If you have fallen off the exercise wagon and need to trim your waste line, the 21 Day Fix workout program by Beachbody can help you jump start your weight loss. Trainer and national bikini competitor, Autum Calabrese, has a gift for motivating even the most out-of-shape person with workouts that are designed to gradually improve fitness. Her basic premise is that it takes three weeks to break a bad habit, such as a sedentary life style and bad nutrition. The 21 Day Fix is supposed to replace these bad habits with an easy-to-follow workout schedule and a healthy eating plan.
Daily 30-minute workouts are the staples of this program. Since the goal is to burn lots of calories and build muscles, most workouts consist of interval training with free weights or a resistance band, as well as plyometric exercises. Calabrese keeps reminding us that you can do anything for 60 seconds, which is the length of each exercise, followed by 15-second breaks. People with limited mobility or strength can choose a modified version of each exercise to avoid injury. In weeks two and three you have the option to do two 30-minute workouts (one in the morning, one in the afternoon) per day in order to keep your metabolism in high gear for more dramatic weight loss results. Following the workout schedule is optional, but guarantees better results. You can mix and match the following eight workouts as long as you do at least one per day (no rest days!):
- Total Body Cardio Fix
- Upper Fix
- Lower Fix
- Pilates Fix
- Cardio Fix
- Dirty 30
- Yoga Fix
- 10-Minute Fix for Abs
The ultimate package also includes the Barre Legs and Flat Abs Fix workouts.
The Eating Plan
Keep in mind that American portion sizes have been increasing, while people have become more and more sedentary. That means that we consume too many calories and burn very little. The inevitable result is gradual weight gain. The 21-Day Fix counteracts this phenomenon. To help with portion control and meal choices, the program comes with nine colored food containers for various food groups and plenty of healthy recipes.
The goal is to eat at a calorie deficit to jump start your weight loss during this 3-week program. So you need to figure out your daily calorie target number first:
- Determine your caloric baseline = Your current weight in pounds x 11
- Calculate your caloric needs = Your caloric baseline + 400
- Figure out your needed calorie deficit = Your caloric needs - 750
Using the food containers makes calorie-counting easy and teaches you what a healthy portion size for each type of food looks like. After three weeks of using the containers you will probably be able to rely on eye-measurement instead. Following the eating plan is crucial for achieving weight loss success because you can never out-exercise a bad diet.
Is the 21 Day Fix right for you?
Anyone can benefit from the 21 Day Fix eating plan because it teaches us how to choose healthy portion sizes for any type of food. The workouts, on the other hand, may not be challenging enough for people with advanced fitness levels, such as recent Insanity and P90X graduates. That said, this program is perfect for people who have never worked out before, or who have been on a fitness-sabbatical for quite some time. Increasing your fitness level gradually helps you avoid injuries and stay motivated while celebrating small milestones.