Updated: Oct 20, 2019
What Exactly Is The 21 Day Fix?
The 21 day fix is a portion controlled eating plan, developed by Autumn Calabrese for Beachbody. 21DF (as "fixers" like to call it) encourages a focus on nutritious, whole, clean, and unprocessed foods in appropriate portion sizes. No food group is eliminated, and each portion is measured out in a handy, color-coded container. For the most recent list of what is allowed, check out the updated printable list on My Crazy Good Life. Recently, the program has been updated and is now called the Ultimate Portion Fix.
· Red is for protein.
· Green is for vegetables.
· Purple is for fruit.
· Yellow is for carbohydrates.
· Blue is for healthy fats.
· Orange is for seeds, nuts, and dressings.
· Teaspoons are for oils, nut butters, and approved sweeteners (honey, molasses, maple syrup, agave, and stevia).
21DF also provides a daily 30-minute workout video to help you lose weight, tone, and firm. There are 7 moderate intensity workouts - one for each day of the week. There's also a bonus ab workout if you are a glutton for punishment looking for an extra boost. While the workouts are challenging and important, it is possible to do the program without incorporating workouts if you have physical limitations (bad knees, mobility issues, heart problems, etc). If you can do the workouts, I'd strongly suggest that you do them. There are modifiers that you can use to accommodate your needs. Modifiers don't make the workouts less challenging, but they can help you adjust to exercising. If you can't handle the workouts yet, just do what you can. Every little bit counts, even if it's adding a walk into your daily routine. Beachbody has a streaming subscription service that offers a lot of different workout plans. If the 21 DF workouts aren't your speed, then try a different program! I loved a pilates/yoga combination that was easy on my joints while allowing me to increase my flexibility a little bit (both areas that are affected by my chronic illness). There's also dance programs that let you have fun while working out.
Another key aspect of the program is to drink enough water daily. Fixers should aim to drink at least half of your body weight in ounces of water every single day. I know, it sounds impossible. For someone weighing 160 lbs, they would be drinking 10 (8 oz) glasses of water a day. But trust me, it is possible.
This program works, as long as you stick to it. It isn't hard to commit to something for 21 days, right? That's how long it takes to make a habit - only 3 weeks! And if you're anything like me, after the 21 days are over, you'll be ready to start another round. It keeps getting better. Once you reach a weight/size/shape that you're happy with, then comes the maintenance plan, which involves changing the number of containers you are allotted daily.
How Do I Figure Out My Containers?
This is based on your weight and what your specific needs are.
· For weight loss: your current weight x 11 = your baseline calories. Baseline calories + 400 = your daily caloric needs. Daily caloric needs - 750 = the amount of calories you should be aiming for.
· For weight gain: your body weight x11 = your baseline calories. Add 900 to this for the amount of calories you should be aiming for.
· For maintenance: your current weight x11 = your baseline calories. Add 400 to this number for the amount of calories you should be aiming for.
There are six plans that suit everyone, no matter your starting weight. As your weight changes, your plan will change as well. But no plan goes under 1,200 calories daily (not enough calories to function properly over a long period of time), and no plan goes over 2,800 calories per day. The number of calories you are aiming for determines which plan you will be on, and dictates how many of each container you eat in a day.
How Many Containers Do I Get In A Day?
You'll get a different number of each type of color-coded container (which denotes the various food groups) based on which plan you are in.
Plan A: 1,200-1,499 calories - you'll get 4 green (veggie) containers, 2 purple (fruit) containers, 4 red (protein) containers, 2 yellow (carb) containers, 1 blue (healthy fat) container, 1 orange (seeds and dressings) container, and 3 teaspoons of oil.
Plan B: 1,500-1,799 calories - you'll get 4 green (veggie) containers, 3 purple (fruit) containers, 4 red (protein) containers, 3 yellow (carb) containers, 1 blue (healthy fat) container, 1 orange (seeds and dressings) container, and 4 teaspoons of oil.
