Health, Kayla Itsines

Review of Kayla Itsines HELP Guide

March 16, 2015

Way back in June, 2014, I did a review of Kayla Itsines Bikini Body Guide. At the time, I had not used Kayla Itsines’ HELP guide alongside her workouts so I had not formulated much of an opinion over them. I re-did Kayla Itsines Bikini Body Guide and I am now on week 10 of my third round of Kayla Itsines Bikini Body Guide. I have to say that there was a huge difference when I used both guides in conjunction, which is why I decided to write a review of Kayla Itsines HELP guide for you all.

What is Kayla Itsines ‘HELP’ Guide?

First things first, what is the HELP guide? HELP stands for ‘Healthy Eating Lifestyle Plan’ and it’s a comprehensive guide to healthy eating that includes a two week meal plan with sample healthy recipes. 

photo 2

The HELP guide starts off by providing a 14 day meal plan, which is full of delicious and easy to make meals. The only meals that didn’t really work for me were the juices (as I do not have a juicer) but they can be easily adapted to make something else which is explained in the discussion of food groups. Apart from the juices, all the meals in the HELP guide are easy to make and use normal ingredients such as chicken, brown rice, spinach, apples and etc. No fancy or expensive ingredients πŸ™‚

The HELP guide then discusses the five food groups and the minimum amount you should be getting per day. The amazing thing about this guide is that it advocates carbohydrates! Such a rarity in the health and fitness world and one of its key selling points, in my opinion. There is also NO calorie counting in this guide despite what some may claim. Kayla acknowledges that this is a guide and that everyone has different needs, but that the HELP guide is a fantastic guide, especially for someone who does not know how to eat in a healthy manner. The rest of the HELP guide provides a wealth of information such as information about food allergies, micronutrients (vitamins & minerals), and FAQs with questions such as ‘Should I be eating the meals at particular times?’ or ‘Don’t I have to avoid carbs in order to lose weight?’

My Thoughts

As someone who has come from a background of counting calories and macro’s in the past, the HELP guide is truly a breath of fresh air. I feel like it provides a healthy and sustainable guide to healthy eating that will keep you full and satisfied. Since using the HELP guide in conjunction with the bikini body guides, I have lost 8 pounds so far πŸ™‚ I still have a ways to go in terms of getting more toned and etc, but I feel so much closer to my goals with the help of the HELP guide! I also found that eating more carbohydrates helped me perform better in my workouts, whereas previously if I had tried to restrict my carbohydrate intake, I felt so weak and sluggish :/ The following are some of the lovely recipes I have made using the information given in the HELP guide πŸ™‚

Pancake edit2 (1 of 1)

 Four Ingredient Pancakes with Raspberries

  Lox (1 of 1)-2

 Lox Salmon with Creamy Lemon Dressing


 Baked Zucchini Fritters with Smashed Avocado on Marble Rye Toast

Even more HELP

Kayla Itsines recently released a new recipe guide that is designed to work with the principles laid out in the HELP guide. I bought it because I was curious and love the variety of easy to make yet delicious looking recipes contained within it! It contained a whole two weeks worth of recipes. I actually made the ‘pizza’ recipe from the new recipe guide and was surprised at how well the pizza base came out. Really pleased and excited to make more of the recipes from this new guide. Plus, it is only AUD$19.97 which comes out to roughly USD$15 which is not that much money at all. photo 1

What are your thoughts?

Do you have the HELP guide and/or the new recipe guide? If so, what do you think about it? I hope this review of Kayla Itsines HELP guide and recipe guide has helped you and cleared up any questions you may have regarding them.

If you want to buy either of the above guides, simply click here and you will be redirected to Kayla Itsines’ website πŸ™‚

Honestly yours, Alice

Thank you for always supporting me! For more Honestly Fitness, check out my InstagramFacebookTwitter & Pinterest.

