The Master's Hammer and Chisel Meal Plan: What You Need to Know
Beachbody includes a nutrition plan in every workout program, and the Master’s Hammer and Chisel is no exception. Whether you want to lean out, maintain and sculpt, or build muscle, will the Hammer & Chisel meal plan help you reach your goals?
I’m here to break the nutrition plan down for you, cut through the hype, answer some common questions, and I’ll give you some tips and shortcuts to make following the program a breeze.
Why the interest?
For me it’s personal. Having lost 80 pounds of excess “fluff,” maintaining my weight loss is critically important to me. Not just to rock a pair of skinny jeans, but I choose to eat a (mostly) nutritious diet to fuel my body like an athlete to support my activity, whether it’s weight lifting, Zumba or power shopping.
For me, WEIGHT LOSS and GOOD HEALTH are two of the most important factors in evaluating the Hammer and Chisel eating plan. Oh, and I’m a busy person, as I suspect you are. So SIMPLE and DOABLE FOR REAL PEOPLE are features meal plan must have for it to be of value to me.
Let’s get started…
What is the Hammer and Chisel meal plan?
The nutrition plan is simple clean eating using a foolproof portion control system. If you’ve done the 21 Day Fix or 21 Day Fix Extreme, you will recognize the same cute, color-coded containers.
You will eat a well-balanced diet of protein, fruits, veggies, healthy fats and carbs in the proper portion size according to your goals.
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Will I lose weight on the Hammer & Chisel program?
That depends. I'm not being evasive on purpose.
You will lose weight if:
weight loss is your goal, and
you follow the program.
You can also choose to maintain your weight or even gain (building muscle). You will learn how to eat according to your goals.
Explain the colorful containers.
The containers are an ingenious (and fun) way to practice portion control. The program teaches you how to eat a well-rounded, balanced diet AND the proper amounts. It is totally possible to eat clean and gain weight or not lose, if that's your goal. Too much food, even nutritious food, will prevent you from losing (if fat loss is your goal).
Each color represents a food group...
RED for protein
GREEN for veggies
PURPLE for fruits
YELLOW for carbs
BLUE for healthy fats
ORANGE for seeds & dressings
TEASPOON for nut butters and oils
You calculate how many containers to eat each day according to your goals. Then, just fill the containers to the top (but not overflowing) with foods from the food lists. Easy as pie.
How much do I eat?
There is a nutrition plan quiz in the program book that will tell you EXACTLY how many containers to eat each day.
What do I eat?
Choose the foods YOU want to eat from the food lists in your program book.
You are given a list of healthy, wholesome, “real” foods to choose from. At the same time, you have the flexibility to eat what YOU want.
Have you ever tried following someone else’s diet plan with pre-written menus? It can be challenging for those of us who are dietary free spirits. The Hammer and Chisel meal plan gives you FREEDOM. Freedom means less chance to rebel right into a tub of Ben & Jerry’s Chunky Monkey ice cream!
Do I have to eat my food in the containers?
No. It is actually best to dump them out on a plate or in a bowl so you can visualize what proper portion sizes look like. The containers are a tool. You won't be using them forever.
How do I plan meals?
Start by using one of the three sample meal plans in your guidebook. The sample meal plans have 3 variations for each meal and snack. This provides you with a template to follow. You can eat the meals as is, switching things up with the variations OR plug your own favorite foods into the template.
You can also check out the meal plans that I post here on the blog. Many are geared toward the portion control system.
Jacqui's template trick – don’t be afraid to change things up.
When you look at the sample menus you will see that you eat the bulk of your calories earlier in the day. This does not work for me personally. I struggle with night time snacking, so I plan most of my calories later in the day.
By the way, studies have shown that it doesn't really matter WHEN you eat your calories, it just depends how much you are eating.
I also like to eat 3-4 times per day, rather than the 3 meals and 2 snacks listed in the book. I'm always on the lowest calorie bracket (dang it) so if I spread my calories into 5 mini meals I never feel truly full So I combine my containers into 3 or a max of 4 eating periods.
This is how my day looks:
Breakfast - coffee. I practice intermittent fasting most days, which means I hold off eating until about 11:30am.
Lunch (often fish tacos with an apple)
Snack (which is almost always chocolate Shakeology with almond milk, 1/2 frozen banana & scoop of Power Greens)
1 GREEN (technically Power Greens don’t count )
Dinner (typical meal might be chicken, sweet potatoes, asparagus
Snack (Greek yogurt or hard boiled eggs & carrots) Sometimes I combine these containers with another meal)
How do I track containers?
You have several options to track the containers you eat each day.
The simplest method is to create a meal plan using the correct number of containers and EAT EXACTLY ACCORDING TO PLAN. That way you’ll never have to use a tally sheet or tracker.
For most of us, real life happens and we need a system to track our day.
How to track containers:Hammer and Chisel Tally Sheets
Print off Beachbody’s official tally sheets
Use scrap paper and a pencil!
Help! I need meal planning assistance!
Check out these tools:
Use the sample meal plan templates in your guidebook.
Check out the 21 Day Fix Resource Page. The recipes and sample meal plans listed there also work for the Hammer & Chisel plan.
See my weekly meal plans for idea.
Use our friend, Google for more ideas.
My best tip is to KEEP IT SIMPLE. Don’t become overwhelmed with trying to create elaborate meals.
Are there options for vegans? Gluten free? Dairy free?
