Monday, November 12, 2012

Making the Cut - Review

Making the Cut: The 30-Day Diet and Fitness Plan for the Strongest, Sexiest You
By: Jillian Michaels
Published: April 10th 2007 by Crown Archetype
288 pages
Source: Personal Library
( Goodreads | Amazon )

Goodreads description--Are you in good shape but struggling with those last ten to twenty pounds that stand between looking perfectly okay and looking knock-their-eyes-out great? Do you have an event on the calendar where you’d love to make jaws drop? Or do you just want to see for yourself what it would be like to have the best body you’ve ever had in your life? Then you need this book.

Making the Cut is a unique, intense thirty-day program from TV’s toughest fitness guru, Jillian Michaels. It has one purpose: to maximize your diet and fitness potential so you’ll get dramatic results at an accelerated pace. The program trains you in three essential ways—mentally, nutritionally, and physically. Making the Cut enables you to:

• identify your unique body type and metabolic makeup (are you a fast, slow, or balanced oxidizer?) and customize a diet plan that is perfect for you

• learn mental techniques that greatly enhance your self-confidence and sharpen your focus on success

• develop your strength, flexibility, coordination, and endurance to levels that exceed anything you ever previously attained—or would have thought possible

Making the Cut takes you further faster than any other fitness program. Ever wonder what secret techniques models and celebrities learn from their high-priced personal trainers when they need to look their absolute best for a shoot or a scene? Jillian shares invaluable info about “peaking”—temporary short cuts you can employ when you have just a few days to get ready for your close-up. And she gets you hip to safe but effective supplements (break out the white willow bark and green tea extract) and tells you how to shed the last drops of excess water weight to put the ultimate finishing touch on the new you.

Other plans get you in shape; this one delivers ripped-up perfection. You supply the commitment and determination . . . Jillian Michaels supplies the astonishing results. Visit for more.

I have no doubt that the diet and exercise plan in this book works. I lost 5 pounds in the first week. That’s enough to get anyone super stoked, right? Well…don’t get ahead of yourself. What I found in this book was typical of what I’ve found and struggle with for almost every diet plan ever.

Let’s start with the diet plan. There’s a test that you take to find out whether you are a fast, slow, or balanced oxidizer and the results of this test will determine which diet plan you’re on. While there appears to be a variety of breakfast, lunch, dinner, and side dish recipes in the book, you’re limited to the ones that fit within your oxidizer level—which severally limits your variety.

My next problem with the diet plan is that the grocery list is ridiculous! Here’s an example of the grocery list for one week

  • Kashi Go-Lean Cereal
  • Skim Milk
  • Eggs (23)
  • Low Fat Cottage Cheese
  • Cinnamon
  • Splenda
  • Whole Grain Toast (1 piece)
  • Sprouted-Grain Toast (1 piece)
  • Apple (1)
  • Cashews
  • Wasa Crackers
  • Natural Peanut Butter
  • Raw Almonds
  • Pistachio Nuts
  • Low Sodium Sprouted-Grain Bread (1 piece)
  • Laughing Cow Low Fat Cheese
  • Olive Oil Cooking Spray
  • Onions
  • Fresh Flat-leaf Parsley
  • Fresh Basil
  • Garlic Cloves
  • Plum Tomatoes
  • Low-fat Parmesan Cheese
  • Wheat Flour
  • Nonfat Sour Cream (3 tbsp)
  • Smucker’s Sugar-free Jam (3 tsp)
  • Broccoli
  • Tub Style Light Cream Cheese
  • Fat Free Italian Dressing
  • Italian Seasoning
  • Low-sodium Turkey Breast
  • Bottled Roasted Red Peppers
  • Lavash Wraps
  • Chicken Breast
  • 2 Jars Marinated Artichoke Hearts
  • Balsamic Vinegar
  • Dijon Mustard
  • 1 ½ Heads Fennel
  • Cherry Tomatoes (6 cups)
  • Pitted Kalamata Olives
  • Red Onion
  • Nonfat Cream Cheese
  • LaTortilla Factory Low-carb Tortillas
  • Tomato
  • Spinach
  • Lean Roast Beef
  • Yellowfin Tuna Steaks
  • Olive Oil
  • Fresh Lemon Juice
  • Arugula
  • Fennel Bulb
  • Carb Solution Barbecue Sauce
  • Low-sodium Black Beans
  • Shredded Reduced Fat Sharp Cheddar Cheese
  • Low-fat Sour Cream
  • Shrimp
  • Bay Scallops
  • Mango
  • Lime Juice
  • White Wine Vinegar
  • Cumin
  • Ground Ginger
  • Ground Cinnamon
  • Hot Sauce
  • Avacado
  • Baby Lettuce Salad Mix
  • Asparagus
  • Vegetable Oil
  • Cannellini Beans
  • Vidalia Onion
  • Fat-Free Low-Sodium Chicken Broth (only ¼ cup)
  • Cider Vinegar
  • Dried Oregano
  • Allspice
  • Ground Cloves
  • Near East Wild Rice
  • Salmon Fillets
  • Prosciutto
  • Fennel Fronds
  • Fennel Seeds
  • Fennel Bulbs
  • Lemon
  • Cauliflower
  • I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter Spray
  • Half & Half
  • Eggplant
  • Curry Powder
  • Swordfish Fillets
  • Rosemary
  • Red Wine Vinegar
  • Lamb Chops
  • Dry Red Wine
  • Fresh Oregano
  • Dry White Wine
  • Low-Sodium Vegetable Broth (1 cup)
  • Frozen Spinach
  • Reduced Fat Feta Cheese
  • Oregano Sprigs
  • Smucker’s Sugar Free Apricot Preserves
  • Orange Juice (only 1/3 cup)
  • Smart Start (not to be confused with Kellogs Smart Start cereal)
  • Spaghetti Squash
  • Cardamom pods
  • Carrot Juice (only ¾ cup)
  • Rice Vinegar
  • Cornstarch
  • Sugar
  • Fresh Chives

