I am not a Beachbody coach. I am not being compensated for this review. My goal is to provide real information about my experience with this program. I will be checking in weekly and posting my results at the bottom of each entry. For the start of my review, check out Week 1Week 2 .
Today is my first day of week four of Beachbody’s PiYo teamed with clean, portioned eating through the 21 Day Fix. I have been religiously following the workout calendar, drinking vegan chocolate Shakeology and checking in with my accountability group and Beachbody Coach daily. Now that I am done with week three, here are my thoughts:
This week was my toughest one yet with the workouts – which means I felt the most accomplished. 🙂 Week four starts to transition away from the “Define” workouts to the tougher ones focused on specific trouble areas. This week I was introduced to the “Buns” and “Strength Intervals” workouts.
Buns: Your glutes and thighs will be crying after this one, but that’s how you know you are getting stronger. It brings back my nemesis move: burpees but Chalene rotates those with squats so you get some relief. Did I just say doing squats is relief?? The instructions are easy to follow and the music is enjoyable. Chalene has some classic one liners, like most of the DVDs, but she dropped this fact that I had to share: ” The legs are the key to your metabolism.” It’s a GREAT point – the legs have tons of muscles in them and comprise half your body, working them thoroughly is going to really accelerate your burn. Nice bit of education and motivation while shredding of my lower half. 🙂
Strength Intervals: Before you start this DVD, put on a sports bra and athletic shoes. I’m 100% serious and I was very disappointed this wasn’t listed on the “Items Needed” list you get before each workout. “Strength Intervals” is twenty-five minutes of non-stop moving and it includes jogging, high knee jogging, skaters and jumping burpees mixed with lunges, planks, squats and more. I made it 5 minutes before I paused the DVD to put on a better bra and shoes. This DVD is tough if you don’t like cardio. It’s not as high impact as a P90X or plyometric based workouts, but it is higher impact than the other PiYo workouts so if you have back or knee issues I would suggest starting off with the beginner modifications and use a mirror to check your posture. That being said, this was the most challenging DVD by far for me and I feel like adding this to the rotation will really increase my strength, endurance and caloric burn.
Overall: Week three brought two workouts that really challenged me. “Strength Intervals” has jogging which ISN’T part of standard Pilates or Yoga, but does rev up the metabolism and keep the body warm for stretches. My body is adjusting to the other workouts so this is the perfect time to add in new ones.
The Meal Plan:
This week’s meal planning was a lot easier. I had some left overs from week 2 and planning has just become more intuitive. Instead of writing down “one protein out of four” I can remember exactly how many servings I need. However, I did discover this week that there are a few app available for the 21 Day Fix for iPhone and Android so it’s a great way to track how many servings down and how many to go. This website also has some great printables as well.
I’ve been getting more creative with my protein, trying new kinds of milk (almond, cashew, etc.) and integrating low fat dairy into the plan. As a pescatarian it’s been challenging and it would be easy just to say “all Gardenburgers!” but I also try to keep my soy down to one serving a day to avoid adverse side effects on my hormones (soy raises estrogen like crazy and can lead to swelling/tender breasts, fatigue, etc.).
Pictured to the left is my meal plan for lunches and snacks. I always plan my meals for lunch/snacks at work and follow up with protein right after 5pm. Then I either prepare dinner at home or have something at a restaurant. As I said in previous entries, eating out is not a problem if you are smart about it.
Two things I noted this week in particular:
- I got ridiculously excited about random foods that fit in the plan. “Chipotle Spiced Cashews? F**ck yeah! That’s my jam.” Or “100 calorie spicy guacamole in individual servings? Add that to the cart!”
- Buying strictly berries for fruit is expensive and will increase once summer is over. I integrated cheaper fruits like bulk clementine oranges and nectarines to offset the cost.
- How much people mean to me is directly related to if they are invited to share my three “treats” a week with me. I have been strategicly planning my nights around the three- 4oz servings of wine you are allowed and inviting my closest friends to share it with me. If you have made the cut, please know how special you are. 🙂
Overall: Still geeking out over my meal planning – so many containers and such yumtastic food! I feel good knowing that I am not eating junk and I feel healthier on the inside as well. It’s nice to just reach for my pre-portioned foods daily and not stress what to pack the night before. Still miss drinking more than one glass of wine, but economically I’m a cheaper date!
I drink Shakeology in the morning typically after my PiYo workout and before going to the office. It’s becoming a habit that I enjoy – it’s like a morning milkshake. I bought some caramel and coconut extracts on Amazon so I could add on flavors without adding calories. It’s been fun, a favorite recipe is a Girl Scout Samoa cookie that I have posted below. I also have been using mint extract, various spices and more to add a flavor kick.
Samoa Girl Scout Cookie Shakeology Recipe
- 1 scoop of chocolate Shakeology
- 1 cup of unsweetened almond milk
- 1 cup of ice cubes
- 1/2 teaspoon of caramel extract
- 1 teaspoon of coconut extract
- A pinch of organic, finely shredded coconut flakes
Simply blend them all together and enjoy!
I have noticed that with Shakeology I feel full for a few hours (likely because of the high protein blend that has chia seeds in it) AND I am not as caffeine dependent as usual. It has a small amount of caffeine in it, but not anywhere close to what I usually drink. As a result, I have stopped running to the break room for cups of green tea and started having tea as an early afternoon pep up.
Overall: I’ve been pretty skeptical about Shakeology, mostly because of the price tag. But I am really enjoying the flavor and it gives me vitamins and a boost of energy. I ordered the mixed flavor packets for next month: 8 packets of vanilla, 8 strawberry packets and 8 chocolate. I am excited to see what those other flavors are like and maybe share some creative recipes with those. I think the variety of 3 packs outweighs missing 6 servings like you get with the bag – I will report back soon!
Coach and Challenge Group:
The Coaching and Challenge groups continue to be an asset to the program. I have found support, recipes and more through these. I have also won a few freebies like samples of different flavors and T-shirts, which are a nice bonus simply for checking in frequently.
One thing that is a bit confusing is that since PiYo is an older program, the groups are more oriented towards the two hottest Beachbody challenges right now: Cize and the 21 Day Fix. While I am on the same
eating plan as the 21 Day Fix, I am doing it for 60 days so I went from a free five day challenge group to a 21 Day Fix group and am now in two others simultaneously. It’s a lot of places on Facebook to check in and manage. I’m sure when PiYo was the new workout all the groups were oriented towards it, but it would have been nice to also connect with other women who were in it for the long, 60 day haul and not just three weeks.
But, I still enjoy seeing photos of other challengers, hearing NSVs (non-scale victories), swapping clean eating recipes and more.
Overall: The Challenge groups are still motivating and great for workout accountability. It also helps me from eating outside the plan, because I want to stay strong for the group and not post “lost my nerve in front of some cheesecake!” I have limited the number of notifications so my phone isn’t going crazy during work hours and just check the pages once or twice a day.
…drumroll for results…
WEEK THREE RESULTS:
1.6 lbs. down for 8.6 lbs. lost in 21 days
NSVs: Pants are looser, I’m sleeping better and my coworkers have started to compliment me on looking “thinner in the midsection.” All this leads to increased self-confidence, so while it isn’t a huge weight loss this week, I am very pleased!
Tune in for a review of week four next week. Thanks for stopping by for my unbiased Piyo and Shakeology review!