Although this post contains affiliate links, it is because I personally use Kayla’s guides and believe you will benefit from them πŸ™‚

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  • Ashley @ A Lady Goes West March 16, 2015 at 8:24 pm

    Hi Alice! I think it’s great that you’re a fan of Kayla Itsines workouts and meal planning. While I haven’t tried any of her stuff, I love to see people adopting new healthy habits and routines because they are excited about them. Keep up the great work! πŸ™‚

    • Honestly Fitness March 19, 2015 at 2:00 pm

      Thank you for your support, Ashley! πŸ™‚

  • Nina D'Agostini March 23, 2015 at 12:57 pm

    Hi, I am a 15 year old currently starting the BBG and wasn’t planning to do the HELP guide because it is very difficult for me to prepare the lunches and in my current situation, 1,600 calories is too low for me. However, do you think this will keep me from getting toned/leaner?

    • Honestly Fitness March 23, 2015 at 4:49 pm

      Hi Nina! The HELP guide does not advocate calorie counting, it simply offers suggestions for healthy foods that will help you in your journey to getting toned/leaner. What makes it difficult for you to prepare the lunches exactly? You can prepare sandwiches for lunch which don’t take much preparation. I do think that you need to find what works for you as everyone’s dietary needs are different. I would suggest experimenting with a variety of foods and different amounts and see what works for you.
      I am not too sure if I answered your question, but I hope I helped in some way! x

  • Noe March 24, 2015 at 4:17 pm

    I’ve made this timer video to follow the four circuits listening to your music:

    Hope you enjoy it!

    • Honestly Fitness March 24, 2015 at 7:55 pm

      Noe, this is awesome!! Thank you so much for taking the time to make it and for sharing it. Sure it will be a great help to many ladies xx

  • raya March 29, 2015 at 7:39 pm

    How do you follow the help guide when you are travelling for more than a week? is it ok to follow kayla’s portions but eat out?


  • Penny Lively April 5, 2015 at 4:08 am

    Hi there!

    I am doing BBG but my body is not changing at all:(
    I am following the Dukan method and I am so scared to incorporate carbs that kayla suggests. Do you think my body would change if I used HELP? because I did BBG once, and nothing:( it’s my second way round now:(


    • Honestly Fitness April 5, 2015 at 8:11 am

      Hi Penny, I would really recommend incorporating carbohydrates into your diet. Following any type of diet that restricts a food group is dangerous in the long run. Don’t be scared of carbohydrates x

  • Sharn April 6, 2015 at 9:31 pm

    Hi, Well done on your progress so far.
    I am fussy with what I eat and can not tolerate bananas, pineapple and salmon – which are often featured in healthy eating plan. can you tell me if many of the recipes include these two? I would hate to spend the money and not be able to eat most of the recipes.

    • Honestly Fitness April 7, 2015 at 4:45 pm

      Thank you, Sharn! None of the recipes feature those foods that much. The HELP guide offers alternatives as well. You’ll definitely be able to eat the majority of the recipes πŸ™‚
      Alice x

  • Katy April 11, 2015 at 3:59 am

    Thank you for your review!

    I am looking to start the BBG for the first time, but am trying to do so on a budget.
    Do you think newer Recipe Guide can replace the H.E.L.P guide from the beginning? Or do you need the H.E.L.P guide to get started really?

    Thanks πŸ™‚

    • Honestly Fitness April 13, 2015 at 4:24 pm

      And thank you for taking the time to read it, Katy πŸ™‚

      I think it depends what you want out of the guide. If you are looking to know what serving sizes/portions should be eaten then I would recommend the HELP guide. You can kind of determine it based off the newer recipe guide alone though. I personally think you will be fine with the newer recipe guide (and the recipes are tastier and easier to make in my opinion)!

      Hope this helps you,
      Alice x

  • Becky lowther April 13, 2015 at 3:20 am

    Thanks for your help!

    However one thing I am struggling with is the amount of fruit, it’s not a lot but I cannot stomach the flavour or texture even when in smoothies. Is there any way this can be substituted/skipped? I’m finding this issue really challenging and am fine with everything else. I wouldn’t want this to jeopardise my results!


    • Honestly Fitness April 13, 2015 at 4:28 pm

      Happy to help, Becky πŸ™‚

      Ooh, that is a tough one. I think you should be fine if substituting it and it seems as if there is really no choice if eating fruit makes you sick! What textures or flavors in particular make you feel bad? Since fruit is primarily composed of carbohydrates and fiber, I would suggest eating foods with similar nutritional properties such as high fiber crackers, hummus with veggies and etc.