Oh and on top of how many items are on the list, let’s take a look at something like how we use 1 piece of toast for one breakfast. Yet….we don’t use that bread again the entire week. Am I really supposed to buy a loaf of bread so that I can eat one piece? REALLY? Aside from the fact that there's 3 different types of bread that you only use 1 piece in a week. Not to mention that my local grocery store (in central Alabama) doesn’t carry swordfish or lamb chops. So not only does that mean I can’t get these ingredients, but it also means that my recipe options for this diet plan are even more limited than they were before.

Third, have you seen all the things there are to cook? So….I cook eggs for breakfast, prepare lunch to take with me for myself and my husband (because we actually have jobs to go to and do not have the ability to make lunch for ourselves when the time rolls around. Plus packing a snack of some kind. And then I must cook a new meal every night. Aside from the fact that most of the recipes say they serve 4 and there’s just the two of us. So….now I’ve got 7 days worth of leftovers. But don’t expect to use those leftovers next week because you’ve got an entirely different week planned next week.

Now, let’s talk about the exercise plan. Let me be clear about something. In order to follow this exercise plan, you need access to a gym. Nowhere in the description of the book does it mention that you’ll need gym equipment to follow this routine. Personally, I like to workout at home. I’ve got dumbbells, resistance bands, I’ve got a body ball, etc. But know what I don’t have? A treadmill (I do have a Gazelle), a seated hamstring curl machine, a cable and pulley machine, any every other large piece of gym equipment ever. So when I finally got a chance to look over the exercise plan and review the moves, I have to say that I was nothing but discouraged to see that gym equipment was needed for so many of the moves.

My problem is that when it comes to exercise, I tend to be a perfectionist. If I’m not able to follow a plan that’s been prepared by an expert 100% as the way it’s outlined then I tend to freak out slightly. And then if I don’t see the results I’m hoping for, then I feel I can only blame it on not following the plan correctly—which I feel truly sets me up for failure, because how often are you able to stick to a plan or a schedule as defined by someone else 100% without something you can’t help coming up…well it’s just not possible to do 100%.

Anyway, that being said, I didn’t really feel like this was the program or plan for me. After my initial loss of 5 pounds the first week I was up and down between a 2 pound window but never losing more than the first 5 pounds. And while I’ll take every pound I can get toward my goal, it just didn’t live up to the 10 to 20 pounds that the description mentions…for me. I found that the diet plan isn’t sustainable for me and my lifestyle. And the exercises don’t fit in with my desire to work out from home without spending thousands of dollars on gym equipment.

Now here’s the plus side, any plan when followed correctly will work. Plus when boiled down it’s calories in versus calories out, right? Moves can be modified which is what I did. Leftovers can be eaten, which is also what I did. When preparing a dish that serves 4, well it was just my plan to eat one serving for that meal for my husband and myself, and then the next night we’d have the leftovers from that same meal. That cut down on the number of items being purchased at the grocery store, and it also cut down on the number of meals I had to cook each week. While I still believe this plan will work if it’s followed, I wasn’t able to follow it in a way that was satisfactory to me, and thus didn’t get the results I was hoping for.

All in all, I give Making the Cut 3 Stars. Have you tried Making the Cut? What did you think? Let me know!


  1. Woah! That is a MEGA shopping list and it sounds like it would not only cost you a fortune but you'd be throwing out a lot of food. Oh and I recently saw swordfish on a "DO NOT EAT" list due to toxins (especially for women who plan on having kids in the future). It's so hard to know what you're supposed to eat these days -- that book doesn't make it any easier.

  2. I had that same issue with the grocery list, and the recipes serve 6, but you don't eat the leftovers for lunch... According to the book. And I can't afford to buy swordfish, salmon, and sushi grade tuna all week :) Also it said to buy certain foods yet I didn't find the recipes for it, was bothered that the shopping list wasn't broken down into weeks, and there were things missing on the shopping list. Ugh. I bought the book on sale, and have just been following which ever recipes I like and eating leftovers for lunch... Should work huh? Overall the recipes are good and you're right its the calorie count that works. I did like the read of the book, it was motivational, overall I think it was worth the $10 or whatever I spent, but there's no way I could follow the meal plan, I'm not making myself fancy lunches everyday, no sir!

    Thanks for your review!


  3. The shopping list is ridiculous. But I definitely agree. Some lists say don't eat X and then other lists say to eat X. How do you know which is correct? Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

  4. Yeah, I think the book was probably a decent purchase. And there is useful information in it for sure, but I just found that there was no way for me to follow this plan the way it's laid out. Thanks for stopping by and commenting Lauren!