Fitness pro Jillian Michaels shared her 10 tips to total transformation with us

Your dose of wellness motivation just arrived.

Your dose of wellness motivation just arrived.

(Brian Bolton)

Wellness is a key component of life (and of CBC Life!), which is why we were thrilled when health honcho Jillian stopped by to spill the (organic) beans about being at your best both mentally and physically. The author of an upcoming book, The 6 Keys: Unlock Your Genetic Potential for Ageless Strength, Health, and Beauty, came down from her elliptical to speak with us recently. Here, her 10 tips for fitness, transformation and overall health gained through her experiences.So whether you're looking to get on track or stay on track, you're going to want to add these to your wellness routine. 

1. Your motivation has to be personal

We can all make goals but, eventually, they will be challenged. Jillian says the key to staying motivated is to establish a "why", a detailed personal reason for you setting this goal in the first place. Attaching a strong emotional connection to your goals can put you into a better frame of mind to work and sacrifice towards them, especially when times get tough.

2. Remember that weight loss is simple math

It's so easy to get caught up in all the (mis)information and over complicate your weight loss journey, but Jillian believes the only answer is to keep it simple. Body fat is comprised of stored energy. Calories in your food are units of energy. Therefore, if you want to burn off your body fat, you need to consume less energy (calories) than you burn in a day.

3. Higher intensity + shorter duration = effective exercise

Many believe they simply don't have the time for regular exercise, that it's either hours on the treadmill or nothing, but there's a way to workout that is not only efficient, but may be more effective. HIIT (high intensity interval training) is an exercise method by which you implement short bursts of all-out exercise, followed by brief recovery periods. Jillian notes that, not only do you get more bang for your buck in terms of burning calories (versus long-form steady exercise), but it could prime your body for other health benefits as well.

4. Sleep it off

While weight loss may require simple math, there are many other factors that play into optimizing your health, one of the most crucial being sleep. We all seem to be stuck in an anti-sleep lifestyle of prioritizing waking and working over sleep - a disturbing health trend that's so harmful to us. Get to bed.

5. Fad diets never last

Jillian goes so far as to call fad diets evil - that's how detrimental they can be to your progress (and overall health) in the long run. Furthermore, fad diets don't work for everyone and they could be depriving you of key nutrients.

6. Eat on this schedule

While overall calorie quantity (and quality) is important, it's also integral to consume them at regular intervals throughout the day, to prime your body to make use of the nutrients you're getting, keep blood sugar levels stable and to avoid deprivation/binge scenarios. Jillian suggests eating every 3-4 hours, four times a day (breakfast, lunch, snack, dinner) and then leaving a 14-hour fasting window between dinner and the next day's breakfast (which literally breaks the fast).

7. Be balanced in your wellness attempts

Extremes are bad and Jillian warns against putting "too" in front of any eating or exercise method, because too much of anything can always be detrimental to your health. With every step towards healthier living, it's important to keep perspective and realize that the all-or-nothing approach might not be the most constructive.

8. Meditate

By now we all know the importance of a healthy mind in the wellness equation. Jillian suggests meditating for just 5-10 minutes per day can improve your levels of stress management. Not only has meditation recently been shown to noticeably reduce your stress, it can sharpen your mind.

9. Go organic (when possible)

If food quantity will only get you so far, food quality will take you the rest of the way. Harmful chemicals can be hiding within food as well as our beauty and hygiene products and could quietly be doing damage. When possible, Jillian says to strive to use products that are less-processed and labelled organic. For foods, when truly organic options are not possible, it's wise to choose from the clean 15 and avoid the dirty dozen.

10. Keep your air clean

Consider that we also consume air! And, over time, polluted air can definitely impact our health. Jillian claims that thanks to factors like off-gassing and paint, indoor air can be even more polluted than outdoor air and suggests a high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter can help considerably with both allergies and removing toxins from the environment. Additionally, Jillian adds, getting houseplants and regularly keeping windows open can keep stagnant air away from your lungs.