May 202014

Hey friends! Two weeks ago I told you about how I purchased the Bikini Body Guide eBooks from Kayla Itsines (affiliate link, FYI), and you guys seemed really interested in them! I got a lot of comments, emails, and tweets with your questions, so I thought today would be a good time for an update. Hold on to your seatbelts- this is going to be a long one!

First and foremost, I should explain how to purchase the eBooks. Although they are technically called eBooks, they are actually just PDFs. You can buy them from the Kayla Itsines website here. You won’t find them on Amazon or anywhere else where they sell traditional eBooks. I hope that helps clarify things!

As for my update- so far it’s going great! I’ve lost about 5 pounds in two weeks, although I have to say most of that was probably bloating from all the junk I ate and drank right before I started. Bleh. Like many women, I have a typical “weight range” that fluctuates up a few pounds or down a few pounds from day to day. When I started using the Bikini Body Guide (BBG) eBooks, I was at the heavier end of my usual range. I am now one pound less than my typical low weight range, so take that as you will (1 pound loss or 5). Either way the scale is moving in the right direction and my body is feeling great 🙂

Now let’s get down to the nitty gritty…

The Nutrition Plan

The BBG Nutrition Plan (which is called the Healthy Eating and Lifestyle Plan aka HELP…so clever!) is one of the things I was most excited about when I decided to try out the 12-week BBG plan. I have always had (and probably always will have) a love-hate relationship with food. I grew up not understanding healthy food AT ALL and was basically (unknowingly) addicted to junk food. You can read more about that here.

Now I try really hard to eat a balanced diet but I still crave food that’s bad for me and I’m not sure that will ever really go away. I am totally fine with following a 80-20 diet (eating healthy 80% of the time and enjoying yourself the other 20% of the time) but lately that balance seemed to be leaning more toward a 60-40 “balance” which I was NOT ok with. Especially with summer right around the corner and some fun plans on the agenda which involve being in a bathing suit.

The HELP Nutrition Guide suggests following a food regimen that a) I was already familiar with/loosely following, b) was backed up by science, and c) in-line with my nutrition preferences and beliefs (i.e., no fad diets), which made it a perfect match for me. In short, when I read about it I couldn’t wait to give it a shot!

The Nutrition Plan recommend eating a specific number of servings of each food every day. As I have explained before, it’s basically like following the old food pyramid recommendations we all grew up with.

To track my meals, I use the notepad app on my phone. Basically I write out the recommended number of servings of each food I should be eating each day under “IDEAL,” and then I list the actual amounts I’ve eaten below it. At the end of each day I delete all the numbers in the “ACTUAL” list and start over.

Here’s a sample of what my tracking looks like after I’ve eaten breakfast:


You’ll notice that some of the serving amounts seem pretty large (6 servings of grains!) but the portion sizes are actually really small, so it balances out. One slice of bread, for example, counts as one serving, so a sandwich would be two servings. Similarly, 1/4 cup of brown rice counts as one serving, and sometimes with dinner I’d rather have 1/2 cup of brown rice instead of just 1/4, which bumps it up to two servings. I don’t usually wind up eating all 6 servings of grains, but I get a lot closer than I thought I would. I also run out of dairy and healthy fat servings before I even make it to dinner time, so that’s been a bit of a change. I used to just pop raw almonds by the handful, but now I’m more careful! I also have to be careful to avoid processed foods, since they aren’t recommended on the meal plan. So far that has been going well!

Overall I would say that what I’ve been eating while following the HELP Nutrition Plan hasn’t changed all that much, but the amounts definitely have. Here’s a snapshot of some of my meals.

Breakfast hasn’t really changed that much for me. I am trying to make an effort to eat cleaner (i.e., less cereal) even though technically some whole grain cereal is still allowed on the plan. I’ve been having a lot of my favorite oatmeal (which I make with 1/3 cup oats, 1/3 cup skim milk, 1 mashed banana, and a sprinkle of cinnamon) and I’ve also brought the two ingredient pancakes from Tina over at Carrots ‘N Cake back into the mix. I forgot how tasty these are! 


Yogurt and fruit has also been a good go-to. The picture below includes one container of blueberry Chobani, a sliced banana, and organic coconut granola. Yum. FYI, this would count as one serving of dairy, 1 serving of fruit, and 1 serving of grains).


Lunches have been a bigger switch for me. As part of the nutrition plan, I am supposed to eat six servings of vegetables every day. I thought I was really good at eating a lot of veggies before, but it turns out I was no where close to getting six servings (it was more like 3-4). I have been trying to squeeze them in wherever I can, which means replacing my beloved turkey and cheese sandwiches with giant veggie-packed salads. These usually include mixed greens, baby spinach, tomatoes, cucumber, carrots, and feta cheese. Other add-ins include any leftovers we might have laying around like chicken, roasted veggies, quinoa, or rice.