      Hope this helps,
      Alice x

      • Becky lowther April 14, 2015 at 3:10 am

        Thank you for replying!

        All fruit make me feel awful, and I can’t put my finger on why! But I will look into what other foods give me the same nutrients etc. thank you.

        Another question – can I make my own food plan on the guidelines Kayla has made – 6 grains,5 veggies etc? I find that i don’t have the time to prepare different meals for each day and would rather have the same breakfasts snacks and lunch and just change my dinner around the guidelines she has suggested.

        Thanks for your help!

        • Honestly Fitness April 14, 2015 at 12:47 pm

          No problem, Becky!

          Yes, you can definitely make your food plan as the guide is flexible and tells you the minimum amount of servings you need a day (feel free to add more if you feel hungry etc). I make my own food plan based around the HELP guidelines and it has been working well for me.

          Hope this helps and thanks again for visiting,
          Alice x

  • Taylor Ann April 22, 2015 at 12:29 pm


    Hi to all- i loved going through and reading through everyones comments. I have a question! I started Kaylas BBGs 7 weeks ago and did it consistently for a good 5 weeks. I was feeling great, but a lot happened that kept me out of the gym for the last two weeks (weeks 6 and 7) so now here I am, behind, on week “8” if I had never stopped. Question is- should I go back and start from where I left off in week 6? Can in include weeks 6 and 7 with week 8&9? Continue week 8 as it is? I really don’t know whats best!

    • Honestly Fitness April 27, 2015 at 3:38 pm

      Hi Taylor,
      Sorry for the delayed response. Honestly, that is more of a personal question: you should ask yourself if you feel strong enough to get back into it and complete the workouts with proper form or if you think you need to redo some workouts before you can get back into it. For me personally, I would go back to week 4 to rebuild my strength and stamina. But that is just what I would personally do.
      Do what you think is best and works for your body πŸ™‚ Hope this helps!
      Alice x

  • Natalie May 5, 2015 at 4:53 am

    Hey – I have the guides and really want to do this but I have a couple of concerns…
    Firstly – the food/nutrition guide is a lot more food than I normally eat and I am scared to increase my calories? Although saying that, the way I eat now is not giving me any results!!
    Secondly I have a big party this weekend and then a wedding the following one which will make it really hard to do the food and exercise. Should I wait till these are over and I have a good run of time with no big events!!? I know I will always have stuff that pops up but these will literally wipe out three/four days of those weeks!

    Would really appreciate your advice.



    • Honestly Fitness May 5, 2015 at 12:52 pm

      Hey Natalie!
      I definitely understand your concern. Since you are eating less than the guide recommends, just slowly start to build up your calories. So for example, modify the suggested serving portions and slowly increase them over the weeks. For example, week 1 have 4 servings of carbs everyday, week 2, 5 servings and etc. This way, your body has time to adjust to the extra calories you are intaking. Trust me, you need to eat to get good results and keep your metabolism in good order, and eat the correct things!
      Honestly, life is about unexpected events and no one is perfect. Kayla is all about balance so even if you cannot follow the guide those 3-4 days, there is no reason you do not need to wait until after to start. You will always have an unexpected turn of events and won’t be able to stick to eating perfectly all the time. Just do the best you can at the wedding and get right back into it afterwards πŸ™‚
      Hope this helps and makes sense!
      Alice x

  • The First 4 Weeks of BBG 2.0 - Honestly Fitness May 6, 2015 at 11:20 pm

    […] using Kayla’s HELP guide more strictly again. Although I have enjoyed experimenting and adjusting my macros; the HELP guide […]

  • Hannah Brown May 18, 2015 at 11:11 am

    I have the guides and have started today but just wondered if anyone knew what the opinion of coconut milk is in this plan? Lots of healthy eating plans that I have followed before have included it as ok but not sure about this plan as haven’t got the recipe guide and cannot find a mention of it in the nutrition guide?
    Many thanks

    • Honestly Fitness May 20, 2015 at 12:00 pm

      Hello Hannah,
      Hmm, that is a good question, Hannah. I can only assume it would count under the dairy section, unless you are using full fat coconut milk to make curries. Personally, I just stuck to the plan 100% for a few weeks, and then started experimenting with stuff like coconut milk, almond milk, and seeing how I could fit them into my foods.
      What type of coconut milk are you using?
      Alice x

  • Kristy May 19, 2015 at 9:33 am

    I’m starting the guides, but I want to know if it is essential to also purchase the recipe guide and HELP guide in order to get results. Would the workout guide alone be enough? Or do you also recommend purchasing the nutrition guides?

