The 21 Day Fix: a program designed to help you lose weight and improve your fitness through habit reformation.

Habit overhaul, if you’re like me.

 

(Click here to see a layout of ALL of my 21 Day Fix posts and see which recipes/details are in each post!)

 

The great thing about the Fix (as I’ll sometimes call it) is that it really does exactly what it preaches – it teaches you how to form and stick with new eating and exercise habits.

 

You have to practice these new habits for three full weeks. And if you actually follow the plan like you’re supposed to, the habits should solidify to the point of not needing to use the program anymore.

Think about it: if you’re getting used to working out all the time, your body will start to crave exercise, and it’ll be easy to continue exercising, especially for the feel-goodness that comes along with it. And if you’re measuring out all of your portions and eating only healthy foods for 21 days straight, you start to learn how much food really fills you up, which types of food fill you up, and how much better you feel when you’re eating those types of food. You’ll start to CRAVE filling, whole foods. Because of the way they make you feel.

 

And it’s actually working for me! Four days in, I don’t even mind not eating chocolate after dinner anymore.

I AM SERIOUS.

And I am excited, because I never thought I would be able to STOP eating chocolate at night. You know I love my sweets. I still get to eat my sweets…through my fruits!

 

I’m documenting every day of my Fix (and posting every THREE DAYS) to show you what to expect and give you tips I’ve learned along the way.

I’m doing this for a specific reason.

 

When I first looked into the 21 Day Fix, I was SO INTIMIDATED. I felt like I had no idea how to plan meals, what the containers meant, how to measure separate ingredients for dinners, how I was going to squeeze in chocolate, and overall, how to survive.

I  searched and searched for an appealing voice to follow for guidance. I yearned to read all about someone else’s full experience before I started.

 

Sadly, no luck.

 

So I’ve decided to do the Fix without having a clue how to do it.

And the reason I’m blogging about it is because I hope that my recorded experience will provide that guiding voice for another intimidated soul.

My 21 Day Fix will surely be a bumpy ride. I’m on day 4, and I still don’t know what to expect.

So, we will learn together (as always!). We will explore new foods together, discover excellent dinner combinations together, learn how to (not) season things together, and cry over our now-long-distance relationship with chocolate together. *sob*

 

I’m also all up in Instagram’s business lately, and I’ll share many of my 21 Day Fix adventures on Instagram (@perksofinterest). Adventures that I won’t share here.

 

To start, I’ll set you up with some basic stats.

 

On the containers: My gracious mother lent me her containers and the 21 Day Fix guidebook, so I had to pay zero monies for this diet. YOU can buy the containers AND the guidebook for just fifteen bucks off Amazon, though. Fitness has never been so cheap!

 

On Shakeology: I am not using Shakeology with my 21 Day Fix. Because I am not paying $130 for a month’s worth of protein/nutrient powder. I’m way too cheap for that! Some 21 Day starter kits come with Shakeology and extra workout videos (more on the kits later). Some people swear by Shakeology, and others think it’s just “okay.” Feel free to try it on your own and tell me what you think in the comments! But my diet will not incorporate it.

 

On the food: I am in the 1200-1499 calorie bracket, which I calculated by taking my weight (in pounds), multiplying it by 11, adding 400 to that number (for “calories burned during daily workout”), and subtracting 750 from that number (for “cutting calories to lose weight”). The final number is the number I used to figure out which calorie bracket I fell in.

 

To see a layout of all the brackets (in a pretty picture), check out Bethany Lyn’s post.

 

To learn more about how to calculate your calorie range and how many containers you get per day, see Sarah’s post. (She basically replicates everything you find in the beginning pages of the 21 Day Fix booklet, as do a lot of other websites).

 

My bracket of 1200-1499 calories allows me to eat the following each day:

3 green containers (vegetables)

2 purple containers (fruits)

4 red containers (proteins)

2 yellow containers (carbohydrates)

1 blue container (healthy fats, cheeses)

1 orange container (seeds, nuts, dressings)

2 teaspoons* (oils, nut butters)

 

*My basic starter kit (and all other Fix kits) did not come with a teaspoon, because they assume everyone already owns one.