My salad-making skills are improving and I’ve been enjoying these combos!


Not much has changed with my snacks; I still eat an apple almost every day and depending on whether I have any servings of healthy fats left I will also eat some almonds or peanut butter on the side (just 1 tsp. of peanut butter = 1 serving of healthy fats, BTW, so that’s been a bit of a change). Through this process I have realized that I was probably eating way too many healthy fats before I started this nutrition plan. Also, you can only have two pieces of fruit! I usually have a banana with breakfast and an apple as my snack, and then that’s that.


There’s always room for more veggies though! Carrots and hummus still make a perfect snack (I usually count hummus as one of my healthy fats though, so I have to be careful how much I have).


Dinners have also stayed pretty much the same. I am trying to include more lean meats and lots of veggies, but that has always been a priority for me. Being on the nutrition plan does help keep me from ordering out too often, and it also encourages me to steer clear of unnecessary alcohol with dinner, but I’ll get to more on that in a minute.

Here is a tilapia filet with Thai curry sauce that I pulled out of the freezer from the Saucy Fish Co., some broccoli rice, and sweet potato wedges (that recipe is also from Carrots ‘N Cake! These are so tasty, and you must try them if you haven’t yet!).


More broccoli & rice, grilled chicken, and balsamic carrots & cauliflower. Simple, nutritious, delicious.


Unfortunately (for me) Desserts and Alcohol pretty much have no place in the nutrition plan. I know. However, since the BBG plan is a 12-week program, I’m trying to be realistic about things. Knowing myself, my social life, and my sweet tooth, there is just no way I won’t eat any sweets or alcohol for twelve weeks. It’s just not realistic!

The plan does allow for one “cheat meal” per week, so I try to schedule my social events around that. Even still, I know I am usually tempted by booze and/or sugar more than once a week, so I am just doing the best I can. I want this plan to be something I feel comfortable following well beyond the 12 weeks, and omitting drinks and sweets all together just won’t work for me. That being said, I have made a huge change from having a glass of wine with dinner and a low-calorie dessert afterword each and every day, to saving my “cheats” for when it’s really important. It’s a step in the right direction but I’ll be honest, even that hasn’t been easy! Oh well, at least I’m making progress!

The Exercise Plan

I have also really been loving the BBG exercise plan! I’m on week 3 right now, and for weeks 1-4 you complete 3 resistance training workouts (circuits) and 2-3 low intensity steady state (LISS) workouts like a light jog or power walk. I probably should be taking the LISS workouts more seriously, but I walk a lot every day anyway to and from the metro plus when walking Jack, so I like to think if I just take Jack a little further than usual or go for a quick run that counts. Eh, maybe it does, but I could probably do more on this front.

I think the reason I’ve been taking the LISS workouts so easy is because the circuits are so tough!! Here’s an example of one of the circuits. As I explained before, you have 7 minutes to run through the circuit as many times as you can (usually 2 for me) and then one minute of rest before moving on to circuit #2. Then you repeat, so you wind up doing 14 minutes (4 rounds) of each circuit. Phew.


I am usually dripping in sweat after each and every workout and feel sore in some spots the next day. They are quick (about 30 mins) and effective which I love!

photo (1)

And that’s about it for my Kayla Itsines BBG update! The nutrition plan is going really well and so are the workouts. I’m just chugging along trying to continue toning up/losing a little weight and reminding myself that I’m in it for the long haul, so if I mess up here or there it’s really no biggie. Also, I continue to look at the Kayla Itsines transformations on her website to keep my motivation up. Hopefully in 12 weeks I will look like these awesome ladies!


**Note: Although I am an affiliate for the Kayla Itsines program this post was not sponsored by anyone. All thoughts and opinions are my own. **

Question of the day: How do you deal with unhealthy “cheats” in your diet?

 Posted by on May 20, 2014

  224 Responses to “Kayla Itsines Bikini Body Guide Update”

  1. I’m so interested in her e-book/PDF files! My biggest problem is by far dessert, as well. I really need a kick in the pants to drop my daily dessert-after-dinner routine. Quick question: what kind of salad dressing do you use? I’m always looking for ways to spice up my boring salads!

    • Great question! I like to switch it up and every day I will try something different (French, Italian, raspberry vinaigrette, hummus, etc.) but recently I bought this salsa ranch dressing from Bolthouse Farms that’s made with yogurt and has pretty decent nutrition stats. It’s my new favorite!! Now I want to check out their other products.

