What Is the 21-Day Fix Diet?
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 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.
- 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 ... I mean 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).
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 - if 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're 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 know how many containers I get to eat in a day?
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 four 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 2,300 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?
- 21 day fix quick-start container chart
This chart will show you an easy to understand chart of calorie range, and how many of each container is allotted daily for each of the 4 plans.
You may be a little overwhelmed and confused with the information. But there's still good news! It gets easier. The first few days are hard. There are a ton of resources out there on the Beachbody website, some awesome blogs, and 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.
Autumn Calabrese Meal Tracker and Grocery List
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
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