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Calorie formula too restrictive?

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basmith0702
basmith0702 Posts: 14 Member
Hi all, I've been following 21DF eating plan on and off for about a year. I'm getting geared up to do it full force again and was looking at my calories again. One thing I've always struggled with is that the Fix formula puts me at 1300 calories while all other formulas and calculators online put me at 1500-1700 calories. That's a pretty big difference. I'd like to follow the 21DF macros and portions but I'm not sure whether to follow the Fix calories or higher one.

Has anyone followed the plan but not the calorie formula and had success?

Replies

  • SatiaRenee
    SatiaRenee Posts: 798 Member
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    @basmith0702 I think we have at least one person who is not strictly following the food plan and I'm sure they'll chime in but I have a few questions for you.

    1) Have you tried the 1300 food bracket?
    If your answer is No, I would encourage you to follow the plan as it is designed. Beachbody hires experts and test markets their products before they ever reach the general public to ensure that the products work. And they do--from the workouts to the meal plans. So just try it and see what happens.

    If your answer is Yes, I have another question for you.

    2) Did you successfully lose weight?
    If your answer is Yes then why are you wanting to change what works?
    If your answer is No then I would say try eating only the top 1/3-2/3 of the food group lists so, for instance with the purple container, at the bottom there are figs and papaya but at the top you have berries and such. Also, Autumn suggests eating all of your yellows by lunch and your blues before dinner. That's something to bear in mind as you plan your meals.

    If you firmly believe you need more calories to have success then by all means go up one bracket. But if you haven't fully committed to the program, I would say first give it a try as it is before trying to improve on it.

    (Full Disclosure: I'm not experiencing success (and haven't been for while) in my food bracket so I will be moving up to a higher bracket. However, I am also doing 2 workouts, not just one, and sometimes throwing in a 30 minutes cardio at the end of my day so I'm exercising more than 30 minutes a day.)
  • basmith0702
    basmith0702 Posts: 14 Member
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    Yes I did the first bracket and lost 6lbs but then my weight loss stalled until I started allowing myself more calories. Then it started dropping again. When I tracked what I was eating on MFP I was only taking in 1000 calories a day before workouts. And this was with me eating at the top of the food lists the and eating a variety of foods.

    I'm just wary of the formula bc it seems to be a one size fits all which is not the case. Everyone is different and burns different calories. But I'm just confused which calories to follow bc most calculators give me different goals to hit. Also never know if I should eat calories back or not from exercise. So confusing!!
  • basmith0702
    basmith0702 Posts: 14 Member
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    And thanks for your thoughts! I feel like every time I say to someone my weight has stalled their answer is eat less.
  • SatiaRenee
    SatiaRenee Posts: 798 Member
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    @basmith0702 Oh good golly yes. I totally get it. That whole judgmental thing about "well if your weight loss is stalled you must not be measuring right or you aren't being honest when you track your food because CICO is God" or whatever. Ugh.

