I made several modifications to the P90X Nutrition Plan that simplified it and gave me great results. These are the 4 steps I followed and the foods I ate to lose 36 lbs of fat and gain 8 lbs of muscle in 6 months!
I also provide daily meal plans and a big list of P90X approved foods which you can use to create your own daily diet plan.
Update: I’ve made a new video that simplifies how to lose body fat with P90X. Start with this video before reading below.
The P90X Nutritional Plan is based on 3 phases outlined below. You’re supposed to start phase 1 with pretty restricted calories/carbs and then INCREASE both as you go through it. It is designed to prevent your body metabolism from slowing down and plateauing. Even though I added calories, I did not increase my ratio of carbs to protein as it suggests. I stayed at 40/40/20 (protein/carb/fat) the whole way through.
P90X is not a starvation diet or a big calorie restriction diet like many other popular diets. You lose the fat mostly through exercise!
The 4 critical parts of the P90X nutrition plan are:
1) Remove the junk from your diet: simple carbs and sugars, processed foods, toxins and saturated fats
2) Replace with quality complex carbs, lean protein and healthy fats
3) Eat enough to fuel your workouts and metabolism (with the right calorie goal!)
4) Target the right ratio of protein, carb, fat (by tracking what you eat!)
What foods should I eat with my daily P90X Diet?
Below are 4 different daily food plans based on my calorie goals as I went through the program:
Read through our P90X approved foods list with a lot of different foods to choose from.
Know which carbs to avoid and which carbs to eat – check out my list of simple and complex carbs.
We’ve also recorded a youtube video that shows healthy foods to buy from CostCo that are “P90X approved”. Watch Kate’s P90X Foods from CostCo video.
What “Must Have” supplement should I use with P90X to lose fat in a healthy way?
Shakeology - The best way to transform your body is with Shakeology. This is the foundation of my nutrition plan and has really improved my overall health. I was skeptical of the price at first so I decided to try it out using the 30 day-money back guarantee. I’ve been on it every day since. In fact, it’s now one of only 2 Beachbody supplements that I recommend. To me, it’s WORTH IT but you’ll have to decide that for yourself.
It’s basically a high quality meal replacement unlike anything else. It will help you lose that body fat and give you energy. Why? Because it contains 17g quality carbs, 18g quality protein and 70 of the healthiest nutrients in the world. It improves your digestive system, removes toxins, lowers cholesterol, helps you to lose fat and improve energy levels, hair, nails and skin. I have this every day for breakfast.
It comes out to $4/day but if you order Shakeology from this site, I’ll coach you for free.
What should my daily calorie target be?
Here’s the P90X Calorie formula. As an example, I’m using 216 lbs as a starting weight.
1) Determine your resting metabolic rate. Take your body weight (216lbs) x 10 = 2,160
2) Add calories for Daily activity (NOT including P90X) = +20% (of above #) = 432
3) Add calories for what is burned during P90X = 600
4) Add them up, we receive: 3,192
5) Now determine the calorie deficit you desire (3500 calories is 1 lb). I recommend 600-1000 per day. In this example, let’s aim for 1000. This means you take 3,192 – 1000 = 2192 calories per day.
My starting weight was 205 lbs so I ate 1900 calories for 3 months and dropped to 186 lbs while working out at the gym.
I then started P90X and followed the following calorie goals:
Phase 1: Fat Shredder (I ate 2100 calories during this phase)
This phase is the lowest in calories to help kick start weight loss and is followed for the first four weeks. Carbohydrates are reduced while protein intake is kept high to help with building muscle and burning fat.
Phase 2: Energy Booster (I ate 2300 calories during this phase)
In phase two, complex carbohydrates are added back into the plan to allow you to train harder and keep up with the intense workouts during this phase.
You are permitted to eat three servings of complex carbohydrates such as whole wheat bread, pasta or oatmeal as well as one piece of low glycemic index fruit daily. Protein intake also remains high so as to aid in muscle recovery.
You can stick with this phase as long as it is working for you and only need to progress to phase 3 if you want to increase muscular endurance and gain more muscle.
Phase 3: Endurance Maximizer (I did NOT move to Phase 3, I stayed with Phase 2 and ate 2400 calories for the last 30 days) 20/60/20 (Protein/carb/fat)
Carbohydrates are increased further to give you the stamina necessary to get through the high intensity workouts of this phase.
In all of the phases eating frequent small meals and drinking lots of water are emphasized.
What Protein/Carb/Fat ratios should I follow?
During Phase 1 (Fat Shredder), it’s recommended that you follow a ratio of 50% protein, 30% carb, 20% fat. I did this for the first 30 days. This means that 50% of your daily calories came from protein, 30% came from carbohydrates and 20% from fat.
During Phase 2 (Energy booster), it’s recommended that you follow a ratio of 40% / 40% / 20%. I stayed with this for the last 60 days. I DID NOT move to phase 3 and I don’t know of many people who have done so and had great results.
It’s hard to eat 40-50% protein with just regular food, so I HIGHLY recommend WHEY protein as a supplement. I have it twice a day. Click here for my favorite supplements that I use.
How can I easily calculate and track my ratios on a daily basis?
I use loseit.com (free) and the iphone app (free). There are many other alternatives but this one is very simple and easy to use. It’s also the easiest for seeing the % of protein, carbs and fat you’ve eaten that day.
If you’re wondering if you have to track what you eat forever, the answer is NO… just for a period of time to build new habits.
In order to create a lifestyle that you can live with long term, it really helps to educate yourself about how the nutritional value of food. I’ve found the best way to do this is by tracking what you eat for a few weeks. You’ll be surprised and amazed at what you find. The easiest way I’ve found is by using http://loseit.com (free) or the iphone app LoseIt. It has a pretty good database of foods already and you can just add other foods by reading the label on the food and plugging in the calories, protein, fat, carbs. It will then total it up for you each day and let you know how you did.
Still have questions or just want help with your nutrition plan?
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This is the natural Whey Protein I use:
This is vital for reaching the daily goal of 40%-50% protein. There are many other great alternatives. This is one of the brands I use the most. CostCo also has Cytosport in a 6lb bag.
If you are picky about taste and want something sweeter, try this one:
Need some protein on the go? These are the Protein bars I eat:
I use Shaker cups quite a bit to mix-up my protein drinks and Shakeology.
This is the food scale we use to measure our meats to more accurately track our protein and calorie intake.