Hello Readers! If you’re like me, you are constantly trying to find that miracle program that will help shed those unwanted pounds left after having kids. And quite often, you find yourself disappointed with the various programs and products you try, regretting the money you forked out for each program and the lack of results you see.
I have gone through this disappointment, and I’ve often felt let down by the empty promises various products have made for me. To add to that, I am not a fan of exercise. I don’t mind working out; it’s the clothes that irk me. I am convinced that a man designed the sports bra, for I have never found one I liked—and I have spent a pretty penny on ones in the past. But, I did finally find a program that worked for me and allowed me some freedom while keeping me restrained at the same time: the 21 Day Fix.
Let me start with this disclaimer: I am not a Beachbody Coach, nor do I endorse any Beachbody Coach. This is important because I want to maintain an outsider’s perspective in this blog. I am not trying to sell a specific product, nor do I want to push anything onto my readers. I’m a SAHM on a budget, so I understand how difficult it can be to be interested in learning about a new product or workout program but be inundated with pushy bloggers who are selling the products. Beachbody Coaches are not exempt from this, and I personally know a couple of coaches who still try to push products on me. So, I want my readers to understand I am not trying to see you anything with this. I want to present the facts to you and let you decide for yourself.
Now that I’ve cleared the air, let’s get started on the history of the 21 Day Fix Program. Celebrity trainer Autumn Calabrese is the creator of the 21 Day Fix Program, which is now a part of the Beachbody family that also contains programs like P90X, Insanity, PiYo and more. The 21 Day Fix program is a workout and meal planning program that focuses on retraining your mind and body to finding a better balance to fitness.
How it works. When you purchase the program, you receive the meal containers, DVD workout videos, and booklet of information in the basic package, which costs roughly $60 plus shipping and handling. You have the option of purchasing Shakeology products with this, but this is not mandatory for the program. Then, you calculate your calorie range, which is explained in the booklet; this range can go from 1,200-1,499 to 2,300-2,499 calories per day. Each calorie range contains a container count allowed for your range. For instance, the 1,500-1,700 range allows for 4 veggies (green), 3 fruits (purple), 4 proteins (red), 3 carbs (yellow), 1 healthy fats (blue), 1 dressings (orange), and 4 nut butters and oils (teaspoons) per day. Each of the corresponding containers that come with the program are designed to hold the appropriate serving size without the need to calculate more than how may containers of each. In other words, if it fits in the container (with the lid closed) it counts as one serving of that particular food group. The booklet also details what foods are acceptable for the program. For example, white bread is not allowed, nor is white rice nor enriched pasta noodles. Instead you can use Whole Wheat/Sprouted grain products, brown/wild rice, bulgur, quinoa, or other accepted foods. Also, processed sugar is banned from the program, as well as iodized salt and products that contain high fructose corn syrup and monosodium glutamate (MSG). To be honest, processed foods are frowned upon while on this program.
Each day of the program there is a workout to complete. They range from cardio to yoga, and they are all geared to strengthening your body and helping to burn calories. You can lose quite a bit of weight on this, but the program emphasizes inches lost over weight lost. During my first round, I only lost four pounds in 21 days, but I also lost 5 inches overall.
The Pros. There is a bit of freedom with this program. When it comes to meal planning, you can design it however you want so long as you stay within the guidelines. And there are TONS of recipes available online that adhere to the guidelines. Most of the recipes even list the container count. That’s another perk: the containers take out the guess work. There are no calories to count, just container counts to track. You can easily meal plan, using the container counts in your planning, and forget about it except for your meal prep. The workouts are challenging, but they contain a moderator you can follow until you feel ready to step up to the regular exercises. And, other than the initial cost of the basic program (and your weights and resistance band that you purchase separately), there are no additional costs to account for. No memberships. And each round is only 21 days long. So, you can plan to do the program when you know you have 21 days available. You can do it however you want, whenever you want. For me, I haven’t been back on it since January, but I have plans to start my next round in a couple of weeks.
The Cons. The workouts can be tough. Calabrese loves her legs, and after the third workout I was tired of hearing her say “I love my legs”. She meant her leg workouts, but it was hard to keep up at times. Also, there isn’t a lot of additional flavoring or sugar allowed. I don’t know about you, but I’m not a huge fan of greek yogurt, which is a beloved food on this program. After a couple of weeks of eating greek yogurt (plain, always), I was gagging and choking it down. It was the same for water, which is basically the only drink allowed on the program. While the Hydrology Bar and Mix-Ins help (it’s basically adding things like lemons, strawberries, mint, fresh ginger, etc. to water), it gets boring. Fast. And no creamer allowed for coffee. In fact, no sugar allowed for your morning cup of joe. If you add creamer to your coffee, forget about it. I actually switched to drinking hot tea (allowed drink) because I can stand it unsweetened. But, alcohol is not really allowed. No soda. No juice (not even 100%). Water is your primary beverage and your sole drink for three weeks straight. Now, if you decide to purchase Shakeology for your rounds, be prepared to fork out some serious dough. A 30-day supply is $120, and it does not taste that great. I tried one trial package of the chocolate, and it was revolting! It’s sweetened with Stevia, which means that it leaves this God-awful bitter aftertaste in your mouth. I felt like I was drinking powdered artificial sweetener in the trial pack. Frankly, I’d rather save the money and spend it on new clothes that fit after losing weight.
To add to the high cost of the Beachbody products (ie Shakeology), you could be subjected to the pushy Beachbody coaches all over the Internet. If you mention trying the 21 Day Fix on your Facebook page you are liable to receive messages from Beachbody coaches among your friends that try to get you to sign up for their challenges and buy Shakeology from them. The reason is this: they get the product at a discounted rate ($30 off each 30 day supply), which they sell to you at the full price. Therefore, they make $30 less shipping per package, and the more they sell the more they make. They also get rewards for challenges and people signed up for them. When searching for recipes, too, you are liable to get pop up messages asking for you to sign up (for free!) to a Beachbody coach’s mailing list. Unless you want to receive spam, I recommend closing out the pop up and moving on to find the info.
Although there are pushy Beachbody Coaches out there, I actually like the 21 Day Fix program. I found it to be easy to follow, easy to complete, and I saw results. Tell me, readers, if any of you have tried this program and what results you had with this. Can any of you provide more insight?
Until next time,