21 Day Fix Meal Planning: Where Do I Begin? For success, meal planning is required, there is no way around it. However meal planning can be overwhelming at first but it doesn't have to be. Breaking it down into smaller steps is helpful. This is how we put together our weekly plan.

21 Day Fix Meal Planning: Where Do I Begin?

By on November 15, 2015

I love the 21 Day Fix! I tried this program when I realized my muffin top had turned into a bakery showcase! I thought that at 55 I was doomed to being a fluffy, plump grandmother!  But I found the 21 Day Fix and it changed my life!  It really is simple and those colorful containers have played a huge part of me losing 46 pounds. I dislike counting calories and points. On the 21 Day Fix you don’t have to keep track of calories or calculate points.  The nutritional plan that is the backbone of this plan is based on clean eating and portion control (that’s where the containers come into play). Read the Eating Plan it is full of helpful information.

It may seem overwhelming at first but after a couple weeks planning becomes second nature.  To try and make it a little less overwhelming I will share with you my “strategy”.  Feel free to contact us with any questions you have.

21 Day Fix Meal Planning: A few simple steps take the frustration out of planning.

Determine Your Calorie Bracket and Container Count

This is the most complicated math in the program (it is quite easy) and the formula for determining your calorie bracket is in your 21 Day Fix Eating Plan Guide that comes with your kit (page 12).  After you determine your calorie bracket you use the container chart in the guide (page 15) to determine the number of each container you should eat each day.

Create or Print Out a Meal Planning Worksheet 21 Day Fix Meal Planning: Success is dependent upon planning. A weekly menu plan helps make planning easier.

If you look on Pinterest you will find LOTS of sample menu planning worksheets. Here is a picture of the template that I use. Click here to download a copy of this template (1,200 – 1, 499) sample menu template  Try different worksheets/templates and see which is easiest for you or create your own to customize it to your needs.


Refer to your Master List of Foods for Planning and Shopping

21 Day Fix Meal Planning: Keeping a list of approved foods available for meal planning and shopping helps make the process less overwhelming.The master list of foods provided in your 21 Day Fix meal planning guide tells you what foods can go into your containers.  Anything from the list that you can fit into the designated container for that list is fair game.

I found that having a one page list when I am meal planning makes things easier.  I don’t have to keep flipping pages….

I also use this list for shopping by checking off items to be purchased. Here is the list that I use.  Click here for a copy of this list 21 Day Fix shopping list.

Check Off Containers as You Plan

I keep a tally of containers under each day and check off  containers as I fill them into my meal plans. This helps me keep track of container usage preventing  me from going over and helps me figure out what I have left to use.  My goal is to have all containers checked off by the time I am done planning my menu for the week.

Keep Things Simple  21 Day Fix Plan: The key to success is planning using the tools in your kit - the Eating Plan Guide and the colorful containers

Start out simple.  Use recipes that already have the container counts listed or use simple meals that you can easily determine your containers such as grilled chicken (red), steamed green beans (green), and sweet potato (yellow). A search on Pinterest will result in numerous 21 Day Fix approved recipes.  As you become more comfortable with the food list and planning you can venture out to more involved recipes and determine the container counts for each serving.

Plan the Easiest Meals First

For me, that is breakfast and snacks. It may be different for you.  I generally eat the same thing for breakfast and snacks or switch between a few options. Look at 21 Simple Snacks and 21 Breakfast ideas to add some variety to your days.

Dinner is Next!

Dinner is where I get the most creative. I do recommend keeping things simple the first few weeks.  Crock-pots are heroes for busy days and Pinterest has lots of recipes! For simple meals that are easy to prepare look at our list of 21 No Fuss Dinners.

FILL in the Leftover Containers for Your Lunch.

Salads with leftover meat are great lunches as well as leftovers heated up from the day before. I am usually in my car for lunch.  Since I am on the “go” all day long,  my lunches are pretty much the same each day.  Yogurt and fruit or a flat bread sandwich are two of my favorite mainstays for lunch.  My lunches are usually determined by what containers I have left to use.  For lunch ideas look at our 21 Lunches to Go list.

Prepare Ahead!

Prepare as many meals ahead of time that you can. I usually prepare snacks and lunches for 3 days when possible. You will find you can prepare quite a few of your meals and snacks in advance.  Cut up fresh vegetables and pre-bag them for grab and go snacks. I will make salads for about 3 days in single serving size containers.  If I want dressing, I put it in a separate container.  Divide nuts, crackers… into single serving containers.  Hard boil eggs ahead of time. Look at your menu and determine what you can do ahead of time.

Additional Suggestions!

  • Join one of our challenge groups! You will get lots of non-judgemental support, motivation, encouragement and ideas from our team of coaches. Contact us for more information!
  • Spread your containers throughout the day.
  • Try to eat your carbs and fruits earlier in the day.
  • Try not to eat withing 3 hours of going to bed.
  • Don’t stress too much about small amounts of some ingredient in casseroles, soups, etc. However remember that extras can add up.
  • Drink your water!!!!
  • Start a recipe binder or Pinterest board to save recipes you want to try and one for those you’ve tried and  love.

If You Need a Little More Help…

If you would like a free menu plan to get you started send us your e-mail and calorie bracket as well as foods on the list that you do not like.  We will send you a menu plan to help you begin your health and fitness journey!

21 Day Fix Meal Planning: Success is directly related to planning your meals every week!

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About Author


Hi! This is Donna. I am a grandmother, mom, wife, and a teacher. I also love cookbooks, love to bake and really enjoy food! At age 56 I have developed a love of fitness after losing 46 pounds on the 21 Day Fix! I have always struggled with my weight! When menopause struck and things got totally out of control... My weight only went up not down. My muffin top turned into a bakery shelf. I desperately wanted to lose weight and improve my health. I wanted to be able to play and keep up with my beautiful grandchildren. Nothing I tried worked until I found the 21 Day Fix. Now instead of a tight size 16 I wear a comfortable 8 and even some 6's! At age 56 I am in the best shape of my life. My current goals are to improve my strength and to continue toning my body. I along with my daughter, Danielle, am here to help you reach your own fitness goals! You are never too young or old to become fitter, healthier, and stronger!

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