21 Day Fix: FAQ’s

by Jen on May 11, 2016

Have questions about the 21 Day Fix? Here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions.

21 Day Fix Frequently Asked Questions

Finally, a post to answer all of your questions about the 21 Day Fix program!

The 21 Day Fix is such a great program, and it’s the one I recommend to many of my clients! It’s helped me fix the way I eat and balance my meals properly. I love that it combines simple workouts with simple nutrition to give you great results.

I get asked questions about this program on a daily basis. So I thought I would compile them all in ONE place so you have the answers you need! If you don’t see your question here, please message me through the “CONTACT” me tab on my blog, or check out Autumn’s Q&A on her YouTube channel.

Can I do the 21 Day Fix while breastfeeding or pregnant?

Yes, most definitely. I always recommend getting the okay from your doctor first. I also recommend that you go up to the next calorie bracket. Here is Autumn’s answer for breastfeeding moms.

Can I do the 21 Day Fix even though I have a family to feed as well? 

Yes! The last thing I would want is for you to cook a separate meal for yourself and for your family. Plus, why would you want to feed your family unhealthy foods while you eat healthy foods?! Of course, you may need to make some substitutions for them along the way. For example, my kids hate rice. So instead of making them eat rice, I’ll bake up some homemade fries for them to have instead. I recommend printing off the food lists and having your kids circle the foods they like the most and trying to incorporate them as much as you can.

What if I’m not hungry? Do I have to eat all of the containers?

No. If you aren’t hungry, then you shouldn’t force yourself to eat. It’s important to listen to your body’s cues. One day you may not be hungry, the next day you may be very hungry. I find on the days I do weight training, I’m much more hungry! If you find you’re consistently not getting in your allowed containers, then try going down to the next calorie bracket.

I’m starving! Can I eat more?

When you first start the program, you may feel hungry, especially if you’re used to eating bigger portions. But if after a few days you are still really hungry, and that’s accompanied by lethargy and/or light headedness, then you may need to reevaluate your activity level. Are you doing more than the 30 minute workouts? Does your job require you to be on your feet all day? The meal plan is made for a certain activity level, so you may need to change your calorie bracket. See page 76 of your guidebook to do this.

Why am I not losing weight on the program?

Many of my challengers will tell me they didn’t lose as much weight as they had hoped for. Some even gain a pound or two. First off, my suggestion is not to weigh yourself very often. The scale doesn’t tell you the true measure of what’s really going on. I tell my challengers to pull out the tape measure to track their progress. I’ve had clients lose over 10 inches and only 1 pound. So obviously the plan is working!! Just TRUST the process! Another reason you may not be losing weight right away is that your muscles are getting used to the workouts. If it’s your first time doing weight training, your muscles will hold onto water, which causes you to gain weight. But after a while, the water weight will start to drop and you’ll see better results. Just stick to the program, I promise you will see results. You can read my article here about some modifications you can make to start seeing results.

I’m over 50. Will I still see results?

Yes! I get so many women message me saying that they have so much trouble losing weight because of their age. But guess what? It’s not because we age that we gain weight, it’s because we lose muscle! Of course, as we age and go through menopause, we do start to lose estrogen which can cause a slow down in our metabolism, but our metabolism doesn’t slow significantly enough to hinder our weight loss efforts. Building muscle will help boost your metabolism and turn you into a fat-burning machine! Seeing results with weight training will take longer, however, it is so worth it because your results will be even better over the long term.

Can I eat protein bars, like Quest bars, on the 21 Day Fix?

The reason protein bars aren’t on the approved 21 Day Fix foods list is because they are typically very high in sugars and processed ingredients. I prefer to make my own protein snacks. But hey, I love Quest bars too, and they are okay in a pinch. I suggest not having them during your first round of the program, but if you want to add them in occasionally afterwards, you can, just count it as a “yellow” container.

Can I eat popcorn?

3 cups of air popped popcorn = 1 yellow container. 3 cups!! YAY, that makes me happy! Now, this doesn’t mean movie theatre popcorn!! I like to use my air popper and add some melted coconut oil and sea salt, or you could use this recipe. I also like Boom Chicka Pop popcorn (sea salt flavour) in a pinch.

Can I have flavoured yogurt?

