‘I Did Kayla Itsines’ Sweat App Workouts And Cut Sugar And Flour To Lose 80+ Pounds’

My name is Gina Garibaldi (@gigigaribaldi), and I’m 27. I live in Sacramento, California, and am pursuing a nursing degree. I cut sugar and flour out of my diet, stopped snacking, and turned to Kayla Itsines’ BBG workouts on the SWEAT app to lose about 80 pounds.

For as long as I can remember I have always been hyper-aware of my weight. That feeling intensified after I experienced a few sports injuries. Growing up, I was super active and participated in all kinds of sports (my favorite was soccer), until I tore my ACL and meniscus. I spent a year rehabbing my ACL, only to end up tearing it twice more in college.

This made it impossible to be as active as I had always been, and it threw me off. What I was used to eating was no longer appropriate, and I became obsessed with my weight and caloric intake. My natural body shape made me conscious at the time. Back then, everyone wanted to be stick-thin, so I would restrict my food intake or purge if I felt I ate too much, in order to be part of the “cool” crowd.

By my sophomore year of college, I was fed up with those unhealthy habits and stopped them, but I couldn’t shake off my unhealthy relationship with food. I turned to fad diets and juice cleanses. And, when I did eat, it was two dinners, a snack, and a dessert.I was addicted to food—but that hadn’t registered with me. This led to massive weight gain, and I went from 135 pounds to 250.

I got a wake-up call at a friend’s wedding.

My friend, the bride, sweetly gifted all her bridesmaids a robe to get ready in with her on her special day. But I couldn’t get it over my arms or close the front around myself. I was so embarrassed because there was nothing else to wear.

Noticing in that moment how much I had let myself get was so strong. My heart dropped to my stomach when I saw the photos because I never knew how much weight I had gained until I saw it.

Then I got this fire in my stomach, a feeling I hadn’t ever felt. I knew I had to create a plan, something that I could maintain with grit and dedication.


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I started by journaling about all the patterns and eating habits I had formed to cope with life.

I learned that some of my triggers were calorie counting, sweets, stress, and eating out. For example, when I had a tough day at school, I would drive to Taco Bell for three burritos and a taco to make myself feel better. Even though I was full, I would grab a pint of Ben and Jerry’s and a candy bar just to somehow fill the emotional hole. I realized that I was using food as an emotional crutch. I was hooked on sugar and carbs.


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On January 1, 2019, I began my lifestyle change. I eliminated both sugar and flour from my diet completely.

I ate whole foods and tons of vegetables. I ate three meals a day. The first week was tough because the little voice in my head kept encouraging me to resort back to old habits, but I had a plan for when I tried to self-sabotage. My plan was to exchange self-doubt with positive self-talk, to drink more water or go for a walk when I felt like snacking, and to replace my emotional eating with journaling.


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Creating healthy eating habits also meant I had to plan my meals. If not, I would turn to something easy, like eating junk food. So now, I plan my meals out the night before, so I don’t have to make any hard decisions the day of. I also don’t indulge in snacks and I weigh my food to ensure I’m eating the right portions. It seems like a lot of effort, but once you get the hang of it, it’s super easy.


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Here’s what I eat in a day now.

  • Breakfast: 4 ounces of potatoes (cooked on the stove), two over-easy eggs, a banana, two cups of coffee
  • Lunch: 2 ounces of sharp cheddar cheese, 6 ounces of salad or cucumbers with lemon juice and Tajin, 2 ounces of avocado, 6 ounces of berries
  • Dinner: 4 ounces of baked chicken, 6 ounces of stir fry, 8 ounces of salad, 2 ounces avocado


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In the beginning of my lifestyle change, I decided to focus solely on my eating habits. I think it’s important for me to tackle one thing at a time. I found that when I went all in on a diet and a workout plan, it was too much change to handle at one time. It sounded great in my head, but when push came to shove, I always ended up giving up on both.


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It wasn’t until I was six months in to my new way of eating that I started working out.

I have always loved moving because I’ve been an athlete all my life, so when I was told that I could no longer play any type of contact sport or run due to my injuries, it broke my heart. I truly struggled with finding something that was challenging, but low impact for my knee.

It was hard finding an activity that worked for me. I tried kickboxing, Crossfit, personal training, boxing, cycling, and essentially I would always re-injure my knee. It was a very frustrating cycle, until I found a program that just worked and took away all of my excuses.


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Now, I currently follow the BBG Zero Equipment program on the SWEAT app by Kayla Itsines. I have followed her original BBG guide since 2014 and have always loved it. The app is amazing because it allows me to schedule out my week, it tracks my progress, and lets me modify every exercise for my knee. For example, I can’t do high knees or pop squats so I substitute these exercises for mountain climbers or step-ups.I usually work out during lunch in my living room. I do a HIIT workout about three to four times a week, and each one is about 28 to 30 minutes.


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My weekly exercise routine looks something like this:

  • Monday: Full-body circuit
  • Wednesday: Full-body circuit
  • Friday: Arms and abs
  • Saturday: Optional

I also walk twice a day with my dog: a mile in the morning and two miles at night. Exercise is now something I really enjoy. Once I started becoming active, it became a part of my daily life. I no longer look at it as a chore, but as a time I value and even look forward to.


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Since making these lifestyle changes, I’ve lost about 80 pounds.

I’ve gone down from 250 pounds to 164. Aside from cutting sugar, flour, and unhealthy snacks out of my diet, the one thing that has helped me the most in my weight-loss journey is cutting out excuses. Excuses come in all shapes and sizes. It’s my sister’s birthday, it’s Halloween, it’s just one bite, it’s just…an excuse. It’s that little voice in my head trying to sabotage me.


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Instead, I’ve replaced excuses with positive self-talk. When there’s a day I don’t want to work out, I simply remind myself of the feeling I get after working out. I feel powerful. I feel capable. I feel inspired by my own journey. It’s a beautiful thing, and I’m truly excited to wake up every day and push myself.

If my younger self heard me saying these things, she would be shocked and roll her eyes. But there’s something incredible about investing in yourself and pushing past all the excuses and truly being your own cheerleader.


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