Finding a weight loss program that really works for you is hard. It's a matter of finding something that has the effects you want, while also fitting into your schedule.
DailyBurn.com is an online exercise portal with a variety of programs, from dance to the crazy-intense Inferno program. Recently, DailyBurn asked if I would try another of their programs (I previously gave Inferno a whirl ... and it wasn't for me). I chose DB15, an easy-to-fit-in program that features 15-minute workouts (or close to 15 minutes). The workouts combine a variety of styles, including yoga and mixed martial arts (MMA), for a wide variety of exercises to enjoy.
So, how'd it go? Let's start at the beginning.
When I started the DB15 program, it was a few weeks — and a few pounds — after I'd finished my previous program. With Easter smack-dab in the middle of that time, the scale wasn't exactly kind. In fact, my weight had ballooned to 198.
You could have knocked me over with a feather when I saw that on the scale. The good news though? The only place to go from there was d-o-w-n.
As a busy mother with a demanding career, I don't have a lot of consecutive minutes to devote to working out (or, um, anything). There are always lunches to be packed or deadlines to meet or school buses to wait for. So for me, having a workout that fits into 15 minutes is just right.
But don't let the time of these workouts fool you. They work so well because they are high-intensity. For instance, the DB15 MMA? It left me a drippy, sweating mess — which I take as a sign of a really great workout. While DB15 Let's Move (a dance workout) remains my favorite, I really appreciate the intensity of the other workouts like DB15 Core and (gasp!) even DB15 Inferno.
How can something so short be effective? Well, as health and fitness expert Jennifer Cohen recently told me, it's the intensity of the workouts that matters. "HIIT, or high-intensity interval training, is a workout method where you exercise within 85 percent of your target heart rate for short periods at a time. It's one of the most time-efficient ways of working out," Cohen says.
And I can attest that many of the DB15 workouts fall firmly into the high-intensity spectrum.
The eating component
DailyBurn.com also has an eating component, where you limit what they call "Evil 6" — things like dairy, sweeteners, soy, gluten, etc. The program starts with Ignite, where you cut these things out completely, and then continues with Balance, where you can only have a little each week.
Learn more about the Ignite program >>
Due to the nature of my work, I skipped the Ignite component and jumped right into Balance. And after trying to fit normal eating into the plan, I have come to terms with the fact that it's not for me. Little things -- like my morning coffee -- can eat up the entire allowance for "Evil 6" ingredients in one fell swoop. I naturally avoid artificial sweeteners (another of the Evil 6) and I can easily go for long periods without alcohol or soy, but dairy, sugar and gluten are a natural part of my diet.
So I have been working on limiting these things but not necessarily sticking to the very restricted nature of the Balance program. Also, I have bulked up on fruits and veggies in my diet, and aimed for smaller portions at breakfast and lunch.
How's it going?
I have a few more days till my big ending reveal, but I can say so far, so good. The scale has moved down (which is always a good thing!) and I am feeling more energetic and excited about working out. Tune in next week to find out the results of my DB15 experiment.
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