What is bbg and how you can easily make it a part of your lifestyle
What is BBG?
For those of you who have never heard about it, BBG is short for Bikini Body Guide. It's a program created by Kayla Itsines & Tobi Pearce specially designed to help individuals towards their health & fitness goals. Initially, it started as a 12 weeks program, but the program grew over time from BBG 1.0 (first 12 weeks) & 2.0 (13-24 weeks) to Sweat with Kayla app which features not just loads of additional workout weeks & challenges, but also full meal plans and recipes, water tracking, workout planner etc.
My journey with BBG started in July 2015 and I have stuck with the program since. It's efficient and it does not take much of your time. The workout is divided in 2 circuits (circuit 1 and circuit 2) which you repeat twice, each lasting 7 min. The sequence of the workout is as following: circuit 1, circuit 2, circuit 1 and then again circuit 2 which gives you the total of 28 min. In each circuit there are 4 exercises which you repeat over the course of 7 minutes as much times as you can. Between the circuits you can take 30-60 sec breaks. So with all included, you are done with your sweat on for the day in 40 min which makes this program very doable, especially if you have a busy schedule and do not have much free time on your hands. There are 3 workouts (legs, arms, abs) and 2 liss/hiit sessions per week. I am on my 5th BBG 1.0 round and have done 1 round of BBG 2.0 in between.
When did I start seeing first changes?
I've started seeing first changes between 4th-6th week. Initially I lost some weight (body fat) & my body became slimmer. After finishing first 12 weeks and sticking to the program for whole 3 months, the program became a good habit I did not want to give up. Comparing my before&after picture motivated me to continue doing it, but that was just an icing on the cake. The biggest reward was psychical progress which was evident from the start. Exercising daily helped me battle my depression and I've started feeling positive and energetic.
Do I follow Kayla's meal plan and/or what do I usually eat?
I do not follow Kayla's meal plan, but I have followed the guidelines more or less in the past. If you are just starting on your journey and are completely lost on what should you eat, then I would recommend following her meal plan. It's features a lot of carbs which is awesome because you definitely need that for the workouts :)
I do not follow any specific diet plan but I try to eat wholesome food with enough nutrients that can keep me going. My guiding principle is to EAT BETTER, NOT LESS.
The thing is, if you make exercise a part of your everyday, you need to eat enough food for your body to have energy. Exercising and under eating because you believe that will give you better results, actually will not work. You will feel tired all the time, you will not be able to give it your 100% during workouts and you will be cranky because you are hungry all the time. If you want to see results, you need to eat food that will properly fuel you.
When I started with exercising for the first 10 weeks I ate completely "clean". I wanted to give this new lifestyle my 100% and to see results as soon as possible. I've also made this decision because I was having insane sugar cravings from my earlier eating habits and I wanted to stop them. I've battled my sugar cravings with lot of fresh food, smoothies and nana-creams. If I craved chocolate I would make myself chocolate smoothie (raw cocoa, frozen banana, few ice cubes and nut milk), or would make protein pancakes and top them with fruit. After a while, my sugar cravings stopped and when I actually ate chocolate again it was too sweet for me.
Through the day I have 3 big meals and 2-3 snacks, examples as following:
Breakfast - porridge with toppings (homemade granola and fruit and/or chia seeds, nuts etc)
Snack #1 - quark & crackers or handful of nuts or smoothie or piece of fruit (banana/few tangerines/cup of strawberries etc)
Lunch - meat (mostly chicken or turkey) or tuna with grains (quinoa/amaranth/pasta, etc.) and lots of veggies (carrots/broccoli/cauliflower/cabbage/potato/tomato etc)
Snack #2 - rice crackers or wholewheat bread with nut butter and banana or a smoothie
Dinner - either similar like lunch, or cottage cheese/eggs with wholewheat bread/pasta and a salad, or protein pancakes/waffles etc..
I do not eat 100% clean anymore. My relationship with food is much healthier now because I've found a balance that works for me. That means I try my best to eat healthy most of the times, because good food doesn't give me cravings and makes me feel good too, but I also have a burger and desserts sometimes because that's just life ;).
My tips for starting and not giving up
1. Make yourself a priority for 1 hour in a day.
This is a big one. If you do not make exercising a priority for yourself, you will find excuses not to do it. Let's be honest, doing bbg is not a piece of cake, and the workout is demanding, but really, if you want to see changes you have to do the work. However busy you are, you can clear an hour in your day to do something good for your body & your mind.
2. Think about why you truly want to do it
If you have a good reason, you will not let excuses come in the way. Even though we all start with different diets and exercising mostly to lose some weight, think of a reason beyond that. Are you uncomfortable in your skin? Do you want to feel better? Do you lack energy? Are you prone to low immunity and being sick?
For me, the biggest reason was to feel better. I also often suffered from often headaches and low immunity, something that improved immensely once I've incorporated exercising in my daily routine.
Focusing on psychical, rather than physical will improve your life in more than one way. Physical progress will just be a bonus.
3. Find an accountability partner
Having someone do it with you, or just supporting you on your journey, whether it's your friend, mum, boyfriend or neighbour will keep you accountable.
When I first started, after first few weeks I started chatting a lot with girls within the BBG community. With two of them, Lucia & Christine, since we were on the same week, I've formed whatsapp group in which we shared our workouts, struggles, motivation and progress on daily basis. Having those two girls as my side kicks did wonders and helped me not to give up when it got hard. There are new people starting BBG every day, so it is not hard to find someone who is on the same week :)
4. Plan your routine
This one goes along with number 1. Schedule your workouts beforehand and make sure you tick them off that list. If the only time when you can workout is in the morning before going to uni/work then schedule the workouts in the morning. If you can do it in the evening, schedule it then. Planning your routine and most importantly sticking to it, will create a habit, and once exercising daily becomes a habit you like, you will not think about it as that "annoying" thing you have to do.
5. Take progress pictures
Taking progress pictures is very important because it allows you to track your progress visually instead of relying on the number the scale tells you. Muscles weight more than fat, so once you start gaining muscles, your weight will go up, but your fat will decrease. So while the scale would tell you that you are gaining weight, the picture will show you that you are actually loosing fat and becoming leaner. Take a progress picture once a week, from the front, the side and the back if you can. We are used to seeing ourselves every day, so seeing little changes happening day by day is not that easy to spot, however comparing your pictures every 4 weeks will definitely show you that you are moving in the right direction (same with your clothes, they will start fitting better).
6. Follow people who inspire you
I've opened my instagram account to keep myself accountable and to follow people who inspire me to keep on striving. BBG community is an amazing community of women all around the world who, like you, are trying their best. Following people with the same or similar goals, lifestyles and way of thinking is motivating and inspiring. On the days I don't really feel like working out, scrolling through my ig feed and reading about people's days, better choices, good workouts can definitely inspire me to go workout myself.
7. Clean up your eating habits
Let's be honest - can you really expect results if you keep on eating the same food that got you to the point where you've known a change is needed? No. You can't expect changes if you do not clean up your eating habits. If you stuff yourself everyday with junk food, sugary drinks and sweets, drink every weekend, no amount of exercising will out weight that. All those foods create additional cravings, mood swings and sluggish feelings. Exercising because you've ate junk, will only create feelings that the exercise is a punishment, while really it should be a reward for you and your body.
8. Do not give up
Every progress takes time. Be patient with yourself. If you have neglected your body for several months or years, you can not expect results after first few workouts and healthy meals. So do not give up. Every new start is challenging, but you can only go up :) With every additional workout you will get better. Your arms and legs will be able to do more reps. You will get stronger. Results will come and the journey of new self discovery will be so very much worth it <3