Not sure how to figure out the 21 Day Fix containers counts for your favorite recipes? Here’s my strategy!
The NUMBER 1 question I get asked about the 21 Day Fix is, “How do I count the containers for this recipe?”
I know for many of my Drop a Dress Size participants, they want to follow the container system exactly! But not every meal is always going to be a carb (yellow container,) a protein (red container,) and a veggie (green container.) We like to eat things like soups, casseroles, pizzas, etc!
These types of recipes have many different ingredients, and it becomes overwhelming for many trying to figure out how much of each container is in these types of recipes. Many people doing the program on their own become frustrated with the containers and give up all together. So BEFORE you do that, let me share my tips and strategies on how to figure out the container counts for your favorite recipes.
LOOK in the book first:
Most of the questions people ask me are already answered in the 21 Day Fix guidebook. So please be sure to read that book cover to cover before you start the program. And don’t be afraid to refer back to the frequently – I sure do!! Check out pages 70-71 for understanding the container counts for mixed foods. This guideline has helped me figure out how to determine the container counts for many of my recipes.
GUIDELINES for measuring your favorite recipes:
- The 21 Day Fix Mixed Food Guide on page 70 tells you to use your green container to measure a portion. This doesn’t necessarily mean that the food counts as a green container, you just use it to measure your serving. 1 green container = 1 serving. For example, lets say you make pasta with meat sauce. You would measure out your 1 serving in a green container. However, the pasta with meat sauce is actually counted as 2 yellow containers and 1 red container.
- If it’s possible, try to measure out your foods before you mix them together. So let’s say you’re making a salad. Measure out the salad greens in a green container, the dressing using the teaspoons, the nuts using the blue container, etc. Then, divide the total container count by the number of servings your dish yields. This is the most accurate way to count mixed foods.
- Make note of the different kinds of foods your mixed recipes contain (is there foods from the green list, the yellow list, the red list, etc.)
- You can check off only half or a third of a container when using your tally sheets.
- Use the mixed foods guideline on page 71 of the guidebook as a reference point. If what you are eating is similar, then cross of the corresponding containers.
If you decided to make my Healthy Taco Pie, you can use your green container to measure your serving. The main ingredients of this dish are corn tortillas (yellow container,) ground chicken (red container,) and cheese (blue container.) You may be wondering why I didn’t count the tomatoes? There aren’t enough in one serving to justify counting it towards a green container.
What about these Turkey Taco Zucchini Boats?! I don’t expect you to chop it all up and measure it in a green container! Zucchini is a squash, and 1 medium zucchini, if chopped, fits into 1 green container. So 1 serving of this dish is actually 2 zucchini boats (1 zucchini boat is 1/2 a zucchini.) The main ingredients in this dish are zucchini (1 green container,) ground turkey (1 red container,) and cheese (1 blue container.) The spices are free foods, and the amount of tomato sauce is so minimal per serving, I consider that “free” as well.
FOCUS on making this a lifestyle:
Success with this program doesn’t always mean following the containers to a T! I like to teach my Drop a Dress Size challengers to use the 21 Day Fix as a guideline. Use it to help you control your portion sizes better and balance your meals so you are getting a good amount of vegetables and protein. If you follow the plan using the 80/20 rule (80% of the time use your containers, 20% of the time just try to eat as best you can in the situation) then you will see results!
You don’t have to stick to the plan 100% of the time. If you find you are just too stuffed to eat all of the containers you are supposed to eat, then stop eating! If you find you are starving and need more protein or vegetables, then eat them! You can check out my post HERE for some more answers to your common questions like, “Can I eat a Quest bar while on the plan?”
I hope this helps you understand how to calculate the container count for some of your favorite recipes. The bottom line is to try your best to understand the process, use your common sense, and don’t worry if you aren’t 100% accurate with the containers 🙂