To learn more about the various kits you can buy, check out Jenn’s 21 Day Fix vs. 21 Day Fix Extreme post.

 

On my eating schedule: The 21 Day Fix says that you can eat 3 meals with 2 snacks OR you can just eat every 2 hours, spacing your food out. Back when I was fit as a fiddle, I was eating every few hours (NEVER full meals). I know that’s what works for me long-term (I was fit as a fiddle for years), so with my Fix, I’ve been eating every-2-hours during the DAY and then usually planning a meal a NIGHT (usually a full red/green/yellow container for dinner). I been using both eating schedules because that’s what works for me!

 

On my weight: I weighed myself at the start, but I didn’t measure my waist or any of my appendages. The 21 Day Fix booklet has a little page where you can measure your body all over and record those measurements at the beginning of the diet to see how many inches you lose. Inches weren’t as exciting to me as the scale number, so I didn’t measure. I do have a vague goal weight (what I weighed a few years ago). Right now, my weight is the highest it’s EVER been. Like, ever. And I am ashamed. Too ashamed to tell you the number. I did take some “before” pictures, though. But it’s going to take a WHOLE LOTTA NERVE for me to show you THOSE. No matter what body transformation I (hopefully) undergo.

 

On my exercise plan: You’re supposed to work out for 30 minutes a day during the 21 Day Fix, and they give you some 30-minute exercise videos to use. My 21 Day Fix Friend (more on her later) told me that, if I already have a solid workout regimen in place before I start the 21 Day Fix, I don’t have to change my regimen. My recent workout regimen involves exercising at least every other day (with some multiple-day-in-a-row weeks). My workout videos are 45-60 minutes, and they kick my BUTT. So, I am sticking with my exercise regimen, because it works for me. (And because I’m so dang sore sometimes that my body needs a rest day.) And I KNOW that, if I push myself when I shouldn’t, diet failure blossoms. SO I’ve made the executive Fix decision that, since my workouts are hard enough and longer than 30 minutes, I can skip days if I want. Boop!

 

On weighing myself: I don’t have a plan for when I’ll weigh myself throughout the diet. I tucked my scale away a week before I started (but pulled it back out to weigh myself for the Fix) because I had been working out like crazy and gaining muscle, which was tipping the scale up higher and higher and really deflating my exercise spirit. So I threw it tucked it away.

I’ve decided that I won’t get it out again until my pants are looser. Because my pants haven’t been loose in a LONG time. When they are, I’ll know I can get the scale back out.

 

And one last thing before we get started: I’ve done the Military Diet, and the 21 Day Fix seemed eerily similar to the Military Diet at first. Eerily similar = equally impossible to maintain. That quickly changed, though, when I stopped pretending I was on the Military Diet and started EATING all the foods I was allowed. The point I’m trying to make is that the 21 Day Fix is not as restricting as you think it will be when you first lay eyes on those TEENY TINY containers. You WILL survive, because those sneaky little containers actually add up to a LOT of food.

 

You must persist past the fear and get clever, my friends. Because cleverness is the secret to MAINTAINING a healthy lifestyle. Cleverness = seeking out new foods and mixing things up to keep the diet interesting enough to do FOREVER.

Because that’s the point, right?

That’s MY point, at least.

Onward, fellow champions! In Pursuit of a Smaller Butt!

 

 

Day 1

I wasn’t planning on starting the Fix until after Husband left, but I was eager to lose some extra L-Bs and couldn’t resist. I started the program on March 29.

I told my fellow 21 Day Fix Friend on day 1 that I’d started the diet (she was the one who told me all about it and inspired me to give it a whirl). I texted her with the news around 3PM because I had just eaten my 12 satisfying and delicious almonds and I was feeling pretty good. And because I was excited to finally be WORKING toward some weight loss results, and I couldn’t contain myself.

 

IMPORTANT: During this texting conversation, Friend and I made a simultaneous vow to NEVER cheat on the diet. EVER.

*crows caw and circle above my dead body*

It’s the worst vow I’ve ever made!