No. Flavoured yogurts contain artificial sugars, flavours, and additives. You can have plain Greek yogurt, which is much healthier because it’s high in protein! Try thawing some frozen fruit in the microwave and adding that to your yogurt. Trust me, you won’t notice the difference. Blueberries and cherries are my favorite.

Can I have PB2 instead of regular peanut butter?

Are you wondering what PB2 is? Basically, it’s powdered peanut butter that is made by squeezing the natural oils out of the peanuts and dehydrating what’s left. If you do choose to eat it, it still counts as 1 tsp on the plan, the same a natural peanut butter. So personally, I would rather have the natural peanut butter and get the benefit of the healthy fats 🙂

Can I use sweeteners?

Yes, natural sweeteners like honey, maple syrup, molasses, agave, and stevia are okay…in moderation. This means no more than 1 – 2 tsp per day. See page 15 of your nutrition guide. Make sure to stay away from artificial sweeteners and plain white sugar. Check the labels in foods, you may be surprised what’s in there!!

Do I have to use Shakeology or can I use another protein shake?

First of all, Shakeology is so much more than a protein powder. It is a whole food full of superfoods to help you fill in the nutritional gaps to curb cravings, increase energy, and improve digestion. My clients that drink it always have the best results, which is why I’m so passionate about it! Not only that, I have done my research about it and I’m no longer a skeptic. Sure, you can use another protein powder, but just know, it’s not the same thing. I found this quote that says it all, “Sure, there are always alternatives, just like drinking a glass of milk is an “alternative” to drinking a cup of coffee; but they have different effects on your body. There is NO SUBSTITUTE currently available for Shakeology that provides the same benefits to your body.” Read more here about how to save money on Shakeology. Remember to count anything you add to your shakes as part of your daily container count.

If I can only have ONE orange container, why did I get TWO?

The extra orange container can be used for storing nuts, dressings, seasoning mixes, etc.

What are the 21 Day Fix Container Sizes?

Each colour-coded container is used to help you portion out your food so you don’t have to measure anymore! I’ve seen many charts on Pinterest equating the containers to other measurements. However, it is not exact. The exact size of each container is proprietary information.

Is pasta sauce a green or a purple?

That depends. Read the label on the sauce. Is there any sugar in it? If so, it’s a purple. Is it homemade with no added sugar? It’s a green.

Why is almond milk a yellow?

You may notice that almond milk is only to be used 3 times a week and counts as a yellow. HOWEVER, Autumn personally will use up to 4 oz of unsweetened almond or coconut milk daily and does NOT count it towards a container. If you are using more than this, then yes, you need to count it towards your daily container allotment. Here is a video explaining that.

I don’t consume dairy. What about coconut yogurt?

Coconut yogurt should be counted as a yellow container as it doesn’t have any protein in it, but has about 12g of carbs.

Can I have dried fruit?

Dried fruit is a yellow treat swap measured in an orange container.

How do I count meals like casseroles, where there are multiple ingredients together?

People send me their recipes all the time and ask me to count the containers for them. It’s not an exact science, but what I do is break down the ingredients and then divide it into equal portion sizes. So for my Spaghetti Squash Lasagna, there are about 5-6 cups of spaghetti squash. Since it serves 6 people, 1 person would have about 1 green container. Then there are 4 links of chicken sausage. That means 1 person would have about 2/3 of a red container..but you also have to add the 2 cups of cottage cheese, which would bring you up to another 1/3 red container..so the 2 added together gives you 1 full red container. Add the mozzarella cheese for 1 blue, and you end up with 1 green, 1 red, and 1 blue.

What can I eat? I’m bored with my options.

This is probably the #1 thing that makes people quit the program. They get bored with their food and run out of ideas. BUT WAIT!!! There are so many ideas out there, you just have to look for them. A great place to start is Pinterest. Just use the search function and type in “21 Day Fix Meal Plans.” You’ll get a ton of great plans you can use. I also post many 21 Day Fix approved recipes right here on this blog.

How do I count butter, sour cream, or mayo?

I’m sorry to tell you this, but sour cream and mayo are not on the approved list of foods. But there are healthy and delicious substitutions you can use, check out my list here. As for butter, as long as it’s organic, it counts as a tsp.

Can I use the 21 Day Fix Container System with other programs?

