Yesterday marked the completion of my first round doing the 21 Day Fix. Before I get into what it is and what my experience was, let’s just cut to the chase. Can you get in shape and lose weight in just three weeks while eating a ton of food? Yup. I lost 4 pounds, an inch off my waist, and an inch and a half off my chest while eating about 2300 calories a day and spending just 30 minutes working out. Above that my flexibility has improved greatly and my stamina has gone through the roof. So, there you have it. If you’re still intrigued keep reading.
The 21 Day Fix is just that, a three week long program meant to fix your bad habits and get you on the path to a better lifestyle. You work out every day, and it includes workouts ranging from cardio to weight training to yoga and Pilates. Really a full gambit. The workouts are done in a group format with the head trainer, Autumn Calabrese, leading a group of people through each exercise. There’s a great modifier for every move, too. So being out of shape is no excuse. Oh, speaking of excuses every workout is 30 minutes. So that’s not an excuse, either.
But, how’s the food? I mean that’s another excuse, right? You don’t have time to cook. Your family doesn’t want to eat what you are. You’re starving yourself. Well, not with this plan. It comes with colored containers that correspond to the different food groups. Purple for fruit, red for protein, yellow for carbs, etc. There’s even an orange one specifically for fats and “treats”. Yes, treats. On this plan you can have things like chocolate and wine! But, it teaches you how to keep them in moderation. No more King Size Snickers bars, but you don’t have to go cold turkey. Oh, and every Monday night we had tacos. They were super healthy homemade tacos, but those tasted better than the local taco shack anyway.
The workouts themselves are pretty basic. I honestly wasn’t a huge fan of Autumn’s style. I’m more in the camp of Tony Horton and ShaunT. Autumn seemed to be good with her own fitness and possibly one-on-one training, but isn’t great when addressing a group. Some of the exercises also didn’t mesh with what I learned from my studies in ACE, AFAA, and ISSA. But, they weren’t wrong per se. Just different. I do wish she’d spend more time talking about proper form and technique. All of that aside, the workout programs are pretty solid. They work a good variety of muscle groups and definitely get results.
So how did I do and what did I learn? Well, most of you reading this know I run a bar. So there were definitely times when I went off plan. A beer here, a Steak ‘n Shake 7×7 there. Ya know. But, other than one set day a week I stayed on pointe. I will say this program has made me up my water and fruit intake. I used to only have a few bottles of water a day, now I’m up to about 3 liters. Breakfast was generally a banana and that was it. Now I’m eating what I should be, and I feel fucking epic.
- Adjust container amounts each week. Even though I lost weight during Round 1 I never adjusted my food intake. I kept eating like I should have when I started.
- Up heavy weights by 5 pounds and light weights by 2.5 pounds.
- Adjust eating plan to eliminate meat. I keep going back to a meatless diet every year and, though it’s hard, I honestly feel better each and every time I do it. And I get great results, especially around the middle.
- Eat all Purple and Yellow containers by my second meal. Basically, eat all of my carbs before it gets too late. This will let my body process everything before it begins to slow down for the evening.