But thank goodness for that vow, because man oh man did I ever want to cheat on this diet in the first few days.

 

Friend didn’t start her diet the same day as me (she had just come off a 21 Day Fix cycle and was taking a breather), but we decided that we would “start” together. She wanted to whip her exercise game into shape, first, and then jump onto the food bandwagon once she had that down.

 

On the first day, I had a few major OMG I CAN’T HAVE CHOCOLATE?! moments (in the evening, of COURSE). When I didn’t get my usual truckload of chocolate after dinner, I was racked with self-pity. For a few minutes. BUT I ate some apple slices which were pretty sweet, and they ended up being a very sufficient replacement!
PLUS, the truckload of chocolate is what made my butt so big (and my energy so low) in the first place.

(On that note: I’m writing a “21 Day Fix Motivation” page for all of us that I’ll share soon (AKA things I tell myself to stay strong on the diet) – keep an eye out for it, because I will want you to post your own motivation in the comments so I can add it to our page!)

 

***NOTE ON 21 DAY FIX TREATS***

I didn’t know very much about the diet at first. I was vaguely aware of an existing Fix option for people who had crazy treat cravings: three times a week, you can substitute 1 yellow container for a Fix-approved treat. I had no idea what that meant, and since I didn’t want to assume I could eat whatever (and then ruin my diet), I avoided non-fruit sweets. I texted Friend again day 1 night, and she sent me snapshots of the approved sweets list and seasonings list. Which inspired me to keep reading my dang booklet, because the booklet has all the answers. Friend also explained that all of the 21 Day Fix desserts you see on Pinterest can be substituted for a yellow container! So we AREN’T stuck with dried fruit as a dessert. We could make 21 Day Fix-Approved chocolate cake and eat a yellow-container-portion of that chocolate cake one day, if we wanted. And we would still be following the diet! Just knowing I had this option made me feel so much BETTER.

 

Day 1 exercise = first thing in the morning (like at 4:45AM), I did 45 minutes of my hardest FIRM video: Hard Core Fusion. TOUGH to do. I’m slowly getting fitter, so my stamina is a little better, but I’m still a LONG way from being in shape. Workout kicked my butt!

 

What I ate on Day 1:

  • 1 egg cooked in a nonstick pan + pepper (for breakfast) = 1/2 red
  • 1 full orange = 1 purple
  • (salad)
    • 2 containers of spinach/kale + 3 halved cherry tomatoes = 2 1/4 green
    • 1 container of sunflower seed kernels = 1 orange
    • chunks of cubed chicken breast = 1/2 red
    • squeezed lemon juice (can use unlimitedly on the Fix)
  • 1 container of chia seed pudding* (nasty goop of unsweetened almond milk + chia seeds) = 1 red
  • 12 almonds = 1 blue
  • 1 whole wheat tortilla filled with cubed chicken and sautéed bell peppers = 1 yellow, 1/2 red, 3/4 green
  • 1/2 apple (my apples are huge and I was full after the 4th slice) = 1 purple

*Chia seed pudding is not listed as a red in the Fix booklet. It should probably be considered a seed container (orange) plus a yellow (non-dairy milk can be substituted for a yellow), but it was the closest thing I had to Greek yogurt, and chia seeds have SO MUCH PROTEIN, so I called it a red!

 

Day 1 totals:

2.5 red (of 4)
3 green
1 yellow (of 2)
2 purple
1 blue
1 orange
2 teaspoons oil (I cooked the cubed chicken and peppers in coconut oil the day before, so I just assumed I’d used the day’s oils on them)

 

I didn’t eat all of my proteins because I am NOT a big meat or egg eater. I just don’t like them. There are far more choices for the red container than eggs and chicken, but I was too lazy to go buy them.