YES!! You can use it with anything! I’ve even written a post about how to use it for Body Beast. Check out page 76 of your nutrition guide for tips on how to adapt the eating plan to a more intense fitness program.

Can I still use the 21 Day Fix system even if I don’t want to lose weight?

For sure! Check out page 76 of your nutrition guide on how to adapt the eating plan for weight maintenance.

I’m a vegetarian or vegan. Can I still use the plan?

Yes! The 21 Day Fix works for a variety of individuals. To start, you can choose foods from the protein list that aren’t meat. For vegans, I have made this great chart which gives you more protein options:

21 Day Fix container chart for vegans

Can I eat out at restaurants while doing the 21 Day Fix?

Of course you can! Here’s an article I wrote for tips on eating out while doing the 21 Day Fix.

What if a food is not on the “approved” list?

I often get the question, “Is this food approved?” Keep in mind, this is a lifestyle, not a diet. The 21 Day Fix does a great job about teaching you the basics of clean eating. But hey…we all need to live a little, right?! My suggestion is to stick to the approved list of foods the first time you do the program. Then afterwards, you can add in some of your favorite healthy foods occasionally. I say occasionally because if you keep adding them in all the time, your results are going to slow down and eventually stop.

You can learn more about which foods would be a good choice by using the Fooducate app! You can scan or search the food you want to look up, and it will give you a rating. If it doesn’t give you a B+ rating or above, click on the “alternatives” tab to see what a healthier alternative would be.

What questions do you have about the 21 Day Fix? Just post them in the comments section and I’ll try my best to answer 🙂







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{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Danielle May 16, 2016 at 5:16 pm

I have hashimotos thyroid and every program and exercise routine I have tried does not work because of it. Will this work with thyroid disease ?


2 Jen May 17, 2016 at 11:05 am

Yes, for sure Danielle! I have clients with Hashimotos and it works for them. Your results may not be as fast, but it does work. Is it something you’re interested in trying? If so, please email me thefithousewife@gmail.com and we can chat further.


3 Janet May 18, 2016 at 8:48 am

Is it ok to eat extra vegetables or green container if you are still hungry?


4 Jen May 20, 2016 at 9:48 am

Yes, for sure!


5 Kristen July 4, 2016 at 9:11 pm

What about fat free skim milk? Can we have this on the 21 day fix? My husband has an allergy to nuts and doesn’t like coconut.


6 Jen July 5, 2016 at 1:21 pm

Yes, please see pages 14-15 of the 21 day fix guidebook 🙂


7 Kelly February 6, 2017 at 10:19 am

How bad is it to add an extra protein in each day? I’m at the very bottom calorie level so I currently get 4 proteins. I usually use these up with greek yogurt, lunch, dinner, and a whey protein shake after my workout. I would love to also add in my Body by Vi nutritional shake as a snack but I’m out of proteins.


8 Jen February 7, 2017 at 4:16 pm

I personally would not recommend adding in more protein. Based on my research, too much protein leads to fat storage.


9 Laura March 11, 2017 at 5:20 am

If I don’t get to workout in a day, do I still eat all my calculated containers?


10 Jen March 13, 2017 at 4:32 pm



11 VANESSA FOTEUū April 10, 2017 at 8:35 pm


I was wondering how many containers the Arbonne Meal Replacement shake would be worth? I use 3 scoops per serving. This is the nutritional details. Thanks!

230 calories
20 grams protein
5 grams fat
7 grams fiber
15 grams sugar
28 grams carbohydrates


12 Jen April 11, 2017 at 12:56 pm

My Shakeology is 1 red container, so I would say this one is the same, but I would also add on a yellow container for the Arbonne shake to take into account the extra sugar and carbs.


13 VANESSA FOTEUū April 11, 2017 at 1:11 pm

Thanks very much! That makes a lot of sense!


14 Audrey August 29, 2017 at 1:58 pm

Hi. I no longer have a thyroid due to thyroid cancer. Would this program still work for me? Ever since I lost my thyroid it’s been extremely hard for me to lose weight.


15 Jen August 30, 2017 at 7:07 am

Yes, I believe the workouts would be good for someone with no thyroid. However, I’m not a believer in the eating plan. I recommend my Low Carb Beginners Guide way of eating for those with thyroid/hormone issues. You can find my guide here on my site if you’re interested 🙂


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