    • making salad dressings is SUPER easy and on you can find EVERY type of dressing recipe you could ever want! My go to is usually: olive oil, same amount of red wine vinegar, splash of balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, dried oregano or basil. I put all of this in a small container, shake, and pour!

  2. Wow nice work! Sounds like it’s doing the world of good for you. The workouts sound quite tough but nice and varied to keep you from getting bored.
    Not sure I could only have two portions of fruit a day… on a work day I have three apples, a banana and a fruit salad after lunch. Whoops.

  3. I try to eat really clean during the week and then I relax on Friday and Saturday dinners. I also track my food and drinks on MyFitnessPal to make sure I know what I am eating and to make sure I get enough calories when I am working out a lot. Finding balance and what works for you is the key!

    It seems like you’re really liking the program and are kicking booty!! 🙂

    • MyFitnessPal is great! I’ve used it for years, but the problem with me lately is that I will get super motivated to track on MFP for like 3 days, then I get lazy and fall off the wagon. This new type of tracking has been a little easier for me!

  4. So interesting!! I’m definitely going to have to look into it! Ever since I’ve started the Advocare 24DC I’ve learned a ton about clean eating too – like how easy it is to slip from 80-20 to 60-40, just like you said! My biggest problem is also healthy fats – I have a peanut butter problem like no one’s business! But what I love about plans like these is how much they can make you aware of things you didn’t realize were an issue!

  5. How exciting, I love meeting others who are doing Kayla’s guide! I finished but I am restarting it again – I saw a lot of toning up but not the fat loss I wanted. I was thinking of maybe following the HELP guide, but I calculated the calories for the sample days she has in the guide and the calories seem pretty low.
    What’s your experience been food wise? have you found yourself getting quite hungry or has it been alright?
    Excited to see you progress pretty lady 🙂 xx

    • Hi Alice! I definitely think following the HELP plan is important…experts say results are made 90% in the kitchen and only 10% in the gym! So far I have not had any problems with her calorie counts and I usually find that I don’t even eat as much as she recommends (for example, I usually only eat about 4 servings of grains out of the recommended 6). If I get hungry I ALWAYS eat (otherwise I get hangry) but following her plan helps guide me so I know what to eat. For example if I’m low on the servings of grains I can snack on a piece of toast or an English muffin, or if I need some more veggies I will snack on baby carrots. So far it’s worked out great for me!

  6. great article! I decided to buy the workout book as i usually focus on weight training and i wanted to switch it up a little..currently on week 6. My diet is very clean however my appetite is huge so portion sizes tend to increase haha. I try to stick to the 1300-1500 cal range depending on my workouts and my day. Would you say thats the range you would be leaning towards following the H.E.L.P guide? I may purchase it to have a peak but i feel my diet is pretty on point so im not sure however i may learn something new from purchasing it.

  7. Hey girl 🙂 I just bought both guides yesterday. I’m currently doing a different training program that’s similar to Kayla’s but I’m always working on my nutrition so I want to incorporate her ideas into my plan.
    I like the idea behind the nutrition book with the number of servings of each food group for every day but some things seem to be a bit too simple. For example stuff like PB2 or almond milk which aren’t mentioned in the guide. Almond milk has only around 1/3 of the calories of regular skim milk and not the same nutritional value as milk. PB2 has 45 calories for 2 Tbs whereas regular PB has 180 and obviously less fat…just to name a few examples (also homemade protein bars or questbars!?)
    Just wondering, did you come across this problem and did you find a solution or do you just not eat things that aren’t mentioned in her guide for 12 weeks? That just doesn’t seem like something I can and want to do.
    Your food looks delicious 🙂 Have you tried making green smoothies to get your 5 servings of veggies in? I make one as a mid-morning and afternoon snack and it helps a lot and it’s super delicious!

    • Good questions. I’ll start by saying that I follow the guide as just that- a GUIDE. It’s not a bible and I definitely don’t limit myself to eating only the foods she lists in the eBook. Those are just examples of what kind of meals you can eat, and I don’t think she intends for anyone to follow it exactly. Obviously PB2 has less calories and regular PB (same with almond milk and regular milk) but I think the point of the book is to get you to start realizing the


      of each type of food you’re eating, and not focus so much on calories. PB2 and PB are both healthy fats, for example, and almond milk and regular milk are both dairy products. Obviously you can eat whichever one you want (and pay attention to the calories if you choose) but either way you should only be eating 2 servings of healthy fats per day, and 2.5 servings of dairy per day. I hope this helps!

