As the latest weight loss craze, The 21 Day Fix by celebrity trainer Autumn Calabrese has been receiving a great deal of buzz lately. But, does it deserve the attention, or is it “just another” rehashed workout video?
Let’s take a deep look into the program, what it has to offer, and most importantly – if it works! We’ll look at reviews from actual users to see what they had to say about trying it, and what the scale said at the end of their 21 days.
What is The 21 Day Fix?
This is a system designed for those who want to get in, get results, and be done fast. The premise of this program is very clear: For 21 days, you commit to following a quick 30 minute workout (which is constantly switched up to keep it interesting) and follow the highly flexible nutrition plan. In return, you get dramatic weight loss – up to 15 pounds in three weeks.
The program comes with two DVDs, which contain a total of 7 workouts (30 minutes each). You also get 7 reusable food containers, which are premeasured and color coded. These containers work with the 21 Day Fix Eating Plan, which is also included. You’ll use your Shakeology® container to measure beverages and mix your supplemental shakes that help round out your nutrition.
The “3 Day Quick Fix” is another bonus that you will follow during your final three days of the program. You can also follow this fix any time you need to look better in three days flat. Another nice bonus is 24/7 support, where you can get additional help from the Beachbody staff to stay on track and optimize your results.
21 Day Fix takes a complex concept and simplifies it into a step-by-step program that anyone can follow with ease, and they do a nice job of rounding off the intensity of the program. Let’s face it, any plan that delivers significant results within 21 days has to be pretty intense, but you don’t “feel” a painful level of intensity with this program. The eating plan keeps you feeling full, and the workouts are short enough to not become a burden.
The 21 Day Fix Workout
I’ve always been a huge fan of High Intensity Interval Training because it not only burns more calories, but also creates an after-burn effect that continues to burn calories through the rest of the day. Traditionally, though, it’s very intense and can leave you feeling exhausted rather than re-energized.
I’m not sure how she did it, but Autumn hit the nail on the head with these workout videos. The cardio workout gets your blood pumping and provides the benefits of High Intensity Interval Training, but without wiping you out. It’s intense, no doubt, but it’s so much fun to follow that it doesn’t feel exhausting.
It’s not all cardio, though – you’ll be switching up your workouts often on this program. The workout DVDs also include an upper body workout to tone your arms, shoulders, abs, chest & back, a lower body workout to firm up your legs, thighs, and butt, a palates course, yoga, and a “Dirty 30 Workout” bonus that helps perfect your muscle tone.
I was impressed with the workout program. It’s far more comprehensive than most workouts, and personally I think it’s a better way to go than anything a personal trainer could provide.
To get a better idea of what the workouts are like, click on the video for a great sample. It will take you to their site, and just scroll past the top image and click the video to watch it. That’s probably the best way to get a feel for what you’ll experience.
The 21 Day Fix Eating Plan: Fixing What Others Got Wrong
Most “workout systems” are frustrating to me, because they are focused largely on exercise, with nutrition as a bit of an afterthought. Effective exercise can give you results, yes. But the truth is, most of your results will always come from dietary adjustments.
The plan starts with a simple chart to find which calorie range you fall into. You’ll be placed, based on your starting size, into a daily calorie category of 1200 to 1500, 1500 to 1800, 1800 to 2100, or 2100 to 2300. Then, the chart shows you how many servings of each container color to eat each day.
The color-coded portion control containers couldn’t be easier to use. Green is for vegetables, red for proteins, purple for fruits, yellow for carbs, blue for fats and cheeses, and orange for oils and seeds. The shaker cup is for your drinks.
All you have to do is put one of the approved food options in a container, which controls your serving size for you so there’s no measuring or calorie counting. Your choices to fill each container are huge, and the guide details them clearly. For example, I’m looking at the page for the green (vegetable) container options, and there’s a page-long list of some 27 options to choose from – and it’s like this for each food group.
The vast allowance for food substitution means you can eat something different every day, and still enjoy your favorite foods (in moderation). Three days a week, you even get a beverage allowance for your favorite drinks – even a glass of wine.
Honestly, this feels like a LOT of food. Because of the healthy, nutrient-dense food choices you’ll be making, you can afford to eat quite a bit. It’s one of the few programs I can follow without constantly feeling hungry, and it’s a bit more forgiving than the intense 21 Day Fix Extreme meal plan.
21 Day Fix Restaurant Guide
One recent addition to the system is something I find very useful. Most systems (and diets in general) make it quite difficult to dine out and stick to your plan. They’re now including a restaurant guide with the system, making this one of the only programs that allow you to eat out without cheating on your diet.
It’s this careful attention to nutrition, alongside exercise, that lets The 21 Day Fix do what most systems fail at – giving you results in a very short timeframe. It’s pretty neat.
Reviews From Real People
When getting a feel for how any program really works in the real world, I like to research third-party results from real people who have actually purchased the program and followed it. Bloggers are a great way to do this – they tend to cover a topic in detail, and won’t hesitate to tell you if they were disappointed.
Let’s see what a few of them had to say:
Meg Duerksen runs a blog called “Whatever”, and she details her experience with The 21 Day Fix in a couple of blog posts. She has great things to say about the workout program, and even ate restaurant food (selectively). Here’s her reported results:
in the 21 days… i lost 6 pounds and 9.5 inches. no joke. i think that is SO awesome. i was smiling so big about it on monday. i am THRILLED! you may be thinking… “ummm 6 pounds? that is not much at all.” well…. my friend…. you are way wrong! six pounds is over half of my goal! six pounds is a very BIG deal to me.
Erin from the “Home with the Boys” blog is no stranger to workout programs, having done both Insanity and T25 herself. She liked The 21 Day Fix because of the shorter timeframe for results and the more detailed nutrition guide. Her results report: “Everything feels WAY different! I lost 5.2 pounds and 7.5 inches overall in 21 days!”
Caterina Passarelli is a fitness coach and business owner who detailed her progress in her post “How I Lost 7 Pounds Doing 21 Day Fix”. She recommends it for anyone who feels “stuck” in their progress. Her results?: “Results = I lost 7 pounds & many inches (I don’t have the exact # but the pictures are proof!) in just 21 days … blows my mind!”
Great work, ladies!
Keep in mind that with a system like this, where you are building lean (toned) muscle mass along with losing fat, pounds lost can be deceptive. Erin’s results (above) are a great example of this: she lost 5.2 lbs, but shed 7 1/2 inches. If she hadn’t been toning up at the same time, her pounds lost would be much greater – she obviously lost way more than 5.2 lbs of fat to drop that many inches! It’s better to go by inches than lbs.
Here’s some before and after photos of the results people achieved following this system:
Earning Your Shirt
Yes, they have nifty t-shirts that you can get for free – BUT, you have to earn it first!
Complete the 21 Day Fix program, and submit your before and after pictures. To celebrate your results, you get the shirt sent to you for free.
If you aren’t sure if it’s right for you, try it out – they do a 30 day money back guarantee (100% satisfaction). If it doesn’t work or isn’t right for you, you just send it back in and they refund your product costs.
The conclusion is clear – The 21 Day Fix is the easiest way to lose the most weight possible. People across the country are meeting their goals thanks to it.