If you’re a true Bachelor fan, you probably already know that villain/fan favorite from Arie’s season Krystal Nielson has her own Online Fitness Program. If not, then Susan and Emily question your commitment to stalking these contestants post-show. How dare you. Not only have Susan and Emily closely been following Krystal’s Insta and Twitter (oh how we hate Chris R. but also… they look so happy together? The world is a confusing place), but they have been considering attempting her fitness and meal plan.
So When Krystal’s special Fit For The Holidays plan was announced, Susan and Emily, two Bachelor fans who are also super enthusiastic about their health and fitness, had to try it out. How did it go, you ask? Well. We are here to give you the rundown. Illustrated with Bachelor gifs, of course.
Emily: So Fit for the Holidays was a 3 Week Plan that was meant to get us through the weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas. The plan includes weekly meal plans and workout plans, live videos with Krystal herself, and an online community to chat with about how the program is going. So how did it go?
Susan: I started out really motivated. I was about three weeks post-half marathon, so I hadn’t been running much and was needing to get back into some other kinds of workouts besides long distance running. I generally like HIIT style workouts, and that’s what TBG focuses on, so I was down for that. I was especially excited about the meal plan because monitoring that stuff on my own never works out for me. I’m good at keeping up with working out, but meals are a whole other ballgame.
Emily: Same. I literally teach fitness classes, so I feel like I have a handle on the whole working out thing. But I do love food a lot, so that’s kind of where my hopes and dreams of being a hot fitness model crash and burn, basically. I was excited to try Krystal’s HIIT workouts, but honestly for working out, I’m a big fan of Fitness Blender, fam. I love their workout plans, and I also love that they come out with FREE workout videos on YouTube on the regular. Seriously, can’t say enough great things about them. So yeah, basically, the main thing I was excited about were the meal plans and the accountability of doing a plan with other people. And of course, Bachelor fangirling. I can’t stress that enough. Both of us are Bachelor fangirling a bit here.
Susan: Coach Krystal did a Facebook Live “call” in the Facebook group to kick things off, and her enthusiasm really is pretty contagious. One thing I loved in the beginning was the idea of the “power hour,” where you spend one hour a day fully dedicated to you. You can use it for anything, really, as long as it’s all about yourself. I tend to have more productive days the earlier I wake up, so I did mine first thing in the morning. For the first week of the program, I used my morning power hour to get in my workout, actually make a good breakfast and sit down to eat it (usually while watching some Netflix on my laptop), and take a relaxing bath instead of a rushed shower before work. I did feel really good when I did this, and I think I was set up to have much better days at work too.
Emily: Agreed, I loved the idea of the power hour, and when I actually did it, I felt awesome. This is something I want to do more often. One of my favorite things Krystal told us in that first Facebook Live “call” was that starting your day off right means NOT HITTING THE SNOOZE BUTTON. She explained to us that when you set your alarm, you’re making a promise to yourself that you’re going to get up at a certain time. When you don’t get up after that alarm goes off, you’re already setting yourself up to break promises to yourself throughout the day. So honestly, that was one of my biggest takeaways from this entire experience. What did you think of the meal plan?
Susan: The meal plan was mostly ok, but I found the grocery list was just way too much food for one person. If you had a roommate to do this plan with, you’d be in a better spot with that grocery list. I felt like I was wasting food (and money) as the end of week one rolled around. There are some spots for leftovers factored into the plan, but I still couldn’t eat all the food. You also get one “holiday” day, where you can do whatever you want (within reason) and there is no workout scheduled. There are a couple of spaces for “guilt-free” cheat meals, a concept that was lost on me because I rarely feel guilty about occasional indulgence. So my cheat meals were like REALLY cheating.
Emily: Yeah, that was 100% my experience as well. At first, I saw the meal plan, and I was like, “Okay, this is doable.” On the first day, I started off with the green power smoothie, which was delicious and I’m incorporating this into my breakfast repertoire from here on out. So second biggest takeaway: the green power smoothie FOR SURE. I’m vegetarian and don’t eat dairy either, so a lot of the other things on the meal plan required so many modifications that they barely resembled the original recipe that it was based on. And you’re right, it’s way too much food. I didn’t make it through all of my Week 1 food before Week 2 rolled around, so I actually just ended up using Week 1 groceries for two weeks straight. Which, you know, worked for me because I’m a grad student and poor af.
Susan: I threw a Hanukkah party at the end of Week 1, so I had two pretty solid cheat days as I ate and drank the night away and then nursed a hangover the day after. But I started Week 2 pretty much ready to go again. Until I saw the the Week 2 meal plan. Enter: Intermittent fasting.
