P90X Nutrition Guide – Do I REALLY Need To Follow This?

p90x nutrition guideThe P90X Nutrition Guide is so complicated, do I really need to follow it?”  “I can do the workouts, but I can’t follow the P90X Nutrition Guide.”  “To see good results do I have to follow the P90X Nutrition Guide?”  Do any of those questions sound familiar?  Ever thought them yourself?  I know I did when I first started out.  You would think that just doing the workouts would be enough, right?  I made that mistake myself, and don’t want you to do the same thing I did.  I actually started with Insanity, and for the first month I didn’t follow any nutrition guide, I just did the workouts.  And guess what?  I didn’t see any results!  That’s not a surprise to me knowing what I do now, but it was back then and I hear similar stories all the time.  So the answer is yes, you need to follow the P90X Nutrition Guide.

Why Follow The P90X Nutrition Guide?

So now that I’ve told you you have to follow the P90X Nutrition Guide, the natural question is why.  When you think about it in terms of time, it makes total sense.  You workout consists of about an hour a day.  Don’t get me wrong, that’s a good amount of time for a workout.  But then you have the other 23 hours in the day to make sure you’re on track with your nutrition.  To be fair, we can cut 7 hours just for sleep time, but 16 hours is still a long time!  So the majority of your day, you have to be on track with what you eat.  That can make it a lot harder.  Distractions come up, temptations come your way and you have to stick to your guns the whole time.  I experience the same things, and always think the nutrition is the hardest part.

Sure the workouts are demanding, but it’s easy to push play and follow Tony on the screen.  You just don’t have that for nutrition.  But your nutrition is going to account for roughly 80% of your results.  So if you don’t follow the P90X Nutrition Guide, you are not going to be happy with your results.  That’s just reality.  But that’s why P90X isn’t just the workouts.  It’s the workouts plus nutrition.  If you’re not following the P90X Nutrition Guide, you’re not really doing P90X!

P90X Nutrition Guide Basics

p90x nutrition guide phasesThe P90X Nutrition Guide can look daunting at first.  It’s long, there are 3 phases and 3 levels and tons of recipes.  Plus there’s the portion approach, but I’ll discuss that in a later post.  But I want to break down the basics for you.  Basically, the P90X Nutrition Guide is broken up into 3 phases.  Fat Shredder, Energy Booster and Endurance Maximizer.  These phases do correspond to the workout phases, but you don’t necessarily have to move from one to the next like you do the workouts.  That really depends on the results you’re seeing.  But to break them down:

Fat Shredder has you eating 50% protein, 30% carbs and 20% fat
Energy Booster has you eating 40% protein, 40% carbs and 20% fat
Endurance Maximizer has you eating 20% protein, 60% carbs and 20% fat

So the goal is to burn lots of fat right away, and then increase your carbs steadily to help improve performance, because your body really needs carbs to burn, especially during a hard workout.   So the phases really just tell you what percentage of your daily calories should be coming from what macro-nutrient.  The levels in the P90X Nutrition Guide really just refer to how many calories you should be eating total.

How Many Calories Does The P90X Nutrition Guide Say I Should Eat?

I get the question all the time, “How many calories should I eat?”.  Well that depends on a few factors, but luckily the P90X Nutrition Guide lays it all out for you.  It’s a fairly simple formula, and I’ll show you an example below for a person weighing 180 lbs.:

1) Calculate your resting metabolic rate (RMR):  Your body weight x 10 = RMR  So 180 x 10 = 1800

2) Calculate your daily activity burn: Your RMR x 20% = DAB  So 1800 x .2 = 360

3) Add the calories required for your exercise needs: RMR + DAB + 600 = Energy Amount  In this example: 1800 + 360 + 600 =  2760

This calculation obviously isn’t exact to each person, but it’s a good starting point if you are just getting going.  I find for myself that I don’t need quite as many calories as the P90X Nutrition Guide says.  But if you’re just starting out and you weigh 180 lbs., you would need to eat 2760 calories just to maintain your weight.  If you want to lose weight, you need to eat at a calorie deficit, which could range from 500-1000 calories below your maintenance level.  If you want to gain weight, you need to eat a 500-1000 calorie surplus every day.

What If I Don’t Follow The P90X Nutrition Guide?

If you don’t follow the P90X Nutrition Guide you just won’t see the results you want.  Many people get frustrated with their lack of results, especially early on in the program.  But when I ask them if they’re following their nutrition plan they often say “I just eat healthy” or “I can’t follow that, it’s too complicated“.  Well if you want to see results like I’ve had, then you’re going to have to actually follow the P90X Nutrition Guide, it’s that simple.  Nutrition is what gets great results.

While you do have to follow the guide, you don’t have to make the specific meals in the P90X Nutrition Guide.  I understand some have lots of ingredients or are complicated to make, or you just frankly don’t like.  But don’t feel restrained by that!  As long as you’r hitting your calorie goal and the correct percentage of protein/carbs/fat it really doesn’t matter what exact foods you eat.  I personally just found meals that I liked and could make and allowed me to hit my nutrition goals and let me tell you  it worked!  If you’re looking for a pretty simple plan, check out my 1900 calorie meal plan.  It doesn’t have to be complicated, and once you really start following the P90X Nutrition Guide you’re going to see amazing results!




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