A Vegetarian's Take on the 21 Day Fix
I get a lot of questions about whether the 21 Day Fix works for vegetarians. Since I’m not a vegetarian myself, I thought this would be better answered by one of my clients who is a vegetarian and has completed several rounds of the Fix.
Brittany is a mom of 3 girls, and by adhering closely to the Fix eating plan, and following the workout schedule loosely, she’s been able to wear a smaller clothing size than ever before in her adult life. Family members and friends alike are taking notice and telling her how great she looks!
Some people say the 21 Day Fix is designed for meat eaters. In your experience, can it be effective for vegetarians? How difficult is it for a vegetarian to follow?
I agree that the 21 Day Fix is not designed with the vegetarian in mind (and certainly not the vegan, which I am not). I was in the lowest calorie bracket, which required 4 red containers (protein) but none of them could be beans/grains, which most other types of nutrition plans and diets would count as protein. That meant I had to do eggs, yogurt, tofu, cottage cheese, protein powder, etc. I don't like tofu or cottage cheese, so this limited me even more. Basically, I drank Shakeology in the a.m., Greek yogurt with fruit, two eggs at some point, and then rarely got in the last red. I am not totally averse to sandwich meat, so sometimes I would do a few slices of that, and occasionally I would eat boiled shrimp. While I am not a staunch vegetarian, I do not cook meat at home, and thus, had a hard time with getting enough on 21 Day Fix. The bottom line is: yes, it can be effective, but you have to be really creative to get all the reds in and still eat things that you enjoy. I did see a modified food list for vegetarians that did allow beans to be a red, but not until I was done with the first round.
What adaptations did you make in subsequent rounds? What differences did you notice based on those adaptations?
The main adaptation I made for my second round was not worry about getting all the reds. The first time around, I wanted to follow it very carefully, so I cooked and ate meat, which I did not enjoy at all. I struggled with the food that time around, and found myself craving food I liked more often. When I wasn't quite as concerned with following the plan exactly right, I snacked less, and had much greater weight loss. I felt better because I wasn't forcing myself to eat something I don't like and I wasn't eating something that makes me feel sluggish and tired.
Did you increase any containers to make sure you felt full? Or you were satisfied in the bracket the plan recommended, even with fewer reds?
I didn't increase my other brackets to stay full, but if I got hungry or needed a snack, I did an extra fruit or some raw veggies. Most days I didn't need anything extra.
So you didn’t follow the plan to a T. We know that you still saw changes in your body. But how did the plan change your eating, relative to your habits prior to starting the Fix?
My pre fix diet involved two to three times the amount of fruit than the fix allowed. It was hard for me to cut down because I love fruit! My pre-fix diet also involved a few more vegetables each day, fewer proteins, and fewer grains. Basically I lived off fruit, vegetables, cheese, beans, and a grain every now and then. So even though I didn’t follow the plan to a T, I was still getting more protein and a lower amount of carbs, and probably less fats (and more healthy fats) too.