  8. Hi!
    I’m a little bit confused. Did you buy two books? Or the HELP guide and workouts come together in the same book?

    • Hi Joe- yes, they are two eBooks but you can buy them together as a package to get a discount. One eBook focuses on the nutrition plan and the other includes the workouts. Hope this helps!

  9. Would you mind selling me a PDF file of the eBook and I’ll pay you through payPal?

  10. What is considered a serving size of dairy or protein?

    • Here are some dairy serving sizes: 1 cup low fat milk or soy milk, 200g low fat yogurt, 40g low fat cheese
      Here are some protein serving sizes: 80g turkey or chicken, 100g seafood, 65g lean beef, 2 eggs

  11. What type of food would protein powder be in this guide?

  12. Hi, When you said 1/4 cup of rice is one serving of grains. Do you mean 1/4 cup of raw or cooked rice?

  13. Hi .. Could you give an idea as to the healthy fats sizes? I tend to love snacking on nuts and avocado as healthy fats but probably eat far too many !

  14. Thanks for this review – I’ve been thinking about buying the HELP guide (I already have the BBG workout book). I was wondering where do seeds fit in the plan? I have this “cereal” that is made of chia, hemp seeds, buckwheat groats and almonds – would this be considered a grain or a healthy fat?

    • Good question! The nuts and chia seeds would definitely make it a healthy fat, but it also sounds like it’s a grain. I would count it as .5 of a serving of each.

  15. Hi I have a question

    I purchased her e-book and only see the workouts on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Am I supposed to repeat them for Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday or should I take rest days? I’m so confusing with her e-book and kind of disappointed since it’s costly.

    • For the in between days, you do the HIIT workouts, walk for 35-45 minutes, stretch, or do 10 minutes of interval training along with a light workout. She says that you are free to do the workouts again, however she recommends that you allow your body to recuperate which in turn actually aids in getting the results you are aiming for. Pages 13-19 explain this more in depth as well. Hope this helps!

      • Thanks so much for answering this question, Ashley!! I’ve been getting a ton of questions (on here and via email) and it’s hard to keep up with them all!

  16. Don’t u want to share this books with me?!i will be just happy!!:D

  17. Hi Chelsea,

    Just curious if Kayla’s exercises require equipment? I saw that you said it is circuit training. Just curious because I’m without a gun membership and I wouldn’t want to spend the money on her book without one! Thanks!


    • Gym membership* darn auto correct!

      • Hi Deanna! I don’t have a gym membership either, and so far it’s been fine. You do need some equipment like weights and a medicine ball (I use one of my heavier kettlebells) and a jump rope, but I usually just pretend to jump rope. There are also a lot of workouts that use a bench, but I usually just use an ottoman that I have or a chair. Hope this helps!

  18. Hi you said we would be doing the circuits 4 times so does that mean we would do circuit one twice and circuit two twice ?

    • Yes- you have 7 minutes to repeat circuit 1 as many times as you can. Then in the next 7 minutes you complete circuit 2 as many times as you can. Then you repeat the whole thing for a total of 28 minutes (circuit 1 for 7, circuit 2 for 7, circuit 1 for 7, circuit 2 for 7). You can also take breaks for a few minutes in between the circuits. Hope this helps- it’s a bit difficult to explain!

  19. This article was great!!thanks! Would beans and quinoa and oatmeal be 1/4 servings to for the 1 grain???

    • I usually count beans under the protein category, although in the guide they are listed as vegetables (this is just my own personal preference based on my limited nutrition knowledge). But yes, quinoa and oatmeal servings would be 1/4 cup.

  20. Hi Chelsea, i’ve been following her instagram since months ago which i accidentally found it. The post she posted is very motivating and i am very tempted to buy the book. However, I just bought it and want to start my workout as soon as possible. In her book, she wrote this

    “Due to the high intensity of this training, I do not recommend these workouts for absolute beginners. As
    stated on my website, these circuits are designed for people who have a very basic level of cardio fitness.”


    “STOP: If you are a beginner and have purchased this book against my recommendation, please be sure to do 2-3 weeks of regular walking to build up a foundation of cardio fitness first.”

    It got me wondering.. I am absolute beginner. I have not done any exercise for 2 years now. what i do everyday is just eat sit sleep repeat. I did not see this disclaimer before purchasing the book. my question is.. should i really do only walking for 2-3weeks first? i know its a lame question, she obviously stated in her book I should do that. but can I do some of the workout as well. Maybe like less set and less reps as i dont think i can even finish all the reps within 7mins. and also just repeating easier working until im done with walking for 2-3weeks.

