Winning by Losing Book Review - Jillian Michaels

Robin M.'s picture

This is the first book of the world renowned fitness guru Jillian Michaels. With Winning by Losing you don’t need to be a contestant on NBC’s The Biggest Loser to achieve your weight loss dream. A personal trainer and life coach, Jillian Michaels, helps you reach your fitness potential.

Jillian Michaels takes it personally. In this book, she shares with us that she was an “overweight and unhappy teen” who took charge of her life. She challenges us to do the same.

How Does Winning By Losing Work?

Jillian offers the “3-S” plan (Self, Science, and Sweat). She covers the mental, nutritional, and physical aspects of weight loss, and she devotes equal sections of her book to each.

In “Self,” Jillian helps you make the necessary shift in your mentality and emotions. She tells us that we really need to get real about losing weight. She teaches us how to seek out supportive people and avoid negative ones, to create our own support groups, and to revamp our negative self-images.

In “Science,” Jillian disproves common diet myths. She teaches us how to calculate our Basal Metabolic Rate and our Active Metabolic Rate. She explains how your body loses weight, and how your metabolism really works. Then, she helps you create a caloric plan geared towards your specific needs.

Jillian also helps you determine the ratio of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats your body needs. She provides a list of foods that are optimal for your health and weight loss goals. She even gives tips on how to safely dine out.

In “Sweat,” Jillian provides a 12-week fitness plan, complete with specific workouts. She also offers variations for people with different fitness levels. Be prepared to sweat – it’s not just a catchy title.

Jillian employs a realistic, tough, yet understanding, no-excuses attitude. This is not a book that will patronize its readers with the “weight loss is simple – just do it” approach. Jillian seems to honestly want to help others. She acknowledges that weight loss is complicated.

What Others Are Saying - Does Winning By Losing Work?

An Amazon review-writer shared:

“This book is great, and not another typical weight-loss book. Utilizing common sense, knowledge, and, perhaps most importantly, a no-gimmick point of view, Jillian explains, encourages, and talks tough when she has to.”

Wendy, from Los Angeles, bought Winning by Losing after going to hear Jillian’s lecture with some friends. Before meeting with the author, Wendy thought that Jillian would be another “know it all”, “get slim quick” superstar trainer who would never relate to someone like her. But when she met her, she couldn’t believe how influential, motivating, realistic, understanding and inspiring she actually is! Like many other people, Wendy realized that knowing what to do is not usually the problem. Getting off your butt to take action and do what you know is the point. Here is what Wendy thinks about Jillian and her book:

“Finally!!! Someone who doesn't insult me by telling me "just eat right and exercise and don't try to lose more than a pound per week. It's simple." She knows that there is more to it. She spends a chapter on the emotional connection to weight issues and then cuts right to the chase with guidelines and basic science to figure out the best eating and exercise habits that work for YOU.”

How Much Weight Will I Lose?

I read many inspirational stories of people who lost weight successfully by reading and applying the principles of Winning by Losing.

Jane, 20, had been obese since she was 8. After giving up on essentially every diet program she had tried, including Weight Watchers, she was greatly disappointed and had decided to accept herself and her size as a permanent, unchangeable condition. But she decided to give Jillian’s book a try. The results were surprising. She says:

“Over an eight week period of following her program, not always perfectly, I've lost a total of 15 lb and have significantly increased my muscle mass. If nothing else, Jillian's book has taught me that weight loss is possible for just about anyone.”

Kereema Perkins is one of the most enthusiastic readers of Winning by Losing. She lost 8 pounds within the first 30 days after buying the book. She says:

“This book restored my faith in myself and my ability to lose the weight and keep it off. THIS BOOK ROCKS!!!!!!!”

One Amazon reviewer wrote that this book helped him to lose 27 pounds with Jillian’s guidance.

Pros and Cons


  • Winning by Losing provides recipes for healthy meals and snacks.
  • Winning by Losing provides simple exercises with photographs.
  • Winning by Losing acknowledges and explores the several facets of weight loss. Too many diets ignore the mental and emotional aspects of dieting. Jillian does not shy away from anything.


  • You will need access to a gym, or be willing to do substitution exercises.
  • Some people feel that Jillian can be a bit abrasive. If you are not ready for her frank candor, then she might come on a little too strong for you.


Kelly Minner, 28, a member of Season 1’s Red Team, who has lived as an overweight and occasionally obese woman thinking that she was destined to be fat, writes:

"I am a walking, living proof that Jillian Michaels gets results and changes lives. Today at 29 I am 92 pounds thinner and immeasurably happier. I read Jillian's book, and recommend it to anyone struggling to lose weight in a healthy, life affirming way. This is not a quick fix scheme; this is a life change that finally teaches us to get real results. This book gives that opportunity to anyone. Buy it and make a purchase you'll never regret!"

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