Why Everyone is Talking about the 21 Day Fix Diet

If you haven't heard about the 21 Day Fix, you will! Drop 15 pounds or more in just 3 weeks? Who doesn't want that?! This diet plan claims that it can do that every time, for everyone. This diet plan promises that you can have a beach ready, toned body in just 21 days, simply by combining this pre-measured eating plan and doing one 30 minute exercise plan each day.

No complicated gadgets, no daily weigh in's, just eat and exercise!

How Does it Work?

21 Day Fix ContainersNo calorie or point counting required. Instead, participants receive color coded containers that measure out your portions.

The basic idea behind the 21 Day Fix is that it takes that amount of time to create a new habit. The diet was actually invented by bikini competitor Autumn Calabrese. She designed it so that you marry a balanced, portion controlled diet with regular exercise. Autumn is a celebrity trainer and has worked with many of the most famous people on earth, like Rachael Zoe, Tom Bergeron, and Brooke Burke.

Although this might sound like every other diet plan in the world, this one does have a bit of a difference that most people find appealing.

There is no calorie counting, no point counting, no weighing food or measuring out half cups of this or a teaspoon of that.

Instead, participants receive color coded containers that measure out your portions.

  • One 8 ounce green container for vegetables
  • One 6 ounce red container for protein
  • One 8 ounce purple container for fruit
  • Two 1 ounce orange containers for seeds and salad dressings
  • One 5.3 ounce yellow container for carbohydrates,
  • One 2.7 ounce blue container for cheese and healthy fats
  • One shake cup for making protein shakes

The shake cup can be used for smoothies, vegetable juices, and fruit juices, in addition to the protein shakes.

How Much Can I Eat?

21 Day Fix Meal Planning Get your grocery shopping done TODAY. If you love planning meals in advance, this will be fun for you.

You start by calculating your own specific caloric needs. The best way to do this is to use on online 21 Day Fix Calculator.

Alternately, you can use this formula to find out how many calories you can consume to lose weight on this plan:

  1. Multiply your current body weight in pounds by 11. This is the number of calories you need to eat each day to maintain this weight. This number is called your "baseline" calories.
  2. Add 400 to your baseline calorie number. This is the number of calories you require daily, your daily caloric need.
  3. Now subtract 750. This is the number of calories you can eat each day on this plan and lose weight. This is your calorie target.

Now, based on your calorie target number, the plan will give you your daily container allowance.

For example, if you are somewhere in the 1,200 to 1,500 calorie range, you will get 3 green containers (veggies) full each day, two purple containers (fruit) full, 4 red containers (protein), two yellow containers (carbs) and 1 orange container (which is seeds and dressings), and 1 blue container for nuts and dairy.

21 Day Fix Container Allowance
  1,200 - 1,499 1,500 - 1,799 1,800 - 2,099 2,100 - 2,300
Veggies 3 4 5 6
Fruit 2 3 3 4
Protein 4 4 5 6
Starches + Carbs 2 3 4 4
Cheese + nuts 1 1 1 1
Dressings + seeds 1 1 1 1
Teaspoon 2 4 5 6

What You Can Eat

One thing to keep in mind is, if you can't fit it in the container, or if it isn't listed on the plan, you can't eat it. Actually, the list is quite extensive, a basic run down looks like this:

  • Vegetables: Kale, cabbage, snow peas, spinach, beets, broccoli, string beans, peppers, cauliflower, lettuce, cucumbers, radishes, onions, carrots, and tomatoes.
    Fruit: Berries of all kinds, watermelon, cantaloupe, oranges, apples, grapefruit, cherries, grapes, mango, peaches, pears, bananas, papaya, honeydew, pineapple, and nectarines
  • Protein: Chicken breast, turkey breast, sardines, eggs, yogurt (plain), lean beef, pork loin, tuna, cottage cheese, protein powders, and protein shakes.
  • Carbs: Sweet potatoes, steel cut oats, peas, refried beans, potatoes, corn, yams, beans, brown rice, wild rice, pasta, cereal, bread, waffles, pancakes, English muffins, bagels, and tortillas (all items must be whole grain)
  • Seeds and Oils: Flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, olives, peanuts, coconuts, extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, nut butters, seed butters, flax seed oil and walnut oil.
  • Nuts and Dairy: Avocados, coconut milk, feta cheese, goat cheese, mozzarella cheese, cheddar cheese, Monterey Jack cheese, Provolone cheese, peanuts, almonds, pecans walnuts, pistachios, and pecans.

