One of the more difficult parts of starting any new diet or nutrition program is figuring out portion control. The color-coded 21 Day Fix containers were created to help solve this problem and make portion control easy and intuitive and get you away from the hassle of calorie counting. If it fits and it’s on the approved food list, you can eat it!
How the 21 Day Fix Containers Work
There are six colors corresponding to six different types of foods:
The green container is for vegetables. These can be cooked or raw, sliced or chopped. Some examples include lettuces, kale, squash, peppers, mushrooms, and onions. Go ahead and really squish the lettuce into there to create a voluminous salad!
The purple container is for fruits. Berries can easily fit into this container as can grapes and cherries, but you’ll want to cut larger fruits like watermelon, or fruits with pits, like peaches.
The red container is for protein. Fill it with chicken breast, yogurt, eggs, tofu, or shellfish. For some of the other protein, consult the food list in your guide.
The yellow container is for more caloric carbs, as well as starches. This is where you’ll fit in foods like rice, beans, sweet potatoes, and whole-grain pasta into your diet. For foods that don’t easily fit into your container such as waffles and tortillas, the portion amounts are in your 21 Day Fix guide.
The blue container is for healthy fats. Mashed avocado, nuts, cheese, and hummus are just a few of the things you can put in this container.
The orange container is for seeds and dressings. It is the smallest and is used for calorie-dense foods like seeds, olives, coconut, and 21 Day Fix-approved dressings.
There is also a teaspoon measurement included in the 21 Day Fix program, and this is for oils and butters, such as olive oil and peanut butter. A teaspoon is not provided with the containers, so you’ll need to use your own. (And who doesn’t have a teaspoon in their kitchen?)
How To Use Them
Now that you know what goes in the containers, it’s time to use them. Although you don’t have to count your calories each day, you should use page 4 of your guide to figure out approximately how many calories you need in a day. Once you do, take a look at the 21 chart on page 19 that will let you how many containers of each color you should eat each day for your calorie range. If you’re paying attention to macronutrient percentages, you’ll notice that the plan is roughly 40% carbohydrates, 30%protein, and 30% fat.
Although the guide contains recommendations for how much of one type of food can fit into a container, you can mix and match foods of the same category to fill a single container. For example, if you don’t want to use a whole green container for spinach, then you can fill one half full of spinach and the other half full of carrots, and it will still equal one green container.
As convenient and transportable as the containers are, you don’t have to eat out of them. You can measure out the portions in the containers and then empty the container out onto a plate or into a bowl.
Why the 21 Day Fix Container System Works
You don’t have to count calories. You only count containers. And it’s a lot easier to keep track of three green containers than x number of calories.
It’s definitely enough food. Often when people begin this program, they find that they’re full even before they’ve finished all their container portions for the day. That’s because healthy food has more volume than junk food. If you find you find this is the case for you, only eat what you can, but make sure to eat a little from all the containers instead of just filling up on your favorite kind and avoiding what you like the least.
It’s practical. Portion control is about moderation and being aware of what you’re eating. The containers help you do this. After you’ve completed your first 21 days, you’ll have a good idea of how many fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and healthy fats you should be eating every day.
Need some ideas on how to use yours containers? The creator of the 21 Day Fix, Autumn Calabrese, created the FIXATE cookbook for you. And, here are some sample meal plans you can use too!