 

I didn’t eat all of my carbs because I read something somewhere that said carbs are digested very quickly by the body, and we might not be able to burn them all off before they’re stored as fat. Protein digests slowly; much less of it ends up being stored as fat. I am trying to shed fat quick, here, amigos. So I was a little stingy on the carbs…

 

P.S. I’ve since learned that there’s a difference between BAD CARBS (like candy and all things delicious and butt-size-enhancing in this world) and GOOD CARBS (carbs that help you lose weight). Click the link to see the list.
Lots of the carbs on that list are the same carbs 21 Day Fix allows in the yellow container (sweet potato, oatmeal, etc.). Which makes sense. Because the 21 Day Fix wouldn’t tell me to eat BAD CARBS.

 

I don’t know what I was thinking, trying to keep them to a minimum. Do forgive me. 21 Day Fix Brain is not optimal, at first.

 

 

Day 2

I felt a LITTLE more alive today. I was a little more awake at work. And I attribute it completely to all of the preservative-free, whole foods I ate the day before. PLUS – I woke up with a COMPLETELY FLAT TUMMY. Like, when I sucked in and looked in the mirror, it was zoom flat!

 

Day 2 exercise = first thing in the morning, I did my Dancing with the Stars fitness video (60 minutes). I was killing it with this one, actually. It killed me in the end, though, and I was d-e-a-d to the world for the rest of the day. 

 

What I ate on Day 2:

  • 1 egg cooked in a nonstick pan + pepper (for breakfast) = 1/2 red
  • 1 full orange = 1 purple
  • (salad)
    • 2 containers of spinach/kale + 3 halved cherry tomatoes = 2 1/4 green
    • 1 container of sunflower seed kernels = 1 orange
    • chunks of cubed chicken breast = 3/4 red
    • squeezed lemon juice
  • last bit of my chia seed pudding = 1/4 red
  • 12 almonds = 1 blue
  • 1 whole wheat tortilla filled with cubed chicken and sautéed bell peppers AND a drizzle of homemade enchilada sauce* = 1 yellow, 1/2 red, 3/4 green
  • 1/2 large apple = 1 purple
  • 1 c. air-popped popcorn = 1 yellow
    • (Air-popped popcorn is NOT a Fix-approved yellow. It is, however, an approved sweet alternative
      [you know, the kind you get to swap out for a yellow 3 times a week?], when you add dried fruit and nuts to it. I did not add nuts or dried fruit. I made the popcorn because I was STARVING.)

*homemade enchilada sauce = 1 can of tomato paste + 1 c. water + 2 t. white whole wheat flour + 1 T. chili powder + 2 t. oregano + sprinkle of salt & pepper (combine in pan and bring to boil on stove, then serve!) This isn’t in the booklet for 21 Day Fix, but since it’s mostly tomato sauce, I counted it as a green.

 

Day 2 totals:

2 red (of 4)
3 green
2 yellow
2 purple
1 blue
1 orange
2 teaspoons oil (precooked cubed chicken and peppers in coconut oil; assumed I’d used the day’s oils on them)

 

I didn’t eat all of my proteins because proteins are SO HARD for me to eat! I am so damn sick of chicken and eggs! Day 2 marked the beginning of my desire to actually RESEARCH 21 Day Fix meals and alternative proteins. I was being kind of a wimp about branching out, at first.

I told Husband (after an I-hate-chicken-and-eggs rant) that I was definitely going to the store on Day 3 for some shrimp and some Greek yogurt because I was STARVING and I had no one to blame but chicken myself.

 

Day 3

I skipped my workout this morning because yesterday’s wore me out. Plus, I had the lovely experience of waking myself up from a nightmarish dream at 4:15AM. It was terrible. You know how it sometimes takes you a few panic-stricken seconds to figure out where the F you are (e.g. NOT in a nightmare) when you wake up? That was how I shot out of bed at the crack of dawn.

So, no workout.

BUT by the time my coffee actually hit me, I started to feel ALIVE. And really, really good. I had one egg for breakfast and headed off to work. And as the sun rose and the plants perked to life, so did I.

I felt like I had a TON of energy to write. I was excited to get on my blog and get to work, which was a feeling I hadn’t experienced in the past 2 weeks (if you read this post you know why).
All that energy was channeled into blowing up your inbox yesterday. And MAN was I having fun. Yesterday was one of the most exhilarating blog days of my life. Because of YOU, of course, you perfect little nugget.

