21 Day Fix rivals P90X when it comes to my favorite of all the Beachbody Programs, but it has the added bonus of being extremely time-efficient. On top of that, 21 Day Fix (and now several other Beachbody programs) comes with a nutrition plan that is guarantees that you will get your portions under control with use of color-coded containers.
Despite being really effective and easy to follow once you get the hang of it, the 21 Day Fix nutrition plan can be overwhelming at first. I want to help make it easier for you by explaining it in my own way.
What You Can Eat on 21 Day Fix
21 Day Fix is not a diet that eliminates entire food groups. It is not a cleanse. You shouldn’t feel starved – you should feel like you are making healthy, nourishing choices.
The 21 Day Fix plan comes with a nutrition guidebook which lists the allowed foods in each food group. The food groups are given a color which corresponds to a colored container that you will receive with your Challenge Pack.
The container colors with some examples of foods you can eat:
- Yellow – Carbs (Oatmeal, whole-wheat bread, quinoa, beans, lentils)
- Green – Vegetables (Squash, broccoli, etc).
- Blue – Healthy Fats (Avocado, nuts, cheese, hummus)
- Red – Protein (Chicken, lean beef, lean pork, tempeh, tofu, eggs, 1 scoop of Shakeology, greek yogurt)
- Purple – Fruit (Banana, strawberries, grapes, etc).
- Orange – Seeds (Pumpkin, etc), and salad dressing
- Tsps – Peanut butter or oil (Olive, coconut, etc). You provide your own teaspoon.
If you are vegetarian or vegan, certain foods which normally would be considered carbs can be considered protein, such as quinoa, lentils, and beans.
What You Can’t Eat on 21 Day Fix
Fried foods, ice cream, pastries, candy, butter, sour cream, mayonnaise, and soda are not included in 21 Day Fix. You may substitute one of your yellow containers for wine. You may drink coffee and tea but no processed creamer (my weakness!).
Calculating Your Container Allocation
Now that you know what you CAN eat, you need to figure out how much you can eat of it. The guidebook comes with a way to calculate your daily calorie intake. However, you will not be counting calories – that is what your containers are for! Your calorie allocation puts you into one of six calorie groups which then tells you the number of each color container you can eat per day.
The calculation if you want to lose weight and life a sedentary lifestyle (like most of us):
Current Weight x 11 = Caloric Baseline
Caloric Baseline + 450 = Caloric Need
Caloric Need – 750 = Calorie Target
For example, if you weigh 150 pounds the calculation is 150 x 11 = 1,650 + 450 = 2,100 – 750 = 1,350. 1,350 calories would put you in bracket one which means you get three veggies, two fruit, four protein, two carbs, one fat, one seed/dressing and two teaspoons. You know exactly how much of each food group to eat each day to get results (see the chart below).
Mapping It Out – 21 Day Fix Tracking Spreadsheet
Once you do 21 Day Fix for a while it will become second nature and you won’t need to map things out as much. But to start, it’s smart to map out generally what you will eat that week so that you can track it. I personally love Excel and I made a spreadsheet to help me keep track of my containers. I am sharing it with you with this google document (this is read only – you can save or download your own copy to use):
Drinking Shakeology on 21 Day Fix
While Shakeology is by no means a requirement for getting results with 21 Day Fix, I highly recommend it, which is why I ask each challenger to purchase a Challenge Pack, which includes both Shakeology and 21 Day Fix (on sale right now – you basically get the workouts for only $10). Shakeology is more than just a protein shake – it is a nutrient-dense, all natural super food shake. In addition to 16 grams of protein (and very little sugar!), it has 41 superfoods which enhance energy, boost immunity and improve moods. It also helps boost weight loss which will improve your results. I honestly believe in the product (I would NEVER recommend if it I didn’t) and really it deserves an entire post to itself.
Adding Containers for Breastfeeding or Running
If you are highly active on top of your seven 21 Day Fix workouts per week or you are breastfeeding, I recommend bumping yourself up at least one calorie bracket. For example, I fall into the lowest bracket but in order to get the fuel I need for training and breastfeeding, I move to the third calorie bracket (1,800-2,999 calories). I also recommend breastfeeding moms to add one extra blue container (fat).
If you are marathon or half marathon training, don’t be afraid to add a carb or two the day before your long run and never count your mid-run fuel (Gu, etc.) in your calories. In fact, I don’t track containers on long run days at all.
Are Cheat Meals Allowed on 21 Day Fix?
Your results are based on the work you put in. If you want to drop a significant amount of weight, I would not recommend more than one cheat meal for the entire 21 days. You can do it! 21 days will come and go and you will be so proud of the work you put in and have long forgotten about that forgone burger or ice cream. When I lost 8 pounds in the first four weeks of P90X, I only had one cheat meal.
However, if you are looking to tone up and lose a few pounds, one cheat meal a week is fine in my opinion. Technically the guidebook does not mention any cheat meals, but I personally think that it’s easier to be motivated to keep it up long term if you are giving yourself some slack. I have never stuck to the nutrition plan with 21 Day Fix 100% and I have still had great results. That being said, don’t go overboard and if you know that you’re more of a “all or nothing” person, then stick with the plan.
Sample 21 Day Fix Menu
Here’s a sample of what you can eat in the 3rd calorie bracket (1,800-2,099):
Breakfast: 3 eggs, 1 slice whole wheat bread with 2 tsp peanut butter and 1/2 banana
Snack 1: Grapes
Lunch: Green salad with chicken, strawberries, goat cheese and homemade dressing (oil, vinegar, dijon mustard)
Snack 2: Shakeology
Snack 3: Carrots and bell peppers
Dinner: 6 oz salmon baked with lemon, homemade sweet potato fries (2 yellow containers, oven roasted with olive oil and cinnamon), and asparagus (2 portions green)
What would be the most challenging part of following the fix for you? What questions do you have!?
I’d love to have you in my next Challenge Group which starts on September 19th! Please email me at fitnessfataleblog at gmail.com for more information and let’s get started!