Why I Cheat on the 21 Day Fix
I think the name 21 Day Fix can be misleading if you don’t know what the program is truly about. It is by no means a quick fix and most people continue to do multiple rounds after the first 21 days are over. The color-coded containers are meant to teach you portion control and balance. You may think that you need to exercise to lose weight, but you really don’t! Exercise is good and necessary for so many reasons, but your NUTRITION is going to be key when it comes to weight loss. The 21 Day Fix program has been the solution for so many people who have struggled to know what to eat and how much to eat in the past.
I’m one of those people that need to follow a meal plan or I’d be in the pantry eating an entire bag of Pirate’s Booty when I’m stressed out about my 4 year old. Ha!! I am such an emotional eater, so having the containers and plan all laid out for me really helps me keep things under control. I resisted the containers for a very long time, and as a result, I gained 13 pounds over the course of about 8 months. So even though I love my routines and I am a planner through and through, I have found that I am much more successful when I allow myself a few cheats. Yes, I said it! I cheat on the 21 Day Fix!
While the plan DOES allow for some treats, you have to use your yellow containers for those treats. The point is to eat whole, clean foods and eliminate processed foods all together. The problem with that, is that it’s not something I can do for the rest of my life. I love sweets way too much and I love going out to eat with my family. I refuse to give that up. I’m constantly working to find a nice balance so that I can be healthy on the inside, love how I look on the outside, AND still enjoy those not-so-great-for-you foods once in awhile. Here are some things that I do, even though they aren’t 21 Day Fix approved.
- I add Dasani flavoring to my water. Yep, it contains artificial sweeteners. This is something I hope to give up in the future, but right now, it helps me to drink my water and stay on track. I don’t put it in EVERY water bottle, so I like to think that I have a good balance going.
- I eat Salt & Vinegar Almonds. Technically you are only supposed to have raw, unsalted nuts while you are on the Fix, but what fun is that? This is just one of those things that I think is totally fine. Can’t stop won’t stop.
- I use 1 Tablespoon of Light Mayo for egg/tuna salad. Mayonnaise is not an approved 21 Day Fix food because it is processed. To be honest, the LIGHT version is even worse. I know this, yet I still use it when I have egg salad or tuna salad for lunch. The truth is, I don’t feel like 30 calories are really going to hurt my progress. I could definitely use avocado instead, and I have in the past, but there are just some things that make this lifestyle easier for me and that’s one of them.
- I put an extra teaspoon of peanut butter in my Shakeology every day. You guys, I’m just not going to measure out 2 tiny teaspoons of peanut butter every time. I’m just not. That’s annoying and depressing. Instead, I use a tablespoon (which is equivalent to 3 teaspoons), and it really is ok.
- I have one cheat meal a week. Every Saturday afternoon, we go out to lunch as a family. I order whatever I want to order, and I try to stick to water for my drink. I really make an effort to stop eating when I am comfortably full. The goal is not to eat myself into a food coma. I just want to take a break from the measuring and the healthy choices and just enjoy a high fat, delicious meal. I drink Shakeology for breakfast that morning and I make healthy choices the rest of the day. Sometimes we even throw a dessert into the mix! Technically this is against the rules of the Fix, but again, I’m looking to create a lifestyle that I love and can stick with.
I think it’s important to understand that we are all individuals with different needs, different goals, and different lifestyles. When you start looking at the 21 Day Fix as a TOOL, things will become easier for you. It is an amazing guide and it has really taught me how to eat for my body, but if I were so focused on the nutrition guide and ignored the things that make me happy, I probably would’ve quit a long time ago. And when you quit, you gain weight back. Instead of quitting when life throws a birthday party at you, just adjust, do the best you can, and then continue on with the plan the next day! It does not have to be all or nothing. You absolutely CAN still have a social life AND be healthy. I know it’s possible because I live it.
Are my results going to be a little slower than somebody who is following the program exactly how it is written? Yes, probably. If you’re looking for fast weight loss, you’ll want to pay attention to the guide and do what it says. If you’re looking to create a lifestyle that you won’t QUIT, then you’ll want to modify things here and there to make it work for you. I’m not telling you to eat 2 cookies every night and call that “modifying the plan,” but I AM telling you to not stress out about the 1 tablespoon of mayo you use 3 times a week.
There certainly is a place and time for being strict with your meal plan (before a big event, a vacation, etc), but for day-to-day life, I prefer to be a bit of a rebel. I’m still seeing results and I’m still leaps and bounds from where I was 2 years ago. If my body stops responding, I will evaluate and change things up, but for now, I’m going to enjoy the heck out of that extra teaspoon of peanut butter.
If this sounds like something that might be a good fit for you, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can chat!