Pop Culture Decoder: Why I hate 21 Day Fix

Misty Harris longs to shed the dead weight of dieters from social media

Pop Culture Decoder with Misty Harris


By Misty Harris

I loathe 21 Day Fix with the fire of 1,000 Hades suns. Not because I’ve actually tried the fad diet, mind you; I have not. I hate it with the special kind of aversion reserved for things so repellent,* you know without a second thought that they’re not for you (think KFC’s Double Down Dog, or Donald Trump’s presidential bid).


Some background: 21 Day Fix is a “lifestyle” program marketed by Beachbody, the multinational responsible for P90X, Insanity, Focus T25 and other previous fitness/diet crazes. People pay to go on it, lose weight, then are given the option to become “coaches” – that is, recruiting others to buy into the program – in exchange for commissions and a company discount.


In summary:

  1. Friend goes on the Fix
  2. Friend posts fitness and food statuses five times a day on every social media account, and urges you to join his or her “team”
  3. Friend loses more than 100 lbs! (me, as I run away screaming)


Now that we’re on the same page, let’s break down the reasons 21 Day Fix makes me more unhinged than Gwyneth Paltrow after detecting gluten in her meal.


Turns friends into salespeople: As with Avon, Pampered Chef and other multilevel marketing, 21 Day Fix relies largely on friends selling to friends. Call me old-fashioned but the only time I want a credit-card transaction involved in my relationships is if I’m buying my BFF a lap dance from Channing Tatum.


Calls sales reps ‘coaches:’ Losing weight on a mail-order diet no more qualifies you to be a fitness coach than winning Operation qualifies you to be a surgeon. Let’s be honest with our titles here, please.


21 Day Fix

“Doctor, before you cut me open, what is your professional background?” “Well, sir, I have none. But I had my tonsils removed as a kid, and ever since I have been totally passionate about medicine and stuff.” (SCREENSHOT: BEACHBODY.COM)


Facebook profile as infomercial: I’m genuinely supportive of things that empower people to change their lives for the better. That being said, there’s a fine line between public accountability and auditioning for a job on QVC.**


Autumn Calabrese: The Fix’s plucky founder is described as a bikini competitor, single mom, and “celebrity trainer.”*** As Calabrese’s YouTube ad puts it, “Autumn is REAL” (except, you know, the boobs). But do I have anything negative to say about her? Nope. Nothing. Because Calabrese’s diet disciples worship her with such fervour, the police would surely find me murdered via vitamin overdose, with an organic tomato ball-gag in my mouth.


21 Day Fix

Autumn Calabrese. Not a big leap to see why Rachel Zoe is a client. (PHOTO: BEACHBODY)


Sells common sense: The program is founded on regular exercise and healthy, modestly portioned meals. Hardly revolutionary, right? But as with oxygen bars and prostitution, kudos to the creators for getting people to pay for something they could do for free.


It’s everywhere: From Facebook to Instagram, TV infomercials to Internet ads, this program is virtually inescapable. The only thing more omnipresent in pop culture right now is Joe Manganiello’s abs (which I’m totally ok with, by the way).


Magic Mike XXL

Joe Manganiello in Magic Mike XXL. I want it that way. (PROMO PHOTO)


I am unworthy: You know that rule about not swimming until an hour after eating? Well, I snack so often that my feet shouldn’t have touched water since 1994. Even if I’m watching my weight, I never say no to a cupcake; the calories are easier to live with than the idea of someone else eating it once I’ve left. In other words, I’m admittedly way too weak for this diet sh*t.


Wine only allowed in occasional 4-oz increments: Deal-breaker.



* Repellent strictly because of how it’s marketed and sold. From what I gather, the program can yield amazing results for some people. I just wish they’d shut up about it and let me eat my baked brie in peace.


** Not every 21 Day Fix user is a zealot. Unfortunately, a lot of people on this program come across as virtual cult members; the only difference is that instead of Kool-Aid, they drink Shakeology.


