I am not a “diet” person at all in fact, I still don’t believe “diets” work. I believe in eating real foods and making healthy lifestyle changes that are sustainable. For the most part, I feel I have a pretty healthy vegetarian diet that works well for me. I don’t count calories and I don’t weigh myself. So why did I try the 21 Day fix?
Why the 21 Day fix?
I had a rough summer where I just didn’t feel like myself for a while. A combination of hormonal changes, nagging minor injuries and being off schedule left me feeling kind of blah. My clothes were feeling a bit tighter and it was time to tweak things. I always think of September as a reset month. For me, it’s the perfect time to get back on track with schedules and meal planning. I am creature of habit and I crave my regular schedules.
When my friend, Nicole from FitnessFatale, suggested I join her 21 day challenge group, I was skeptical but decided to give it a try. 21 Day fix is part of the Beachbody umbrella which includes a full library of workouts as well as an eating plan based on color coded containers. You can read more about it on Nicole’s blog and also find much free info just by googling 21 Day fix.
Since I had reviewed some workouts for Beachbody in the past, I still had full access to the site including all the workouts and meal plans. I decided that I was only going to do the nutrition part and not the workouts.
In a nutshell, the 21 Day fix uses color coded plastic containers to guide you towards eating the approximate number of calories for the plan that you choose. I chose to follow “plan C” (btwn 1800-2100 calories) which seemed appropriate for my level of exercise. I was directed towards eating a certain number of servings from each of the colored containers. You can basically eat any foods that you wish if you eat them in the correct quantities.
What did I learn from the 21 Day Fix?
I really love my carbs!
I had no idea how often I just grab carbs when I am hungry. In fact, I was eating way more carbs than I realized. Although most of the carbs I was eating were the “healthy” whole grain type, they were still making up a huge part of my diet. I thought nothing of grabbing a few pretzels while making dinner or heading out the door.
I was eating bigger portions than I realized
When I started measuring out my portions of rice and quinoa, I was shocked that I had been eating way more than a “serving size”. The first few days, I admit, I was worried I would be starving or that I would not have the energy to make it through my workouts. I made it through just fine!
I was not eating enough protein
Being a vegetarian, some days I do still struggle to fill up the 5 red protein containers. I do count beans as protein so that helps. I have made a concerted effort to eat more protein which is not easy for me. I tried a few of the protein Shakeology shakes and they are fine but I would rather eat real foods than drink a smoothie.
What kind of results did I have from the 21 Day fix?
Admittedly, I tweaked the program to fit my lifestyle so I did not follow it to the T. As I mentioned, this was not about weight for me as much as it was about how I was feeling. I still have not weighed myself but I do feel better in my clothes. I’ve learned that I do not “need” as many carbs as I thought I did and I can just as easily fill up on more veggies or protein. About that protein? I could eat just a little bit more and it does fuel me for my workouts just fine. I have relearned what appropriate portion sizes are. The past few days I’ve even had a few containers left at the end of the day.
I plan to keep it up for the next 2 weeks and see how I feel. I am now again able to eye ball the portion sizes without measuring them which I assume is the point after all.
Have you ever tried the 21 Day fix or anything similar? What was your experience?