We know. Weight loss programs can get really gimmicky. By now you’ve likely become desensitized to before-and-after pictures (sometimes it’s not even the same person!), miracle pills, absurd at home 10-in-1 gyms and excessively cheery exercise videos. You get frustrated when yet another quick fix doesn’t burn the muffin top. You start over only to give up again. Good news—we’ve finally found a program that actually works, and there’s no dieting involved.
21 Day Fix, created by trainer Autumn Calabrese, has two components—simple fitness and simple eating. The package ($73) comes with DVDs of six 30-minute workouts a week and a portion control system. Proper portions are determined by using a collection of seven color-coded containers: red is for proteins, green is for vegetables, purple is for fruits, orange is for seeds and dressings, yellow is for carbs and blue is for healthy fats. You can basically eat anything you want as long as it fits in the containers.
You start off by using a provided formula to determine a range of calories (as opposed to a hard number) you should have per day to start losing pounds. That range of calories corresponds to the number of each container you should fill in a day. Once you get that value, you never have to think about numbers again. Instead, you focus on having multiple balanced meals and snacks throughout the day.
You’ll get a helpful guide with a comprehensive list of food that matches each color. Calabrese actually suggests you don’t eat using the containers, but rather pour ingredients out on a plate so you can train your eye to recognize proper portions. That will come in handy when you’re eating out and in control of your plate.
This is why 21 Day Fix works. While it claims to help you lose weight within 21 Days, what you learn throughout the program are habits that change your lifestyle. Portion control is one of the most difficult challenges people face when trying to get healthy. When I tried out the color-coded containers myself while preparing a day’s worth of food, I realized how I had been overdoing it on carbs—even if it was quinoa!— and not having nearly enough protein.
As for the workout regimen, it helps that you can perform everything in the convenience of your living room. You target the full body doing exercises including small weight lifting, barre moves, pilates, yoga and cardio, so you’ll never get bored. Plus, the 30-minute time frame flies by.
Check out 21 Day Fix for yourself here.