Losing weight. Its arguably one of the most common goals in modern society.
This is represented by the term ‘How to lose weight?’ being one of the most commonly googled search questions this year so far.
And the reason it is so commonly searched? Because losing weight is difficult. It takes time, commitment, and a HUGE amount of effort.
Additionally, because of the huge amount of information available online, it is hard to know where to start.
It is for this reason that online workout and diet plans are becoming increasingly popular, and more readily available than ever before.
One of the most popular diet and exercise plans of the last 12 months is the 21 Day Diet Fix.
The 21 Day Diet Fix is a diet and exercise regime that lasts 21 days (surprising, I know), that was based around the suggestion that it takes 21 days to create a healthy, and long lasting, habit.
The program consists of both a thorough diet plan and workout program, and is advertised to help you lose up to 15 pounds in three weeks. The program promotes simplicity, utilising simple and easy to follow dietary interventions, in conjunction with quick and easy home workout programs.
It appears to differ somewhat from similar programs in that it was designed with the intent to educate you on how to eat better, and make long lasting dietary and exercise changes. This is said to allow you to make healthy decisions and maintain a healthy lifestyle well beyond the 21 day duration of the program.
The 21 Day Diet Fix was created by Autumn Calabrese, a well-known celebrity fitness trainer and bikini competition competitor, and is said to combine portion control with regular exercise to promote weight loss.
But does it work?
So, we know that the 21 Day Fix involves making changes to both our diet and our exercise regime, but what exactly does it involve?
In regards to the exercise regime, the 21 Day Diet Fix comes with 2 DVD’s (which can also be conveniently streamed online) containing a total of six individual workouts. You cycle through these workouts throughout the 21 day duration as part of the program.
During the first two weeks of the 21 Day Fix you will undertake a single workout each day. This actually changes during the final week of the program where you are suggested to undertake 2 workouts each day (one in the morning and one in the evening).
These workouts each last only 30 minutes, making them quite easy to implement into your daily routine. Each of the six workouts focus on a separate area of the body, and are advertised to create a ‘massive calorie burn’, due to their high intensity nature.
The six individual workouts differ significantly from one another, and focus on providing a solid training session while also keeping it interesting enough that you do not get bored during the duration of the 21 Day Diet Fix.
Total Body Workout: The total body workout is suggested to elevate your heart rate and increase your metabolism by focusing on large compound exercise that work the muscles of your entire body. Due to the multiple muscle groups involved in the exercises it is suggested to create a massive metabolic demand, burning a heap of calories.
Upper Fix: The upper fix utilizes exercises that focus on your back, chest, shoulders and arms. The aim here is to develop muscle tissue to build a sculpted upper body, while also promote weight loss.
Lower Fix: The lower fix targets the glutes, hamstrings and quads, with the target of toning up the legs.
Pilates Fix: The pilates fix focuses on building core strength and developing the abdominal and glute muscles through a number of different core strengthening exercises.
Cardio Fix: The cardio Fix focuses on high intensity cardio interval based training. It creates a large m metabolic demand on the body, burning a heap of calories and create a large energy deficit, which contributes to weight loss.
Yoga Fix: The yoga fix is a workout consisting of lower intensity stretching and yoga poses. It is designed with the intent to actively recover your muscles from previous workouts, while also burning energy and also increasing flexibility.
One of the areas where the 21 Day Diet Fix differs from other workout programs and challenges is that it isn’t necessarily a cookie cutter program. It also contains something known as a modifier. This modifier takes into account your current fitness level and injury status and adjusts your exercise intensity accordingly.
This makes the exercise regime slightly more individualised, allowing you to work out at a level that you are personally prepared for.
This is where the 21 Day Diet Fix differ significantly from other dietary interventions. It doesn’t lock you into a set diet, but rather focuses on portion control.
The 21 Day Diet Fix calculates your target daily calories, and then from that, provides you with the number of portions of specific foods you need to eat to meet that target.
Portion sizes are controlled by size specific containers that are provided within the program, which eliminates the need for annoying scales and calorie counting.
So as a practical example, if your target caloric intake comes out to be 1300 calories, your daily diet would be made up with 3 portions of vegetables, 2 portions of both fruit and starches/carbohydrates, 4 portions of protein, and 1 portion of both cheese and nuts, and oils.
This portion control system is not restrictive, and educates you what specific foods you should be eating throughout the duration of the day. As a bonus, this way of prescribing food intake makes it extremely flexible, meaning you can break up your intake (and subsequently, portions) throughout the day in whatever order you want.
So, our final thoughts on the 21 Day Fix?
It is undeniably one of the better diet and exercise programs available on the market today. This is because it does make a generous attempt to individualise diet based upon your individual needs, and educate you on the needs of the body and what a proper dietary intervention should look like.
This allows you to make long term changes to your diet and lifestyle after the program has been completed, meaning you can continue to improve your health long after the program is finished .
The only real area of the program that could use some improvement is the exercise regime. While it does try to individualise the program through variances in exercise intensity, it still requires each individual to perform the same types of exercises. This may result in some people performing specific exercises that they may not be able to perform correctly, increasing risk of injury.
Additionally, while the exercises are performed at a high intensity, they only utilise bodyweight as resistance. This makes it difficult to progress beyond a certain point, meaning progress will start to stall once the individual reaches a certain level of strength. The continual increases in resistance is what allows the body to continue to build muscle tissue and burn fat, and without that the exercise program may only be useful for a limited duration .
In saying all of that, the due to its simplicity, and its educational component, the 21 Day Diet Fix is a great option for those looking to lose some weight and improve their health the integration of healthy habits into their current lifestyles.References:
1. Heshka, Stanley, et al. “Weight loss with self-help compared with a structured commercial program: a randomized trial.” Jama 289.14 (2003): 1792-1798. Viewed at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12684357
2. Latham, Nancy K., et al. “Systematic review of progressive resistance strength training in older adults.” The Journals of Gerontology Series A: Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences 59.1 (2004): M48-M61. Viewed at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14718486
John has been a fitness enthusiast for over 10 years, starting out while struggling with obesity as a teenager. Over the years he has advised numerous clients on how to transform their physiques and their lives. As a writer on Nutrition Inspector he aims to help others achieve real results by staying clear of the common hype and false claims in the supplement industry!