A couple of months ago my wife and I got to talking and she mentioned that she had been in a rut in terms of diet and that she would like to lose some weight. I've been struggling to lose the same 10 - 15 pounds over and over again (plus another 20 - 30 pounds) so I said I would join her as accountability is always key. I introduced her to one of my imaginary friends/teammates as I was also hoping she could use this experience to meet some new friends in the area. My friend suggested Team Beachbody's 21 Day Fix. I try to be PG with this blog so I will just say that my initial reaction was one of skepticism. I spent some time researching the program and was surprised at how difficult it was to find an objective review from someone not affiliated with Team Beachbody, which is why I thought I'd toss my hat in the ring and write one.
The 21 Day Fix is essentially portion control with a daily 30 minute workout added in.
Your daily food intake will be divided between 7 containers:
- Green - Veggies
- Purple - Fruit
- Red - Proteins
- Yellow - Carbs
- Blue - Healthy Fats
- Orange - Seeds and Dressings
- Teaspoons - Nut butters, etc
To determine your daily allotment for each container you simply multiply your current weight by 11, add 400, and then subtract 750. Don't ask me why they don't have you simply subtract 350, that's just not how it's done! For example, I weighed 199.6 this morning. Let's round that to 200 for a total of 2200. Add 400 (2600) and then subtract 750 for a total of 1850. Your kit will come with a handy chart (or you can just Google it) which you use to determine how many of each container you get everyday. I ended up at the 2nd highest level (1,800 - 2,099) but talked to my friend/coach and we decided to bump me up a level (2,100 - 2,300) after taking my level of training into consideration. This gave me the following desired breakdown:
- Green - 6
- Purple - 4
- Red - 6
- Yellow - 4
- Blue - 1
- Orange - 1
- Teaspoons - 6
Here is what a typical day looks like for me.
Breakfast 1 (pre workout) - Two rice cakes with almond butter and honey. Rice cakes are free, honey and almond butter each count as a teaspoon for a total of 4.
Breakfast 2 (post workout) - Smoothie with protein powder (1 red), whole banana (2 purple), berries (1 purple), spinach (1 green)
Lunch - Two sushi rolls (2 green, 2 red, 2 yellow)
Dinner - Stir fry with chicken (1 or 2 red, depending on how much I eat), veggies (usually 2 green), rice (yellow), and a side salad with balsamic vinegar (1 green)
Snack - Rice cake with almond butter (1 teaspoon) or some carrots and hummus (1 green, 1 blue)
A day like that would result in 6 green, 3 purple, 5 red, 3 yellow, 5 teaspoons.
As you can see, I probably eat closer to the 1,800 - 2,099 calorie category.
When you purchase this program you will 7 30 minute workouts.
- Dirty 30 Workout
- Total Body Cardio Fix
- Upper Fix
- Lower Fix
- Pilates Fix
- Cardio Fix
- Yoga Fix
I haven't done many of these as I am training for some big races this year and need most of my available time for swimming, biking, and running. My wife, however, has done all of them and was surprised at how much she enjoyed them. I did the Pilates Fix video when we first started and was sore for two days, but that's typical for me and anything involving abs.
In summary, I really can't comment on the efficacy of these videos, but I've heard positive reviews from my wife and other people whom I trust. Each video has a token out of shape person performing modified versions of each exercise so even a couch potato can jump right in and get started.
I am going to write up a separate blog post on Shakeology as this is something I'm not a fan of so I wanted to separate the two, even though they are often sold together.
Most of us already know what we should be eating, right? Lots of veggies, fruit, lean proteins, along with some nuts and seeds for a snack. Avoid sugar and refined carbs. Knowing what to eat is a fairly simple process... it's actually eating the correct foods and knowing how much to eat that I have always struggled with and that is where the 21 Day Fix shines. In fact, I've recently found myself recommending it to several friends, something I never would have imagined before I started the program. It has drastically changed the way I look at portion sizes and has helped me change my eating habits for the better. It was definitely worth the money, even if we only used the containers for a day or two until we learned what an actual portion size looked like. I should also mention that it helped me break through the 200 pounds plateau for the first time since 8th grade. I've been close many times, but have never been able to get under that stupid number that starts with a 2. I was 196.2 this morning and have been consistently under 200 for 10 days now.
One note... and I shouldn't have to say this as it should be common sense. DO NOT expect the results they show in their advertisements. You are not going to go from bloated to six pack in 21 days... it's just not going to happen. If you are significantly overweight this can be a great tool, but remember, it took you months/years to get yourself in this position and it's going to take just as long to fix it!