Last week I began the 21 Day Fix and I’m loving it! What makes this experience even better are the people who decided to join me in a Challenge /Accountability Group. Over the years I learned that accountability partners are essential to success, so organizing one and watching people succeed is just full of awesomesauce!
The aspect of the 21 Day Fix that intrigued me the most was the color-coded, portion-control container system that it uses. I have really cleaned up my diet over the past 5 years but portion-control can still be an issue for me and believe it or not, you can overeat healthy foods. Crazy, right?!
Here is some basic information on the program for those of you who have never heard of it or are not sure about the details:
What is 21 Day Fix?
• A 21-day program of simple portion control and 30-minute workouts that anyone can do (there is an exercise modifier for every workout)
• Simple, fast weight loss—no weighing food or counting calories, carbs, or points
• You can potentially lose up to 15 pounds in 21 days
What makes 21 Day Fix unique?
• Portion-control containers take all the guesswork out of losing weight
• It’s the simplest way to control how much you eat
• 30-minute workouts that anyone can do and fit into everyone’s busy life
Who is the target audience?
Men and women who:
• Want to lose weight
• Don’t want to make long time commitments
• Have tried and failed at complicated diet plans
• Don’t want an extreme fitness program
• Are new to fitness, dieting, and weight loss
• Don’t like “off-limits” diet plans or deprivation
How does it work?
• The Eating Plan shows you how to use the portion-control containers
• Simply put your choice of food in the color-coded container—if it fits, you can eat it!
• Do one 30-minute workout per day according to the Fitness Guide
• Follow the simple plan, and you can lose up to 15 pounds in 21 days
One of the unique features of this program is that it involves no counting of any kind. Outside of a quick math equation to figure out your calorie level, you don’t have to worry about numbers…well…just how many of each colored container you are allowed to have daily. That means you will not need to worry about weighing your food, fat content, carbohydrate counts or calorie amount in the foods you consume during the plan.
Each color-coded container is used to measure a specific type of food. You can eat as much of that food as you can fit into that container and the amount of containers you are allowed for each color depends on that one, simple math equation that you use to calculate your calorie level. The container colors and their specific use are as follows:
- Blue—Healthy Fats and Cheese
- Orange (2)—Seeds and Oils
- Shakeology Shaker Cup—Drinks
In my opinion, the most important part of this nutrition program is being prepared. Meal Planning is key with the 21 Day Fix and I think Meal Prepping helps a lot, too. To keep my Challenge Group on track, I designed a meal planner, grocery list and color-coded cut out visual to help them plan their week with ease.
Another great tool are these colored sandwich bags that I found at Target. The come four colors to a box (Red, Yellow, Blue and Green) and are perfect for meal prepping. All you do is measure your food in the container and then put it into the colored bag to match. I do this with frozen veggies that I use in my omelets, rice and protein items so I have plenty of grab and go/grab and cook items on hand through out the week. I wish they had a Purple bag for my fruits, but I just use a clear sandwich bag for those. Another useful bag size to have are the snack size ones. These are perfect for storing nuts, seeds, flax and other items that go in the Orange container.
Included with this program is a 30-minute workout for each day of the week and the only additional items you need are dumbells or resistance bands and a yoga mat. If you order the program through a Beachbody Coach you also receive a Bonus Workout called Plyo Fix. The workouts are all challenging but nothing crazy like Insanity. There is a moderator in every workout, so you can either follow her if you are new to fitness or you always have the option of following the group for as long as you can and then switching to the modified move if you begin to get tired. I love this because it offers lots of room for growth and lets face it, not every workout is our best. Sometimes you are tired and not really into it, so while you need to give it your all during every workout, sometimes all you can give is the modified version and that’s okay…cause you’re moving and not just sitting on the couch watching TV and shoving chips into your mouth.
Total Body Cardio Fix
The Total Body Cardio Fix is a fast paced cardio workout that can be done with your own body weight or can also be done with weights and/or resistance bands to up the intensity. The 30 minutes include two exercises done for four rounds. There is a short 20 second rest period in between each round for recovery. The purpose of the Total Body Cardio Fix is to give you a whole body cardio workout while toning every muscle from head to toe.
The Upper Fix works the upper body, including arms, chest, shoulders and abs. You can use weights and resistance bands with this workout as well or you can simply use your own body weight. There are five exercises that will be done for two rounds with a 20 second rest period in between. You can expect to do push-ups, scissor twists, planks and presses, among others.
This workout focuses on the lower body, with a special focus on most women’s problem areas, the legs and buttocks. Once again, you will be doing two rounds of exercises with a rest period in between that is 20 seconds long. Everything from your calves to your buttocks will be sore after completing this 30 minute workout.
The Pilates Fix focuses mostly on floor exercises that include basic Pilates moves to strengthen your core, elongate your muscles and firm up your lower body.
The Cardio Fix is a workout based on High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) similar to Shaun T’s workouts in the Insanity and Focus T25 programs. It involves minute long bursts of very intense exercise with 20 second rest periods in between for recovery. Explosive, plyometrics moves such as skater jumps and box jumps are mixed with classics such as jumping jacks and push-ups to give you a sweat inducing, calorie torching workout for the entire 31 minute length of the DVD.
Although the Yoga Fix seems less intense than the others, it is by no means an easy workout. It involves plenty of stretching to help recover from the week of more grueling activity, and is to be done on the seventh day of the week in addition to one of the other videos.
In addition to the six workouts already included with the 21 Day Fix Program, you will also receive the Dirty 30 Workout to add to your fitness routine as a bonus gift. The Dirty 30 is similar to a CrossFit workout, and includes a variety of exercises that will be repeated for four rounds in order to help you carve out a leaner, stronger, more defined physique.
Bonus Workout: Plyo Fix
The Plyo Fix workout is a bonus. It does not come with the program unless it is purchased through Team Beachbody and can be done in addition to any of the daily workout videos on the 21 Day Fix workout schedule. It is filled with plyometric exercises that help improve overall strength and stamina.
As you can see there is a lot of tools included with this program. The information given in this post is based on the Essential Pack. There is also the Challenge Pack which includes all of the above plus Shakeology at a discounted price and 30 Days of Club Membership for FREE (this gives you access to recipes and meal planning tools). The final option is the Ultimate Pack which comes with everything included in the Essential 21 Day Fix Pack, plus an insulated bag to store your food while on the go, two additional workouts, a large “on-the-go” container and a resistance band. The two additional workouts are Flat Abs Fix and Barre Legs. They can be done in addition to the other workout videos already included with the program in order to turn up the intensity throughout the week or as a change of pace.
So far I’m really enjoying this program and the results from week 1. When I weighed in I didn’t have any change in my weight, however I did lose 2 inches in my waist, 1.5 inches in my hips and .5 inches in each thigh! This is why it’s so important to take your measurements when you begin a new program. The scale does not and will not ever tell you the full story. I would hate to see someone step on the scale, not lose any weight and begin to beat themselves up or worse, quit over that. If you are following the program as laid out, sometimes you just have to trust the process and allow your body time to adjust. Measurements help to give a good insight as to what’s going on and are very important. If you don’t have a change in either weight or measurements, you may want to speak to your coach and tweak a few things to better suite your needs.
If you have done the 21 Day Fix, I would love to hear about your results. If you are interested in the program and would like more information, please feel free to contact me.