So you just CRUSHED your first round of the 21 Day Fix.
Your sugar and junk food cravings are gone, you are FINALLY on a regular workout routine that gives you so much energy, you dropped a few pounds and feel lean and amazing in your favorite jeans, and you want to keep your momentum going but you're terrified of falling off the wagon, binging on pizza, spiraling back into your old habits and heading right back to square one.
Or maybe you really want to start incorporating more treats and balance back into your life so you can stop saying "pass the wine I'm out of yellows," but you aren't sure if that will completely de-rail you too.
Or maybe you haven't even tried the Fix yet but you've seen the cheesy yet weirdly addicting 21 Day Fix infomercials, or have been stalking my journey on social media and are curious about what the hype is all about.
Well, let's chat about what happens when you finish a round of the 21 Day Fix, because it IS possible to maintain your results, and continue to lose weight with subsequent rounds until you reach your goals. There's NOTHING standing in your way except your own mind, and you are never going back to the girl you were on Day 1. Or even yesterday. Once you make the decision to change your life, there's no going back!
I love love love this program for a billion reasons, and since I completed it myself back in March 2014 I've implemented the nutrition plan into my general daily life and pursuit of balance. I get asked all the time if this program is maintainable, and the answer is a big YES! If you are willing to do the work.
Why do I need the Fix?
Because you get to eat chocolate brownie pancakes and wine. Duh.
The 21 Day Fix is NOT necessarily a quick fix crash diet as the name implies, but rather a portion control system that emphasizes whole foods and a balanced approach to nutrition (plus the workouts are fast, fun, and unbelievably effective). The main reason why I love the program is because it does such an amazing job of providing structure and teaching you how to eat a healthy, balanced, whole-foods diet with room for flexibility and treats. You are in control of how many calories you eat so you don't have to restrict yourself.
(Read all my blog posts and reviews HERE!)
It’s not hard to learn how to eat right, but putting it into practice is a big challenge. How many times have you decided to “get back on track” or clean up your eating...only to return to the wine, and pizza the next time you have a draining day? (raises hand)
I’ve coached dozens of women through the 21 Day Fix in the last year and a half in my private accountability groups, and my mission is to first help them see and feel results fast, but then use those results as motivation to make deeper, lasting changes in their confidence and self worth so they can reach their healthy happy weight, stop dieting or obsessing about “fitness and nutrition plans” once and for all, and simply live their lives free from the emotional rollercoaster.
It’s impossible to fall off the wagon when the wagon is your LIFE.
I want to help women realize that healthy eating and working out are ways to honor your body and feel energized and vibrant, not means to an end. You aren’t a failure if you don’t lose X number of pounds, or if you made it through the 21 Day Fix perfectly...it’s more about how you feel about yourself on a day to day basis.
Even though the name of this program implies that it’s a quick fix, or that your lifestyle needs to be changed, I view it differently.
It's not about how many pounds or inches you can lose in three weeks. It's about taking 21 days to set HABITS you can maintain for the long haul, for long term results that will change your entire life, your confidence and self esteem from the inside out.
How I use the 21 Day Fix as a lifestyle plan
I use the Fix plan as a guideline to give me some structure and keep me on track. I don't use the containers to measure my food anymore, but I mentally track the containers I've eaten for each meal to make sure I'm eating enough veggies and the proper balance of carbs/fat/protein. I've definitely increased my healthy fats and treats now that I’m at a happy weight for my body and activity level, and I follow a higher maintenance calorie bracket. Whenever I feel like I'm falling off track or starting to get into mindless snacking habits, I just pay closer attention to my containers for a week or 2.
I've been able to maintain my results, gain MORE muscle, and I don't ever stress out about cheat meals or feel guilty about food anymore, it's amazing. Oh I also threw away my scale so that's helped too :)
I combine the portion control system with the Tone It Up nutrition plan guidelines, because it's a balanced way of eating that works for my body and makes me feel good!
How to maintain your 21 Day Fix results
1. IF YOU’RE STILL LOSING WEIGHT
Treat it like a LIFESTYLE, not a diet. This is the way you should be eating for the rest of your life! Focus on using it as a tool to make lifestyle shifts and establish healthy habits, not as a deprivation plan or competition to lose weight fast.
Strive for excellence, not perfection. Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t hit your containers perfectly, or fall off plan for a weekend. Just keep moving forward, and remember again, it’s not about how much weight you can lose in 3 weeks, it’s about how you can make sustainable lifestyle shifts.
ACCOUNTABILITY. Share your new lifestyle with your “real life” support system! Make sure your partner, family, friends, and co-workers understand your goals and values so they can be supportive. Eliminate negativity from your life...YOU are in control of what you think, what you eat, and how you feel. If you are one of my coaching clients, you're welcome in my long term accountability groups and challenges for as long as you need the support!
Get creative with your meals, and allow room for treats! Now that you've got the basics down, you can start looking for new fun recipes to try! I love Pinterest and Autumn's new cookbook Fixate.
2. ONCE YOU’VE REACHED YOUR GOAL WEIGHT
Use the maintenance plan in the nutrition guide to calculate how many calories you need to support your lifestyle. This is also great when you are training for a marathon or endurance event and want to make sure you’re properly fueling without over-eating or gaining weight!
Honor and respect your body and your energy. If you are doing intense workouts, make sure to bump up your calorie bracket so you’re giving your muscles enough fuel!
Learn how to eyeball the correct portion sizes, and use the containers a couple times a month to make sure you are not over-estimating :)
Keep drinking Shakeology everyday! It will ensure your body is not nutrient deficient, and supports a healthy digestive and immune system so you can nourish your body from the inside out. (Learn why I love it HERE!)
Here's my friend Melissa, who lost 50 pounds over the course of one year by implementing the 21 Day Fix portion control system into her normal life (with lots of wiggle room for treats, holidays, and living life. It's not about being perfect or eating 100% "clean" foods, but rather about making small and lasting healthy shifts in your habits and lifestyle so your body can gradually reach its natural weight.
The accountability factor
It’s really hard to decide and commit to making long term changes in your health, especially when not all your friends, family, and co-workers are supportive or understand your motivation. That’s where I come in as a coach! I provide the motivation and emotional support via one on one emails and private group coaching to put you in a positive environment with other women who are working towards the same goals, who understand where you’re starting and will lift you up along the way and help you grow into the woman you’re meant to be.
I'll be there for you to cheer you on for as long as you need me.
You have to commit to doing it right and you have to do the work. I will help you believe in yourself, encourage you to dream bigger and take a chance on something that has the potential to change your entire life. I take your journey seriously because it takes serious guts to believe you're worth this investment, especially if nothing else has ever worked for you before, or if you feel like you have 80% of your nutrition down but can't seem to feel the way you want.
You don't have to diet, restrict, or deprive yourself to change your life. You just embrace the ups and downs, focus on your INNER transformation and the process more than the end physical results, surround yourself with a support system of other women who will encourage you, and never. give. up.