This is part two in my 21 Day Fix series!
I have officially made it through the first week of the 21 Day Fix! (See my previous post here to learn what it's all about!) First thoughts: I absolutely love this program and know that it's going to change so many lives.
Even though it's marketed as a weightless program, it's also beneficial for relatively fit and active people who just want to shed the last couple winter pounds and build lean muscle.
(I wish I was really as tan as my bathroom lighting makes me appear)
My goals going into the 21 days were to maintain my weight while burning off the effects of Chiberia (read: wine, comfort food, wine), and also to get to know the program first hand so I can provide the best possible support to the women in my Challenge Groups! For the past seven days I have been 100% committed to the 21 Day Fix nutrition plan, and have been doing the 30 minute workouts that it comes with. NO additional cardio or exercise. I usually work out 45-60 minutes a day, so this has been a drastic decrease in my activity level, which just goes to prove that nutrition is KEY.
Week One Results
>Inches down: 2.5 mainly from my waist and hips
How it Works
Before you begin the program, you calculate how many calories you need to be eating per day in order to lose weight (or lean down) based on your weight and activity level. You're then placed in a calorie bracket and are assigned a certain number of each container to eat every day to meet that calorie range. I LOVE how you don't have to track calories yourself, and also how your calorie intake may fluctuate up to 300 calories a day--which seems so realistic!
I'm currently in the 1,200-1,499 calorie range, which means each day I eat 3 containers of veggies (green), 2 fruit (purple), 4 protein (red), 2 carbs (yellow), 1 healthy fat (blue), 1 seeds/oil (orange), and then 2 teaspoons of additional oil or nut butter. This is less than I usually eat, but my workouts on the 21DF haven't been as intense as my usual routine, and the plan is only for 21 days. If you have more than 15 pounds to lose, you are encouraged to continue on the meal plan for an additional round, since it's not a deprivation diet! I will return to my normal calorie levels once I'm done, but I will be keeping an eye on my portion sizes based on the routine I'm learning!
I have been sticking to the structure of the Tone It Up nutrition plan, which blends really nicely with the 21 Day Fix container method. Basically, on the 21 Day Fix you eat whatever normal healthy food you want as long as they fit in the containers. I have been focusing on sticking with the basics--no fancy recipes (sob), just whole foods. Lean protein, healthy carbs, and lots of veggies and fruit.
I usually use the containers to measure out my portions of food and then eat off a plate or bowl. The tiny orange container is perfect for bringing salad dressing to work though!
You are allowed "treats" and wine, but have to substitute a yellow (carb) container. I decided food was more important to me than wine, so I have pretty much eliminated alcohol from my diet for the duration of these three weeks. Luckily I don't have many social events planned this month, so it's been pretty easy for me to focus on sticking to my meals.
Shakeology--a superfood/protein meal replacement shake that comes with the program--is amazing. It's heavily promoted throughout the workout videos (which gets kind of old, although I am jealous of the Shakeology Bar in the background of the gym haha), but I really do believe it's an important component of the 21 Day Fix. Even though I'm eating less food than normal, I know that my body is getting all the vitamins and super foods it needs, and Shakeology really does satisfy my sweet tooth! I've been drinking the chocolate flavor, and it literally tastes like a combo between a Wendy's frosty and cold brownie batter. All the hype is true.
It is possible to eat out too :)
Things I have learned:
-The more prep work and planning you do at the beginning of the week, the smoother the sailing will be. I made a meal-by-meal plan on Excel and stuck it to my fridge so every morning during the frantic rush to get out the door I could see in a glance what I needed to pack for the day.
-Staying hydrated with lots of water is key to feeling full throughout the day!
-You are allowed 2 teaspoons of oil or nut butter every day. I've been saving my spoons for peanut butter straight out of the jar, which has saved me from energy crashes and also keeps me from feeling deprived.
-Distracting myself helps keep the snacking urge at bay
-KEEP TEMPTATIONS OUT OF SIGHT !!!
-This plan is not easy, but it is definitely do-able. You have to want something bad enough to commit 100%, and I want to conquer this challenge :)
I love the workouts!! They are circuit-style, like Jillian Michaels DVDs, and they are usually broken into sets of two moves that you repeat twice before moving on. There are seven different workouts and you are assigned to do a different one each day to make sure you're balanced and avoid injury. They include a mix of upper/lower body, pilates, yoga, cardio, and HIIT. LOTS OF AB WORK! Each workout includes a warmup and cool down, and is only 28-30 minutes total length. All you need is an exercise mat and a heavy and light set of dumbbells. I used a set of 5 pounds and a set of 10 pounds and I can easily do all the workouts in the 4'x8' space I have in our living room. I LOVE being able to push play and not have to over-think what I should do every day.
I would consider myself a fairly "advanced" fitness level, and was pleasantly surprised at how challenging the workouts are! Since I'm only exercising for 30 minutes a day I try to push myself as hard as possible.
That being said, the workouts are definitely beginner friendly as well. There are modifications for each move, demonstrated by a real woman, not another ripped fitness model.
What about husband/boyfriend/family?
Here's a question I've been getting a lot: is it hard to balance the plan with cooking for a partner or family? No! You're not eating weird "diet" food, you're just eating basic healthy whole foods and then using containers to portion out the proper serving size for yourself. Ben and I have breakfast and lunch "on our own." For dinner, I will simply cook extra food for Ben. For example, I might make a beef and veggie stirfry--Ben gets a large portion with rice, I eat a smaller portion with no rice if I've already eaten my carbs for the day. Honestly, it's not that hard!
So overall, I am a big fan of the 21 Day Fix. I can't wait to see how the next two weeks go! And yes, I am starting to think about my "Day 22" meal....haha.
To apply for my next 21 Day Fix Challenge Group,
I'd love to help you reach your fitness goals!
You can also email me with questions...I love to chat :)