bbg diet

BBG 1.0 vs. BBG 2.0

Photo by Winnie Nguyen

It’s certainly quite a feat when you complete two versions of a wonderfully put-together workout program that shows RESULTS. Last week, I finished BBG 2.0. Prior to 2.0, I had completed BBG 1.0. That’s 24 Weeks non-stop of BBG – roughly 6 months – and I sure am darn proud of myself. One of my best friends introduced me to Kayla Itsines’ Bikini Body Guides (BBG) program around New Year’s 2016, and I decided to start the program as a New Year’s Resolution. I didn’t think I’d get far in the program because I’m not good at keeping resolutions, but I decided to try it out anyways. Little did I know that I would soon fall in love with the fitness and healthy lifestyle, become an active member of the #bbgcommunity, and grow into the strong, confident and motivated woman I have always aspired to become.

Here’s a little background on my fitness past: I did not workout regularly, in fact, prior to starting BBG in January 2016, I had not had a solid workout since May 2015. I ate out almost every day, did not know how to cook, chose unhealthy foods because I craved them, and every night I would pinch my rolls of belly fat in disgust, wondering why I couldn’t be one of those naturally thin girls who didn’t have to worry about what she ate. During times of emotional distress in college (particularly during MCAT studying and relationship problems), I would feel worthless and alone because I felt not only like a failure at life, but also “a fat and ugly f*ck” (

My favorite push-up: The Clap Push-up

Photo by Winnie Nguyen

Today, I want to share my experience with the first two BBG versions. I know there’s a BBG 3.0, but since I will be traveling abroad for 3 weeks this summer, I decided to restart BBG 1.0 because I can do the workouts at my Airbnb without any fancy equipment.

  • I saw incredible results in fat loss and muscle tone. I followed the program just as Kayla describes in the PDF: MWF resistance circuits, TR low intensity steady state (LISS) and/or high intensity interval training (HIIT), Sat/Sun rehabilitation and more LISS depending on how I felt.
  • Weeks 1-3 were extremely difficult for me. After the 28 min workouts I would feel winded, low blood sugar levels, and there were even two times where I pushed myself too hard that I had to run to the bathroom to throw up because I felt so nauseous. This is NOT healthy and I am NOT proud of this. I just didn’t know why I’d feel so sick and thought, “oh well my body can handle it”. but now I know. Looking back, I should not have been so hard on myself and I should have stopped when I started feeling sick.
  • I did not see any visible physical results until Week 7-ish. I definitely felt leaner at Week 4, but it wasn’t until weeks 7/8 that my friends started commenting on the change in my physique and when I truly started to believe/see the results in my progress photos.
  • Diet plays a huge role in seeing results. In my opinion, I would say that a good physique is made 50% in the kitchen, and 50% at the gym. I was eating pretty healthily and cleanly with cheat treats 1-2x a week, and eating at what I thought was a caloric deficit because my goal was to lose weight (

1500 cal/day). I ended up not losing any weight (fluctuated around the same weight), but I looked and felt like I had lost 5+ pounds, and THAT’S what matters. Soon after BBG 1.0 I threw away the scale and stopped weighing myself.

  • How did I stay motivated? I was a hard-working pre-med student when I was doing BBG 1.0. I had class/work/lab/tutoring/TAing/meetings back-to-back on campus from 8 am-8pm. It was not easy to fit in a workout. But I had a BBG workout buddy and we made a date every MWF at 12 pm during our lunch break to meet at the gym and get done with the workout for the day. This made it hard for us to flake on our workouts, because we didn’t want to flake on each other. For our LISS/HIIT days, we would text each other to keep each other in check. As for food, we would take photos and send each other what we ate. If I ate poorly one day, I would text her a message like “UGH NOOO I FAILED TODAY I ate ______. But I’ll balance it out tomorrow!” This helped to promote healthier eating habits.
    • If you don’t have a workout buddy, I recommend penning your gym time into your daily schedule and thinking of it as important as a meeting, or as a hot (and sweaty 😉 ) date with yourself. You wouldn’t flake on a business partner for a meeting or a significant other for a hot date. Why would you flake on yourself?
    • I found BBG 2.0 to be less focused on cardio/fat loss and more on strength training. 2.0 was when I started seeing hypertrophy and more tone in my arm and leg muscles. This version of the guides also requires a lot more equipment than 1.0. I chose to use heavier weights.
    • During 2.0 I was eating a lot more than 1.0 (2000-2500 cals/day) but I was also working out more. I was doing two-a-days at the gym on Tues/Thurs because I had more time.
    • I didn’t follow the 2.0 guide that closely (for LISS/HIIT days) because I wanted to try other things like lifting and long-distance running during those days, but I would get done with the MWF resistance workouts by the end of each respective week. On LISS/HIIT days, sometimes I would do LISS in the morning and then do heavy lifting in the afternoon (heavy squats & deadlifts).
    • 2.0 helped me feel stronger but not necessarily leaner. I definitely did not eat as well as I did in 1.0, and thus, my full body progress photos look about the same to me. However, the amount of strength I have gained is incredible. I can do hundreds of pushups in one 30 minute BBG arm workout, when I could barely do a push-up back in January. I can lift

    1.5x my own body weight in squats and deadlifts when I previously could not even lift the bar. I feel more fit than I have ever been. And I am proud. I am proud of the strength that my body is capable of. My abs, however, only make an appearance every so often, probably because I love food too much, and I’m definitely not willing to give that up! 😉

    All in all, I feel that BBG 1.0 is better for fat loss/gaining muscle tone (because there is more cardio incorporated in the resistance workouts, IMO), while BBG 2.0 is better for muscle hypertrophy and gaining strength. I just restarted BBG 1.0 again and I hope it will help me lean out some more.

    My advice? Try the workouts for yourself and don’t give up! Find motivation on other people’s Instagrams but NEVER compare your progress to theirs. Just because your progress does not look like another girl’s progress by Week 8, it does NOT mean you are not progressing. Everyone progresses at their own pace. You will find what works best for you, and your body will thank you. So get movin’! 🙂

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