Chances are, you’ve probably seen those colorful little containers flooding infomercials and social media. They are a vital component to a diet called the 21 Day Fix by Beach Body, which claims its followers can lose up to 15 pounds in 21 days.
And if you’re not into giving up pasta, counting points, or using a food scale, but still want to see results, this diet may be a great option for you.
The 21 Day Fix is a well-rounded plan that emphasizes clean eating, portion control, and exercise. That means more portions of vegetables, protein, and fruit, and smaller amounts of fats and carbs. But it’s important to note that nothing is completely off limits — not even wine! Coupled with the meal plan are a DVD series of 30 minute workouts, all led by the program’s designer and celebrity trainer, Autumn Calabrese.
But why 21 days? The concept behind it is that it takes 21 days to form long-term healthy habits. For most, the diet is a reality check at first. That’s because it demonstrates two very important things. The first is how much many of us overeat and the second is a lesson on the amount of food someone can consume in one day (a lot!) and lose weight, providing that good choices are made. Read on to get the complete scoop.
21 Day Fix Diet Plan Basics and Rules
The 21 Day Fix comes with portion control containers, all color coded to correspond to different food groups. Purple and green containers are each 8 ounces and are for fruits and vegetables, respectively. There’s also a protein container (red) that holds 6 ounces, a carbs container (yellow) that holds 4 ounces, a healthy fats one (blue) that holds 2.5 ounces, and a nuts and seeds container (orange) that holds 1 ounce. The idea is that if your food can fit in its proper container, your portion size is correct.
The number of portions you get in a day is calculated based on your starting weight. To figure it out, multiply your weight by 11, then add 400. This is your caloric need, but in order to lose weight, you’ll want a deficit. So your final step is to deduct 750. The result will place you in a specific calorie bracket which then tells you how many portions to eat, and of what to hit your goal. For example, a person with a starting weight of 140 pounds would be allotted approximately 1200 calories per day (140 x 11 + 400 – 750 = 1190). That would equate to the following:
- 4 green containers (veggies)
- 4 red containers (protein)
- 3 purple containers (fruit)
- 2 yellow containers (carbs)
- 1 blue container (fats)
- 1 orange container (nuts, seeds, dressing)
Water is another key part of the program. Followers are encouraged to drink at least 8 glasses daily, though more is even better! It is very common to unknowingly confuse thirst for hunger, so this component of the program helps to combat that. As a result, many followers report actually having trouble eating all of their food because there’s too much of it.
Getting Started With The 21 Day Fix
Since you aren’t eliminating any food groups, the 21 Day Fix is easy to adapt to your existing lifestyle. If you were previously eating a bowl of cereal with milk for breakfast and feeling hungry an hour or two later, it’s because cereal isn’t very filling on its own, and most provide little to no nutritional value. Instead, try rolled oats (1 yellow container) with some berries (1 purple container), and turkey bacon (1 red container). You’ll stay full an awful lot longer.
Overall, it’s a pretty simple diet to follow, but there are a few little ‘rules’ to also keep in mind. Think of these things as getting the best caloric bang for your buck. For example, followers can choose from enjoying 2 whole eggs or 8 egg whites only. Both equate to 1 red container.
Things to Keep In Mind Before Starting The 21 Day Fix
A healthy weight loss rate is up to 2 pounds per week, and the more you have to lose, the faster it will start to come off. So don’t be disappointed if you don’t lose the full 15 pounds in 3 weeks. Remember that’s the maximum weight loss rate.
Food prep is incredibly important for this plan, so make sure to set aside some time for that. It doesn’t have to be super time consuming; you can even buy convenience cut fruits and veggies to make life a little easier. It might help to first find some fix-friendly recipes that pique your interest and build your grocery shopping list off that.
21 Day Fix Diet Plan Menu
It almost sounds like an oxymoron; a diet that has so much food it seems almost impossible to eat it all. But it happens. Try incorporating some fruit and veggie smoothies in as snacks or with breakfast. Or both! Combinations that include things like spinach, blueberries, and apples are super tasty. A typical day for someone weighing 140 pounds can look like this.