    • Honestly Fitness May 20, 2015 at 12:03 pm

      Hi Kristy,
      It is not essential, but it definitely helps accelerate your results. I had a pretty sound understanding of nutrition when I started with just the guides, but when I did BBG 1.0 my second time, I used the HELP guide and lost 7 pounds. I definitely think it is worth the purchase (and the HELP and recipe guide have some really yummy recipes), but no, I do not think it is essential.
      Hope this helps!
      Alice x

  • Kristy May 19, 2015 at 9:56 am

    Do I need to buy the HELP guide or will the HELP recipe be enough to substitute the guide? I don’t want to jeopardize my results.

    • Honestly Fitness May 20, 2015 at 12:06 pm

      Hey Kristy,
      Please see what I wrote to Hannah πŸ™‚ I recommend the guides and think they will help you get the best results possible, but I think you will stil see results regardless.
      Alice x

  • Anneke May 21, 2015 at 12:22 pm


    I’ve just started my first week (day 4). I think I’ve got an old HELP guide, since there is only a foodschedule for one week. It’s 2 now, right?

    Does the recipe guide also give you the structured mealplans? I could use some more creativity and flavours than just the one week.

    Fit greetings from the Netherlands

    • Honestly Fitness May 25, 2015 at 4:54 pm

      Hi Anneke!
      Ahh, yes, that is the old HELP guide! The updated version also gives you a structured mealplan. You should email Kayla’s team as everyone who purchased the older version of the HELP guide received an updated one for free.
      Thanks for dropping by πŸ™‚
      Alice xxx

  • Melanie Patterson May 28, 2015 at 2:52 pm

    Hi there!

    I have just started this workout program on Monday and I love it! I just wasn’t going to go exactly by the food guide, but do similar things or just eat healthy meals at times! Do you think that would be okay to do and still get results in the stomach area?

    Thank you!

    • Honestly Fitness May 31, 2015 at 2:35 pm

      Hi Melanie,
      Glad to hear you are loving it! Yeah, as long as you are being mindful of what you eat and are eating clean, I am sure you will still see results in the stomach area. I just like using the HELP guide because it takes a lot of the planning out of it (in terms of planning meals to have haha).
      Good luck πŸ™‚
      Alice x

  • Bettina May 28, 2015 at 5:52 pm

    Hello! Im writting to you because I’m unsure whether the guide will work for me. I’m in week 3 of the BBG guide but I’m not following Kayla’s HELP guide, instead I’m following a dietary plan that my nutricionist gives me. I want to know if the guide will work even though I don’t specifically follow the HELP guide but instead follow a different dietary program.
    I’m really concerned as I’m scared all my hardwork will be a waste at the end.
    Thank you!

    • Honestly Fitness May 31, 2015 at 2:36 pm

      Hey Bettina,
      I think that a nutrition plan that was tailored personally for you by a qualified nutritionist is always going to be the best option. What sort of foods is your nutritionist recommending for you?
      Alice x

  • Lauren June 3, 2015 at 6:04 am


    I’ve been doing the guides for a while now but only ever got to week 6/7 and then something would come up where I couldn’t do them for a while and so I would start them again. I am now on week 7 and determined to finish but I am not seeing a single change in my body! Not weight loss and no definition, the only thing that has changed is that my booty has got more shape to it! (Hallelujah!) I eat very healthy as it is and I am not overweight, but I definitely could do with losing a few pounds around my midriff and have always struggled losing weight there. I do have the HELP guides but not given them ago as I do eat quite similar to them anyway, and feel that there is so much food to consume in them! Especially when I work in an office all day. Any advice? It’s very discouraging working hard and not seeing any results! πŸ™

  • Jacqulyn June 24, 2015 at 11:57 pm

    I’ve been trying to see if anyone else has asked this but I thought I would just ask personally! I just started Kayla’s workout guide this last week and am now contemplating ordering the HELP guide as well. I know I need help in the nutrition area but I am really concerned that one. I am a very picky eater and by picky I mean PICKY and two. I start college in about one month and want to see how adaptable you think this meal plan could be for me! Just wanted to get a second opinion, thanks so much!

