Wednesday, November 11, 2015

21 Day Fix Extreme - My Quest for a Six Pack

Call me vain.  I'm not really, but I am on a quest for six pack abs.  Well, some definition in my abs really.  I want to prove that age is just a number.  If you've read my other blog posts you know that I've been doing Beachbody workouts for a while now and I've had great results.  I lost weight, gained strength and endurance.  But the sixpack keeps eluding me.  When it comes down to it, abs are made in the kitchen.  I knew when the 21 Day Fix Extreme (21DFX) was announced, it was what I needed. 



 ***I'm late in posting this since my first round was in February 2015 and it is now November 2015.  Somehow I just never posted it and thought I did.  I'm actually doing my third round now.  I did my second round just before a vacation in July and I'm now running a 21 Day Fix Challenge group to get ready for the holiday season. This post is about my first round.****

So first, let me tell you a little about the program.  The 21 Day Fix Extreme is a new extreme version of the popular 21 Day Fix.  The concept is the same -- 30 minute workouts and color coded containers to control portions and each the right ratio of foods.  The difference is the nutrition is dialed in and the workouts are bumped up a notch or two or three. 


Meal Plan


There are no cheats and no treats.  Some of the foods on the original list are not on the Extreme list of allowable foods.  There are still plenty of options to make delicious and satisfying meals.  The other difference is it offers a Count down to Competition meal plan to really get quick results.  


I was training for an Ultra Relay team at the time of my first round so that was an extra challenge.  My total mileage for the relay was almost 34 miles so when I did the 21 DFX I was also running about 35 miles a week.  Therefore, I bumped up my nutrition to the second tier on the calorie chart during the week and went to the third tier on my long run day. 


So during the week I had the following:



4 Green – Vegetables
4 Red – Proteins
3 Purple – Fruits
3 Yellow – Starch/Carbs
1 Blue – Nuts & Cheese
1 Orange – Seeds & Dressings
4 tsp – Oils & Nut Butters

I was NEVER hungry and I was pleasantly surprised.  For the first week I kept it pretty simple and planned basic meals and thought of it in terms of protein and sides rather than composed dishes.  This was especially true on the Countdown to Competition days when there is only 1 yellow (for my tier) and no fruit and more protein.  It is strict but THAT is what you need if you want to melt fat away.  
What did I eat? 
I didn't give up coffee.  I continued to drink it with a little milk and coconut oil but I accounted for the amount of milk by reducing my yellow a fraction.  I had Shakeology every day.  I have my shake after my workouts in the morning and often drink it on my way to work so I continued that routine while doing the 21 DFX.  Once I got to work I mostly had steel cut oatmeal with a teaspoon of peanut butter and mixed berries.  That was just breakfast. 
Morning snack was usually a yellow, a red and another purple.  The oatcake recipe in the 21 DFX nutrition guide with yogurt and berries works nice as a morning snack. 
Lunch was typically a red, a green and either an orange and or yellow.  Salad with steak or chicken or tuna was easy.    I love seeds so I usually had half an orange of pumpkin or sunflower seeds and half for dressing.  
Afternoon snacks were often hummus and veggies or hardboiled eggs or fruit, depending upon what containers I needed to eat and knew I didn't have planned for dinner.  
As I said, my first week I focused on plain dinners.  By plain I mean simple, not bland.  I had bison steak, roasted veggies and potatoes, or roast chicken with rice and veggies.  One night I even made burgers from lean, grass-fed beef with oven fries and veggies. 
Over the course of three weeks I ate a lot of the same meals.  Listen, I love to cook and my family loves to eat.  But I wanted results more than I wanted to make some recipe I found on Pinterest.  You are not going to see change unless you change what you are doing. Cooking those meals and not focusing on your nutrition will NOT get you results.  Start thinking about food as fuel and it gets easier.

The Workouts
There is a different workout each day and there is work out each day of the week for 3 weeks. For the workouts you will need a set of light and heavy weights and a resistance band.  There are suggested weight in the book but I was using 8 lbs through 15 lbs.  But I found it hard to stick with just 2 so I also used 10 lbs and 12 lbs depending on the move.  My heavy weight for shoulders is different than my heavy for my biceps or chest.  I liked having the range and I felt it helped me get results faster. 

The resistance band.  What can I say about that.  Not my favorite and it is used quite a bit.  Make sure you have one.  It does not come with the base kit.  If you used T25 the band that came with that is perfect.  Otherwise you can order it online at www.katjohnsonfitness.com or you can get it at any sporting good store.  Go for light weight or up to 15 lbs resistance.  Pilates will be impossible if you use anything heavier. 


Results


I was pleased with my results.  I will admit that I did not follow the nutrition 100%.  My first weekend I had an annual girls weekend.  On Friday for dinner, I ignored the meal plan.  We ate, we drank, we had a good time.  Not part of the plan but its life.  But Saturday morning I was back at it and made steel cut oatmeal and yogurt for our breakfast!  For the most part I followed the meal plan precisely.  Here is my before and after photos and as you can see, I've got more definition in my arms and my abs.  This program works.  It will be my go to before events or vacations.  It is not a quick fix if  you have to lose a lot of weight but it is a program that will get you results.  It IS a quick fix if you are just looking to get that extra definition or drop those 5 pounds to get into that dress for a party next month.  




Stay tuned for my next round.  I still don't have the six pack that I wanted by the end of the year but I still have about 50 days to get there!

Click 21 Day Fix to go to my site to 
purchase or read more about 
it or click 21 Day Fix Extreme. 

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