21 Day Fix: An In-Depth Review

The home workout craze that is hitting its stride in the public consciousness right now is the 21-Day Fix. This program leads those who are willing to follow its guidelines to fast results through “simple fitness” and “simple eating.” The 21-Day Fix is a program produced by BeachBody LLC, a company that has produced some of the more popular home exercise programs over the past decade or so, including P90X and others.

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Specifics About the 21-Day Fix

First of all, if you’re interested in a program that will transform your body in three weeks, you probably shouldn’t expect any off-days, and with the 21-Day Fix, there are no days off. You will be exercising 21 consecutive days in a row; however, if you miss a day, you will need to have the mental toughness to get back in the routine of exercise rather than using that missed day as an excuse to quit. There are different focuses in the workout, depending on the day you’re exercising.

The Different Workouts

  • One day focuses on total body cardio and elevating your heart rate. This is a common type of cardio similar to others on DVD workouts. You’ll be doing lots of movement, such as different things to increase your heart rate. That is what this exercise is all about.
  • Another day focuses on the upper body and includes working on the back, chest, shoulders, abs and arms. The focus here is sculpting muscles. When your body first starts really building muscle, it burns fat. Although muscle weighs more than fat, you’ll be more toned and look more toned when you add muscle to your body.
  • Another day is dedicated to the lower body. This workout includes thighs, buttocks and calves. Feel the burn!
  • One day of workouts is focused on pilates and concentrates on the torso, toning the buttocks, hips and thighs, as well as providing some focus on the core.
  • Another day is devoted to cardio to keep fat burning and make the heart stronger.
  • Then a day is devoted to yoga to improve flexibility and tone your muscle. Muscle without flexibility is an accident ready to happen.

21-Day Fix Eating And Meal Plan

The 21-Day Fix also has an eating plan that is based mostly on portion control. Part of the goal is to ensure people receive the right nutrients while they lose weight. The program’s goal is intended to help people remain healthy as they exercise, and it gives people a fighting chance to remain on their paths to better health as time passes — even if they no longer do the more intense exercises of this program and programs like it. One of the faults with many exercise and eating programs is that people either starve themselves or don’t know what good eating looks like, so when the 21 days end, they return to old, unhealthy habits.

The 21-Day Fix eating plan comes with color-coded containers that signify different kinds of foods you need to be eating; the containers help you recognize the portions you should eat. Each person then determines how many calories they should each eat each day based on a program that comes with the kit.

None of this means that people will not feel hungry when they begin the program. Most of us eat too many calories each day, which is how we got unwanted pudges and bulges. Any time you reduce calories, your body cries for more so that it can feel as full as it normally does. It is used to having more fuel, so your body may think that portion control is starving it.

Just as it takes dedication and perseverance to exercise each day, it takes at least that much focus to eat fewer calories and not cheat. If you’re going to spend time exercising, why not make that time worthwhile by not replacing each calorie you burn with more empty calories. Follow the 21-Day Fix eating plan, and you will see results, no matter what your starting point of fitness is when you begin the process.

Another benefit of following the 21-Day Fix eating plan is that it is not a one-size-fits-all plan. You determine your daily number of calories by figuring your current weight, then following the plan’s formula. The heavier you are when you start, the more you can eat. Why? Because your body will rebel if you starve it too much. Also, a heavy, tall person will weigh more even when perfectly fit compared to a petite person. This plan takes those factors into consideration, which gives people a greater chance to succeed.

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What Do You Get When You Order the 21-Day Fix?

When you order this program, which is produced by BeachBody LLC, you receive two DVDs. Those who have ordered the program have stated that the DVDs are easy to follow, and they include six easy-to-follow workouts that are intended to give your entire body a workout. The kit contains seven color-coded containers to help separate the foods you should eat each day. The containers help keep people on track. Exercise without diet doesn’t work as well as when they each work together. The kit also comes with Shakeology shaker cup which can be used as part of the program.

The 21-Day Fix also has an easy-to-understand schedule of the exercises to do each day. Most of the exercises last 30 minutes, which, when the user follows to the best of their ability, will make your muscles know you’re working hard and will help inspire you to lose weight. There is also a great deal of information about what foods are in what food groups and why it is important to follow the recommended meal plan.

Another added part of the kit from 21-Day Fix is a Three-Day Quick Fix for those who need a quick primer to get back in the shape they will be at the end of the program. Then, there is a Dirty-Forty Workout, which is intended to help people chisel their body. Finally, people who buy the 21-Day Fix will have access to accredited trainers with 24-7 online support and with the same level of support from other users of the program.

Why Do People Fail at So Many Exercise Programs?

People don’t seem to feel that working hard to lose weight is worth the trouble. Gaining weight is easy, and parts of the process can be fun. If you’re already heavy, why say no to an extra bowl of ice cream? Why not eat an extra sandwich, piece of cake or whatever? You have to say no to yourself when you set out to lose weight.

The truth is, if you are 100 pounds or 10 pounds too heavy, few things can be as satisfying to you as losing weight. But many people ultimately fail at losing weight. Why? Because they don’t go about the process the right way.