*** Her star clients are Tom Bergeron and Rachel Zoe – a fact presented here without comment. 



13 Replies to "Pop Culture Decoder: Why I hate 21 Day Fix"

  • April July 31, 2022 (7:56 pm)

    I know this is an old post—but I’ve joined Beachbody and found it super helpful. The gym is not for me and finding an exercise program that fit into my lifestyle. As for becoming a salesperson—never not me in a million years. I told my coach it wasn’t for me and that was that.

  • Charlene September 11, 2018 (11:58 am)

    You are hilarious! Thank you for the refreshing review. I was just thinking about how fake Autumn looksz why turn friends into salespeople? Sigh.

    • EX-PRESS EDITOR September 30, 2018 (1:48 pm)

      Yer welcome!

  • Stephanie Innes July 9, 2015 (9:10 pm)

    I’d love to ready more food-related writing by Misty, too! This was a great piece. Thanks for your fabulous writing. I had never heard of the 21 day Fix but I am officially staying away.

    • Misty Harris July 9, 2015 (9:16 pm)

      You just made my day 🙂 Thanks! Happy to write more about food because of all the yummy “research” it would require.

  • mimofitnation July 7, 2015 (9:26 pm)

    Misty, your blog is funny. Have you ever considered ranting on the food industry that got us into such a mess that we need a Fix? I am all for a cupcake, but I don’t need reality shows, commercials, store counters and Better Crocker shoving them down my throat. Friends who wanna help me get fit? Hey–that’s just good looking out!!! I am passionate about my fitness, and I just can’t help but share something that has helped me and makes me happy….and something that has helped my friends meet their goals! I appreciate your passion, but I’d love to see you go after the machine that brings us the obesity trend that makes everyone wanna jump on the diet bandwagon…….we should embrace health and blast the sugar pushers, right?

    • Misty Harris July 9, 2015 (9:14 pm)

      I’m trying not to make the Decoder too rant-centric (the internet has enough anger, lol) but I love that idea. Thanks!

  • Misty Harris July 7, 2015 (4:27 am)

    Appreciate the feedback, Jennifer. I am so glad you found something that helps!

  • Jennifer Ammirati July 7, 2015 (4:13 am)

    I dont consider the 21 day fix or any beachbody program just a weight loss thing. Yes people lose weight but it’s more than that and people do it for different reasons it is a lifestyle change in its truest form. It’s a mental and physical journey I do it because I have fibromialgia and I don’t want the pain to control my life anymore and the weight loss is just an added bonus I am living again that’s what I tell people it’s not just a program it truly does change lives. I don’t want you to look at it as something that will just help you lose weight because it really is so much more than that.

  • Meghan July 7, 2015 (3:41 am)

    I have always been a skeptic on all things “diet,” afterall diet is such a dirty word in my book. Diet = death. I mean it has the word “die” in it 😉 but the Fix is just not a diet in my opinion. It has transformed the way I look at food and clean eating! And believe me I’m all about the cupcakes, too. Beyond the actual program there is huge merit in the sharability of it amongst friends and the fitness social media gurus out there. I’ve hooked hundreds on this lifestyle. I don’t run some piddly makeup and purse show. I run a legitimate live and virtual fitness business with this as one of the many tools in my arsenal. I’d love to send you a FIX kit to try out if ya want 😉 you can review it after using it. There are treats involved so can’t be all bad 😉

    • Misty Harris July 7, 2015 (3:46 am)

      Going to pass but thanks for the offer, and for the feedback. I am sure it will be helpful to others looking into this.

  • Debra Lopez July 7, 2015 (2:29 am)

    While I always appreciate another view, I have to respectfully offer some first hand feedback. The reason 21 Day Fix is everywhere is because it works. I started the program in March and after 3 days I voluntarily called my motivation coach and told her I wanted to coach myself. Coaches are there for accountability and support. You mentioned about not completing transactions between friends and I can understand your viewpoint. I, however, love that I am helping my family and friends and they are grateful. Thank you for offering another view but I hope you can also appreciate the other view from those of us that work hard to help others.

    • Misty Harris July 7, 2015 (2:37 am)

      Absolutely appreciate that, Debra. Thanks for taking the time to reply (so kindly). I applaud anyone who comes to a weight-loss program for — to steal a line from The Bachelor — the right reasons. Cheers 🙂

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