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334 of 340 people found the following review helpful
on April 18, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I just got the book 3 days ago. I am only on day three, but the information in this book is eye opening. Jillian covers everything from hormones and metabolism, supplements like hoodia, even the master cleanse.

I saw the review below and can't help but wonder if that person actually read the book. There ARE in fact 3 separate 30 day menu plans. One for each oxidizer type (slow, balanced, and fast). For that reason, 1 plan will ask for non-fat cottage cheese and another will ask for low fat. Those two ingredients are not on the same meal plan and they are also on separate grocery lists (of which there are 3, one for fast, balanced, and slow).

Jillian goes on to explain that the recipes make up to 10 - 12 servings for the following reasons: Most women don't want to make separate meals for their families. Also, the book allots each reader with and individualized calorie allowance. As some of the recipes are very low calorie, some people doing the plan will require up to 5 servings of each recipe. Last, if you are like me, always on the run and finding it difficult to cook every night this book will solve your problem. This way you will have healthy food prepared when you are pressed for time. All that said, she specifically mentions in the book that if you want to make less food you can simply cut the ingredients in half and the meal will still come out perfectly making half the servings.

With regard to the workouts: There are over 100 separate exercises in the book and less then 10 of them require gym equipment. The workouts seem predominantly designed to utilize body weight exercises (no gym required).

The workouts do seem tough, that is for sure. However, you can easily modify the exercises to accomodate your fitness level. Jillian offers over 8 variations of plank exercise, 11 different variations of lunges, 8 variations of push ups, and 8 variations of squats just to name a few. For those that don't have a treadmill accessible she offers up over 10 different types of cardio intervals that require no equipment like mountain climbers, butt kicks, squat jacks etc.

As for not being able to tackle weeks 3 and 4 of the workouts on day 1, I think that is the whole point. In order to lose weight quickly you must progress your fitness level quickly. For example, the contestants on Biggest Loser couldn't walk around the block on day 1 and by day 7 she seems to have them running miles and doing push ups. This is why she instructs you to follow the plan religiously. I assume that by doing the workouts from week 1 and week 2 you will be ready to take on weeks 3 and 4, hence the books promise of delivering "the best shape of your life".

I love Jillian. I have been a fan of hers sine season one of Biggest Loser. I listen to her radio show religiously and trust her advice. I use her dvd's and have gotten amazing results. I love this book so far and although it's no walk in the park, I welcome the challenge.
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173 of 192 people found the following review helpful
on April 19, 2007
Format: Hardcover
True to form, Jillian comes through in a manner that is clear, concise, and no-nonsense. I lost 32 pounds utilizing her first book, "Winning by Losing." I've maintained my loss for almost a year, in part, by listening to her weekly radio show. She won my loyalty long ago, because this woman KNOWS HER STUFF! So when I heard about her new book, I decided I was ready to dive back in and go for "the cut." I've lost 5 additional pounds in 8 days. I'm so jazzed -- thank you, Jillian!
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54 of 59 people found the following review helpful
on September 21, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I just finished the Making the Cut 30-day program and am very satisfied with the results. I joined a gym for a month to try it out (I usually work out at home), so I would have access to more equipment and machines. I found that I can probably do the routine at home with a couple of modifications. I lost 7 stubborn pounds (I was at a plateau for about 6 weeks) - discovered that counting calories does "count" when you are trying to get those last lbs off. You have to be fairly fit to do the workout at a decent intensity level; I'm pretty fit, but had to modify a few that I just could not do (yet), like a scorpion push up and a pike crunch. Her recipes are tasty and the menu has quite a variety.

That said, there are a few improvements I would make:

#1: Structure the meal plans with a little less variety so you can use up the groceries you purchase for the week. If you don't, you will have a lot of waste.
#2: Structure every recipe based on four servings, so if you are cooking for one or two you can modify them easily. Why make a salad that serves 10? Most people are doing this program by themselves or, maybe, with a partner.
#3: Alphabetize the exercises by name in the index so you can look them up easily. I have a good memory, but I needed to refer to the exercises a few times and it was frustrating trying to look them up.
#4: There seems to be a little confusion on the exercise (with # of reps, etc.) and the description of the exercise - for instance, she'll say in the exercise description: use both hands, then, in the workout schedule, it will say "single hand" and it doesn't seem to make sense.
#5: Suggestions for what to do "next" at the end of the program, and also include some inspiration in between the daily workout schedule.

Otherwise, TOUGH WORKOUT and GOOD RESULTS if you make the effort!

