I’ve just finished my 21 Day Fix and I’m so excited to tell you all about it.
What is the 21 Day Fix?
The 21 Day Fix is a product from Beachbody, makers of the popular P90X workouts, Shakeology, and many other fitness and health products. What makes the program unique is it is a 21 day workout and eating plan to help you jumpstart healthier habits. It includes two DVD disks containing about 9 workouts. You do a different workout every day of the week, and then there are a few bonus workouts like “10 Minute Abs”.
The most unique thing about the 21 Day Fix are the food containers. I know what you’re thinking: “I don’t need any more Tupperware; my cabinet is exploding already.” Though you can use the containers for keeping your food fresh and contained, their main purpose is as measuring cups.
There is a calorie needs calculator, which is super simple, that you use to determine which level of the diet plan you’ll need based on your current weight. Then, no more counting calories. You simply count servings of food types and measure the servings with the provided containers. Since I am nursing a baby, it is recommended that I figure my level and go up one more to insure I get enough calories to keep producing milk for my little one. That put my husband and me on the same level which made things easier to do together. For us, that meant 4 servings of protein, 2 carbs, 4 veggies, 3 fruits, 1 healthy fats, and 1 container of dressings/seeds/etc.
So, how did it work?
After three weeks, I was down about 5 pounds and had more energy than ever before. I could tell a huge improvement in my workout ability and strength in my daily activities. My clothes fit better, and my saddle-bags slimmed down a bit.
My husband lost quite a bit more weight–12lbs in three weeks. He was noticeably slimmer with more muscle-tone as well. For both of us, the biggest change was in how we felt.
What did I not like?
Well, honestly, I wasn’t blown away with the results. We have done other diets where we dropped weight much more quickly and in the targeted areas (my midsection). Though I noticed a lot of improvement physically, I would have liked to see more improvement in my posture and core strength. The ab workouts seemed to work more of the top ab muscles than the deep transverse abdominals that really help pull in the belly of this 4-time mama rather than build a six-pack.
What did I love?
I LOVED how good I felt! It was an amazing mood booster. I felt more vibrant and energetic. I was able to get through the day taking care of my four kids without getting tired. We tried to start out each morning doing our workouts together at around 6:00 am. Since I was used to getting up around 7:15, that was a drastic change to my day! I loved the improvement in productivity.
I was feeding my husband three times a day. After our workouts, I would prepare him a simple breakfast and pack a lunch. Sometimes I included a snack. Then we ate at home almost every night while on the plan. In our entire marriage, I don’t think I have been as consistent about cooking at home, and he has never been a breakfast eater, so this was a new experience too. I know it’s silly, but I felt good sending him off to work with a healthy breakfast and lunch. This was one of the most stressful months he has had at his job, and I believe the proper nutrition and exercise was helpful.
It’s not at all limiting! We never felt deprived. The diets that we have done before that were more effective, well, they were deprivation. We felt like we were on a diet. Not so with the 21 Day Fix. We were even able to continue our nightly dessert by making a few changes in what we ate. Instead of a sugar-laden pastry, we would opt for fruit and a whole wheat english muffin or ricotta cheese with vanilla and stevia (yum!). I felt like we could continue this indefinitely–and I hope we do!
This plan wasn’t just a way for Mom to lose weight. I already mentioned that my husband was doing it too, but (with her doctor’s permission) my 11 year old daughter got on the plan, too. It was a fantastic way for her to become aware of what types of food she was choosing. We weren’t strict with her about keeping up with it, but it was wonderful to see her look over her checklist in the evening and say “oh, I need to eat plenty of veggies tonight. I need two more servings.”
Our younger daughters enjoyed learning about their food choices too. The five-year-old would ask “Mama, can I have a purple?” when she wanted fruit.
Would I recommend it? Will I continue the program?
YES! I absolutely would. If you have been using the FDA guidelines for the amount of servings you need from each food group, you are probably overweight. The 21 Day Fix guidelines are nutritionally sound, non-restrictive, and easy to follow.
I believe my results would have been more impressive if I were not breastfeeding. It’s hard to lose weight when you are bf-ing because you need those calories, and I think hormones make a difference too.
The workouts are geared toward calorie burning. They focus on large muscle strength training and cardio. I would continue to use these as well as some of my favorite yoga and pilates workouts. I have always loved how they help my posture and core strength. I do love the improvement in my strength! It’s wonderful to see biceps developing after only three weeks.
This weekend, when our 21 days were over, we relaxed our plan. My daughter had a birthday party with lots of cake. Our church had an ice cream social. We were too busy and worn out to work out. And we felt AWFUL. We can’t wait to get back on the plan and see how much another three weeks can change us.
How do you get it?
You can purchase the 21 Day Fix through the Beachbody website or a Beachbody Coach. I HIGHLY recommend getting a coach. In fact, I highly recommend my coach Cindy Hooks. She hosts montly Facebook challenge groups, offers free coaching, free grocery and meal plans if you need it, and incredible support. It’s wonderful to have someone caring for you and checking in with you to keep you motivated. Without Cindy and the group, I may have given up a week and a half in like I usually do. Making it through the three weeks felt like a triumph, and, even better, it created good habits for us that we want to continue.