The first time I did 21 Day Fix, I hated it. I had a headache the whole time, I was always hungry, and at the end of the three weeks, I hadn’t lost a single pound. I was incredibly frustrated, and I even wrote about those frustrations in a previous blog post. I swore up and down that this program didn’t work, despite having multiple friends complete it successfully. And although I vowed never to do the program again, a couple of months ago, I decided to give it another try.
What I realize now is that my first time around, I made a ton of mistakes. In fact, I wasn’t even doing the program properly – which is why I didn’t see any results. The second time around, when I committed to the meal plan and workouts (and did it correctly), I lost a total of 6.4 pounds. In three weeks! Since then, I’ve been following the 21 Day Fix portion control container system while doing other workouts, like P90X3 and Insanity Max 30. I had a few weeks where I cheated a lot thanks to birthdays and vacations, but since May, I’ve lost nearly 10 pounds – just from following the meal plan correctly.
If you’re thinking about getting started with 21 Day Fix, here are 5 of the biggest (and easiest) 21 day fix mistakes to make – as well as how to avoid them.
Using tablespoons instead of teaspoons
I’m not sure why, but my first time around, I really thought that the teaspoon was a tablespoon. So, instead of using two teaspoons of peanut butter in my morning Shakeology, I was using two tablespoons. Those extra calories may not seem like a big deal, but combined with all of the other mistakes below, it was truly a recipe for failure.
I don’t like vegetables – minus a select few like cauliflower, broccoli, and carrots. After a few days, I got really tired of eating the same vegetables, so I skipped them. Some days I’d replace it with a fruit and other days I would just avoid using the container altogether. Both are terrible ideas, as vegetables are part of what makes up a balanced diet. Plus, with vegetables, you’re getting a ton of food (and nutrients) for very few calories, which helps to fill you up and prevent you from overeating. Instead of eating my vegetables, I’d skip them, get hungry, and make poor choices.
I’ve also heard of people skipping other containers (like carbs) because they think it’s bad for them. Remember – this meal plan is set up this way for a reason. All of the foods that are “21 Day Fix approved” are good for you, and they help round out your meal plan. Skipping a certain container or even a meal may seem like a good idea, but it can actually mess with your metabolism and it deprives you of the nutrients you need to fuel your body for the day.
Overflowing the containers
When you put food into the containers, the idea is that you’re supposed to be able to put the lid on it. But since I was convinced that the container wasn’t big enough, I gave myself a “heaping portion” of all of my foods. I’d add in a few extra pieces of chicken, give myself extra peanut butter, and put some extra pasta on my plate. It didn’t seem like a big deal at the time, but when you take into account that you’re doing this at every meal, the calories really add up. And at the end of the day, you’re no longer following the meal plan.
Also, be mindful that in the program’s nutrition guide, some ingredients have portions listed next to them that may not necessarily correspond with the container. For example, 20 pistachios is a blue and half a banana is a purple. I didn’t realize this, and I would use a whole banana and count it as a purple. Oops!
I don’t like pilates or yoga. At all. My first time doing 21 Day Fix, I was also doing the C25K running plan, so I skipped the yoga and pilates workouts and ran instead. Maybe this wasn’t really a big deal, but it kind of was. The workouts are set up the way they are for a reason. Skipping yoga and running (which is cardio) meant that I wasn’t giving my muscles the rest that they needed, I wasn’t working on my flexibility, and I was failing to work out certain muscle groups. Even if you don’t like a workout, do your best to power through it. When you modify the program, you’re only cheating yourself – and you may never achieve the results you were hoping for.
Not counting all of the ingredients in Shakeology
On 21 Day Fix, a scoop of Shakeology counts as a red container. I don’t know why, but for some reason I thought that you didn’t have to count whatever extra ingredients you put in there. For example, in my Shakeology I put in water, unsweetened vanilla almond milk, banana, and peanut butter. This should make my shake 1 Red, 1/2 Yellow, 1 Purple, and 2 Teaspoons. Instead, I was just counting this as a red (and using a whole banana instead of a half). This is a really bad mistake to make, and looking back, I can’t believe that I was always hungry considering all the extra food I was eating.
If you’re looking to achieve maximum results on 21 Day Fix, my best advice to you is to follow the program as best as you can. But don’t forget that you’re human, and you’re going to slip up. You’re going to cave into your cravings, you’re going to skip a workout, and you may even indulge in a cheat meal or two. It’s okay, and it’s not the end of the world. Just give it all you’ve got for the next 21 days, and you’ll be amazed at the results you can achieve.