    • This is a very good question, and I have to say these workouts are no joke. I consider myself a fit person and I am still usually a little sore after one of her workouts. That being said, I think walking for the first 2-3 weeks might be overkill.

      I would try walking and doing a light jog for the first week, and then work in some crunches, squats, and pushups the second week (combined with your light job/walk). On the third week you could probably get started with the circuits but I would lower the reps for each exercise (i.e., still try to do all the exercises in the 7 minutes, but maybe do only 5 or 10 reps of each one).

      Obviously Kayla is the professional here this is only my own opinion.

  21. hello, this post was really helpfull ^^ Can i just ask you what would count as one unit of vegetables? 🙂

  22. I am so glad I found your website! I have been thinking of buying her books. I had a baby last September and the last 10/15 pounds have been so hard to lose. I’m really hoping this works for me. I miss my small body 🙂

  23. Also, may I ask your opinion on PB2 peanut butter and PB2 chocolate? I saw it at Target today and I was interested in it, just wasn’t sure if you or anyone else has tried it?

  24. Quick question on the HELP guide…is it recipes and a meal planner or is it just informational and teach you about portion control and balance. I was thinking of buying the bundle but I’m worried about the recipes and meal suggestions being tree nut heavy (I have a mild nut allergy). Any way you can respond with a basic idea of just how nut dependent it is? I just don’t want to spend the money if it leads me to a bunch of stuff that I can’t have!! Thanks in advance!!

    • Although the HELP guide does have recipes/meal planning ideas, I haven’t used them much. Mostly I follow her guidelines for how much of each type of food you should be eating. I definitely think it would be worth buying the guide with a nut allergy.

  25. Hi, great post!

    Question: in the first week of doing the BBG– was it really difficult? and is it okay to pause through between the 7 minute circuits? I tried to do a straight 7 minutes but I feel like I am going to pass out before I make it to 7 minutes!

    • It can be difficult depending on your fitness level. It’s definitely smart to pause if you feel like you’re going pass out (safety first!) or just go slower through the repetitions.

  26. […] reading a lot about Kayla Itsines workout and nutrition plans, and stumbled upon this blogpost by Chelsea Eats Treats where she reviews them. This is where I came up with the idea to start counting […]

  27. Does the HELP guide start everyone off with the same guide or does it start different weights different and work down as weight drops?

    • It starts everyone off with the same plan. It doesn’t focus too much on your actual weight, it just provides tips/plans for eating healthier.

  28. would you recommend buying her ebook from ebay??

  29. Ahh I totally love the BBG too!! I find it so hard to get 6 servings of grains in a day though :/

  30. It’s really hard for me to know how many servings I’m getting of each group. Would you mind telling me some examples of portions of each group

  31. hey girl, I was wondering if there is any chance that you can send me the guides. I would really appreciate it

  32. Hi Chelsea! I’m doing the BBG also and I’m having a hard time making meals that taste good but go along with the guide. Is there any way you could post your recipes for the broccoli rice and the balsamic carrots? They look delicious! Or if you can’t, in your future updates could you post a recipe for one of your meals please? Your posts have been helping me so much! And also, what would you categorize chia seeds under? Fats? Thank you so much! 🙂

    • I usually just toss the carrots & broccoli with olive oil, balsamic, salt, and pepper, and then pop them in the oven (around 375 degrees) for 20 minutes. Sometimes a little garlic or chopped onion is tasty in there too. I don’t have any other BBG recipes posted per se, but it’s mostly just about eating a diet full of healthy, wholesome ingredients. Some of my other healthy recipes are available here:

  33. Hi, I’m really tempted to buy the program but because it’s so expensive I want to make sure it will work for me. I dot eat steak or pork or any seafood which often makes it hard for me to follow diet plans. I did contact her with this question but my reply didn’t actually answer the question haha. So I was just wondering is the diet plan achievable even if I don’t eat seafoods? Thank you xxx

  34. Your article was very helpful, Thanks! Can i just ask you how many times a week should you workout?

  35. I have just purchased these ebooks and am finding the workout side really difficult. were you able to do the full 28 minutes straight off? I am only managing to do each circuit once (14 minutes) at the moment, although am only in week 1. Thanks x

    • Hi Karen. I think I answered this question for someone else above, but I usually can finish the circuit 2 times in the 7 minutes. Sometimes I don’t get all the way through though, and wind up doing the circuit 1.5 times in the 7 minutes. Hope this helps!