Emily: Yeah, fuck Intermittent Fasting.
Susan: Now, I’m sure some people love IF and it works really well for them. I, however, have a particular digestive condition that makes fasting (or even just not eating for several hours straight) sometimes problematic. I take medication for this each morning with food, so for several reasons, I knew IF wasn’t for me. This isn’t a “don’t knock it till you’ve tried it” thing; I even have to make adjustments on holidays like Yom Kippur that require a fast. Fasting just is not good for me personally.
Emily: I also think it’s dangerous to recommend intermittent fasting to a wide range of people on the Internet that you don’t know. Aside from physical health issues, a lot of people deal with or have dealt with disordered eating. It’s just not across the board safe for everyone for a whole myriad of reasons, and yet within the group and in Krystal’s own messages, I felt like I was made to feel guilty or like I wasn’t really playing along with the plan if I didn’t fast along with everyone else.
Susan: Yes. The TBG Live Facebook group devolved into mostly fasting discussions instead of the fun motivational posts from Week 1. And the worst part: When I asked the group what alternative options people were doing if they couldn’t fast, I got a fake health lesson from a girl who for some reason was very invested in the idea that I should fast. It was truly odd. It felt like the opposite of support and more like she was telling me I didn’t know my own damn body, which was irritating to say the least.
Emily: This is kind of where I shut down, honestly. Looking at the meal plan, I realized that a lot of these meals are things that I could figure out myself just by searching around Pinterest. Generally, I do know how to eat healthy, and I don’t know that I need to pay someone to find Pinterest recipes for me. Week 2 is where I kind of became disillusioned with this whole plan.
Susan: The intermittent fasting left some big gaps in the meal plan where I needed to find my own meals, and I was able to find a couple of paleo-friendly dishes to make, but I still wished I had just had the guidance of the Week 1 plan. I still enjoyed the workouts in Week 2, but I’m a little ashamed to say that I too got super disillusioned with the whole thing mid-week because I felt the group dynamic had shifted a bit. I just wasn’t as excited to share stuff with them or crowdsource questions after that, so I didn’t really check the group or stay involved any further on Facebook.
Emily: Yeah, same. I no longer thought of them as my peers or people I could trust because clearly they were on a different wavelength. I asked about vegetarian modifications to see what other people were doing, for instance, and I got some pretty basic and/or unhealthy suggestions.
Susan: At the end of Week 2, I went to another holiday party, but here’s what really stopped me: I got sick. And I stayed sick from Saturday night - Monday evening. I never even bought the groceries for Week 3. I mostly just ate bland food and soup even for a few days after, and I didn’t work out. Even when I felt better, I didn’t get back on board for the remaining days. I totally just outright did not do Week 3.
Emily: Ugh, I hate that for you. I don’t have a good excuse for not doing Week 3. I was just annoyed with the whole program honestly, and since I didn’t have my FFTH buddy Susan with me to push me to do it, I said fuck it and gave it up. What I learned from doing this plan: I know more about fitness and meal planning than I thought I did, and maybe I can just do this on my own after all. With the help of Fitness Blender and Pinterest, I mean.
Susan: I feel a little bad judging the overall program for effectiveness when I missed an entire week. I am sure I would have had better results if I’d stuck to it, but after Week 2, I didn’t have the motivation to push through an obstacle anymore. I will say that if I’d known the program would have such a focus on intermittent fasting, I would not have paid for this. I think it only got added into week 2 because so many people in the group were asking about it. Before that, there was zero talk of this being part of the meal plan. Even if there was just an alternative meal plan for people who can’t fast for physical or mental health reasons, that would have been better.
Emily: Oh wow, you think she added it in later? I didn’t even think of that.
Susan: Overall, I’d be willing to try another Coach Krystal program, but I might stick to ones that just focus on the HIIT workouts and skip the meal planning. After learning what you should and shouldn’t eat, I think finding recipes on my own (and in better portions) might be more feasible now. I do love that the program comes with a built-in group of supporters and offers a sense of accountability, so I’d be open to giving another program a shot.
Emily: I don’t think I would be willing to give this another shot. I feel like I was paying more for the celebrity aspect than I was paying for a legit meal plan. The workouts she shared were super old too, which makes me think that she likely doesn’t offer new workouts for each plan. Fitness Blender’s workout plans are much better, and I actually trust that those guys know what they’re talking about. With that being said, I do think that Krystal’s plans are probably great for some people, and clearly they are working for a lot of people; however, between my vegetarian lifestyle and the knowledge I already have about fitness and nutrition, this plan didn’t do a lot for me.