- 8 scrambled egg whites (1 red)
- 1 slice of whole wheat toast (1 yellow)
- ½ fruit/veggie smoothie (½ purple, ½ green)
- Plain nonfat Greek yogurt (1 red)
- Mixed berries (1 purple)
- Sunflower seeds (1 orange)
- 3 turkey roll ups with each one containing 2 slices of turkey deli meat and a small spoonful of avocado wrapped in lettuce (1 red, 1 blue)
- 1 cup of baby carrots (1 green)
- ½ fruit/veggie smoothie (½ purple, ½ green)
- Whole wheat pasta (1 yellow)
- Mixed veggies (1 green)
- Grilled chicken breast (1 red)
- ½ banana lightly drizzled with honey (1 purple)
Grocery Shopping List
A good rule of thumb for 21 Day Fix followers is to fill a shopping cart with items found primarily in the perimeter of the supermarket. Here are a list of items you can add:
- Fresh fruit (any kind)
- Fresh vegetables (any kind)
- Healthy fats like nuts and avocado
- Lean protein such as chicken breasts, pork, and turkey
- Lean cuts of steak and chopped meat
- Deli meat (*look for one with minimal to no fillers)
- Fresh fish/shellfish
- Nut butters (*make sure there are no added ingredients)
- Nonfat or 1% plain greek yogurt
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Whole wheat pasta
- Whole wheat bread
- Skim or nut-based milks (i.e. almond milk)
- Cheese (any)
- Natural sweeteners like honey, agave, and pure maple syrup
Does The 21 Day Fix Diet Work?
- The 21 Day Fix places a heavy emphasis on eating clean, whole foods, which will naturally keep you feeling full for a longer period of time. So the chances of actually getting hungry while on the diet aren’t likely.
- By cutting back on processed foods, you’re naturally reducing the amount of refined sugars so you’ll be less likely to crave sweets.
- Because you’re not eliminating anything out of your diet entirely, the chances of feeling deprived are very minimal. That naturally makes the 21 Day Fix seem less like a “diet” and more like a manageable lifestyle.
- Eating out is a snap because nothing is off limits — just be mindful of your portion sizes. Restaurants are notorious for serving huge portions.
21 Day Fix Reviews
“After the birth of my second son, I was struggling to get the baby weight off. Between a full-time teaching job and two kids, taking care of me just kept getting put on the back burner.
But then I learned about the 21 Day Fix. I didn’t know how to lose 5 pounds in a week. At first I was in shock by how much my portions were off and — I’m not going to lie — after seeing the sizes of the containers that came with the program, I worried that I’d be hungry. I jumped right into the diet portion, and I quickly saw I was wrong. I wasn’t hungry. Actually, I had a hard time getting all of my food in.
The hardest part was probably cutting down on carbs. I was eating more than I should’ve been, but I got used to sticking to two servings a day pretty quickly. It was just as hard to workout. It took awhile for me to break open those DVDs. But eventually I made myself a priority for 30 minutes a day and I was hooked!
The weight came off steadily, and I never felt deprived. I started taking out pants that hadn’t fit me in years which motivated me to work even harder! My goal was to get back to my wedding weight and I did it! I still enjoy treats like pizza and ice cream cake, but the 21 Day Fix taught me how to incorporate them in with zero guilt.
This diet really is a lifestyle. I love how I feel, and love that I never had to eliminate my favorite foods. I think that’s what makes it so sustainable for me.” – Michelle L.
“I gave birth to a little girl in early 2016. I had no idea what to expect of my body afterwards, but what I did know is that I wasn’t comfortable taking pictures with my daughter because of how I looked. But as a vegan and nursing mom, I figured my options would be limited. I already don’t eat meat or dairy for ethical reasons, so cutting out other food groups wasn’t an option (plus I didn’t want to.) And since breastfeeding moms need extra calories to keep their milk supply up, the entire weight loss concept can get tricky. I was frustrated.
Then I found out about the 21 Day Fix. I learned that the diet can be catered to vegan, nursing moms so I figured let’s give it a shot. It took a little getting used to, mainly because I was shocked to discover how much I had been overeating, but I got the hang of portion control real fast and started seeing the weight come off.
The cool part is that I never, ever felt hungry. My baby was getting all of the milk she needed from me, so I didn’t have to worry about my supply. Plus I got more energy and just felt better overall by eating clean — and as any new mom will tell you, that’s invaluable. I even got back to my pre-pregnancy weight after several months!
It’s been a year since I hit my goal and I am still going strong. I learned what a proper portion size looks like so I don’t even need to use my containers anymore. And taking pictures with my daughter is one of my favorite things to do.” – Nicole S.
As you can clearly see, the 21 Day Fix takes the guess work out of portion control and calorie counting, making it one of the easiest diets to follow. By committing yourself for those 21 days (very similar to the military diet), you can completely reset your way of thinking about and viewing food. You’ll start to look at it as a tool to nourish and fuel your body and likely lose a few pounds in the process. So, what are you waiting for?! You know you love those cute little containers!