“When it comes to being healthy and fit, it’s not just about what you do in the gym. It’s really about what you do in the kitchen.” – Autumn Calabrese.
The 21 Day Fix is one of Beachbody’s most popular in home workouts because of how easy it is to follow… The rules are simple, workout 30 minutes a day, use the portion control containers, and follow the program for 21 days to get amazing weight loss results. However, the biggest challenge people will face is following the 21 Day Fix Nutrition Guide and this makes up for at least 70-80% of your results! Here you’ll find step-by-step instructions on how to plan your meals, plus 10 pro tips on eating healthy!
1. Calculate Your Calorie Level and Daily Container Count
Whether you are trying to lose weight, maintain weight, or gain weight, calculating your proper daily calorie goal is essential to reaching your goals. This is the most important step to start with and it cannot be skipped… Here’s how to figure out how many calories you need:
- Multiply your current weight in pounds x 11. This number is your Caloric Baseline.
- Add 400 (this about how many calories you burn with the 21 Day Fix) to your Caloric Baseline. This number represents how many calories you need to maintain your weight (Caloric Needs).
- Subtract 750 (the caloric deficit) from your Caloric Needs. This number is the Caloric Target you should eat to lose weight.
Once you know how many calories you need to eat in order to lose weight, simply look into your 21 Day Fix Eating Plan Guide on page 15 to find the corresponding container count. Based on your calorie needs, you’ll know how many of each containers you’re allowed to eat per day. Check out the chart below for a quick reference…
Here’s an example of what you’ll be doing to find your calorie needs. In this example, the person weighs 175 pounds and would like to lose weight…
- 175 x 11 = 1925 (Caloric Baseline)
- 1925 + 400 = 2325 (Caloric Needs to maintain weight)
- 2325 – 750 = 1575 (Caloric Target to lose weight)
Note: If your Caloric Target is less than 1,200, round up to 1,200. If it’s more than 2,300, round down to 2,300. If you are trying to gain weight, add 750 instead of subtracting 750.
2. Write Down A Sample Day of Meals
This is the next most important step in getting amazing 21 Day Fix results, you have to plan your meals ahead of time. You CANNOT simply decide what to eat when it’s time to eat. You need to at least plan a day ahead, if not a week, so that you’re not reaching for things that you shouldn’t be eating.
You’ll want to go through the food lists on pages 24-39. Look through the choices and mark down some of your favorites under every container. Then, using the meal planner pictured below, plan a sample day or several days. Think about what types of food you would like to have at each meal and include some of your favorite healthy snacks… Don’t be afraid to keep it super simple…
Pro Tip – Choose most of your foods from the top of the list because they are more nutritionally beneficial… Here is an example sample day below…
Before moving on… try thinking about what you would like to eat for the next 3 to 5 days… Do you want to eat the same thing for breakfast everyday, or do you want to switch it up? What about your snacks, lunch, and dinner? Do you have time to cook meals or do you prefer to eat simply? Write down variations you would like, which “free foods” you would like to add (pg. 37) and any treats you’s like to substitute for a yellow or orange container this week (pgs. 38-39).
Remember, for many people, this is only for 21 days. It’s best to place in all the effort upfront so that you’re not confused on what you want to eat later.
3. Make a Grocery List
After completing Step 2, you now know exactly what you’ll be eating for at least 5 days. Now it’s time to make a grocery list so that when you go shopping, you know exactly what you need to buy and you won’t be buying foods you don’t need. It’s okay to buy a surplus of these foods to have some extra on hand, however, try to stick to the amounts that match your calorie level.
Remember that one green container holds about 1 cup or more of vegetables and one serving of protein is about 4 ounces before cooking. If you plan to eat 4 red containers of boneless, skinless chicken breast over the next few days, you would buy 1 pound of chicken.
Click on the image below to download your own 21 Day Fix Grocery list…
10 Time Saving Tips
- Buy pre-cooked chicken breast or fish from the deli section.
- Choose canned tuna for quick meals.
- Buy pre-cut vegetables. (Just make sure nothing is added to it!)
- Hard-boil several eggs at once for quick, high-protein snacks or to add to salads.
- Bake all of your sweet potatoes at once.
- Pre-cook enough quinoa or brown rice for the week.
- Chop all carrots, cucumber, bell peppers, etc. at once for healthy snacks and ready toppings for salads.
- Mornings can be hectic. Have your breakfast ready to go by prepping a large batch of oatmeal or drinking Shakeology for breakfast.
- Stock up on berries or fruits that don’t need to be cut like apples, oranges, and bananas.
- Raw, unsalted nuts make a great, portable snack.