Jillian Michaels Calls Out Andy Cohen and Al Roker Over Keto Diet Disagreement

By Tiffany Meier

Jillian Micheals isn’t letting anyone change her mind. She’s standing behind her opinion on the keto diet, despite getting backlash from a number of celebrities, including Andy Cohen and Al Roker, according to reports.

The fitness trainer slammed the keto diet, a low-carb, high-fat diet that Micheals said is a bad idea.

“I don’t understand. Like, why would anyone think this is a good idea?” she said in a “Rave or Rant” Women’s Health video.

“You know what we need to do? All fat and animal protein! Ding, ding, ding!” She said. “No! Bad plan. For a million reasons.”

She continued by saying the keto diet deprives your body of essential nutrients.

“Your cells, your macromolecules, are literally made up of protein, fat, carbohydrates, nucleic acids. When you do not eat one of the three macronutrients—those three things I just mentioned—you’re starving yourselves,” she said. “Those macronutrients serve a very important purpose for your overall health and wellbeing. Each and every one of them.”

Jillian Michaels attends PETA's 35th Anniversary Party.
Jillian Michaels arrives at PETA’s 35th Anniversary Party in Los Angeles, Calif., on Sept. 30, 2015. (Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

What is the Keto Diet?

The Keto diet, short for “ketogenic diet,” is all about minimizing carbs and upping fats. This gets the body to use fat as a form of energy, Scott Keatley, R.D., of Keatley Medical Nutrition Therapy said, according to Women’s Health.

While everyone’s body and needs are slightly different, the carb intake typically translates into eating no more than 20-50 grams of carbs a day.

After two to seven days following the keto diet, the body goes into something called ketosis, or the state the body enters when it doesn’t have enough carbs for the cells to use for energy. That’s when the body starts making ketones, or organic compounds, that the body then uses in place of those missing carbs. At this point, the body also starts burning fat for more energy, said Beth Warren, R.D., founder of Beth Warren Nutrition.

The Keto diet was originally designed to help people who suffer from seizure disorders—not to help people lose weight, New York-based R.D. Jessica Cording said. That’s because both ketones and another chemical produced by the diet, called decanoic acid, may help in minimizing seizures.

So why did the keto diet became such a trend? Because people who followed the diet did notice weight loss. That’s because eating carbs leads to the body retaining fluids in order to store the carbs for energy. But if there aren’t many carbs stored, the body loses this water weight, Warren said.

However, the keto diet isn’t a “miracle fat burner,” Keatley warns. “The calories in fat are still calories, so working out and keeping total intake at a reasonable level is the only way it works,” he said. “Being on a keto diet but eating more calories than you need will still add fat to your frame.”

Instead of relying on the keto diet, Micheals recommends a balanced diet: limiting intake of processed sugars and grains, keeping an eye on calories by not overeating, and using exercise.

The Debate with Al Roker and Andy Cohen

However, Michael’s views came under backlash by well-known fans of the trendy diet, including Al Roker and Andy Cohen.

Cohen dubbed Michaels as the “Jackhole of the Day” on Wednesday’s episode of “Watch What Happens Live,” reported Fox News.

“Don’t feel bad, keto diet. A lot of people think Jillian Michaels is a bad idea,” Cohen said on his show.

“Today” weatherman Al Roker also joined in and tweeted, “So @JillianMichaels says #Keto is a bad idea. This from a woman who promoted on camera bullying, deprivation, manipulation and more weekly in the name of weight loss. Now those sound like bad ideas.”

However, Michaels is standing firm on her view that keto is unhealthy and challenged Roker and Cohen to engage in a “civil intelligent debate” about the diet.

Micheals took to Twitter to respond to both of them and wrote: “I have an idea….How about a civil intelligent debate on The 6 Keys book and keto instead of personal attacks and name calling? I’m also a motivator and I know you guys can do this.”

“Look, Andy Cohen is not passionate either way,” she told TMZ. “This is a guy who called Savannah Guthrie dumb for doing the diet and then called me a ‘jackhole’ for saying don’t do the diet.”

Micheals also posted a video on Twitter addressing Roker directly, and captioned it: @alroker here to talk whenever.

“If you want to debate the science of keto, then, by all means, let’s do that,” she said in the video. “But the personal attacks are bizarre, it’s unnecessary, it’s uncalled for, it’s beneath both of us, right? …. I am here to discuss it whenever you like.”