I don’t know about you but every time I’m about to start a new workout program I turn into a 2-year old who just wants to start now, now, NOW! So I do the only thing that a Type A person can do: I prepare.
I organize every detail of every component to make sure that I am all set for the days ahead. Then I go back and I tweak it and tweak it again.
It’s a sickness I tells ya…
But having done the 21 Day Fix twice and now in the middle of 21 Day Fix Extreme I’m not nearly as obsessive as I was the first time I did it and, instead, adhere to a few key steps to make sure I go into the program:
Know Your Container Allotment
The first thing to do after you’ve given everything a look over is to fill out the boxes provided to get your calorie range and then find your container allotment. Drill these number into your brain! They are what you’ll be focusing on for the next 3 weeks! If you do the program enough times like I have you wind up not even having to track your food as much because you can quickly count in your head how many of which container you’ve eaten and how many more you have to use up. Your job here is just to do your best each day to eat within your allotment. It’s not a big deal if you don’t eat all of them on one day or go over a bit on the next day because if you’re AROUND the limit each day it all evens out and you’ll still see results. Just know your container allotment and get familiar with what goes into each one.
I cannot stress this enough. If you want to make your life easier and ensure your best chances at staying on track – meal plan and then prep what you can in advance.
When the 21 Day Fix first came out we were confined to the single ingredient list given in the guide but now? Now the world is our oyster! Almost all of the recipes over at teambeachbody.com contain 21 Day Fix container breakdowns. If you Google “21 Day Fix recipes” you’ll find thousands of hits AND, as of July 15, 2015 there’ll be a 21 Day Fix COOKBOOK available (contact me if you want to be notified of the release)! It’s now easier than ever to do this program and create yummy meals that the whole family can enjoy. My suggestion is to not overcomplicate things. Vary up your lunches and dinners but make your breakfast and snacks fairly routine so you’re not A) breaking the bank when you grocery shop, and B) spending hours trying to calculate how the recipes you want will fit into your daily container allotment. For me, when I’m doing the plan I’m VERY routine: Shakeology with 1/2 unsweetened almond milk for breakfast (1 red, 1 purple, 1/2 yellow), salad with some sort of fish or shrimp with a side of fruit (2 green, 1 red, 1 orange, 1 purple), my snack usually consists of some form of cooked egg (these egg cups are my current go-to snack) with raw, unsalted almonds and a fruit (1 red, 1 blue and 1 purple – or add 1 green if I have the egg cups). Dinner is where I switch things up. I plan about three recipes that use up the rest of my container allotments and prep double batches of them. Then I eat them on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday and then repeat them Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Sundays tend to be my “leftover” day and also my day to indulge on a glass of wine (if I’m not doing 21 Day Fix Extreme).
If you can prepare your dinners ahead of time you’ll save yourself a TON of time and will ensure you stay on track after long days at work or with the kids.
Schedule Your Workouts
With the 21 Day Fix you’re being asked to work out DAILY. For many this is a HUGE step and that’s okay! This is why they’re only 30 minutes each and vary day to day. If you have to miss a workout don’t worry about it (and don’t try to “catch up” by doubling up the next day, it’s not really going to do anything for your results and can result in overtraining if you get overzealous).
The best way to ensure that you get as many of those workouts in as possible is to physically schedule them into your day. Take out your calendar and write down which workout you have to do and the precise time you’ll do it. Research has shown that those who schedule their workouts in this way are more likely to actually DO them.
So what time of day is best? Whichever time you are least likely to be disturbed. For most this is early in the morning (my alarm is set for 5am DAILY), for others it may be later in the evening or perhaps even during your lunch hour. No, it’s not fun to have to work out at ridiculously early hours of the day but, for me (and most others), this is when you KNOW you won’t be disturbed. The kids are still sleeping, your spouse doesn’t need you, no one from work is going to be calling you and there’ll be no texts to distract you. You won’t have to feel “guilty” for having your own time when you know everyone else is busy sawing logs. Plus you’ll be amazed at how amazing you feel knowing you kicked some major ass before anyone else is out of bed and you don’t even have to think about your workout until the next day.
Take Your Before Measurements/Photo
I know it’s not the most pleasant thing to do but trust me on this: take your before photo and measurements! You won’t want to look at them now or face the music but three weeks from now when you do it all over again you’re going to be SO HAPPY you did so! This is the absolute BEST way to gauge your success! The scale only shows you one aspect of your success (and it’s actually the LEAST reliable indicator of success), your side-by-side shot however is going to be the BEST indicator! Plus, you’ll need these photos and info for when you submit your results to the Beachbody Challenge so you can get your free t-shirt (and possibly win some cash).
Plug Into Your Support System
Finally, if you’re involved in a Challenge Group make sure you’ve introduced yourself, stated your goals and know what’s expected of you in the days to come. Make friends with your fellow challengers and get ready to have some fun! If you’re not in a Challenge Group, reach out to your coach, a good friend, a family member, spouse or whoever you need to help support you in your journey. Communicate with them how you need them to help you stay on track and motivated throughout the program.
Now all you need to do is sit back and revel in the fact that you are about to start something that’s going to change not just change your body, but your LIFE!