension® Wellness Specialist at 1-866-864-3027.

Jillian Michaels is an American personal trainer, businesswoman, and health and wellness expert. She starred on NBC's The Biggest Loser, has written eight New York Times best-selling books, and has sold over 100 million fitness DVDs. She recently launched an app called The Fitness App by Jillian Michaels. You can download The Fitness by Jillian Michaels App on iphone or android by visiting www.jillianmichaels.com, and you can keep up with her on Instagram at @jillianmichaels.