The new year is upon us. With a new year, there can be a new you. I am dedicated to achieving my weight loss goal this year, so I decided to look for a program to join. It’s hard getting back on the fitness bandwagon once you fall off. With so many fitness trends and philosophies, you hardly know where to start. I have enough challenges ahead of me, so I wanted to find something that I could follow and not really have to think (or overthink) so much about it. After a little research I discovered The 21 Day Fat Furnace by TahKole Fitness and decided this would be the way I would kickoff my commitment to fitness this year.
The 21 Day Fat Furnace challenge is the brainchild of husband and wife team Tah Whitty and Kole Hansen, creators of TahKole Fitness. The 21 Day Fat Furnace program is a 3 week long challenge with a goal to realign your relationship with food and movement. There aren’t any long convoluted lists of foods you can and cannot eat, because all your meals and workouts are planned out for you. You only need to show up ready to work.
When it comes to the food they’ve decided to keep it simple. You won’t find any complicated recipes with weird ingredients here… just the essential macronutrients of lean proteins, healthy fats and carbohydrates. The meal plan is broken down into Phase One (days 1-10) and Phase Two (days 11-21). The meal plan is a high protein low carb diet with a moderate amount of fat. You will find clean proteins like boneless skinless chicken breast, white fish, tuna and egg whites. Vegan and vegetarian options are available as well. Also, on the menu are fruits and vegetables like apples, pears, spinach, asparagus and healthy fats like olive oil and avocado. All added sugar and salt are to be excluded from your diet completely during the challenge. They encourage you to use lemons and salt free seasonings to flavor your food.
You will be eating 5 meals a day breakfast, lunch, dinner and 2 snacks. During Phase One you will be following the same menu from day to day. There’s also a short list of interchangeable proteins to choose from if you crave variety. Phase Two is a continuation of Phase One’s meal plan with the addition of three new recipes as replacement options. You can also look forward to a carb-up during week 3, which consists of an increase in overall carbohydrate intake to match the increased activity. The goal is for you to learn how to eat in a way that fuels your metabolism. Eat clean and eat often.
Each week the coaches will post a new video for you to follow (3 videos in total). You’ll be working out 6 days a week for 30 minutes with one rest day. Except on week 3 there will be 3 days of 30 minute workouts and 3 days of 60 minute workouts. You won’t need any special equipment (but I suggest a mat) as all workouts are done with your own body weight. The workouts are challenging, but completely achievable for all fitness levels. There are a lot of high impact exercises like jumping jacks and high knees, but everything can be modified.
While I love how the program takes all of the guesswork out of it for you, the thing that makes the program truly special is the challenge community. Once you sign up for the challenge, you and about 24 other participants will be given access to a private Facebook group where you can share, commiserate and encourage each other. It’s great when you can talk to people who know exactly what you are going through. You’re encouraged to share your frustrations, successes and progress as a way to stay accountable and motivate each other. You’ll also be communicating directly with the coaches. Tah and Kole both send out several new messages each day while commenting and answering any questions about the challenge. This level of personalized support shows their commitment to your success.
As I mentioned before the meals and workouts are already planned out for you, but there are a few rules to keep in mind.
- No salt
- No sugar
- No alcohol
- No soda
- No juice
- No milk, cheese or dairy
- Eat breakfast within the first 30 minutes of waking up
- Eat your 5 scheduled meals (Do not skip meals)
- Drink a minimum of half your bodyweight in ounces of water every day (around 1 gallon)
- Keep from missing meals, by setting recurring alarms/reminders on your mobile phone.
- Take weekly pics to track your progress.
- Keep a journal of what you ate and how you were feeling to help you learn from your journey.
I’ve just finished my first week of the challenge and I am happy to say that I lost 3.4 lbs so far. It’s been hard staying disciplined, but hey anyone should be able to commit to something for 21 days right?