  36. Hi Chelsea, Have you been sticking to the program? Have you seen significant changes in your body?

  37. Hi Chelsea! I was just wondering whether the exercises are tailored to your strength? It’s just that I am very weak at the moment and I don’t want to start out at the weights that were displayed in your post, instead just build up to the strength. Thanks!

  38. Hey! 🙂
    I have been using the bikini body guide for two weeks now and I am really happy about it!

  39. Hi, just came accross this post. I’m wonderin, how much is a 1/4 cup of rice or milk? how many gr or ml is it?

  40. Have any of you completed the guide yet? Did you get results like the pictures posted on her instagram?

  41. I came across your blog while searching for reviews for the binkini body by Kayla. I was wondering if you think it is for pretty healthy people or do you think it could be for people who really need to lose weight too?

    • I think this plan can be adapted for any fitness level. If you have no base level of fitness, there is a section with recommendations for how to get started (e.g., walk and complete light exercises for one week prior to starting, etc.)

  42. hi! i’ve just bought the kaylas guide. I’m a little bit confused about the LIT training. I do know that LIT is fast phase walking in 35-40 minutes, but if i want to jog instead of walk – is the same amount of time recommended? because as i see it, it take a lot more to jog 35 minutes instead of walking. 🙂

  43. Hi!! This is great info on the BBG! I am starting the 12 week program and don’t really understand..if you’re supposed to do cardio only 2x a week and not on the same day as the resistance training, why does it say, for instance, “legs and cardio, Monday week 1 & 3” wouldn’t it just be the two circuits for that day? and cardio on Tues? any advice would be great!! Thank you! 🙂

    • Hi Denise. Good luck with the program! The cardio you’re talking about is separate from the circuit training. She means 2 days of cardio in addition to the “legs & cardio” cirucit. Here’s an example:

      Mon- Legs & Cardio
      Tues- speed walk/short run
      Wed- Abs & Arms
      Thurs- speed walk/short run
      Fri- Full body

      Hope this helps!

  44. hi chelsea,can you give me bikini body program kayla itsines pdf? because i can’t buy,im from iran.

  45. Hi, does the guide really work? I’m really interested in it but I am a former division1 rower and I’m in good shape. I’m wondering if the guide will have the same effect that I see on Instagram.

    • I think it will, but it depends how dedicated you are and how much effort you are willing to put into it. I’m planning to do a final overview/recap soon, so stay tuned!

  46. I am so glad I found your website! I have been thinking of buying her books. However, I already workout like 4-5 times a week, I do crossfit. Do you recommend just buying the HELP guide or buying both?

    • I really like the workouts because even though I worked out 3-5 times a week before as well, it’s always nice to switch things up and add some new workouts into my routine. It’s not totally necessary to have both, but you might decide one day you want them, and it will be cheaper to buy two at once.

  47. Hi! Thank you so much for posting this! It has been so so sooooo helpful and I am extremely grateful! I love kayla and it’s great to see the community she has made of girls helping each other 🙂 I saw in a comment above you said a serving of oats is 1/4 cup. Is that cooked oats or a 1/4 before they are cooked? You said you eat 1/3 cup so I am assuming its 1/4 BEFORE it’s cooked but I wanted to be sure because I eat ALOT of oatmeal. Also I was wondering if I should follow the guide and count calories because on Kayla’s QA on her page she said it was based on a 1500 calorie plan

  48. Hi, I came across your post about Kayla’s BBG and so glad I did. I am doing week 2 at the moment, and I decided to take a look at what was ahead for me, but now I am a little confused about the workouts. The first part says weeks 1-3 (which I am week 2 into) but having taken a look at the next set of workouts it starts from weeks 2-4?? When was I supposed to have started the new circuits? at week 2?

    A little confused and I can’t find the answer on Kayla’s website.

  49. I curiously plugged her sample meal in on MFP and it showed up as only 1,000 calories… am I mistaken? and thank you for clarifying the workouts! I was so confused… Also sorry last thing but Ive read it cover to cover twice and still can’t pick up on what a recommended grocery list would be… any suggestions?


  50. Hi Chelsea,

    I just bought the book yesterday night and I was reading through it today because I wanted to understand how it works. I understood the workouts, but I realized that the workouts are for Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. So what are you supposed to do on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays? I know there is a sample table in the book, but I’m still a little confused. Can you help me out in understanding this?

  51. The BBG looks great and I can’t wait to start… however, the HELP guide has THE WORST recipes I have ever seen. I am really disappointed that I wasted my money on this. Lamb, quinoa, with “tasty cheese” on the side? That is not a recipe.

    • Haha well she is from Australia, so they eat different foods there! I didn’t use the recipes at all honestly, I just looked at the portion sizes and recommendations.

