Portion control is a great way to lose weight, as evidenced by CDC research.
I provided a basic overview of the container system in my review summary of the 21 Day Fix program, but some readers have been asking for more specific details, including a portion or calorie chart with exact measurements of each of these containers.
Beachbody (the parent company of this system) aims to keep this information a trade -secret, and refuses to release the official sizes of each container. Fear not, as I happen to have a set of these containers on hand, and have carefully measured the capacity of each color for your reference. These also apply to the containers from 21 Day Fix Extreme. This information is especially helpful if you are using Beachbody On Demand.
Measuring the Exact Container Sizes
- Green – Vegetable container: 1 & ¼ Cups
- Purple – Fruit container: 1 & ¼ Cups
- Red – Protein container: ¾ Cups
- Yellow – Starches & Carbohydrates container: ½ Cup
- Blue – Healthy Fats (Cheese, Nuts, Avocado) container: ¼ Cup
- Orange (2x) – Seeds, Dressings and Oils container: 2 Tablespoons (Each)
With these sizes in mind, you can even make additional containers for 21 Day Fix by following my portion control container tutorial. These can come in handy for storing extra meals in the fridge or for work lunches.
How Much to Eat Depends on Your Calorie Goal
The 21 Day Fix manual carefully outlines your recommended maximum of each container. First, they have you calculate your target calorie goal using their formula:
Your Weight (in Pounds) times 11, subtract 350 from that number = Your calorie goal.
The acceptable range for your end number is 1200 to 2300. In other words, if you get less than 1200, round it up to 1200. If you get more than 2300, round down to 2300. This ensures your plan is both safe and effective.
Editorial Note: Technically, as described on page 4 of their guide, this system has you take your weight times 11, plus 400, then minus 750. I find this mildly retarded, since you can save a step and just subtract 350 instead. As such, I have simplified the formula listed above – so if you notice your printed guide says otherwise, you’ll understand why.
How Much Should I Eat of Each Container?
Now that you have your calorie goal identified, you’ll know how much of each container to eat each day. Find your calorie range below to see how much of each you’re allowed:
- 1200-1499 Calories: 3 Greens, 2 Purples, 4 Reds, 2 Yellows, 1 Blue, 1 Orange
- 1500-1799 Calories: 4 Greens, 3 Purples, 4 Reds, 3 Yellows, 1 Blue, 1 Orange
- 1800-2099 Calories: 5 Greens, 3 Purples, 5 Reds, 4 Yellows, 1 Blue, 1 Orange
- 2100-2300 Calories: 6 Greens, 4 Purples, 6 Reds, 5 Yellows, 1 Blue, 1 Orange
Using This Information to Eat Without Containers
Technically, if you know how much each container holds, you could use this information to follow the 21 Day Fix diet even when containers aren’t a viable option — say, when eating out at a restaurant.
If you know, for example, that a green container equals 1 1/4 cups of approved veggies, you can skip the container and just eat that amount. This comes in handy when at a friend’s house or other event where containers aren’t practical.
I’d still follow the system as-is, and use the containers in normal circumstances. They are there for a reason, and make dieting a lot easier. Measured containers, as a concept, work great. It’s just nice to know the portion equivalency, should you need to adapt your diet.
This eating system is designed to work with their overall plan (including the exercise DVDs). To make the most of it, I still recommend following their program. You can read more information about the system in this post I wrote a while back.
Best of luck – and remember, you can “fix” a lot in 21 days, but unless you want to gain that weight back, you should maintain some of these healthy habits (keeping the containers around can help) as part of your ongoing lifestyle.
Let me know in the comments how it’s working for you!