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Jillian Michaels dishes on fear of 40, fat-burning fitness and fad diets

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Jillian Michaels has become famed as the trainer to fear on "The Biggest Loser." But on the Jan. 20 episode of Wendy Williams' talk show, Jillian confessed: She's about to turn 40 and is fearing that milestone. However, she's determined to maintain her sleek physique and defy those who think getting older means getting fatter.

Recalling her own past, Jillian admits that she was chubby growing up. But it's because she learned to conquer her own weight wars that she's skilled at helping others tackle theirs. And Jillian hopes that she can keep the momentum going as she nears that 40th birthday.

"I‘m trying to get into the best shape of my life for 40," said Jillian in a Jan. 20 interview with Reuters.

Since the days when she worked on changing her own body from chubby to challenge-worthy, Jillian says that she's learned precisely what it takes to win at weight loss while sculpting muscles. In particular, Jillian specializes in fat-burning fitness and diet plans for people with 100 pounds or more to lose.

As a result of that specialization, Jillian has built her own weight loss empire that includes fitness DVDs such as "30-Day Shred" and best-selling diet books such as "Slim for Life: My Insider Secrets to Simple, Fast, and Lasting Weight Loss."

So what does Jillian recommend for those who want to burn fat fast? Variety.

"I don't lock into one type of exercise," explained Jillian, noting that she believes in including flexibility, balance, core stabilization, power, speed and agility into the routine.

"The more you change and stress the body the quicker it's going to adapt and change," she added,'

As for her own workouts now that she's nearing the big 4-0?

"Usually I'll do one boxing session, one yoga session, two resistance sessions a week," said Jillian. "I'll also work out with friends and then once a week I'll go for a jog."

What about those who label her a tough-as-nails trainer who has no pity or mercy? Is it true? Well, yes.

"The reality is I'm not a sympathetic person. Sympathy to me is an agreement that you are sad and sorry and (can't do it)," she said.

"I'm empathetic. I get it. It's hard. It sucks. But I also know that you can do it."

And Jillian takes pride in her ability to transform bodies and lives.

"I could take somebody that is a second away from having a heart attack and in four months I can have them running a marathon," she said. "That's amazing. I would never have thought that was possible 10 years ago."

Then there's the whole vegan versus Paleo versus low-carb diet debate. Jillian weighed in during a Jan. 20 interview with Access Hollywood. And her message is simple: Phooey on fad diets.

"First you're a vegan. Then, you're into the Paleo diet. Now, you don't eat wheat. It's ridiculous!" she declared.

"At the end of the day, it is common sense, don't eat chemicals, eat real foods and don't eat more food than you burn in a day. I have taken hundreds of pounds off of people at an extremely accelerated rate practicing that philosophy of counting calories," she added.

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