Piyo Diet & Workout Review

In a world full of fad diets and the promise of miracle treatments, the Piyo Diet came with a solid reputation and solid scientific principles behind. Created by fitness guru Chalene Johnson in 2014, the Piyo Diet and Workout 8-week program took the world by storm and today, many celebrities swear by it.

When it comes to weight loss, we would do about anything to lose some pounds and trim down belly fat, while we strengthen our bodies and reshape ourselves into excellent health. From this point of view, the Piyo Diet and Workout program makes some interesting promises. Today, we will see if the program also delivers the results that we expect.

What is the Piyo Diet and Workout Program?

The Piyo workout program is spiking the interest of people who want to lose weight. It represents a mix of Pilates and Yoga (hence the name) that put little strain on the body and suits people who are not experts in fitness. Chalene Johnson tailored the program on an eight weeks span. You can do it at home and all you need is a mat.

Since the Piyo workout mixes Pilates and Yoga, you can easily understand that the program is mild even for people with joint and muscle problems. It does not involve painful moves, strength training, or jumps, but follows the common principles of the two workouts: flow, breath, concentration, centering, precision, and control. In other words, you will use your own body to lose weight and shape your muscles.

How is the Program Supposed to Work?

If you want to follow the program, you should know it comes with workout DVDs and meal plans. When it comes to calories and eating, the Piyo diet follows a simple idea: each person needs to calculate his or her own unique caloric needs, as one size certainly does not fit all. A person who needs 3000 calories a day will starve and get sick by eating only 1200 calories a day.

From this point of view, the Pyio Diet takes dieting a step further: you can use the calculator to count YOUR caloric baseline and find out how many calories you should eat a day so you can lose weight without endangering your health.

Next, based on the foods (we will discuss this a bit later) you should eat during the program, you can tailor your own eating plan, depending on the number of calories you learned you need to eat each day.

In parallel, you should follow the DVDs and engage in the Pilates-meets-Yoga exercises to get into shape and have some fun as well.

The Science behind Piyo Diet and Workout

The two workouts are similar in many ways, and the Piyo workout brings the best of both worlds: the flexibility and stretching abilities promoted by Yoga and the muscle strengthening and shaping promoted by Pilates.

The Piyo diet works on a principle we all know already – and has positive results – calories counting, with a twist. According to recent studies, it is not enough to just count calories and keep them on the low side. The quality of foods you eat seem to matter more than the actual number of calories.

The new scientific answer to weight loss is that calories are not equal in your body, and they say nothing about the nutritional content and value of the food. The best approach to proper, long-term, healthy weight loss is proper diet and exercise, among other lifestyle changes, which may include smoking and alcohol quitting and stress coping mechanisms.

This is where the Piyo Diet and Workout program ups the ante of classic diets: the eating plan in the Piyo program follows the new nutritional and medical discoveries of our times. In other words, it focuses on the quality of foods as well, not only on the quantity.

The Piyo Diet proposes we consume a limited number of calories but ones that come from six main categories of foods:

  • Primary vegetables (leafy greens and low calorie vegetables);
  • Secondary vegetables and grains (potatoes, rice, oatmeal, quinoa, etc.);
  • Fresh fruit
  • Lean protein
  • Healthy fats (avocado, nuts, seeds, coconut, etc.)
  • Free foods (scented herbs, seasonings, spices, and unsweetened coffee or tea etc.).

Does the Program Work?

The short answer to this question is YES – but with a few amendments. In order to understand better the strengths and weaknesses of the program, we will talk in terms of pros and cons for some of its main components.

The Pros of the Piyo Diet

  • The diet has scientific merit by promoting healthy and high-quality foods instead of just imposing you to eat a limited number of calories;
  • The diet is realistic for busy people who want to follow a diet/workout program at home;
  • The diet works great with foods you can easily find at grocery stores and organic markets;
  • You can even adapt your diet if you eat out at a restaurant, as you will surely find fish, veggies, and fruits on restaurant menus;
  • You can easily count calories and track foods on a list you can print;
  • The diet does not force you to count the calories to a tee, but round the numbers, being thus a little more realistic than other diets of its kind;
  • The diet allows for a wide variety of foods to eat, the restrictions being negligible if you are serious about the weight loss;
  • The diet teaches you plenty about your basic caloric needs, your maintenance calories, and the correct ways to calculate such parameters, offering you a long-term skill you can use and apply in the future as well;
  • The diet is versatile in the sense that it offers various eating plans in accordance to your daily caloric threshold;
  • You can prepare delicious meals for you and your entire family without feeling the frustration of more rigid diets;
  • The eating plan has the potential to become a lifestyle and not just a diet plan.

The Cons of the Piyo Diet

  • The plan offers you one or two example menus, you being the one to decide what to eat, when, and how many times; many people prefer diets that clearly tell them what, how, and when to eat. In other words, you will have to make an effort in creating your menus and daily cooking plans.
  • The Pros of Piyo Workout

    • It mixes the benefits of Yoga and Pilates – exercises that you can do easily, without endangering the joints, muscles, or bones; as a corollary, the Piyo workout works well for all people of all weights and ages, as it is mild with the ones not versed in physical exercises and fitness programs.
    • The program promotes the muscle shaping of thorough Pilates training;
    • You will lose some weight if you follow the workouts as indicated;
    • You will learn more than just some exercises, you can transfer them to your everyday life and turn them into a lifestyle; both Yoga and Pilates help you build resistance, relax, control breathing, tone, relax after a hard day’s work, and more.

    The Cons of Piyo Workout

    • Some of the exercises may seem too mild and thus lacked efficiency if you want to lose a lot of weight very fast;
    • If you would rather engage in vigorous training, with weights, fitness equipment, and hard training, the Piyo workout may not be for you.


    The Piyo Diet and Workout program is a healthy lifestyle choice to weight loss and body toning. It works better for beginners in physical exercises, as well as for people who want to trim down moderate body fat. One of the greatest benefits of the program is that you can turn it into a lifestyle and continue working out and eating healthy calories even together with the family.

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