Australian Kayla Itsines was always active and played sports such as basketball, but she felt intimidated by working out at the gym until a personal trainer suggested she just dive in. She followed his advice and enjoyed working out so much that age 18 she obtained a Master Trainer degree from the Australian Institute of Fitness. Itsines began training her sister’s friends in core strength and encouraged them to take before and after photos, which she then organized on Instagram. It only took a few months for her to develop a following of several hundred thousands along with frequent requests for help. In 2013, she co-founded the Bikini Body Training company with her partner Tobi Pearce. She published a series of ebooks called Bikini Body Guides and also a meal-planning guide and workout app. Sweat With Kayla is a top-selling fitness app. She has more than 11 million followers on Instagram alone and in 2016, Itsines was named one of Time magazine’s Most Influential People. Itsines 5 feet, 4 inches tall and she weighs about 115 lbs.
Kayla Itsines’s Diet
Itsines says she has always followed a Mediterranean-style diet because that it is what best suits her lifestyle. She’s not afraid of carbs, fat or any food group. Foods she always has on hand include mangoes, figs (grown by her grandpa), eggs, Greek yogurt and chicken. The only thing she avoids are detoxes, fad diets, and processed foods. She says she keeps things simple by eating whole, natural, in-season foods, and mixing things up. In short, nothing is off-limits, except empty-calorie foods.
- Medium Fat 30% 30%
- Medium Carb 30% 30%
- Medium Protein 40% 40%
A K.I.S.S. Diet
Itsines says breakfast is important, but everything you eat should be nourishing and fuel your body, not drain your energy. Simply put, eat whole foods and avoid processed ones.
Itsines is often up at 5 am to prepare for working with clients at 6. Since it’s so early, she prefers a light meal of whole wheat toast and a poached egg. After the session, she’ll often have more eggs, toast, avocado, tomatoes, and baby spinach.
Itsines says that if you do have morning coffee, she recommends having it after breakfast to increase the feeling of fullness. Itsines’ heritage is Greek and she often visits her grandparents’ house for a cup of Greek (more commonly known as Turkish) coffee in the morning.
Itsines often has a salad with protein at lunchtime, but she’ll incorporate complex carbs too, such as quinoa. She is also a fan of whole wheat wraps.
Variety Is the Spice
Itsines makes a point to eat different things every night for dinner, and it is some form of lean meat, veggies, and complex carbs. She loves a good chicken and vegetable curry with brown rice or salmon with summer salsa.
Itsines says that if you’re looking to drop lbs., desserts should be fruit. As for her favorite special indulgence, it’s her grandmother’s Kataifi, a golden pastry drizzled with lemon syrup, cinnamon and pistachios.
What to Eat
Seasonal Fresh Fruit
What to Avoid
Itsines On breakfast
I encourage everyone to find the time to eat a balanced breakfast as it is an opportunity to incorporate a number of food groups into one meal.
Itsines On Mangoes
Mangoes contain vitamins C and A, which can help keep your immune system healthy and strong.
Itsines On Alcohol
I never really liked the taste or the way it made me feel so I made the decision to eliminate it altogether…I think this is important for us to remind young girls and boys that they have a choice and that it’s ok not to drink if you don’t want to. You can still be social and have fun!
Itsines On Chamomile Tea
I end my day…with a nice, big mug of chamomile tea. It’s delicious and can help to settle your stomach after dinner.
Kayla Itsines’s Fitness Routine
What Women Want
According to feedback given to Itsines at the gym, women want flat abs, slim thighs and toned arms, without bulkiness. She says she quickly figured out the typical routines weren’t giving the results female clients wanted, and so she developed her Bikini Body Guide to address those needs.
Every Sunday, Itsines schedules her workouts for the week in her calendar to keep herself accountable. She says even if she’s short on time, she can still find 15-20 minutes to squeeze a session in.
Listen to Yourself
Itsines says it’s important to tune in to your body and know the difference between fatigue that you can push through and being unwell and needing rest.
AMGRAPs stands for As Many Great Rounds As Possible. Itsines’ standard Bikini Body Guide (BBG) routines contain with 4 circuits per session for a total of a 28 minute workout. The goal is to get in AMGRAPs for 7 minutes before moving on to the next circuit.
