Lessons from The 21 Day Fix Extreme

Fitness has become a big part of my family.  I have a passion for keeping people from letting a life lived on the road kill them slowly.  My wife has a passion for helping people live their best, healthiest life possible regardless of travel requirements (you can read her story here).  After surviving breast cancer, she dedicated herself to getting healthy and feeling like herself again.  One of the great joys I have is being able to work out with my wife and this past month we went on a fitness journey together by completing the 21 Day Fit Extreme program.

For those of you not familiar, 21 Day Fit Extreme is a short term, highly focused plan around fitness and diet – particularly portion control…..and it works.  Here is your chance to get a free preview of the lessons I took away from the program

It is more fun when you are doing it with others

I cannot stress how important accountability is in fitness.  Even when we were both traveling, my wife and I were checking in with each other to see how our diet was holding up.  Did you get your workout in today?  Is your attitude staying positive even when it gets difficult?  Are you eating enough?  Have you had all of your water today?  Having someone on the journey with you makes it all the more tolerable.  Get yourself a partner, or an accountability group, or an online community….heck – comment to me below and I am in with you.

Discipline = Results

I have been roughly the same weight and size for the last year or so.  Now I do watch my diet and work out regularly but I will not be on the cover of Men’s Health any time soon.  However, in the 21 days I was on the program, I lost 11 lbs and 4 inches off of my overall body.  I completely attribute this to the discipline around the diet.    Focused nutrition, attention to portion control and timing of meals made all of the difference.  It is one thing to watch what you eat, it is completely different to have real discipline around your diet.  Tie that to daily workouts and I literally watched the pounds and inches fall off.

21DFX

Specific eating plans are hard to follow on the road

I am not going to lie about this one, sticking to an eating plan that is very specific on your Protein/Vegetables/Carb ratios and portions is really difficult – especially when you are not doing the prep/cooking yourself.  So give yourself some slack but stick to the principles of the plan.  I was front loading my carbs for the day in the mornings and focusing on protein recovery in the afternoons and early evenings.  I made sure my portion control was in line (you have complete control over that no matter where you are at) and I also did not lose my mind if I wasn’t able to have a healthy fat on any given day.

‘Extreme’ is just a word

When I was first informed I was going to be participating in this adventure (yes, I was informed by my lovely wife that ‘we’ were doing this), I was not overly thrilled with us going to the ‘Extreme’ version.  I am not trying to downplay the results this program can deliver but it is not exactly like you will end up on a 600 calorie a day diet plan.  The diet is more than manageable and the exercises are challenging but modifiable for all fitness levels.  My point here is don’t be scared or put off by marketing efforts.

Don’t let results become ‘short term’ results

When we were done with the 21 days, I did what most Americans would do – I immediately had a BBQ with my kids and ate all of the items I shouldn’t.  An eleven pound weight loss quickly became an eight pound weight loss (see the before/after pic below).  Make sure that the principles that you put in place – stay in place.  Focus on the big picture disciplines – portion control, nutrient balance and timing of meals.  Keep the discipline around your diet and keep the results.

before - after 21dfx

So there you have it, my 5 takeaways from 21Day Fit Extreme.  Thanks goes to Autumn Calabrese for putting together a great program and for my wife for putting up with me through the 3 weeks.   Let me know about your results!!

See you on the road.

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