    • Honestly Fitness June 25, 2015 at 8:31 pm

      Hello Jacqulyn!
      Okay, I will answer you questions in reverse order – the HELP guide is absolutely adaptable. It does give a 2 week meal plan to follow but I usually make my own meals following the servings suggested. There is a lot of room for flexibility and creativity. Because of this, I think it will be fine even if you are a picky eater. There are a few meals in the HELP guide (like homemade juices) that I can’t make so I just make something else lol.
      I think as long as you are a fan of some sort of lean meat, healthy complex carbohydrate, dairy and fruit then you will be totally fine.
      Hope this helps and feel free to shoot me an email if you have any more specific questions!
      Alice x

  • Raychel June 26, 2015 at 3:08 pm

    Have you tried the vegetarian guide or the regular one? I’m not a big meat eater, but wondering about the differences and how much meat/what types are in the regular one before I purchase the guides?

    • Honestly Fitness July 1, 2015 at 5:40 am

      Hey Raychel,
      I haven’t tried the vegetarian one, just the regular. From what I’ve heard the big difference is that the vegetarian one includes protein options such as fish, tofu, tempeh and etc. The regular one has recipes which include beef, turkey and chicken. But you can personalize this how you want anyway πŸ™‚
      Hope that helps!
      Alice x

  • Stephany July 24, 2015 at 10:02 am

    Hi I loved your review of the help guied. I just started kaylas BBG (IΒ΄m on week one) and IΒ΄m so confused with the help guide, because IΒ΄ve counted macros all my life. Can you help me to anderstande it better. For example on your pancacke recepie it has egg white (how will this one count as 1/2 the protein serving? and the chia?) Plese help me, I LOVE the idea of not counting calories or macros put IΒ΄m totally confused!!

    • Honestly Fitness July 25, 2015 at 3:15 pm

      Hey Stephany,

      So happy you liked my review and thanks for letting me know πŸ™‚ I can understand that it is definitely hard to let go of counting macros if you have done it all your life. The HELP guide breaks down what types of food and how many servings go into each food group. It is not a perfect system, and does not include everything, but you can kind of guess what foods go into what food group. For example, I would count 1tbsp of chia seeds as one serving of fat. In the HELP guide, Kayla states that 1 egg is a serving of protein, so I guessed that an egg white would only be half a serving if that makes sense.

      Hope this helps you out!
      Alice x

  • Joyce July 30, 2015 at 3:03 am

    Thanks for your review, i really want to try this HELP book but i’m a vegetarian and don’t eat meat and fish.. is it still worth buying the book if you’re a vegetarian?

    • Honestly Fitness July 31, 2015 at 8:15 am

      Hi Joyce,
      There’s a vegetarian help guide you can buy instead of the original one that includes meat x

  • jasmin August 4, 2015 at 2:49 pm

    Hey thank you so much for your review and insights. Is there like a index with all receips for the receips guide that I could have a look at? I have the nutrition guide but not sure if I should buy the receip guide too. thanks πŸ™‚

    Jasmin xxx

    • Honestly Fitness August 11, 2015 at 5:58 pm

      Hey Jasmin,
      Unfortunately I can’t post that as it would be a breach of copyright, but I can let you know that there is healthy pizza included, salads, stir-fries and other yummy and easy foods to make! I like it more than the HELP guide recipes personally πŸ™‚
      Alice x

  • Charish August 11, 2015 at 11:26 pm


    I have been wanting to get the Kayka Itsines guide, and wondering whether you need to do a week meal prep for the HELP guide? Or you can just simply prepare it on the day itself?