The right way to lose weight and the heavier you are, the more it’s true: You have to combine a good diet with exercise. Most people decide they don’t have the willpower to do both of those things at once. You can lose weight by dieting and not exercising, and people have been noted for losing 100 pounds in a year. The problem is they tend to starve themselves to make that happen.

Eventually, they will stop starving themselves to eat one meal, but that meal tastes so good that a week later, they eat another big meal. And they look in the mirror and cannot see a difference, so they eat another big meal. Then in three months they have regained that 100 pounds.


Mistakes like this are more common than not. One of the criticisms of the TV show, “The Biggest Loser,” is that people cut back on so many calories that eventually — maybe in a month, a year or three years — their brain is going to scream at them to quit starving their body.

Through its eating plan, the 21-Day Fix teaches people how to eat properly without starving themselves, but this takes willpower. When a person first goes from 3,000 calories a day to 1,800 calories a day, the body misses that fuel. But if you don’t cut out those calories, your body won’t respond to workouts as well.

As long as they are eating nutritious meals, most people will stop feeling hungry from the missing calories in a few days; some people may take a week or 10 days. Consider the alternatives: Feel hungry before each meal, perhaps so hungry you’re uncomfortable for up to 10 days, but fight through it. At the end of 21 days — less than a month ―you look better than you have in years. Or, you could give in, feel better and not hungry for the next few days or even 10, but not see the same level of results.

What Do You Gain by Following the Eating Plan?

If you choose to not follow the eating plan, what will happen? The simplest answer is not much. If you eat 3,000 calories a day and you exercise with the 21-Day Fix, you will lose weight because the net is that you have 2,600 calories working in your body when it had been used to 3,000.

What happens when you follow the eating plan? If you are “supposed” to eat 2,000 calories and you follow that advice, then first of all, you will become healthier. Following the eating plan will give you proper nutrition and the right amount of calories. And, since part of the 1,000 calories you no longer eat were empty calories, these calories you’re now eating according to the plan are better calories. Most of the 2,000 calories you eat have a purpose in the body, and many of them replace empty calories. Suddenly, your risk for heart disease and diabetes goes down. The ultimate gain is that you learn how to eat correctly; after the first 10 days, or sometimes much less, when your body learns you’re going to give it only 1,000 calories, you will learn how to get full by eating healthy foods.


Remember, you can get just as full eating a turkey burger on a whole grain bun as you did eating a triple burger on a white bun. You can also learn to like different foods. What is at stake is your health and appearance. Anyone who wants to lose weight has to decide how much sacrifice is worth it to them.

21 Day Fix Workout Plan

The exercises in the 21-Day Fix are made to keep your body from being complacent and to help you maximize your level of fitness in 21 days. How does this work? The point of most exercise when weight loss is the goal is for the person performing the task to maximize their effort. The truth is, for each of us, only one person can tell you if you’re working as hard as you can and should, and that is the individual doing the work. Often the problem is that most of us are really good at lying to ourselves.

The worse shape we are in, the more tired we are during exercise, and the easier it is to say that we’re giving all we have. Our goal shouldn’t be to push so hard we get ill, but the goal is to maximize our effort. Someone who undertakes any exercise program, and the 21-Day Fix is no exception, had better be working harder on the 21st day than they did on their first day, and the first day of exercise needs to have a lot of effort behind it.

Things You’ll Need at Home

In addition to access to at least an average grocery store, there are some things that you will need before undertaking the 21-Day Fix. You should probably have an exercise mat. Even if you have a carpet, an exercise mat helps trap sweat and therefore odors. An exercise mat also keeps the dirt on the carpet instead of sticking to your sweaty body.


People also need either dumbbells or exercise bands. You do not need barbells to follow the 21-Day Fix exercise routines. Because the routines from the DVDs are mostly focused on weight loss and toning, large dumbbells aren’t needed. Often, women start the program with no weights heavier than 8 pounds, and many men do not need weights heavier than 15 pounds. People without weights often find using bands is a cheaper alternative and often gives just as good of a workout. The most important thing is to not use weights that are too heavy that you are in danger of hurting yourself, but to push your body hard enough that you can lose fat and tone muscle.

What Real Users Have Said of 21-Day Fix

“When the package arrived, I was a little surprised at how small the containers were (they look larger on TV), but trust me, it’s MORE than enough food…. You have so many choices that planning a menu was easy. Overall I would highly recommend this program regardless of your age or fitness level.”

Another Reviewer Said:

“I am so happy I actually stuck through the program this time around. I won’t lie, by the third week, the exercises were becoming monotonous, but they were definitely worth it, and I loved Autumn (the exercise leader). Even now, months after I’ve completed the program, I’ve kept my portions in check, and I don’t overeat.”

Another Person Who Purchased the Program Was Less Than Thrilled and Said:

“Nothing new as far as workouts here, and I was disappointed. I expected updated moves for better results, and this is your basic workout DVD with the same thing. This is just boring … blah.

Overall Opinion

Ultimately, what the 21-Day Fix does is serve consumers with guidelines to help them lose weight. No exercise program is easy if people want results. No program, whether it is a personal trainer in your living room, can make you do things you don’t want to do. No program to help a person learn how to eat right can force users to do the right thing. No matter how good a program is, it is incumbent on the user to do the work.

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