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What's the Deal with the 21 Day Fix?

meal planning ingredient separate

You've probably seen Instagram posts, Facebook updates, tweets, and maybe a few news articles about the 21 Day Fix. While the diet's signature colored containers and weight loss promises are intriguing, it needs to be examined just like any other fitness trend. We're uncovering this diet's plan, promises, and overall potential so that you can decide whether or not it's the right program for you.

The Plan

21-Day Fix tupperware

The 21 Day Fix is (surprise!) a 21-day weight loss program. Created by personal fitness trainer Autumn Calabrese, this program combines a portion-controlled diet plan with a series of targeted workouts.

Food portions are controlled using a series of color-coded containers. Each color container is designated for a specific food or group of foods, and whatever you can fit into each container is the amount you're allowed to eat for the day. These containers are designed with each color a different size that promotes a balanced meal while ensuring that you neither over-eat nor under-eat. You also receive a Shakeology shaker cup, which you use for protein shakes and drinks.

The color breakdown is as follows:

  • Green: Vegetables
  • Purple: Fruits
  • Yellow: Carbs
  • Red: Proteins
  • Orange: Seeds and dressings
  • Blue: Healthy fats

The program also includes a workout plan. Participants are asked to work out once a day for 30 minutes and receive two workout DVDs with six set exercises to complete. These workouts include a cardio session, various strength training routines, and yoga flow.

Those who buy into the program can also receive bonus items such as the 21 Day Fix eating plan (which is intended to boost weight loss at the end of the program), a bonus workout routine, and 24/7 online support.

The Promises

workout home 21 day

The 21 Day Fix promises to help you lose weight by teaching you how to eat properly portioned and well-balanced foods. This is paired with a variety of workouts that are meant to strengthen, condition, and lengthen your muscles.

The theory is that this eating plan will help you fuel your body with the best fat-burning foods in proper amounts, and the workouts will burn maximum calories in a short amount of time.

A supercharged version of the program (called the "3 Day Quick Fix") promises to help you lose weight even faster, but it can only be used during the final 72 hours of the plan.

The Potential

The 21 Day Fix can help you understand just how much food you should be eating in a day and how much exercise is appropriate for your body. As opposed to other fad diets, it aims to educate participants so that they can maintain a healthy diet beyond the 21 days.

While it may not be sustainable over the long term (considering you work out for three weeks straight), this program may just be the boost your body needs to kickstart your weight loss. With any luck, what you learn will help you transition this "quick fix" into a long-term healthy lifestyle.

The plan is simple, easy to follow, and not as extreme as some other diet programs on the market; however, you should still be cautious. The program is not for everyone, such as those with a gluten allergy. It's important to consult your doctor before participating in any sort of weight-loss program or dramatically altering your diet.

Photos: CatchaSnap /, Moises Fernandez Acosta /, VectorLifestylepic /