May 072014

Over the weekend I was lounging around on the couch and feeling bad about my body, when I read this blog post on the Skinny Confidential. It featured an interview with a new-to-me fitness guru/personal trainer from Australia, Kayla Itsines, who is apparently a huge sensation all over instagram (I had never heard of her, but maybe I’ve just been living under a rock).



Kayla had been a trainer for a few years when she realized there weren’t many fitness or nutrition plans geared toward women. She noticed than many women want a similar look (lean without being too muscular), so she went on to create her own plan/start her own business. Almost immediately her clients starting seeing great results, and since then she has been a huge success. Just take a look at some of her transformations!



Kayla’s plans focus on quick, intense workouts, and clean and balanced meals. Once she realized how much people liked her plans, she created two eBooks so her workouts and nutrition plan could be available to people all over the world.

“My clients saw amazing results in 12 weeks or sometimes even sooner, and began to tell their friends and spread an amazing positive message. I soon realized that this was becoming bigger than I had imagined, and I needed a way to reach more women.”

I did a little digging into the eBooks and her plans, and I loved what I saw! At first I was thrown off by the “Bikini body” title, but after some research I saw that she defines a bikini body as a body that you feel proud of when you’re in a bikini- whether that’s strong, thing, lean, etc. She just wants women to work hard and feel proud of how they look. I also loved that the transformations seemed to come from real girls with real bodies like mine, so I was intrigued. I read a few more reviews online, and then decided to try them out!



One of the eBooks includes workouts/fitness tips, and the other includes meal plans and recipes. BOTH eBooks include an education/science section in the back, explaining why micronutrients are important and why HIIT exercising burns more fat, for example. I love this! It’s so important to know why you’re being told to do something. As soon as I bought them, the eBooks were emailed to me in PDF format.

Nutrition Plan

Kayla’s nutrition plan is very simple and follows the Australian dietary guidelines, which seem pretty similar to the ones in the U.S. Her plan sort of reminds me of the old food pyramid because she recommends having 5 servings of vegetables, 2.5 servings of dairy, 2 healthy fats, etc. per day. The foods she recommends eating are all wholesome and clean, and there is no room for any junk food or sweets (except fruit). Her plan does allow for one “cheat meal” a week, which is to both help you stick to the plan, and reset your metabolism so you don’t fall into a plateau.

So far it’s been really easy to follow and I haven’t had to make too many modifications to my original diet, but keeping track of what goes into my mouth has made me a lot more aware of the number of times a week I would mindlessly eat a Girl Scout cookie, drink wine or beer with dinner for no reason, and just generally not care what I was eating. No more of that! Now I am tracking everything and making smarter choices, which are still relatively similar to the way I was eating before 🙂

Now, since it’s What I Ate Wednesday I might as well show you guys what I’ve been eating on the nutrition plan so far. Here’s what I ate on Day 1 of the plan, which was Monday.


I had 1/3 cup of oats, 1/3 cup of skim milk, 1 banana, and 1 tsp. of peanut butter. When measuring my peanut butter I noticed that I used to use way more than just a teaspoon (oops) and sometimes I added trail mix for crunch, which was adding a lot of fat and calories. Just because it’s a healthy fat doesn’t mean you can eat as much of it as you want!



I met my dad for lunch on Monday, and instead of getting a sandwich with a side of sweet potato fries or a salad like I normally would have, I opted to order an Ahi tuna salad. Kayla’s plan requires a lot of servings of vegetables throughout the day (5) so I am trying to get them in wherever I can. This salad was delicious and I even had some extra tuna to take home for salads later in the week 😉



A chopped apple. No real change here, except that I omitted the mini Babybel cheese I usually eat in the afternoon. I am only supposed to have 2.5 servings of diary in a day, and I knew I wanted some dairy in my dinner 😉 It’s all about planning ahead!



For dinner I made a version of this Mexican quinoa with lazy-girl guacamole (it was Cinco de Mayo, after all!!) and added some shredded cheese and fat free Greek yogurt on top. I also beefed up the veggies by adding some spinach.


Yum! This was a great recipe! It was easy to make, included lots of veggies, protein, and healthy grains. Perfect!


No dessert, because like I said there’s not really any place on the meal plan for sweets. So far I’ve been coping with that part ok (you know I have a crazy sweet tooth) and I think this is working because I am not actually limiting myself. I have been telling myself that if I really, really want something sweet, I can have one or two Hershey kisses. I’ve been keeping this in the back of my mind, and strangely I haven’t caved in to that option yet. I really would like to kick my sugar addiction, so for now my willpower is outweighing my taste buds. For now. 😉

Overall I am really liking the nutrition plan because it’s so similar to how I was already eating, but just encourages me to make some smarter choices.


The workout plan includes a structured 12-week calendar for resistance training (circuits), HIIT, LIIT (biking, easy jogging, power walking), stretching, etc.

So far I have done one LIIT workout, and two of the resistance workouts. Those resistance circuits are tough! Each one includes two circuits with four exercises in each. For each circuit you set the timer for 7 minutes and complete the four exercises as many times as you can (for me I get through 2 rounds in 7 minutes). Then you do the same for the second circuit. Then you repeat!

In the end you wind up doing Circuit 1 twice (14 minutes) and Circuit 2 twice (14 minutes) for a sweaty and challenging 28 minute workout. It’s great! Here’s a sample one, for your abs:



So far the workouts have been quick, CHALLENGING, and fun. I’m a fan!

Overall Thoughts

I am so happy I found these eBooks, and am really excited about having a new workout regimen and nutrition plan to follow. I have been in a rut lately in terms of my motivation and fitness/eating routine, so I think this will be a great way to get my butt back in gear. I don’t know if I will be following this plan for the whole 12 weeks (I do still want to look into triathlon training) but if it gets me out of my rut I’ll be happy. Who knows, I may even start counting my food servings from now on?

Question of the day: How do you get out of a fitness/nutrition rut?

 Posted by on May 7, 2014

  13 Responses to “WIAW #78 & Kayla Itsines eBooks”

  1. it’s always exciting to try a new food/workout to help motivate yourself to get motivated again. hope this new plan goes well for you! also, triathlon?!!

  2. I found your blog through WIAW. I loved reading about your nutrition and workout plan! Your meals all look delicious and filled with veggies! I’ll have to keep up to see how it works for you! I might have to look into purchasing those e-books for myself. ~Nicole

  3. Can’t wait to read about your progress with this plan. It’s interesting, although not too much different than how I eat on a regular basis. Mostly veggies, protein and three healthy servings of fat (2 T of almond butter = one serving, though. which i love!).

    When I need a nutrition reset, I go back to what works for me… low sugar, carb rotating and focusing on whole foods.

    Good luck 🙂

  4. I’m so intrigued by this! I’ve never heard of her before!! I’m definitely going to have look into this. It looks so interesting!

  5. I’m also interested by this bikini body program since a few weeks and your motivation make me more and more motivate to begin ! can you give me the link of the ebay’s seller where you purchased the ebook ?
    Good luck !

  6. […] and seeing how my body responds. Fellow DC blogger Chelsea is also checking it out, and you can read about her experience here. I may post updates on the blog now and again, and if you’re more interested I am happy to […]

  7. I’ve always wanted to start this. I love the idea that a bikini body is one you feel comfortable in, and not what society defines it as. I’d love to be able to own this guide as i have the motive but not the means…$
    I guess i’ll just have to stick to what I have.
    Also, i wonder if having Insomnia would have an effect on how your body responds to these workouts. What do you think?

  8. hey! what counts as a cup ?! 100g – 200g – 50 g ? thanks !

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