 

Side note: morning of day 3, I remembered that Husband caught me a bunch of freshwater walleye a few months ago and froze it for me! Fish! Just sitting in my freezer! More protein than just chicken and eggs!
So I removed a sealed pack from the freezer and stuck it in the fridge. Couldn’t WAIT to figure out how to cook it at dinner.

 

Also, when I went to the store for more Fix Food (Aldi’s), I bought one bag of uncooked medium-sized shrimp, one bag of cooked medium-sized shrimp, Greek yogurt, and a bag of sweet potatoes. I was way too excited for the sweet potatoes.

Is that really possible, though?

 

21 Day Fix (Aldi's shopping trip) - Perksofinterest.com #21dayfix

 

What I ate on Day 3:

  • 1 VERY UGLY egg cooked in a nonstick pan + pepper (for breakfast) = 1/2 red
  • (salad)
    • 1 container of spinach/kale + 1 container of cooked Brussels sprouts♥ = 2 green
    • 1 container of sunflower seed kernels = 1 orange
    • chunks of cubed chicken breast = 1 red
  • Greek yogurt = 1 red
  • Walleye fish cooked in a nonstick pan = 1 red
  • Cooked and mashed sweet potato sprinkled with cinnamon = 1 yellow
  • 1 large apple = 2 purple

 

LOVE BRUSSELS SPROUTS. Could not WAIT to peck away at that salad all afternoon. And it was delicious! And FILLING, with all that chicken in there.
Who would have thought to throw Brussels sprouts into a salad?

Also delicious: the sweet potato! I do love sweet potato. When you sprinkle it with cinnamon, it tastes just like DESSERT! Seriously! Try it!

 

21 Day Fix (walleye/1 red + sweet potato/1 yellow) - Perksofinterest.com

**I’m posting many more Fix photos (among other things…) to my Instagram (perksofinterest) than I am here, so make sure to follow me and see what I’m Fixing to eat. 😉

 

Not so delicious: the walleye. NOT because Husband caught bad fish (he wanted me to clarify), but because I cooked it with zero fat in a nonstick pan. I ate 3/4 of the portion before giving in and sprinkling a teensy bit of salt on top.
I also sprinkled Italian seasoning on top. That was a bad decision. Do not sprinkle Italian seasoning on fat free walleye. It was ALL WRONG and I had to force myself to eat the rest.

 

Day 3 totals:

3 1/2 red (of 4)
2 green (of 3)
1 yellow
2 purple
1 blue
1 orange
1 teaspoons oil (precooked Brussels sprouts in coconut oil; assumed I’d used 1 t. oils on them)

 

I didn’t eat all of my proteins because hey! I ate 3.5 which is more than normal!

I didn’t eat all of my veggies because I was so BUSY yesterday. I was SO EXCITED posting all those posts and asking people questions and researching 21 Day Fix stuff and writing this posts that I forgot to eat my orange and almonds.

 

21 Day Fix Tip: The program recommends that, if you have trouble eating all of the food you’re allotted, you should rotate the containers you’re not eating. Which, technically, I did, on day 3.

 

I strongly recommend picking up a new hobby while you’re doing the Fix. My hobby is writing. I am simply obsessed with it. Nothing comes close to how I feel when my fingers blaze across my computer keys. NOTHING. Writing is engrossing, to me. I easily slip right into the World of the Written Word and skip meals I would have devoured if I hadn’t been writing.

 

Hobbies are good because they keep boredom at bay. Boredom must be kept at bay during the Fix because boredom makes us hungry. In fact, I invented the word “bungry” for my nephew to help him discern whether he was really hungry or just bored-hungry.

 

*sigh* “I guess I’m just bungry,” he says every time I ask.

 

He is just so stinking cute I want to squeeze him till he pops, sometimes. He makes my heart explode with joy, that one.

 

 

Well, that’s all for now! I’m feeling pretty good, the sugar cravings are definitely diminishing with time, and I’m starting to enjoy my meals (now that they include sweet potatoes).

 

I’ll see you in three days!

 

See days 4-6! >>

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