If you are following special dietary guidelines, you know what foods you can and cannot eat. Just choose foods from the food list according to your guidelines. I eat gluten free, so I skip breads, crackers or cereals that have wheat or gluten as an ingredient.
That said, there is a sample grain free menu and a sample vegetarian menu in the nutrition guide.
Do I need to take supplements?
You don't have to, but Shakeology and the Performance Line are recommended for best results. If you have to choose one or the other, I'd definitely go with Shakeology because it’s a quick and delicious way to get a daily dose of dense nutrition.
The recommended supplements vary according to your goals.
If your goal is to lean out, Beachbody recommends:
My current goal is to lean out but I only use Energize and Recover when I need it. Generally I exercise right before dinner, so I eat normally rather than drink Recover. I do add Recharge to the mix (overnight recovery shake to help with muscle repair and soreness).
If your goal is to sculpt and maintain, try:
If your goal is to build muscle mass, use:
How do I count the supplements in the container system?
According to Beachbody: “Beachbody Performance supplement are considered ‘targeted calories’ consumed at specific times and under specific circumstances. Because of this timing, the calories are used more effectively than most calories, so adding them to your plan won’t negatively affect your results. In fact, given their effects in performance and recovery, they should improve your results.”
Tell me why I need Shakeology...
Shakeology is the most delicious, nutrient-dense, superfood-packed protein shake on the planet. It’s made with the healthy stuff you should be eating every day, but typically don’t. It is a perfect combination of proteins, phytonutrients, antioxidants, enzymes, prebiotics, and probiotics. Plus, it also contains many rare ingredients, including adaptogens, camu-camu, and maca root—things we can’t get from an ordinary diet.
I drink it for my quickest, healthiest meal of the day. You can learn more about Shakeology HERE.
The book mentions Shakeology Boosts. What are they and do I need them?
Shakeology Boosts are an easy way to customize your Shakeology for even healthier results, but no they are not necessary. I personally use Power Greens daily because I am not a huge veggie lover.
Focused Energy Boosthelps give you that healthy energy you need without the chemicals.
Power Greens Boosthelps fuel your body with a full serving of nutrient-dense veggies and exotic greens.
Digestive Health Boost helps support regularity and digestive health with a blend of soluble and insoluble fiber.
How do I count Shakeology Boosts?
You don't! They are very low in calories (Power Greens has 20 calories per scoop) so they are not counted.
Are there cheats or treats allowed??
No, dang it. I will be totally honest here – I will be eating dark chocolate, 1-2 squares a day, and count it toward a yellow container. The world just is a cold, dreary, grey place without chocolate. Just don’t tell Autumn . Sagi would probably be down with a square of chocolate.
While sweets, cheats and wine are not addressed in Hammer & Chisel (like they were in 21 Day Fix), know that you can find recipes for healthy versions of protein bars, Shakeology mug cakes, and even sugar free cookies on the Team Beachbody Blog.
I also have lots of recipes to make your daily shake almost as amazing as dessert. You can check out the Shakeology Recipes here.
Hammer and Chisel Meal Plan FAQ’s:
Is this diet healthy?
Yes. Follow the plan and you will have adequate amounts of protein, fats and carbs. You will eat a wide variety of fruits and veggies to fuel your body with the nutrients it needs to build muscle and burn fat.
I love how it is geared toward YOUR particular goals. You eat as much (or as little) to get the results you want.
Is the diet realistic for busy people?
I would say yes. The Hammer and Chisel nutrition plan does require a little thought, planning and preparation, but so does any healthy eating program. Spending an hour planning your meals and grocery shopping for the week is a worthwhile investment in your health.
Is the diet based on real foods I can easily find at the grocery store?
Is the diet easy to track?
Yes. Just check off the foods you eat in a day on the printable tally sheets. (Or a sheet of scrap paper.)
Do I have to count calories?
Does the diet tell me what to eat or can I make up my own meal plans to suit my personal tastes?
There are three sample menus (plus variations) so you have lots of suggested food combinations and recipes.
You also have the freedom to create your own meal plan.
Are the portions large enough to satisfy me?
That depends. For sure you should be satisfied if you are eating to maintain or gain muscle.
If your goal is to lean out then you will be eating at a deficit. That means you are eating LESS than your body requires. It’s also a necessary evil if you want to lose weight. Even if you are eating at a deficit, you might find that eating whole, clean, natural foods are more filling than processed junk. It just takes a little getting used to.
Will this diet teach me about nutrition and how to plan healthy meals for a lifetime?
Yes! You will learn how to eat a variety of healthy, nutritious foods and you can experiment with combining them in a way to fuel your body. You’ll learn the proper portion sizes to meet your goals.
I’m not sure I can do this. I’ve never stuck with a workout program before!
You CAN do this, the question is WILL you? I have four week accountability groups for my customers every single month to walk people just like you through their Beachbody programs. I’ll support and guide you through the program and hold you accountable so you WILL succeed.
Just contact me and I’ll share all the details!
The Master’s Hammer and Chisel meal plan is a simple, well-balanced guide to healthy eating.
It is sound nutrition. Follow the easy-to-follow guidelines and you will nourish your muscles with essential vitamins, minerals, proteins and healthy fats. It is not overly-restrictive and uses foods you can easily find at your local grocery store.
It teaches you WHAT to eat and HOW MUCH. For me, that’s a winning combination.
There you have it…. The lowdown on the Hammer & Chisel Meal Plan. What do you think? Will you be doing Hammer & Chisel? Do you have any questions on the nutrition plan?