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Published: Monday, March 18, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

'Loser' coach's book about solutions

  • Jillian Michaels, a fitness coach on NBC's "The Biggest Loser," has a new book, "Slim for Life: My Insider Secrets to Simple, Fast and ...

    Associated Press / Carlo Allegri

    Jillian Michaels, a fitness coach on NBC's "The Biggest Loser," has a new book, "Slim for Life: My Insider Secrets to Simple, Fast and Lasting Weight Loss."

NEW YORK -- Jillian Michaels orders two eggs over easy with a smidgeon of oil and two slices of dry toast.
And coffee.
Coffee?! "Two strong cups, 400 milligrams, fights pancreatic cancer," she said, "plus Alzheimer's, Type 2 diabetes and improves cognitive functions."
Not that Michaels is a health-nut goodie-goodie.
"I still drink a little bit of alcohol," she said. "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, Michaels said, in the battle to lose weight and be healthy. "Even if you're just standing while you're talking on the phone," she said, "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."
"It's my softest approach to weight loss," said 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-inch force of nature who doesn't hesitate to throw her tautly muscled weight around.
"I wanted to write a book where you felt like I was sitting right there with you," she said, a vision of reassurance seated across the table, "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 from the audience of her website, weekly podcast and speaking engagements.
"I wanted to integrate the answers and knock down the myths and the fad diets," she said.
"For every possible dieting dilemma that you could ever have, I provide umpteen amount of solutions. Pick one!"
In her book, every strategy comes with a point system scored from 1 (a "bonus" tip) to 3 (most effective and important). Totaling the strategies you're able to adopt can help predict your rate of weight loss, she said.
Michaels also packs the book with simple no-brainers: Eat before you head to the party, .
Nix foods tagged with "danger words" like smothered, loaded, tender, deep-fried and creamy. At the supermarket, avoid the center aisles in favor of the fresh foods perimeter.
Growing up, physical health wasn't something that came easily to Michaels.
Her dad was overweight, she said, "and one of the ways that we spent time together was through food: 'Let's go get a pizza."'
She had an image of herself as "a fat kid, a loser, someone who deserved to get picked on."
But she got hooked on martial arts. In the dojo she was part of a community. She felt supported. She blossomed.
Then came a real turning point: She broke two boards with a sidekick.
"The next day when I walked into the school, no one ever (messed) with me again," she said.
From there a career unfolded for Michaels as a trainer, physical therapy aide, then sports-medicine professional.
A decade ago, she signed on to "The Biggest Loser." There, instantly, she stood out as a taskmaster, even a bully.
As "The Biggest Loser" heads toward its season conclusion (at 8 tonight), Michaels has seen full potential reached by her current charge, Danni.
A 26-year-old advertising account coordinator, Danni has lost 95 pounds under Michaels' dogged coaching and has guaranteed herself a slot as a finalist.

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