My Nutrition Plan
“Seriously, what did you eat?“ - My P90X Nutrition Plan
That is the most common question I get from people who have seen my transformation video. And that is a GREAT question and I am so glad that so many people realize that NUTRITION IS KEY to success! I had pretty amazing results with P90X, and I credit most of my transformation to my commitment to nutrition! After all, you only workout 1 hr per day, so what you do with your body for the other 23 hrs is critical!
So, without further ado…here’s a summary of what I did to achieve my P90X transformation:
1. I followed the P90X FAT SHREDDER plan for the first 2 months (50% protein, 30% carbs, 20% fat). For the 3rd month, I upped the carbs to 40% (like Phase 2). I was starting to “bonk” in the 3rd month while on fat shredder plan and I realized I needed more carbs or my workouts would suffer. You need to listen to you body!
2. I ran at a calorie DEFICIT the whole time. The nutrition guide recommended 2,940 calories per day for someone my size (195lbs at the time). That amount of calories probably would have been perfect if I was interested in maintaining my weight but I wanted to lose a lot of body fat, so I targeted 1,700 calories as my daily goal. If you choose to run a calorie deficit like I did, it’s important that you listen to your body and give it a little more if you start bonking during the workouts. Be very careful not to go too low on your calories or you risk “starvation mode” where your body slows its metabolism to conserve energy since it never knows when you are going to feed it next. If you are running a big calorie deficit and not losing body fat, you probably need to eat more calories (clean food). It sounds strange, but eating more will help you lose weight.
3. NO CHEATING! No cheat meals. No cheat days. No bites of the kids’ desserts. NONE!!! One cheat meal can slow down your progress by 2 or 3 days. It wasn’t worth it to me and if you are committed to making a change it shouldn’t be worth it to you! I didn’t want to do anything to sabotage the hard work I was putting into the workouts. Now, I feel so great having purged my body of that junk, I am rarely even tempted to indulge in that stuff. If I have a moment of weakness, I turn to Shakeology for a chocolate shake…it tastes great and is right on track with my nutrition plan.
4. I kept track of everything I ate using MyFitnessPal online tracking tool. I used a small kitchen scale that I bought for $12 to measure precisely what I was eating. They say that people who just “try to eat healthy” will actually consume 50% more calories than people who track their calories. I tracked everything that went into my mouth for the entire Round 1, and in fact it has become so easy to do using MyFitnessPal that I still do it every day.
5. I did not make the actual meals in the nutrition guide. It’s not practical for me to make all that stuff. What I did instead is make meals that fit my tastes, fit into the right % of protein, carbs, and fats, and fit with my schedule. I have a few meals I rotate depending on what I’m in the mood for, and I have a good list of snacks that work on the go and meet my criteria.
6. I try to consume most of my carbs in the morning, but go heavier on the protein in the evening. I can’t go to bed hungry so I planned my day so that I could drink one scoop of whey protein powder with water only just before I went to bed. That gave my muscles something to chew on during the night. Casein protein is a slower absorbing protein that may sustain you longer into the night, but to be honest, it tastes horrible, and I haven’t found much research to confirm that it is much better than whey…so, for me, it’s whey.
7. I drank only water and lots of it! I also used almond milk in my Shakeology every morning. Water helps you maintain a healthy pH balance in your body. If you drink sodas (especially diet!) it will force your pH balance toward acidic and that creates problems. You body will be forced to use the nutrients that it needs for muscle building, to try to balance your pH. Read my blog post titled “Trippin’ on Acid?” to learn more about that.
8. I ate at least 6 meals per day. It tried to eat every 2 -3 hrs and gradually tapered my calories for each meal throughout the day so that my post-workout morning meal was the largest (about 600-700 calories) and my evening meal was the smallest around 200-300 calories. Some of the meals during the day were small also, around 200 calories. I always went out of my way to eat protein as the main percentage of every meal. I cut out all processed foods, enriched flour and sugar. I made every attempt to eat nothing but clean, natural foods. Lots of fruits, vegetables, egg whites, chicken, tuna, lean ham, almonds. It’s not as hard as you think!
9. Most people would consider my diet very boring…and for the most part I would have to agree. But, I have adopted the mindset that FOOD IS FUEL, NOT ENTERTAINMENT! Once I started seeing results, it was a no-brainer. My coach had inspired me with his transformation so I just followed his lead on nutrition…and it worked!
10. How did I control my cravings? It took a lot of will power at first! But I have found things that I really like and it gets me through. The P90X Result and Recovery Formula and Shakeology are the highlight of my day! Aside from the fact that they replenished my body perfectly after my workouts, they both taste amazing! I crave them! I also like the Pure Protein Chocolate Peanut butter bars, but I try not to eat them too often. I like to stick with all natural food as often as possible.
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