It has been a long time coming for this book review. If you remember back to my Don’t Drink Soda, Period post, I mentioned Master Your Metabolism by Jillian Michaels several times as a reference. I simple love this book, and no, it’s not because we both have the same name. Master Your Metabolism has changed my view on dieting. Even though I was eating pretty clean the first time I read this book, Master Your Metabolism pushed my eats to the next level. I never knew how closely our hormones are tied to our metabolism, and how many environmental factors affect our hormones.
Jillian breaks the book down into three parts: This is Your Metabolism on Hormones, The Master Plan, and The Master Tools. I found Part 1, Your Metabolism on Hormones, the most insightful. Jillian lists 12 (insulin, thyroid, estrogen and progesterone, testosterone, DHEA and cortisol, epinephrine and norepinephrine, human growth hormone, leptin and ghrelin) of the major players in the metabolic and hormonal scene. She explains how each hormone is produced in the body, how it affects the metabolism, and how each hormone gets out of whack. One thing I took away from this part of the book was how important it is to get a good night of sleep. Lack of sleep can throw so many hormones out of balance. For instance, a University of Chicago study found that when people are deprived of their deepest stage of sleep, stage 4, their daily growth hormone levels dropped 23 percent.
In Part 2, The Master Plan, Jillian breaks down three steps to balance your hormones and master your metabolism. The first step is to remove what Jillian calls “antinutrients” from your life. These are things like hydrogenated fats, refined grains, soda!, high-fructose corn syrup, and artificial sweeteners. Jillian describes how each antinutrient throws your hormones out of whack, and in turn, slows your metabolism. Jillian has a dictum that she says repeatedly through the book: only eat food that had a mother or grew from the ground. Words to live by!
The second step is to restore, where you replace all the antinutrients with foods that trigger fat-loss hormones. A few of these foods are legumes, alliums, berries (gotta have those raspberries!), cruciferous vegetables, and healthy meat and eggs. One of the best things I learned from this section of the book was that fruits and vegetables have a PIU number telling you how they were grown. A PIU number with 4 digits means it was conventionally made, 5 digits with an 8 means it was a GMO seed, and 5 digits with a 9 means it’s organic. The third and last step is to re-balance hormones. Some of the ways to re-balance your hormones is by eating every 4 hours, eating until you are full but not stuffed, and combining foods correctly.
During Part 3, The Master Tools, Jilliian describes how important it is to remove other toxins, such as unsafe plastics and cleaning products, from your life. Another awesome tip: check the bottom of plastic containers to find out what it’s made from. You want to avoid polyvinyl chloride (#3), polystyrene (#6), and polycarbonate (#7). Jillian also provides numerous mouth-watering recipes like grilled halibut soft tacos with orange salsa. Yum! Finally, Jillian gives remedies for mastering more complex hormonal conditions. One being to eat soy before menopause, and another, to take calcium pills to reduce PMS symptoms.
Even though I have loved Jillian Michaels from the early days of The Biggest Loser and even followed her on her AM Radio show, I cannot say enough good things about this book! The 17 years of experience and research is evident from the introduction of Master Your Metabolism. I highly recommend everyone go out and read this book!