If you have ever felt overwhelmed following the Ultimate Portion Fix, you’re not alone. I struggled with this too, until I created a 21 Day Fix Meal Planner to help me plan and organize my food for the week. This simple spreadsheet will help you fill your containers with food you LOVE, so you can get the results you want while eating the foods you love.
Sound good? Let’s do this.
Step one - snag the digital planner
Download your copy of the 21 Day Fix digital meal planner here (it's free).
Wait, what's the 21 Day Fix Meal Plan?
If you’re new to the 21 Day Fix Meal plan, here’s the skinny - it’s a portion control program, designed by Beachbody’s Master Trainer, Autumn Calabrese.
When you sign up for the program, (or any of Beachbody’s home workout programs) you get a series of containers that represent the major food groups - Proteins, Carbs, Fats, Veggies, Fruits, Seeds & Dressings and oils.
Is the 21 Day Fix harder than counting macros?
This is a little different than counting macros in that there are more food categories to consider. When you count macros, you mostly focus on carbs, protein and fat. With this program, you are focused on getting a certain volume of food in each category, which ensures you’re eating a balanced diet (rather than a bunch of processed food).
Isn't count macros easier?
It might seem that way at first, but if you’re someone who really wants to understand the fundamentals of nutrition, portion control and how to eat well, then this program will give you that. Counting macros is great if you just want to eat your favorite foods and you're good at moderation.
How to succeed on the 21 Day Fix
I can say with 100% confidence, that the best way to succeed on the 21 Day Fix meal plan is to plan your food in advance. If you fly by the seat of your pants, you’re setting yourself up for failure. I”m not suggesting that you need to pre-make every single thing you eat, but the more you plan, the better you will do.
How to plan your 21 Day Fix meals for success
I have developed a spreadsheet that breaks down the volume of food, based on the 5 meal plans available. Every meal plan is different based on your starting weight. The more you weigh, the more you can eat.
Step 1: calculate the plan you should follow based on your current weight.
You can get a break down on that here. Once you know what plan you should be following, now it’s time to dive into the spreadsheet and look at your portion breakdown. See how many of each containers you get every day so you can start planning your meals. If you want a low carb version, you can get that here.
Step 2: Explore the food list and find your favorites
Now, head over to the master food list. This is ALL the approved foods, broken down by food category. Take some time to go through this list and highlight the foods you love to eat. Make those one color.
Now, go through the list again and highlight new foods that you think you might like, or that you’re willing to try. Highlight those a different color. Commit to trying one new food at least once a week. The goal here is to expand your palette for healthy foods and learn how to prepare them!
Step 3 Plan your meals, starting with Breakfast
I have found that when you look at your week all at once, it can be really overwhelming. I mean, who the heck knows what they want to eat next Tuesday for dinner?
That’s why I recommend you start with planning your breakfast (or your first meal of the day if you’re into intermittent fasting). Most of us tend to eat the same few things for breakfast every day, so find a few breakfast options on the master food list that you know you’ll enjoy and plot it into your meal plan.
Now do the same with lunch.
This might be different for you depending on if you each lunch at home or on the road, but do the best you can to plot it out. If you do eat out, think about the places you like to frequent. Can you get a green salad with grilled chicken and a light dressing? Easy enough! That’s one or two greens, one red and possibly one orange container. You get the idea, right?
I generally find that you will have the best success with lunches if you can bring your own wherever you go. If that’s school or work, count on saving a lot of money by bringing your meals with you!
Plan your dinners based on batch cooking!
Dinners can be tricky as we often eat with our families or at restaurants. You can have the most success with your dinner meals if you batch cook proteins, veggies and carbs in advance.
For example, try grilling 3 meals worth of chicken, pre-make a few cups of quinoa or rice, and chop a bunch of veggies in advance. That way, you can quickly assemble a variety of options that will work for the whole family.
Using that simple example of grilled chicken, chopped veggies and some quinoa or rice, you can make:
- Buddha bowls
- Lettuce wraps
- Or simply plate it as is!
I love prepping food like this because you can make any number of meals using the same ingredients and dinners become simple and easy.
Pro-tip: If there is one thing you take away from this blog post, it’s to batch cook your protein, carbs and veggies in advance and you will succeed at this.
Don't worry about prepping fruits and healthy fats
Think about stocking your fridge with baby carrots, humus, unsalted nuts, individual cheese strings, sweet peppers and fruit. Having that on hand will make snacking a breeze.
How to incorporate Shakeology into your meal plan
I feel like this is a personal choice. Some folks like to make it a full meal by adding fresh spinach, berries, nut butter or bananas to their shake.
If you're new to Shakeology, it's the superfood shake I have every day. It's not only amazing for you - it tastes great, too (I love the chocolate vegan).
What about alcohol on the 21 Day Fix Plan?
There’s a place for that in your plan as well! You can use your yellow (carb) container for wine or spirits. This is something I prefer to do as I can get a lot more enjoyment from a glass of chardonnay than ½ a cup of rice. But that’s just me 🙂
What’s the difference between 21 Day Fix and the Ultimate Portion Fix?
Absolutely nothing. They are the same thing. The 21 Day Fix is actually a workout program originally launched with the meal program. It went on to became so popular that they split the program out to be a standalone product, called The Ultimate Portion Fix.
What if I’m not good at following diets?
You’re not alone. I’m not good at this either. I stopped looking at this program as an all or nothing deal. Instead, I acknowledge that I’m not trying to be perfect, I’m just trying to improve my eating habits and healthy food choices.
When I take that approach, I don’t get flustered and quit the first time I go off track. Instead, I let my curiosity lead me. I ask myself - how can I make this work for me? When I do that, I always see results and learn a thing or two about my body!
If you're really not good at following diets, consider giving 2B Mindset a go. It's more of an intuitive eating program that helps you prioritize the right foods for sustainable weight loss. If dieting gives you anxiety - this is the program for you.
Should I use the meal planner to track the food I eat?
Planning your meals and tracking them are two different processes. I would use the 21 Day Fix digital meal planner to plan your food for the week. Then, track your intake on the Beachbody on Demand App. It’s easier and faster than having to pull up a spreadsheet every time you eat a snack, you know?
Ready to get started?
If you’re ready to get started, I highly recommend purchasing the program along with the workouts. You will see faster and BETTER results if you follow the 21 Day Fix meal plan in conjunction with a workout program.
If you just want the nutrition program, you can get that, too. Both options come with a ton of resources, coaching, support and more. You’ll never be short on ideas for meals, snacks or workouts.
Want to get started with the 21 Day Fix digital planner? Click here.
Caren is a certified yoga teacher, fitness instructor and author of The Fit Habit. Here she shares simple, low carb recipes, quick home workout ideas and practical ways to foster mind + body wellness.