High and Low Intensity
Itsines says she designed her BBG routines to target muscle groups throughout the body. They offer a combination of plyometrics (jumping), body weight exercises, and strength-building done in high-intensity (HIIT) circuits. Low Intensity Sustained State exercise (LISS), such as walking, compliments her HIIT routines and aids with recovery.
Rock the Plank
Itsines says her current favorite exercise is planks. Underrated because they ‘look easy,’ planks engage all core muscles, which improves balance and stability. There’s also tons of different planks to choose from.
Some Kayla Itsines Bikini Body Routines
You can do these exercises without equipment, but lightweight dumbbells, a medicine ball, jump rope, and bench are recommended. A foam roller is also suggested but not required.
Pick 3-4 and do a 7 minutes circuit. Rest for 1 min. Repeat. Do 15-20 reps of each before moving on to the next exercise.
Goblet Sumo Squat
Do as many of circuit 1 as you can in 7 min. Rest 1 min., then move on to circuit 2 and do for 7 min.
Bent Leg Jackknife: 15 reps
Ab Bike: 50 reps
Straight Leg Sit-up & Twist: 20 reps
Toe Taps: 20 reps
Russian Twist: 30 reps
Bent-leg Sit-up: 15 reps
Try to do 2 circuits in 7 minutes. Rest for 1 minute, then repeat.
Push-ups: 15 reps
Mountain Climbers: 30 reps (15/side)
Commandos: 24 reps (12/side)
Burpees: 12 reps
Itsines On Walking Her Dogs
This allows me to incorporate my LISS (Low Intensity Steady State) cardio into my daily routine.
Itsines On Fitting In Her Own Workout
The time of day that I train will depend on what my schedule is like that day.
Itsines On Her Personal Routine
This is the time of day that I look forward to the most, as it’s a time I can focus on ME and my own personal progress. It may sound strange but it’s actually the time I am most relaxed for the day.
Itsines On Bouncing Back After Having a Baby
Since giving birth to my daughter Arna, my focus has been to rebuild my muscle, strength and confidence in the gym.
Kayla Itsines’s Supplements
Itsines believes in getting nutrition from whole foods, but for those who don’t always have the time to prepare wholesome meals, a daily multivitamin can help fill in nutritional gaps. Many people, particularly those who live in northern climates, can also benefit from supplementing with vitamin D. If you don’t eat much seafood, consider a supplement of omega-3s.
Kayla Itsines’s Lifestyle
While Itsines may not get as much sleep as she used to with a baby in the house, but she recommends getting 8 hours a night. If that means going to bed early, so be it.
Itsines recommends doing some stretches or yoga to unwind, and also turning off your devices at least a 1/2 hour before bed.
Itsines is an advocate of body positivity means realizing every body has value and is beautiful, and focusing on what your body can do rather than what it can’t.
Clear the Calendar
Itsines recommends writing down everything you need to do so you don’t have the to-do list running through your mind when you’re trying to relax in the evening.
Tune In To Channel You
Itsines says it’s important to listen to your body. This counts for exercise, the foods you eat and the other day-to-day choices you make. She recommends journaling, mindful eating, and making time for yourself.
Itsines On Sleep
Your bed should be a sanctuary where you feel calm and relaxed.
Itsines On Tuning Into Oneself
Being healthy is all about balance, and to live a balanced lifestyle, it helps to be in tune with your body and listen to what it needs.
Itsines On Feeling Good
I want to everyone to feel good about themselves, to make well-being, balance and a positive mindset a priority.
Bkini Body Guide
Bikini Body Motivation & Habits Guide
Sweat With Kayla app
Foam stepping box
Tatcha’s Pure One Step Camellia Cleansing Oil
Activated Charcoal Loofah
Foreo Luna Go For Normal Skin Tool
La Roche-Posay Toleriane Sensitive Moisturizer
Drunk Elephant Shaba Complex Eye Serum
Drunk Elephant TLC Sukari Babyfacial
Palmer’s coconut oil