It's true, there's not a lot of clinical studies, etc. to prove her theories, but it is a no-nonsense approach to taking a step to the next level. The workouts are not for sissies; they are intense and heart pounding. Yes, a couple of the exercises are difficult to figure out without a picture, but I'd say that 95% are clear and concise and simple to figure out if you've had some exposure to a gym or are familiar with basic fitness moves.
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on December 13, 2008
Format: Paperback
I followed the 30 day plan a month back and was very successful with it. I made a few modifications. Instead of doing the workouts in the book I did workouts from Jillian's "30 Day Shred" dvd (amazing by the way!). Having had an appendectomy two weeks before going on the plan, the workouts in the book were out of my reach. Actually the first week I didn't even work out, just stuck to the meal plan, and I still lost weight!

After making a grocery list of the items I would need to make her exact recipes, I realized that I had written down around 100 items and decided that I didn't want this diet to put me in the hole financially. Instead of following her exact meal plan I picked a few simple recipes of hers that I liked (Moroccan Chicken especially) and created some of my own. I always stayed within my calorie range and balanced my protein/carb/fat ratio as Jillian did in her meal plans. I admit that I never really felt hungry, though sometimes the meals got boring (maybe her recipes would have been more exciting). I was religious in staying away from alcohol for the entire 30 days, which was really tough but totally worth it.

Results: I weighed 141 lbs on day 1 and weighed 130 lbs on day 30. At one point in the last week I got down to 129, which was the first time I had seen the 120's on the scale since the 5th grade! Making the Cut definitely got me in the best shape of my life. I have been off of the plan for a month and maintaining the weight loss has been difficult, but at the same time I haven't been an angel. I have put a few pounds back on, but now I know what to do when I want to take them off again. Making the Cut was a challenging experience. It was a test of my will power, but I proved to myself that I could do it. That was the most amazing part of it all.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
First off, in case you missed it, this book targets people in relatively good shape with 20 pounds or less to lose. If you have 50+ pounds to lose, check out Jillian's first book, or try the "Biggest Loser 30 Day Jump-Start". (One of the better BL books...along with the cookbooks.)

I like Jillian Michaels. I think she's an amazing trainer who gets some amazing advice. But her book has some questionable nutrition advice...as well as some important omissions.

For the omissions, Michaels talks about calcium supplements--but fails to mention a very important point. Calcium citrate is the preferred supplement for absorbability. Calcium carbonate, the ingredient in Viactiv and Tums, is not well-absorbed.

As for the questionable nutrition advice, Jillian is well-known for her stance against processed foods. She states that again in her book...saying to avoid them, HFCS, etc. Yet perhaps she's been influenced by the Biggest Loser's non-stop endorsements as she recommends Quaker Weight Control oatmeal, rather than steel-cut oats or even old fashioned oats. You can't get any more processed and fake than that. The high fiber and relatively high protein (for oatmeal) are great... but having some old fashioned oats with some scrambled egg whites would be a lot healthier--and no guar gum either.

She also recommends Fat Free Mayo--which is mainly high fructose corn syrup. Much better to eat the real Mayo or Low-Fat Mayo (still has sugar, but not as bad as the Fat Free kind.)

Another product endorsement is for Fat Free Reddi-Whip. I agree that it's better than the frankoproduct, Cool-Whip...but still three different forms of sugar... corn syrup, dextrose, and sucrose are in the ingredients.... as well as the all-natural guar gum and polysorbate 80.

She also makes a weird statement about legumes in the balanced-oxidizer diet. She says "all should be fresh or packed in liquid, not dried." How on earth are canned legumes, which are high in sodium, more healthy than dried lentils once cooks themself?

Having said all that, the exercise program is worth the price of the book. It's extremely well thought out... and easy to follow. You should have access to a gym (or at least pully machine at home); however, if you don't, you could probably modify some exercises to use dumbbells or try bands such as Bodylastics (and please, don't waste your money on the horrible BL-tie-in Bands.)
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
on May 8, 2007
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
I found this book very informative and what I loved is she realizes everyone is different thus we need to approach weightloss differently. I love that she encourages lifestyle changes not a diet to loss then gain again once you stop. The segments help you find what type you are and to approach your health from that angle. It's been very helpful and I've lost 10 pounds in 2 and 1/2 weeks. This is something that was well worth buying and I feel I'm on my way to being all that I can be and staying that way.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on May 25, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I loved the show biggest loser and really wanted to lose those last 10-20 pounds and tone up. WOW! I thought I was in shape before I started this book and man, I was not working out to my full potential at all! These work outs are HARD, but GREAT! I am two and a half weeks in and have lost 4 pounds. I haven't measured myself since the beginning, but my clothes are fitting looser and all the muscles in my body are tightening up. The pounds don't come off right away. You need to cut calories and build muscle. Then the new muscle burns more calories when you are doing daily activities. I didn't lose any weight for the first week, so hopefully more will come off soon!

