Did I lose weight?
Sort of. I mentioned in a previous update that I actually gained weight the first few weeks on the program. That lasted through about week 7 (it was 3 pounds or so) and then I stayed back at my starting weight through week 10. I also mentioned that I was not following the Body for Life eating plan. Two weeks ago, Ty and I started a cleanse eating plan and through the combination of that and the workouts I'm actually down 5 pounds as of this morning!
I'm obviously not an expert or dietitian :) but I think the eating plan - any eating plan really, it doesn't necessarily have to be the Eating for Life that comes in the book - is very important if your goal is to lose weight. I don't eat terribly unhealthy most of the time but as I've said, me and vegetables aren't the best of friends and I definitely have been known to have a few too many glasses of wine...although that is starting to change (the vegetable part, I still love my wine I'm just trying to save it for the weekends!). I thought I could do Body for Life and lose weight without making any major changes to my diet, but that was certainly not the case. As soon as I made a few changes to what I was eating, the scale started moving the direction I wanted it to.
I also think if weight loss is your goal, you probably should add in more cardio. I like the 20 minute HIIT workouts but last week I started supplementing them with walking or the elliptical so that I was doing at least 30 minutes of cardio a day. Now if weight loss is NOT your goal and your just trying to get stronger, I think the plan works very well! I actually like strength training now that I'm back in the habit of doing it.
Pros and Cons
There are things I like about Body for Life and things I might change based on my personal preference. Some of the things I like are:
- Alternating upper & lower body on different days - I felt like you really got to work the muscles harder.
- Increasing your weight and decreasing your reps in each set - I don't feel like I increased my weights much after the 4th or 5th week but I still felt pretty strong lifting the heavier weights.
- HIIT workouts - I'd done interval workouts before but not like that! I'll definitely keep these in the rotation going forward.
- Add in more low-impact cardio - I like what I did this past week, added 10-15 minutes of walking to my HIIT workout days and 30 minutes of walking or the elliptical and the other days. I've dabbled with running again but for now, I'm really enjoying my walks!
- Follow some type of eating plan - I'm enjoying the one I'm trying now, I'm done with the "cleanse" phase so really it's just a healthy eating plan from here on out (lots of veggies, fruit, lean protein, healthy fats and whole grains).
- Change up the strength moves - the examples they give you in the book are the very basic moves for each muscle group, which is great if you're just starting out, but there are a lot of combination moves (that combine upper & lower body or biceps and shoulders, for example) that I think can be used as well to mix it up. You can find a ton of additional moves with a quick Google search! Search "upper body strength training" and you'll see what I mean.
What I'm Doing Next
I think I'm going to try the Tone It Up workouts. I've watched some of their videos over the past few weeks, I like that they use a lot of combination strength moves and the workouts are fast paced but shorter than what I have been doing. As we get closer to the wedding I have a feeling I'm not going to have 45 minutes to spare for strength training which is about what Body for Life takes.
Have you ever tried Body for Life or another similar workout plan? What did you think?