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How to Get Started with the 21 Day Fix Diet

Get Started with 21 Day Fix Diert

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Ready to start the 21 Day Fix Diet and overwhelmed with the containers and food list? Here are my best tips to get started and stick with the 21 Day Diet.

When you’re trying to lose weight, the never ending amount of diets can seem to be impossible to sort through.

Many of these programs encourage you to engage in complex mathematics to reach your nutritional milestones, but does that really lead you to success?

Simplicity and concise instruction are huge pluses when it comes to putting together a plan that will work for you.

That’s why I recommend the 21 Day Fix Diet as a starting point for losing weight.


How to get started with the 21 Day fix

What is the 21 Day Fix Diet?

The 21 Day fix diet is a plan that calculates your calorie intake based on your current weight and activity level and breaks up that intake into color coded containers.

So first you calculate your calorie intake based on your weight:

your current weight x 11 = calorie baseline

Next you add in your calorie burn based on activity level (skip this step if you are not working out or injured) to calculate how many calories you need to maintain your weight:

calorie baseline + 400 (use a program like 21 Day Fix workouts) = maintenance calories

calorie baseline + 600 (use a program like P90X workouts) = maintenance calories

Finally, calculate how many calories you need in order to lose weight:

Fast weight loss (1.5 – 2 lbs per week)

maintenance calories – 750 = calorie target

Moderate weight loss (1 lb per week)

maintenance calories – 500 = calorie target

Easy weight loss (0.5 lbs per week)

maintenance calories – 250 = calorie target

Once you have your calorie target, you choose your portion plan, A – F. Note, you can’t go below 1200 and you shouldn’t go below 1200 without a physician monitoring you.

Portion Control

Overeating is a leading cause of failed diets all over the world.

To combat this, one of the most central parts of the 21-Day Fix Diet philosophy is portion control.

This is accomplished by using the 21-Day Fix portion control containers.

The containers are also sized and color coded for easily identifying the types and quantity of foods that you will be using for meals.

If you simply don’t eat more than the container allows for the day, you’ll lose weight.

What You Can Eat

There are a wide variety of foods that you can enjoy on the 21-Day Fix Diet.

These include:

Fruit (Purple Container): Berries and apples are included in the fruit section.

Vegetables (Green Container): Feel free to have lots of vegetables, such as carrots, red and yellow bell peppers, onions, broccoli, and cucumber.

Dressing and Seeds (Orange): This section is for your light dressing, which the cookbook will show you how to prepare. You can also have different types of seeds.

Carbs (Yellow): Carbs are also included, but they are limited with what you can have. You can enjoy your complex carbohydrates like oatmeal and some other grains.

Healthy Fats (Blue): These small blue containers are for your healthy fats like nuts and avocado.

Proteins (Red): Lean proteins are allowed, primarily with poultry and tuna.

How to Succeed with the 21 Day Fix Meal Plan

how to succeed with the 21 day fix

Go Slow and Take Baby Steps

Instead of trying to tackle the meal plan and containers all at once, break the containers and meal planning into small steps based on meals or the containers.

Baby Steps Based on Meals

Here’s an example of breaking the 21 Day Fix Diet into meals for a month:

  1. Pick a meal for the week – let’s do breakfasts for week 1.
  2. Go through the 21 Day Fix Food List and circle or highlight your favorite breakfast foods.
  3. Next find some recipes that have those foods or create your own recipes for those foods.
  4. Put your meals on a calendar.
  5. Make your grocery list.

Repeat this process for lunch, dinners, and snacks. By the end of 30 days you will have a month worth of 21 Day Fix meals that meet your portion plan.

Baby Steps Based on Containers

Here’s an example of breaking the 21 Day Fix Diet into containers for a month:

  1. Pick a container for the week – let’s do red/protein for week 1 and let’s say you are in plan A which is 4 red containers.
  2. Go through the 21 Day Fix Red Container Food List and circle or highlight your favorite red foods.
  3. Next find some recipes that have those foods or create your own recipes for those foods.
  4. Put your meals on a calendar.
  5. Make your grocery list.

Repeat this process for all the other containers – week 2 – green and purple, week 3 – yellow, and week 4 – orange, blue, and teaspoons. By the end of 30 days you will have a month worth of 21 Day Fix meals that meet your portion plan.

Plan Your Grocery List

The best way to put yourself on the road to success is to make a plan and follow a schedule.