I have not been following the meal-guide exactly, mostly concentrating on my calories. The meal plans are hard to follow in a house-hold of one or two. I was afraid if I bought all the food I needed to complete a week, it would go moldy before it was gone! I chose a couple breakfasts, lunches, and snacks and followed those consistantly, instead of having something different everyday. I tried most of the dinners and they were great! The meals are all easily adaptable to what your grocery store has in stock. For the balanced oxidizer, I eat cottage cheese or cereal for breakfast, a turkey wrap for lunch, half an apple with PB for snack, and fish/chicken with veggies for dinner. Jillian introducers a lot of different low calorie sauces to put on the fish, chicken and veggies that taste great!

I would definitely recommend this book if you are wanting to lose a little weight or are stuck in a work-out rut!
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92 of 111 people found the following review helpful
on October 6, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I was somewhat disappointed with this book. It has a larger and better collection of recipes than Winning by Losing, but there were still no quotes from actual clinical studies supporting her "oxidizer" diet plan.

Like her other book, it is really geared towards people who have access to a good-quality gym--there are no separate workouts for those who wish to do this program at home. Equally annoying is that there is no quick picture guide for the workout--you really are tied in to flipping through the book until you memorize the exercises, and many of the exercise variations don't have pictures at all. Finally, when you have to bring any kind of supplement usage into a fitness book....

However, she admits up front that her 7-day diet is really for losing water weight, not fat. Most authors featuring a diet of that sort do not.

I would check this book and Winning by Losing out of the library first before buying.

A much more home-friendly workout book is Minna Lessig's book: Tank Top Arms, Bikini Belly, Boy Shorts Bottom. She has several pages of small pictures showing the beginning and end positions of each exercise, grouped by the type of workout you want to do. Her DVD of the same name is also quite good.
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33 of 38 people found the following review helpful
on April 18, 2007
Format: Hardcover
As one who's started many diets and not finished any, I was attracted to the dustcover phrase "The 30 Day Diet and Fitness Plan" In the past, something of the utmost importance had always knocked me off a diet - holidays, a family reunion, a gift box of candy, the necessity of eating popcorn at a movie, an irresistible urge to walk into an ice cream shop. As you can see, it took very little. But, I thought anyone, even me, can stick to a plan for 30 days.

As I began to read this book I became even more impressed with the author, Jillian Michaels, Biggest Loser Trainer. Of course, she's had her share of celebrity clients, but what came through to me was the amount of space she spent in explaining the importance of motivation, and how to care for yourself during the plan. She seems to really care about her readers' well being rather than just selling books. For instance, she tell readers that if you have over 20lbs to loser to put the book back on the shelf.

Jillian's approach is two pronged - exercise and nutrition. Both are equally important. Since this is a 30 day program, the exercise requirement is a minimum of 40 minutes a day, 5 times a week. The exercises are clearly explained with photographs that show exactly how to do them.

Her nutrition plan is very detailed down to your individualized calorie allowance. She has 30 seperate full day menus for each nutrition plan with over 100 recipes.

Jillian is also incredibly candid. She discusses the pros and cons of very controversial weight loss supplements and procedures that most fitness experts might shy away from in an effort to be politicaly correct.

Well, my 30 days isn't up yet, in fact it's barely begin and I am aching EVERYWHERE, but I can already feel and see a difference. I'll finish as I'm a bit like the Little Engine That Could...."I know I can, I know I can," And, I know I'll be delighted I did!
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on December 26, 2008
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
My background: I lost a significant amount of weight (about 50 pounds) a few years back and have always struggled with that last 15-20 pounds that would really make me look great. I knew that Jillian understood how hard it is for people to lose that last bit of fat; I also knew that doing the same workout routine over and over wasn't going to cut it.

THE PROGRAM ABSOLUTELY WORKED in the following ways:
1. The workouts themselves are expertly designed and incredibly challenging. I saw definition in my shoulders and arms after 2 weeks. After 4 weeks, I noticed that the shape of my stomach was changing, and trust me, NO workout has ever accomplished that for me before.

2. Jillian isn't to wordy. She tells you exactly what to do. It's a handbook for action, not for theory. If you're like me and you've read a billion books about weight loss before, this is a relief.

I FOUND A FEW FLAWS WITH:
1. I am living in South Korea, and the shopping list is so incredibly American-ized that it's pretty much impossible to make any of the recipes in the book. I don't even have an oven in my apartment! However, I didn't follow any of her nutrition advice and I still lost 15 pounds and look fabulous, so it shouldn't be too much of a deterrant. It was just kind of a bummer.

2. As soon as I finished, I thought, "now what?" I'd really like to maintain my new fitness level, but im not sure how to continue. I can't just keep doing the program over and over (Can I?).

It seems like, to be able to maintain this shape, I need to buy another Jillan Micheals book or join her website. Good for her for getting all my money! But as it stands, I've never read a plan as good as hers before in my life, and until I do, she definitely has a loyal customer in me.
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