    I encourage everyone to follow the plan as is at first and, if you start stalling, then think about making changes. Obviously, I'm moving up a bracket. I'm a little anxious about it (because I'm as brainwashed about CICO as the next person) but I just have a feeling that my going up a bracket won't really upset my weight loss goals. And if doing this does cause me to gain weight, well then, I know I can drop back down to the lower bracket, right?
  • Jenni_MFP
    Jenni_MFP Posts: 36 Member
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    I tracked my food carefully on MFP while following the 21DF a few months ago and my calorie count was often under 1200 until I realized it's because I wasn't always using the blue container and the teaspoons! Those fats are pretty important it seems. Make sure you get them in :)
  • zoe894
    zoe894 Posts: 17 Member
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    Yes, I had to bump up to the next bracket to get the weight to start coming off.
  • SatiaRenee
    SatiaRenee Posts: 798 Member
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    When I bumped up to the higher food bracket, I gained weight so I have dropped back down to the lower food bracket again.
  • jjburger77
    jjburger77 Posts: 31 Member
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    I did 2 rounds counting containers on the iPhone app and calories on MFP. The last week I was on vacation and tried to track only on MFP. I don't mind doing just that, but I like the structure of the containers. That said, I did notice that sometimes my calories were a little low so I would have extra veggies to offset the deficit. I also agree with @Jenni_MFP in that you need to make sure you have all of the containers and don't skip any.
  • rumijs
    rumijs Posts: 218 Member
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    I tracked my meals because I too was curious as to what exactly my calories were looking like. If I ate exactly to the food plan then I usually hit right in the 1400-1800 bracket I was in. The big decider was whether or not I had all 4 servings of oils and nut butters. Those fats are obviously what give a majority of the cals, so on days I just didn't feel like having foods that involved those, I was closer to 1200. Other days I was closer to 1600. In the end, I didn't let the calorie count get to me too much. I decided that it's 21 days. If it works it works, if not, I know what I can change because I was tracking calories. I didn't go hungry and I lost weight so no changes were made. Go with what you body works best on. If you're feeling an energy lag, bump up the cals a little. If it's more of a mental thing, thinking you're eating too few but still feeling great and doing fine, I'd just stick with it. Your body is pretty good at telling you if it needs something :) And some days are just slower than others to where lower cals works out fine
  • symba1130
    symba1130 Posts: 248 Member
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    I will chime in a bit here too...
    I was told by a coach that I must be eating TOO much and that's why I wasn't loosing so to cut out my yellows! So out of pure curiosity I started weighing my containers and tracking again on MFP. I also found I rarely made it over 1000 cal a day and was a bit frustrated with the program.
    I am in the lowest bracket (1200-1500) and by doing this I was already losing 150-300 cal a day just by removing carbs so OF COURSE I am going to be in the lower range. I guess there really is a reason they have you eat ALL your colors!
    I have also found that if I stall, I eat higher calories for a day or two and then back to lower calories and I start dropping again.
  • lulehlu
    lulehlu Posts: 87 Member
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    Bumping this up. I just started the program and I am finding the food guidelines to be very limited. I am hungry! I entered a day's worth of container meals into MFP and came up with 1250 calories and yet I am supposed to be in the 1500-1799 range. I realize I need to eat less to lose weight but at 5'8 and with a fairly active job (on my feet a lot), and the workouts, 1250 is NOT enough food for me.
  • duffyzmom
    duffyzmom Posts: 644 Member
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    lulehlu wrote: »
    Bumping this up. I just started the program and I am finding the food guidelines to be very limited. I am hungry! I entered a day's worth of container meals into MFP and came up with 1250 calories and yet I am supposed to be in the 1500-1799 range. I realize I need to eat less to lose weight but at 5'8 and with a fairly active job (on my feet a lot), and the workouts, 1250 is NOT enough food for me.

    I feel the same. I'm quite hungry. Right now my plan is to stick close to 1350 for 21 days but then move closer to 1500.
  • blackestboo
    blackestboo Posts: 8 Member
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    I'm still waiting for my kit to arrive. However I started looking at my calorie allowance and I'm in the 1200 bracket. Worried about going so low as I'm planning on doing my regular gym activities as well as the 21 day workouts. I don't have a lot of weight left to lose, just want to get rid of that skinny fat look. Suppose I'll just have to try it and see.
  • germany03
    germany03 Posts: 348 Member
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    Don't forget it's 1200 -1499 calories...if you feel you are not getting enough calories..move one bracket up and see if you are still loosing weight...that's the beauty of the program it's not black and white but pretty flexible
  • 4afitsarah
    4afitsarah Posts: 12 Member
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    I use the containers for a different program (Hammer & Chisel) and have had no issues with the amount of food or calories- sometimes I find I'm on the lighter end of calories but always within the given calorie parameters. A friend of mine however, is weary because he's tracking his food on MFP and it consistently tells him he is well under 1000 calories UNDER what he should be. On 21Day Fix he's in the 2100-2300 cal. bracket. Any input on what/how he should tweak this? I'd love to see him stick with it and succeed!
  • 4afitsarah
    4afitsarah Posts: 12 Member
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    Loving all of the input here!!! Thank you!
  • germany03
    germany03 Posts: 348 Member
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    So there is definitly a difference if you eat 3 green containers of baby spinach as a salad ( 7 cal per cup per MFP) or 3 green containers of sauteed bellpepper and onion (83 cal per cup per MFP) ...so yes..you can be low on calorie count but used all your containers. - that's my thought on it and I'm sticking to it ..haha...hope it helped a bit
  • rainey4
    rainey4 Posts: 164 Member
    edited February 2016
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    I actually cant get all my food in every day. I am at the max so have 6 Red and Green, 4 purple and Yellow - most days i have a purple, and a green and a blue container left to eat.