Making the Cut Review - Jillian Michaels

Robin M.'s picture

Some of us love her. Some of us hate her. Some of us love to hate her. But she’s become the poster child of tough love weight loss. Propelled to stardom by The Biggest Loser, Jillian Michaels is now one of the most recognizable faces on television. And she’s not even an actress. She’s a fitness trainer.

Jillian Michaels takes it personally. At 12 years old, she weighed 175 pounds. Then her mother enrolled her in a martial arts class, and everything changed. As she got herself into shape, she vowed to help others transform their bodies too.

Making The Cut Diet - How Does it Work?

Making the Cut targets people who are relatively fit and have 20 or less pounds to lose. The book was published in 2008 and is her second weight loss book, a follow-up to her fan-favored debut, Winning by Losing.

Jillian writes:

“Let’s be clear: Making the Cut isn’t about losing 100 pounds; it’s about tightening up, getting strong, and changing your body composition. You’ll be shedding fat and building lean, strong muscle in its place. You’ll be developing a drop-dead, smokin’-hot body.”

She promises to have these readers “feeling comfortable running in a bikini.”

The premise of this book, and this diet, is that a person is either a fast oxidizer, balanced oxidizer, or slow oxidizer. Apparently, slow oxidizers require more carbs, while fast oxidizers need higher percentages of protein. The book provides three sets of menus and recipes to match each of these types of people.

Making the Cut also aims to help readers acquire new mental techniques that will enhance their self-confidence.

In this book, Jillian covers both diet and exercise issues. She writes on a wide spectrum of diet topics, including how to balance your hormones and maximize your metabolism. She talks about supplements like hoodia, and even the master cleanse.

Of the more than 100 exercises described in the Making the Cut the vast majority of them do not require exercise equipment because they are designed to engage and utilize your own body weight. The book has an exercise requirement of at least 40 minutes a day, 5 days a week.

What Others Are Saying - Does Making The Cut Work?

Jillian’s plan is tenacious and requires time and commitment. For those who are able to follow her regime, and have the pounds to lose, weight loss is inevitable.

However, please keep in mind, this plan is for someone who is already in decent shape, and already doing some sort of workout routine.

Alissa Cooper from New York finds the workout challenging and the diet very effective. She explains:

“If you want to know how people like Vanessa Marcil go from having a baby to getting back on the cover of Maxim in only a few months, get this book.”

How Much Weight Will I Lose?

By customers’ own words, Making The Cut has proven to be very effective especially for helping dieters get rid of this last hard-to-lose fat. Dianna, finished the Making the Cut 30-day program successfully and lost 7 stubborn pounds but admits that one has to be in a good shape to perform the workout at the right intensity level.

Linda Crammer, who is a Jillian fan and bought the book the day it came out, states:

“I am a almost a 3rd of the way through and I did my first pull ever... in my whole life and I have lost 7lbs in 10 days.”

K. Pohl followed the 30 day plan and was very successful with it:

“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!”

For J. Lang, the Making The Cut was an eye opener as it revealed to her the subtle ways she was sabotaging her own efforts. She says:

“In 30 days I lost 7 lbs off my already size 4/6 frame. 13 inches overall and have landed at a healthy, strong 19.2% body fat. I'm going for another 30 day round to get even stronger.”

Here are some weight loss claims from Amazon review-writers:

One reviewer, Pamela Cash, who calls herself a “DVD fitness addict,” wrote that after 2 weeks, she began to see more definition in her shoulders and arms, and after 4 weeks, she noticed that the shape of her stomach was changing.

Pros and Cons


  • Making the Cut includes 3 separate 30 day meal plans with detailed menus and recipes.
  • Jillian goes into detail about which foods to avoid.

  • Making the Cut includes information on hormones, metabolism, insulin, the glycemic load index, the thyroid, and the adrenal gland. It really helps you to understand the way your body works.

  • This book is about taking action, not about thinking about it, or investigating theories. It’s about going after those last few pounds.


  • Some readers found the book a little boring and difficult to not put down.
  • Some of the exercise suggestions don’t have pictures, and are difficult to understand.

  • The book does not offer science to validate her diet. She claims things to be fact, but does not support these claims with any evidence. This does not mean that the diet is not effective. Experience usually precedes science, and Jillian has worked with thousands of people.

  • Some readers claimed that the meals cooked at home take too much time.

  • Jillian recommends several foods that are nutritionally suspect: processed oatmeal, fat free mayonnaise, fat free Reddi-Whip, etc.

Problems and Complaints

Readers reported that Jillian’s workouts left them with sore muscles. One reviewer says:

“the workout is challenging and I can't even sit on the toilet I am so sore, but the diet is a no fail.”

Another reviewer says:

“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”

Also, the recipes are very American, so implementing her eating suggestions elsewhere might be difficult.

If you are an experienced dieter and exerciser who is just looking for that extra boost to get rid of those few nagging pounds, this book, and this diet, is certainly worth your time. It is available from Amazon for only $10.17, and is available for Kindle for only $9.71.

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