It’s no secret that I loved the 21 Day Fix as a sort of “reset” for the way I ate… but what happens after the 21 Day Fix is over? Do you go back to your old ways, commit to another round, or try to maintain a new way of eating?
I’ve been eating according to those little colored containers for over a year now, and I’ve kept my weight in check while doing it. The 21 Day Fix is not just a 21 day challenge–it’s a lifestyle change. After the first 21 Days, you should have an idea of what you need to do in order to maintain this way of eating. Do you need to add another yellow or red container on heavy workout days? Maybe you feel like you’re not eating enough greens and want to remove a fruit serving and add another vegetable in the mix. Or maybe you’re happy with the portions on the 21 Day Fix and don’t feel deprived at all.
After your 21 days are over, sit down and think about where your successes and failures were. For me, I blow it on the weekends with carbs. I know that if I want to feel successful on the weekends and stay within a reasonable eating plan, I need to add an extra yellow container on the weekends. I also never eat enough fruit, but always feel like I have to stop eating veggies. I swap out a fruit for a vegetable, and that’s better for my maintenance. This is what I need to do to stay focused–what do you need?
What Happens After the 21 Day Fix: Maintaining With Your Containers
I’m making an assumption here, but let’s say that you cheated a few times while on the 21 Day Fix. You cheated in the same categories over and over again. I’d assume that your body needs more of that category or you really felt deprived there. Eating with those rules isn’t something that you can maintain. With all of the hard work that you did (yes, even when you cheated a little), you want to maintain that progress! Now you know what it feels like to eat smaller portions. Now you understand that you don’t need a 4 egg omelette with cheese and bacon every morning.
Now remember that.
Maintaining this style of eating isn’t difficult, as long as you create new “rules” for yourself. Not feeling deprived is a large part of any eating program. Knowing that you can have a glass of wine or dessert a few times a week is important! Now is the time to sit down and think about what you need to turn the 21 Day Fix challenge into a lifestyle change.
Are you going to go out for pizza some nights? Of course you are! And you’re going to eat cake, and drink a big coffee from Starbucks every once in a while, and that’s ok. It’s ok because you’re eating well (well=healthier) the other 90% of the time.
Here are a few questions I asked myself when creating my maintenance portions:
- Evaluate color by color. How many times did you skip a tsp. because you don’t really use oil in your food?
- How often did you finish all of your containers right on target?
- When you went over, what color was it most of the time?
- Did you have enough energy during your workouts?
- When you cheated–outright cheated–what did you eat? Candy? Chocolate? Pizza?
- Did you always lack in one area? Maybe you never got enough veggies in?
And here are some tips I have:
- If you didn’t have enough energy to get through your workout, add a yellow or red before your workout.
- If you often “cheated” with sweet foods add another purple or add a healthier energy drink, like Spark. The sweetness takes away from the craving.
- If you cheated a lot on the 21 Day Fix, but can’t identify one specific area? Shakeology is expensive, I know, but the amount of nutrients in it helps to take away your cravings for other foods. I think that the amount spent on Shakeology reduces the amount I spend on other foods that are much less healthy. If you can’t splurge on Shakeology, I recommended a few Shakeology alternatives here. I’d stick with the meal replacement shakes rather than the protein powder to beat cravings.
- Did you always go over on your orange container of peanut butter? Every other day, take out a blue container and add an extra orange.
Zoodles (or spiralized zucchini noodles) are a great way to get your greens in every day, and we can all use some help with that–right?
These are not hard and fast rules–these are just to get you thinking about how you can continue on your healthy eating journey and not jump overboard on Day 22.
If you’re like me, it helps to have a goal in mind–it helps to know exactly how many containers you can eat every day. Since there’s no maintenance plan available yet for the 21 Day Fix, I created one for myself.
Good luck to you with your 21 Day Fix maintenance plan!