Jillian Michaels

Jillian Michaels often catches heat for her harsh tactics and boot camp-style attitude as a trainer on NBC's The Biggest Loser, but the AP reports that Michaels insists it's the only way to get the "half-dead" contestants to shed the pounds.

"A normal person, I could be like, 'Warm up five minutes.' You'd be like, 'OK.' These people are half-dead. I mean, it's not the same... They are 400 ... pounds! Hello! They are not just going to get on the treadmill and run. It doesn't work that way."

The trainer, who has participated in six of the last seven seasons of the weight-loss reality show, also believes people misunderstand the method to her meanness. "People are like, 'She's so mean to them.' And it's like, 'Really? Do you really think so? Do you really watch the show?'... Now if I was calling them names, that would be mean."

What do you think? Is Michaels' approach tough love or cruel exploitation?