Get to know how many 21-Day Fix portion control containers of which food you are supposed to have for each day. Then, tailor your shopping list each week to those needs.

Be sure to choose foods that you can use in a variety of meals that you love so that you can stay motivated to stick with it.

Having a great attitude goes a long way to getting you closer to your goals.

How to Lower Your Grocery Bill

Lower your grocery bill

When most people think of dieting, they tend to think of expensive special foods that will drain their time, money, and patience.

The beauty of the 21-Day Fix is that it tends to be less costly. With it’s use of whole foods meal plan for the foods you purchase, there’s less waste.

Plan Your Grocery List 

Once again the all important grocery list saves the day for using the 21 Day fix.

Not only will a list help you stay on track with eating healthy foods but it will also save you money at the store.

Before you go to the store, it’s important to understand what types and quantities of food you will need to buy for your weekly meal plan.

Focus on what is easy and simple. Avoid buying anything that you are less likely to use.

And shop the perimeter to avoid the processed foods!

Purchase Food in Bulk

Buying economy packs can save you a great deal of money.

Stores are likely to package surplus or give a price break for items in higher quantity, so buying a larger amount is often a good idea.

You will be surprised how much money this can save.

For example, buying a family pack of chicken breasts can get you a great deal on your chicken. Then, you can separate into portions when you get home.

If you plan accordingly, you can shave hundreds off of your grocery list this way.

Sam’s Club and Costco are great places to find healthy foods in bulk and at cheaper prices.

I also like Aldi’s, Trader Joe’s, Lidls, and Walmart for healthy items at cheaper prices.

How Meal Prep Can Help you Stay on Track with the 21 Day Fix

meal prep for 21 day fix

When you have time, the next step is to some bulk planning and prepping.

This will save you time, and help prevent the likelihood that you will be tempted to eat something outside of your diet, or buy an expensive item to replace your food from your meal plan.

Always make choices and take action to protect yourself from an opportunity to deviate from your diet.

A small amount of maintenance goes a long way.

Pick Your Favorite Recipes

To give yourself an easy week of meals, pick your favorite recipes. This will help you to find things that you will be excited to eat, and that will help you to stay motivated and on track.

The other reason that you will want to pre-select meals, is so that you already know what kinds and amounts of food that you have to buy on your grocery trip.

Make a Shopping List

Yes, I’m repeating it again because it’s that important!

Once you know what kinds and quantities of food you will need for the week, make list and set a plan of attack.

If you sometimes struggle with making good food choices, there is one very easy piece of advice that can help.

Most of the foods that are on the 21-Day Fix program will be found around the perimeter of the store, so if you stay away from the center of the store you will find much of what you need.  

Freeze any Unused Items

Once you get home, separate your meat based on meals and portions. Then freeze what you won’t be using in the next 2 days.

If you know that you will not be using items soon, freezing them will prevent waste.

I also make my purchases based on meat preferences. For instance, we eat seafood 2 day a week, chicken 2 days a week, beef 1 day a week, and go meatless 2 days a week.

So if there is a special on chicken, seafood, or beef then I will stock up for the month, portion it out when I get home, and freeze it for later.

Budget Time to Cook the Food

In just a few hours on a weekend or at night, you can prepare all of the food that you need for a week.

Budget out the time to make the cooked portions of your meals and store them in containers that you can keep handy in the refrigerator.

You can rest easy knowing that you have gotten this part of your meal plan out of the way, which will save you time and money!

I do this by doubling up on some recipes or making 2 recipes in one day so that I have a meal ready to go the next day.

Make Easy Grab Meals and Snacks

An easy way to make sure you stay on track is to keep things simple.

Make Easy, Grab and Go style meals and snacks.

This will help you to build good healthy habits, and avoid cravings for things that will damage or halt your progress.

Put a small portion of your favorite snack into a container that you can grab when you’re in a hurry or needing a pick-me-up.

Hummus, ranch dressing, nuts, seeds, and nut butters make great portioned snacks that are easy to store.

Guide to Freezing Your Food Ahead of Time

freezing your food for the 21 day fix

One of the big hassles with any diet, is dealing with the food that you have to prepare, but there are a lot of tips and tricks to help save you time and effort when you need to get a meal together.

Food prep is a very important step towards a successful diet with the 21-Day Fix, so you might want to know if there is a way to streamline the process of daily food preparation.

There is, and it’s as simple as freezing a few of the ingredients!

Choose Your Favorite Meals

To begin, you should choose the very best of what you love to keep you happy and motivated.