  52. I’ve been thinking about purchasing these but I’m curious what the workouts require. Can the be done at home? Or do they need gym equipment? Thanks in advance!

  53. I just started bbg and some days i have extra veggies.. Will that affect me or ??

  54. hey i would love if you could help me out here! im planning to buy the BBG 12 week transformation ebook but im contemplating whether or not to buy the bundle which includes the H.E.L.P guide. I don’t cook alot and i eat moderately healthy so i was wondering how helpful was the H.E.L.P guide in your opinion?

    thank you x

    • I thought it was helpful and would definitely recommend buying them both together for the best results, but if you’re just going to get one then go for the workouts

  55. what about the exercises on tuesday, thursday and sunday? i got the ebook but there;s only for monday, wednesday and friday.

  56. Thank you for this post. You answering thr questions about the schedule helped me alot. I tried to do the first and second circuit training yesternight. I almost passed out after 5 mins because when i looked at the circuits 1 and two i thought it was real easy. I first ran for 5mins to warm up then, i did the first and 2nd circuit trainings. I was not yet done with the two, i rest a little then i suddenly felt dizzy and hard to breath. Good thing theres someone with me at home when i cried for help. it was not really for beginners. I think i’ll ran for two weeks first before starting the ebook again..:)

    • Yeah, the workouts are definitely pretty tough and if you don’t have a solid fitness background you may to work a bit harder before you start them. You can do it!

  57. I just stummbled across your blog and I love it!! Thanks for all the tips and tricks and opinions on the BBG !! Your positivity is inspiring and motivational 🙂

  58. […] Hey friends! Two weeks ago I told you about how I purchased the Bikini Body Guide eBooks from Kayla Itsines (affiliate link, FYI), and you guys seemed really … more… […]

  59. Does anyone do Liss and resistance right after? I do that and was wondering why Kayla says not to?

  60. Can you send me the workout for email?

  61. Hi there,

    Thanks for the post! I’m on week 2 of the BBTG and using the HELP guide and I’m loving it. I’ve always been really into fitness and try to eat healthy, but similar to you, sweets and alcohol are my weakness! I’ve followed the HELP guide for the first 14 days very strictly along with the workout plan, and not sure if I’ve noticed any differences physically yet, but energy levels are way up. I’m starting to meal plan for the week, and I’m wondering if you know if there are any foods that should be avoided on LISS days vs. resistant days vs. rest days?


    • I don’t think you need to restrict yourself from any foods on those days, but maybe just try to eat fewer calories than you would on one of the higher intensity days since you’re burning less energy.

  62. Hi! I’ve been doing the guide and this is my second round of it! I’ve been struggling with shin splints but now they’re a lot worse to the point that I can’t run or even bike! Do you have any recomendation for LISS days?

    • Hmm well she does recommend speed walking in the guide, so I would suggest that! I think it’s also ok to listen to your body – if you’re injured you need to give yourself time to heal. Take a rest day!

  63. Hi Chealsea, I also have both guides and have just started on my 1st week for the second time. The only thing I am kind of confused about is how she counts the whey protein isolate (it seems like she doesn’t count that at all). Also, I really like to eat questbars after a workout or as a snack whenever I don’t have the time to prepare anything else. Do you know if that would count as a protein, say like one serving of chicken?
    Thanks so much for your help!

  64. Hello! 🙂 I just want to find out something regarding the nutrition plan. Even though I am aware that for one to achieve optimum results you need to follow both the nutrition guide and the exercise plan, I just want to know if one can still get results (even minimal) by just following the nutrition plan and not doing the exercises? And has anyone seen any results by just following the nutrition plan?

    Ps. Loved this post!!

    • Thanks, Rochelle! This depends on your current lifestyle, but yes, I would imagine you could get results by following just the nutrition plan. Remember that to lose weight you have to burn more calories than you consume. So, if your goal is to lose weight you’ll have to be really strict on the nutrition plan (no cheating) and try to get other exercise in where you can. Your muscles may not wind up being as defined/toned as they would if you had followed the excercise plan, but you probably will lose some weight.

  65. Hey!! So I just started the workout( week one) and I am so out of shape…is it normal to be so whooped that you can hardly finish the 7 mins of each circit, sometimes I even have to quit before the time is even up? Does it get easier as the weeks go on to where I will be able to do them without stopping or having to stop before time is up?

    • Hi Brooke. Although the workouts get harder as you progress, your body will get more in shape so the workouts should “feel” easier, or about the same. If your body isn’t used to this type of exercise then it’s 100% normal to feel this way. Just keep going and you’ll get stronger!