    • Honestly Fitness August 15, 2015 at 1:26 pm

      Hi Charish,

      You can do whatever you wish – you can prepare it all in one day or a little everyday. It is up to you entirely πŸ™‚

      Alice x

  • Gabby November 1, 2015 at 12:10 pm

    Thanks for the review, I definitely want to try this! Before I purchase it though, I was wondering how much her guides cost in U.S. dollars? You said that the HELP recipe guide was only $15 USD instead of $19.97 AUD… So would that mean her bikini body bundle is $85.61 in USD as opposed to $119.97 AUD? I sure hope it is, $120 seems a bit much! Thanks in advance πŸ™‚

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  • gaia February 2, 2016 at 7:16 am

    i’m italian so excuse me for my english… so i want to start the HELP guide but i don’t understand some things
    for example if i want to follow day by day the diet which means: DAY1 (breakfast with egg on bread/snack with yoghurt and apple/lunch with quinoa salad and turkey/snack with celery, peanut butter and fruit/ dinner with enchiladas)….can i do it without counting my macros and without following the page with every serving ecc..? what i want to know is if in the diet already written day by day the servings are counted as the table explain (ex: grains 6 servings)
    thank you if you answer

  • Honestly Fitness March 7, 2016 at 2:02 pm

    I’m afraid I can’t, Giorgia. It’s illegal to send over copyrighted content πŸ™‚ You can buy it on her website xx

  • Ash Renee June 26, 2016 at 10:04 pm

    Hey Alice,
    Insightful review, thank you.
    So I purchased the help guide just today and I am eager to begin tomorrow! However, I can switch certain foods, right?
    For instance, 1 cup of quinoa for 1 cup of rice?
    And let’s say I eat 1 1/2 cups of rice (a half cup more) or a little more than my daily carb intake – do you think it will impact my results significantly?
    Thank you,

    • Honestly Fitness July 29, 2016 at 8:04 am

      Hi Ash Renee,
      Glad you liked the review! I think that the guide shows a variety of different servings for grains. You can definitely switch up certain foods. Just look at the sample meals she provides and determine how much you need based off that. I am pretty sure you have to eat a bigger serving of quinoa than rice because the grain is smaller.
      Every body is different and I can’t say for sure whether your results will be affected or not. Just play around with it and if the extra carbs are making you gain fat, reduce the amount you eat.
      Hope that helps!

  • Maxine July 30, 2016 at 11:17 am

    I was just wondering if Kayla’s H.E.L.P guide is the same as her “new recipe guide” you mentioned. If they are two different books – what are the differences between them and is it good to have both or is one better than the other?
    Thanks so much!

    • Honestly Fitness July 30, 2016 at 11:47 am

      Hey Maxine,
      They are different! The HELP guide tells you how to structure your meals throughout the day and give you sample meals for your day.
      The recipe guide literally just has recipes, and doesn’t tell you how many servings of food to eat. I like both but it depends what your goal is. Do you want to understand how to structure your meals, or do you just want a bunch of healthy meals to make?
      Hope this helps πŸ™‚

  • Nina July 31, 2016 at 2:35 pm

    Did you find the first 14 days expensive? Did you have to buy a lot of food that you did not get to eat? Or did you get it all used. Hope you can help.

    • Honestly Fitness July 31, 2016 at 3:56 pm

      Nope πŸ™‚ I already had a lot of the grains and the other stuff wasn’t that expensive. I managed to eat it all up and rarely didn’t. I was careful in how much I bought. Hope that helps!

  • Annika September 7, 2016 at 5:58 pm

    I’m on my fourth day of BBG and although I’m really sore I feel good. I picked out one of the days from the HELP guide and decided to meal prep that day for five straight days. After these past four days it seems like I’m eating a lot of food every day, but I’m strictly eating only what the recipes tell me to. I just don’t want to gain any weight…

  • Katie November 2, 2016 at 11:48 pm

    Hi! Do you find the BBG recipe portion sizes too big? I feel more comfortable using around 75% of the quantities specified on the guide.

  • simone November 9, 2016 at 2:07 pm

    Do you think the KI H.E.L.P nutrition guide will work for me as a woman who is 30 years of age?? I would like to think it would however at the beginning of the guide it says it was created for Kayla’s target market of women aged 16-25 years : – /

    • Honestly Fitness November 9, 2016 at 2:33 pm

      I think it works for anyone of any age. I think the biggest variable is your height honestly. This guide is well designed for someone around 5ft5 (based on average calories of the plan) but would be too little food for someone taller. And too much food for a shorter woman!