After you have decided what you will be eating for the week, make a grocery list that you can take with you to the store.

Get all of the fruits, vegetables, carbs, meats, and oils you will need for the 21-Day Fix diet plan that week.

Be sure to pick up some freezer bags that you can use to keep some of what you’ll be pre-making.

Find Out Which Ingredients You Can Freeze

Although some of the freezing choices are up to personal preference, you can do some online research to find out what kinds of foods keep the best in bags or other freezer containers.

After you know what keeps, cook the items, and set them aside.

Lay out everything that you will need so you are sure that you don’t miss anything. 

Freeze Them in Portions That You Can Use Easily

After everything is cooked you can make food kits that you can easily put together for the week.

The food that will be frozen should be put into portions that are easy to use and take little to no effort to pull out and put with the other ingredients for your meal plan.

For example, you could cook all of the chicken breasts and the vegetables that accompany them for the week, and place each pairing of them into plastic freezer bags.

If you like, you can get the kind that allow you to write on them for additional notes and ideas.

Thaw and Eat!

When it’s time for you to eat your food, you can simply take it out of the freezer, let it thaw, or you can place the freezer bags in water so that they thaw more quickly, and viola!

You have a fast pre-made meal ready to eat in a few minutes.

Simple Grocery List For the 21-Day Fix Diet

grocery list for 21 day fix

The 21-Day Fix is built on the idea of starting a new habit that you will maintain beyond the initial 21 days of the program.

This means you are taking on the challenge of not only a new workout routine, but a new diet routine as well.

Though the kits do come with recipe books, some of the books may not be clear on how you need to actually set up an effective grocery list regardless of your budget.

If you are looking for a simple grocery list, here is what you should be grabbing.

This will get you through one week of the program and is broken down according to your containers.


Go for things you can always find at most stores. For example, sardines and boneless skinless chicken breast should be on your grocery list.

These are easy to weigh, easy to prepare, and can be put into your containers easily during meal planning.

If you are a non-meat eater, you can go with things like greek yogurt if dairy is allowed on your dietary plan.

Keep in mind, if it is not you can go with an almond yogurt or soy yogurt option as well.

Protein powder and veggie burgers are also options that can meet your daily protein requirement.


Kale is a vegetable that is becoming increasingly easy to find and simple to prepare.

If kale isn’t on your list for whatever reason, you do have other options.

Brussels sprouts, carrots, cauliflower, mushrooms, and peppers are all easy to prepare.

They are easy to find as well.

If you aren’t really a chef then these are ideal options to add to your simple grocery list since all you have to do with these is either bake them or steam them.


With fruit you want something that is easy to prepare and even easier to keep in a container.

Ideally you want a cut and eat option. Watermelon is an ideal choice when it is in season.

If it isn’t in season then you can go with berries and berry mixes.

You can also choose to go with mango, banana, kiwi, and of course grapes.

The trick with fruits is to remember to keep these in accordance with the amount you are allowed to have, based on the program guides, each day.


When you think of carbs you may automatically go for potatoes or pasta.

Instead, expand out to things like beans.

You can also go with quinoa, peas, crackers, couscous, pita bread, waffles, and tortillas.

All of these are healthy options and easy to work with on the 21-Day Fix.

Healthy Fats, dressings, and oils

Healthy fats, dressings, nuts, seeds, and oils may be the hardest things to figure out on your diet plan and keep simple for your grocery list. 

Keep it simple by sticking to avocado, coconut milk, walnuts, almonds, sunflower seeds, and coconut or extra virgin oils.

These are easy to find, easy to stock up on, don’t cost an arm and a leg, and are easy to mix throughout your recipes to get what you need each day.

These are just a few of the grocery list items that can make your diet plan and eating plan easier.

These items also keep it simple and give you grocery list that will work for your 21-Day Fix.

Final Thoughts on the 21 Day Fix Diet Plan

final thoughts for 21 day fix diet

The best way to succeed with the 21 Day Fix Diet Plan is to start small and keep it simple.

Stay away from casseroles and complicated recipes until you get the hang of using the containers. Once you have the basics down, then you can start adding in more complex recipes.

Remember, progress over perfection.

Hopefully, this is not a race you will finish in 21 days and then go back to your old eating habits. Rather, I hope that you gain new healthy eating habits and find new foods that you and your family enjoy.


What are your tips for eating healthy or staying on the 21 Day Fix Diet?

I would love to see your tips in the comments below 😊😊👇👇

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