Plan C: 1,800-2,099 calories - you'll get 5 green (veggie) containers, 3 purple (fruit) containers, 5 red (protein) containers, 4 yellow (carb) containers, 1 blue (healthy fat) container, 1 orange (seeds and dressings) container, and 5 teaspoons of oil.
Plan D: 2,100-2,299 calories - you'll get 6 green (veggie) containers, 4 purple (fruit) containers, 6 red (protein) containers, 4 yellow (carb) containers, 1 blue (healthy fat) container, 1 orange (seeds and dressings) container, and 6 teaspoons of oil.
Plan E: 2,300-2,499 calories - you'll get 7 green (veggie) containers, 5 purple (fruit) containers, 6 red (protein) containers, 5 yellow (carb) containers, 1 blue (healthy fat) container, 1 orange (seeds and dressings) container, and 7 teaspoons of oil.
Plan F: 2,500-2,800 calories - you'll get 8 green (veggie) containers, 5 purple (fruit) containers, 7 red (protein) containers, 5 yellow (carb) containers, 1 blue (healthy fat) container, 1 orange (seeds and dressings) container, and 8 teaspoons of oil.
You may already be thinking that this is a lot of food to eat. It definitely feels like that at first, but you're really just fueling your body properly. Have you ever started a diet and felt so hungry after the first few days that you couldn't stick to it? I promise that you won't have that problem on 21 day fix. If anything, you may struggle to eat all your containers at first. But it is important to try to eat all the allotted portions. Your body needs all of the nutrients you'll get from eating this way.
You may be a little overwhelmed and confused with the information. But there's good news! It gets easier. The first few days are hard. There are a ton of resources out there on the Beachbody website, plenty of awesome blogs, and great groups on Facebook. The easiest way to succeed on 21DF is to plan, plan, and plan some more. Even after multiple rounds, I've found that developing a weekly menu plan is what works best for me. Someone once told me that failing to plan is the same as planning to fail. 21 days means only 3 meal plans to write. Writing meal plans isn't your strong suit? There's only about a zillion prewritten meal plans for each level. Don't believe me? Google "21 day fix meal plan" - you'll see! In the beginning, I would troll blogs and find meal plans, and mix and match to suit my tastes - I'm kind of a picky eater, and finding kosher meals was tough. But now that I'm an old hand at this, I tend to make a few new recipes a week and stick to some tried and true favorites.
My Favorite Resources
My Crazy Good Life - Becca has a lot of information that can help you learn about the 21 Day Fix program. She's always compiling updated food lists and printable resources, and she has really tasty recipes too! This is definitely a great place to start.
Confessions of a Fit Foodie - Nancylynn is another genius in the kitchen. She has some seriously incredible recipes and comes up with weekly meal plans, which is especially helpful for people who are new to the program or may not have time to write out a meal plan each week. A lot of her recipes are gluten free and/or dairy free.
Carrie Elle - Carrie is the queen of planning. She has a ton of printable resources for meal planning (and pretty much any other kind of planning you can think of). If that wasn't enough, she also has some seriously delicious recipes. On top of that, she also has some weekly meal plans available.
The Foodie and the Fix - This is another awesome resource. There are recipes galore, and there are gluten free, dairy free, and vegan options as well. She has plenty of tips and tricks to offer, and even has sections for things like Halloween, or recipes for when you're short on time.
There's a ton of recipes out there for 21 DF, but these four are my go-to blogs. I've gotten to know each of these four ladies, and they know their stuff. I relied pretty heavily on these blogs when I first started, and many of my favorite recipes came from here. They're still in rotation on my weekly menus even now.
If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask!
If you want to purchase the Beachbody program, you can head over to this site and search for the Ultimate Portion Fix. You’ll also get a coach who can help you learn about the program and help to motivate you on the journey.
If you don't want to do that, you can always just purchase the containers to focus on the nutrition.
This post uses affiliate links and I will receive a small commission for purchases made through my links at no additional cost to you.
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