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21-Day Fix Review: Fix or Not?

When I got the 21-Day Fix program in the mail, I’ll admit, I was skeptical. I set out all the different colored containers and materials and thought, “This is what I’m going to be doing?” It didn’t look like what I wanted to be embarking on for a workout and eating plan. I thought the rainbow of colors for containers weren’t going to be enough food … little did I know what I was getting myself into and that there were only two workout DVDs included in the program. I’m used to the five to 10 for the other workout programs I’ve done.

21-Day Fix Kit with all the containers and accessories to go with it.

21-Day Fix Kit with all the containers and accessories to go with it.

So with judgment in place, I went through the materials, watched a few YouTube videos and figured out that I could indeed eat a ton of food and there were many workouts to be done on those two workout DVDs I received. I was stoked, also, to know that this was a 21-day program. I am so used to the 90-day programs that I thought it would be a nice change of pace to just do three short weeks.

21-Day Fix was designed and created by Autumn Calabrese. She is a single working mom who happens to be part of the Beachbody family, a celebrity fitness trainer and a national-level bikini competitor. The program is based on the theory that if you work hard and commit yourself to something, you can create a healthy habit in 21 days. She hones in on the one-day-at-a-time theory, which I think is a good strategy. Some programs can be so overwhelming and instructors and coaches can make them seem daunting by not breaking them down. I liked that aspect a lot.

Autumn Calabrese as her rock star self.

Autumn Calabrese as her rock star self.

The program also heavily emphasizes your nutrition. Autumn gives you an eating plan guide that breaks down the containers and how much you can eat each day. The containers are every color of the rainbow and all different sizes. The guide tells you what kinds of foods you can put in each container. It doesn’t seem like a lot, like I said before, but when you use the formula they give you in the book, it actually works out to be a lot of food during the day. To start, the purple container is for fruits, the green for veggies, the red for proteins, the yellow for carbs, the blue for healthy fats like avocados and cheeses, and the orange ones are the smallest for seeds and oils. The green and purple containers are the biggest and the red next in line; the yellow is slightly smaller and the blue smaller than the yellow and so on. I told FBG Jenn in the beginning that I’m a pretty good eater most of the time, so I was going to use the eating plan as a guide and not so much stick to it strictly. However, once I got into it, I thought I’d try the eating plan as much as I could and see if it all worked for me. Turns out … it does.

Along with the eating plan, came the two DVDs that had five to six workouts on each of them. I also was excited that each workout was only 30 minutes long — totally stoked for that. And after having just finished T-25, I was glad that the workouts weren’t going to take much longer than those. I think the 30-minute workouts are appealing more and more to the everyday person because, let’s face it, most of us don’t have enough time in the day for long workouts. It just helps to know that you can be done in 30 minutes and get a good-quality workout in.

Each workout is a little different, focusing on different parts of the body or even the entire body. Autumn does two cardio workouts, one with weights and one without. She does an Upper and Lower Fix — both with weights — and a Dirty 30, which is a full-body workout with some weights. She also brings in a Pilates-inspired workout and a yoga workout. There are seven workouts total (one for each day of the week), in addition to a 10-minute Ab Fix workout. I think she wants you to make the most of the three weeks on the program, so she recommends that you work out seven days a week.

With my busy schedule during the time I was doing the program, I generally had six days each week to work out, so I stuck with that through the duration of the program. I don’t know that my schedule was fully conducive to making sure I had seven days a week to work out, but I think it’s reasonable to think that most people would miss a day here or there during a three-week period. (And, hello, recovery days are important!) The one workout I chose to leave out from my three-week program was Yoga Fix. I tried it once and I really didn’t care for it because I’m just not a big yoga person. It doesn’t have enough moving around for me — but please try it for yourself and don’t take my word for it! However, I did like the Pilates workout and found it to be a nice change of pace from all the other workouts.

I think one of the reasons 21-Day Fix is so popular is that it’s attainable for the average person. There are average people (when I say average, I mean people we might know or see on the street. Not the typical model-like and size-zero woman who has five children and still looks like she’s 21) in the videos — finally … people who are doing the program who are just the same as you and me!

You can complete the program in 21-days, though there are many people who have succeeded doing several rounds of the program. It also gives you directions on what to do for nutrition and you don’t have worry about everything after you do the calculation at the beginning. But it does force you to make a lifestyle change, and I think that’s why people like it.

I’ll admit it, I’m not biggest person in the world, but I was skeptical that I could get results from the program because I thought I was a good eater and took care of myself well. But little did I realize that this program really works. I lost 4.5 inches — which I didn’t think would be possible for me, but it was. You just have to stick with it.

FBG Rating (Out of 5):
Instruction: ****
Long-Term Likeability: ****
Music: ***
Fun Factor: ***
Meets Expectations: ****
Overall: ****

Fit Bottomed Line: I really liked the 21-Day Fix. It surprised me with how well it worked with the amount of time you had to do the program. I would recommend it to someone who is trying to get back into the workout mode and stick with something or to someone just starting out. It’s not nearly as intense as some of the other Beachbody series and very attainable for anyone.

How do you think you would do on a 21-day workout program? —Kelsey

FTC disclosure: We often receive products from companies to review. All thoughts and opinions are always entirely our own. Unless otherwise stated, we have received no compensation for our review and the content is purely editorial. Affiliate links may be included. If you purchase something through one of those links we may receive a small commission. Thanks for your support!


  1. Thanks for the great review on the 21 Day Fix! I have a July 21 Day Fix Challenge Group on FB going on and another in August. If anyone would like to purchase the 21 day fix and get in on my 21 Day Fix Challenge groups please email me at : maryberkhoel@hotmail.com and/ or visit my Team Beach Body website at: http://www.teambeachbody.com/fittallgirl14

  2. carolyn says:

    How does 21 day fix compare as far as inches lost when you did T25 and I assume you did, alpha, beta and gamma?

  3. JillyDod says:

    Love your blog! I love this program’s workouts FOR SURE but I’m absolutely STARVING!! I have never been so hungry on a plan before!! I love her workouts and have noticed my conditioning and overall fitness level has stepped up but I’m so hungry on this plan. What are your thoughts?!! Any hints/ideas for help??
    Thank you for your help!!

  4. Kelsey says:

    Hey all, Thanks for the feedback and glad you all liked the blog.

    Carolyn as for how it compared to the T-25 program. I lost more inches in this program mainly because I was keeping track of my measurements on the 21-day Fix program. So If I had paid more attention to my measurements I would have a better answer for you, sorry. Though I can say I usually stay pretty steady with my weight…I don’t gain much, but I don’t loose much either, unfortunately.

    JillyDod– I did have moments when I was hungry on the program, but I also used the meal plan as a guide and didn’t beat myself up if I had a an extra portion of fruits, veggies or carbs etc. I tried not to deter too much from the suggested portions, but I did my best with what they gave me to work with. I think overall the concept of the program is a good stepping stone for people who are trying to really control their portions and get themselves back on track with better eating and exercise habits. I also find that when I’m working out, I eat more than if I’m not, so listen to your body and make sure you are eating the right foods to fuel your body. Good Luck!

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