The shake is a protein powder shake that counts as 1 red container.

What Is Not Allowed

The list above makes what you can't eat pretty self explanatory.

  • No sugar
  • Nothing that contains sugar such as cookies, ice cream, or sodas
  • No junk foods or snack foods, such as potato chips or pork rinds
  • Very limited dairy products
  • Very limited fried foods
  • No fast food meals

A Sample Meal Plan

  • Breakfast: A protein shake mixed with fresh berries
  • Snack: Plain yogurt with a fresh banana
  • Lunch: Steak salad, dressing, whole grain slice of toast, steamed veggies
  • Snack: Strawberries with shredded coconut
  • Dinner: Grilled fish with mixed steamed veggies, avocado
  • Snack: Cream of broccoli soup

The idea is to eat small meals often to stoke the fire of the metabolism and stop you from being hungry. If you should find that you are simply ravenous, it is recommended that you eat an extra serving of greens.

21 Day Fix Workouts

21 Day Fix Workouts

There are also seven, 30 minute workout plans, one for each day of the week. No, there is no day of rest for 21 days.

Workouts include:

  • Upper Fix – Which works out the upper body
  • Lower Fix – Which works out the lower body
  • Pilates Fix – Designed to work core muscles and elongate the torso
  • Cardio Fix – An intense cardio workout that will kick the metabolism in to super high gear for major calorie burning power
  • Yoga Fix – This improves flexibility and relaxes muscles to help keep them long and toned.

The workouts can be done in any order, so if the cardio is too difficult to complete on a workday, you can switch it to a weekend. However, this plan does not allow you to skip any of the workouts and expects you to do one every single day.

One of the nice things behind the workouts, however, is the modifiers. If you find a particular move too difficult or too easy, the plan shows you how to make the exercise easier for beginners and more difficult for those who are more advanced.

Why Not DIY?

Of course, you can purchase this online (at sites like Amazon) for $59.99 (plus shipping!) but why not simply do it yourself?

You won't find container dimensions online, but you can find containers that hold a certain amount of ounces and/or measurements.

  • The green container says it holds 8 ounces, which is approximately 1.25 cups
  • The purple container says it holds 8 ounces, or 1.25 cups
  • The red container says it holds 6 ounces, which is approximately ¾ of a cup
  • The yellow container says it hold 5.3 ounces, which is approximately ½ of a cup
  • The blue container says it holds 2.7 ounces, or ¼ cup
  • The orange container says it holds 1 ounce, which is about 2 Tablespoons

Of course, you can always buy the containers if you feel more comfortable, but having multiple containers will make your life simpler when planning ahead. You can set up several containers for two or three day’s worth of meals at one time.

You can find dozens of recipes and exercise tutorials online simply by using the words 21 day diet fix.

By the way, you don't have to eat out of the containers! These are simply measuring tools for you to use.

Pros and Cons

The whole container idea makes it kind of fun, especially in the beginning. If you are one of those super organized people who love planning meals in advance, this will be fun for you. If you already enjoy eating mostly healthy meals and cooking from scratch, you will also love this diet.

However, while containers are fun for a few days, they get old fast, especially if you don't like cooking or if you aren't the most organized person on the planet. Most of the meal plans are fairly difficult to make and can be expensive.

Others have said that they found the food portions way too small and workouts every single day for 21 days? Very few said they completed it without going off the exercise wagon.

However, everyone who stuck to the diet and exercise program did lose significant amounts of weight.

The Bottom Line

If you are the type of person who eats healthy most of the time, but have found yourself putting on a few pounds for one reason or another, the 21 Day Fix diet can put you back on track. The plan is fairly simple, very organized, and you simply can't make a mistake!

For others, this might be a good way to jump start a diet and exercise program. After 21 days, however, you should consider moving onto a more reasonable, longer range healthy eating plan that isn't so restrictive.