Will I Lose Weight Doing PiYo by Chalene Johnson?

Beachbody Piyo

Beachbody Piyo

Will I lose weight doing Beachbody's new workout program PiYo?

I love looking at before and after images like the ones from Chalene Johnson's new workout program, PiYo. It is sooooo inspiring to see a ho-hum before picture of a sad, unsmiling, slightly chubby person, next to an amazing new photo of the same person, rocking a bikini, sporting a 6-pack and a bright, shiny smile! I even have similar before-and-after pictures, although minus the bikini and the 6-pack.

The promise of weight loss, fueled by fantastic success stories like the ones above, are seductive. They lure us in with the promise of an amazing body if only we follow the program. And that's only natural because we are results-oriented people, right? I don't want to spend time and money on a program that won't work, and neither do you. As a chronic dieter and veteran of countless exercise programs, "will I lose weight?" is a question I've asked myself a zillion times.

The simple answer?

Yes, you will lose weight.

With one condition: You must burn more calories than you eat.

Weight loss boils down to calories in versus calories out.

Fact: To lose fat you need to eat fewer calories than your body burns.

Fiction: In a perfect world I would dive head-first into a tub of mocha chip ice cream and watch the pounds magically melt away, but science tells us that only a calorie deficit will knock off the pounds. Too bad science didn't consult me, right?  (For science geeks, see this article by the Mayo Clinic:  Counting Calories.)

So how will Chalene Johnson's PiYo program help me lose weight?

The short answer? PiYo will burn calories (creating that calorie deficit) and build muscle.

  • The more intense the exercise, the more calories you burn, and PiYo is intense without impact. (For nutrition geeks, see this Mayo clinic article: 7 Benefits of Regular Physical Activity.)

  • Building muscle not only gives you an amazingly toned “beach body” (get it?) but the more muscle you have the more calories you will burn even while sitting on the couch!


Here are a few other ways PiYo will help with fat loss:

  • PiYo has been taught in health clubs for years and has proven results. Everyone loves a winner.

  • PiYo combines strength (muscle-building), cardio and flexibility all in one workout. These three components are all crucial to your success.

  • PiYo gives you a 60 day workout plan to follow. No guessing what workout you should be doing when. Just check your calendar and pop in the DVD.

  • PiYo gives you a nutrition plan to follow. Some people are diet free spirits (like me!) and others crave a little more structure. While the program hasn’t been released yet, Beachbody has a history of providing sensible, easy-to-follow nutrition plans.

What if I've failed to lose weight while doing an exercise program in the past?

Hooray! If you've failed in the past that's because you TRIED to lose weight. Well, that and because you're human. Failure is actually GOOD NEWS because it means you have what it takes to succeed. You had the desire to lose weight, you sought out a solution, and began to follow a plan.

You can't be afraid to fail. It's the only way you succeed. – Lebron James

Just because you missed your goal once (or twice or many times) in the past doesn't mean you can't succeed NOW. Maybe life got in the way, or maybe something distracted you from your goal. It doesn't really matter because your past doesn't determine your future.

I am living proof that failing a zillion times doesn't mean you are destined to a life of obesity. I weighed between 160 and over 200 pounds for about a ten year period. I tried COUNTLESS diet and exercise plans. I failed at every single one. One day I finally decided failure was not an option. One day I decided I absolutely would not give up.

My stubbornness was the key! Refusing to give up (while being very imperfect in the process) helped me go from an obese, couch potato mom to a marathon runner. You don't have to run marathons, but you do need to find an exercise program that excites you. Find a workout plan you love (whether PiYo or something else) and STICK WITH IT. (Read more about my story here or listen to me talk about my weight loss struggles on the Tips of the Scale podcast.)

That you are considering PiYo (or any other workout program for that matter) shows me that you still have the desire to lose weight, and that desire is one-third of the battle. The other two thirds are doing the workouts and tackling your eating. PiYo takes care of the workouts. Now, onto the eating component…

I have trouble sticking with a diet! Do I have to follow the PiYo nutrition plan to lose weight?

Here's a little secret – I have trouble following very specific diets too. My inner rebellious teenager always does her best to sabotage my diet plans, bless her heart. Do you have to follow the Beachbody nutrition plan exactly? No. Remember, your weight loss ultimately comes from running a small calorie deficit, not by eating magical foods.

Dietary Free Spirit Tip: Eat What You Love While Cutting Calories

Simply eat three meals a day plus a post-workout shake or snack. Start by cutting your normal portion in half. If you're still hungry, cut the remaining portion in half.

How does this work?   You're reducing calories by eliminating all between meal snacking, tasting, sampling, nibbling, etc.

Benefits?   You're still eating the foods you love, but you are eating LESS. No calorie counting or separate meals for the rest of the family necessary. Easy peasy.

So maybe I CAN lose weight. How else will PiYo benefit me?

Good question! Any exercise, whether PiYo , running, dancing, swimming or biking has tons of perks. Here are some of my favorites:

  • ♥ Exercise builds strength

  • ♥ Exercise increases flexibility which decreases your risk of injury

  • ♥ Exercise improves your mood

  • ♥ Exercise promotes better sleep which also helps with weight loss!

  • ♥ Exercise gives you confidence

  • ♥ Exercise is enjoyable

  • ♥ Exercise (and the results you get) makes shopping for clothes way more fun!

piyo results

piyo results

What if my motivation crashes and burns?

If your motivation crashes and burns, just look at the picture above of an incredibly ripped Chalene Johnson!

Only kidding.  Waning motivation happens to the best of us.  Can you be BRIBED into losing weight??

Beachbody offers a free t-shirt to everyone who completes a program. It may not be high fashion but you'll have a cool new top to commemorate finishing PiYo.  It's just like the t-shirt you get when registering for a 5k.  The shirt says (non-verbally of course) "you go, girl!"  Every time you wear your race shirt you are reminded of your commitment and accomplishment.

Even better than clothing is the Beachbody Challenge contest. $500 winners are selected every single day, and two lucky souls win $100,000 each year. How's that for incentive to pop in a DVD and keep the potato chips out of the house!

So we're back to my original question. Will I lose weight doing PiYo?

The answer is up to YOU.PiYo is a great program but it is not a miracle.

YOU need to change into a cute yoga outfit (or not!) and push PLAY.

YOU need to make smart food choices.

YOU need to decide EVERY SINGLE DAY if you will keep moving (however imperfectly) toward your goals or if today is the day you will give up.

[Tweet "YOU decide if you will keep working toward your goals or if today is the day you will give up."]

I think we all have the desire to better ourselves, whether to rock a pair of skinny jeans or just to be an example of good health for our children. I think sometimes we need a little push in the right direction and maybe a little reassurance too. If you decide to start a PiYo adventure, be sure to bookmark Weigh to Maintain so you can come back and share your story. I'll be doing PiYo too and I'll share other tips and tricks to rock the program.

It's all about attitude. Decide to OWN this. Decide it's OK to be imperfect, but it's not OK to quit.

You know what? I think you can do it. Let me know.