  66. Thanks for sharing this! I was googling around to find meal ideas for Kayla’s plan and I have a ton of ideas now. 🙂

  67. This info was super helpful! Does the nutrition guide mention anything about alcohol? I’m guessing you get 1 serving of alcohol as your “cheat.”

    My issue is that on Friday and Saturday nights (especially with summer coming up), I do like to go out with my friends! I don’t want to give up the social part of my life. And while I know some people would have the willpower to go out and not drink, I want to fully embrace my 20s freedom because they will be over before I know it. I don’t crazy binge drink, but a normal night out would add up to a handful of cocktails from maybe 9pm to bar close.

    I do stick to “healthy” drinks like organic vodka with seltzer water and limes…but I know alcohols only metabolic pathway is to turn into fat. Any thoughts? all

    • Sorry, just re-read and realized I missed the section where you discuss alcohol…maybe you can share a little insight on what you did as far as alcohol goes during your plan.

      • I didn’t limit myself too much, but did try to skip having alcohol unless I reallllly wanted (i.e., I didn’t miss going out with my friends but I did skip my casual glass of wine in the evenings).

  68. Great review! I just bought her eBook and started with my first BBG workout yesterday.. I’m already sore some places, but it feels so good at the same time. I’m turning 17 this year, so I still live with my parents. Therefor I try to follow her breakfast, lunch and snacks, but it’s really hard when it comes to dinner. I just gotta eat what my family eats. My legs usually get so tired during workouts, because I do use a lot of energy since I have a hip rotation.. And since I do struggle when it comes to balance, I push myself a lot to keep it steady. Is there anything I can eat quick before workout, that will help me get som extra energy?

  69. I’ve been thinking of trying one of the guides! Would love to see your progress pics 🙂

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  86. My hang up has been the cheat meals and the drinking. I usually do so great Monday through Friday and then as soon as the weekend rolls around, its lets go to dinner with this couple or these people are having a bbq! My friend and I are about to purchase the book and start this together but I am so scared that I will be my worst nightmare, as I always seem to be, during these fitness programs. How do you stay focused on skipping the wine? And staying on track through the weekend?

    • I honestly don’t have a problem with enjoying the occasional dinner out or glass of wine. You can’t punish yourself forever or you’ll never stick with it! Before indulging just ask yourself if it’s something you REALLY want. If not, skip it. But if you decide that it’s worth it, it’s not going to undo all your hard work. Live a little!

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  119. How did you print off your guides ?? It won’t work for me. It shows another font over the existing one..

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  133. Hello. I am quite confused about serving sizes as Australian cup measures are not familiar to me. Could you please let me know the conversions of 1/4 cup cooked rice in grams as well as 1/2 cup cooked quinoa and noodles and 1/4 cup oats in grams. Thank you so much in advance !

  134. Hi, I just started the BBG and after the first leg day I could barely walk! I have done leg days using weight machines in the gym several times before and ached the next day but never anything this severe, the low intensity stuff the day after was completely impossible for me! Am I doing something wrong? I stretch before and after but clearly it didn’t help much..
    Any tips?


  135. Hi Chelsea!
    I saw your picture holding the workout plan and I’m a bit confused course it totally looks like me. Is that you on that photo? Do I have a twin sister I never knew about???
    I would be really excited to hear from you.
    Best wishes!!!!

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  140. Hey girl!

    I was about to buy Kayla’s guides and wanted to read reviews and came across this post! So helpful… Would you recommend buying the guides? I usually do crossfit for my fitness plan but have been really slacking in the nutrition department so I think that is really hindering my progress.

    Hope you are doing well xo

    • Hey girl! Hope you’re doing well too! I really like the fitness plan and I think it would be a good supplement to your CrossFit. I found the nutrition guide to be slightly less helpful, but it’s still great for extra motivation and structure. Let me know if you wind up getting them!

  141. Hey!
    I’ve recently just purchased both the BBG 1.0 and HELP guides. I just started the four weeks of pre training because I am a college athlete and am waiting for the crazy semester to be done to start the real weeks 1-12.
    Obviously, at college it’s hard to stay on track when all of my friends want to go out to dinners on the weekend and I’m surrounded by fried dining hall food. I know I’ll eat pretty healthy this summer at home. Do you think I’ll see pretty good results if I don’t follow the HELP guide but stay conscious about what I eat? Also: I have a terrible sweet tooth and crave chocolate after every meal.. it’s usually only one piece or a little something sweet but will I see results still if I have some chocolate after dinner/snacks throughout the week?

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