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My spin on the P90X Nutrition Guide

Friday, June 10, 2011

Has anyone else out there ever followed the P90X Nutrition Guide? Surely I'm not the only one! :) My husband did a couple rounds of P90X last year, but I never did any of the workouts with him except for the Ab Ripper. But I did jump on the bandwagon with him on following the P90X Nutrition Guide. In fact, thanks to P90X we made a permanent shift in our eating habits. We both did the Phase 1 "Fat Shredder" plan for awhile, and then moved on to the Phase 2 "Energy Booster". In the end, we've settled on something kinda in-between. I thought I might share our eating plan, on the miniscule chance that someone somewhere out there may find it remotely interesting. lol

For those who are unfamiliar with it, the basic premise of the P90X meal plan is that there are different categories of food: protein, carbs, veggies, fruits, dairy, fats, condiments, and snacks. Each day you're supposed to eat a certain number of servings/calories from each category. Depending on what Phase you're in, there are different ratios of protein to carbs. Phase I is a lower carb ratio, while Phase 2 is more balanced. In the end, after trying both phases, I found that I fare better on the Phase I (lower carb) type of meal plan. Too many carbs tend to make me feel sluggish or gain water weight. So I definitely emphasize protein over carbs in my diet now.

So here's the CHERSTAD meal plan, adapted from the P90X plans (thanks Tony Horton!):

I focus on 6 categories of food (I removed the fats and condiments categories from the P90X plan because I get enough fats from the rest of my foods, and I rarely use much in the way of condiments):

Protein, 500 calories per day
Carbs, 200 calories per day
Veggies, 100 calories per day
Fruit, 100 calories per day
Dairy, 240 calories per day
Snacks, 500 calories per day
Total 1640 calories per day (I give myself some wiggle room and round this up to 1700 calories per day as my goal)

Yes, I really do eat 500 calories of "snacks" a day. But these are nutritious foods, not junk. The snacks allow me to incorporate extra protein, dairy, veggies, or fruit in my day. Sometimes I'll even eat some extra carbs as snack too. Snacking is MUST for me. I eat every 3 to 4 hours during the day so that I never get overly hungry. Because you see, if I get too hungry, then I have a very bad habit of overeating at my next meal. Or even worse, I'll give in to cravings and start binging. Not pretty!

Here's how I breakdown the categories above into my 3 meals and 3 snacks per day:

Breakfast - 6:00AM - 260 calories
200 calories Protein (usually some kind of eggs with turkey sausage or bacon)
60 calories Dairy (cheese)

Morning Snack - 9:00 or 9:30AM - 200 calories
200 calories Snack (some examples: protein bar, nuts, string cheese, celery with pb, oatmeal)

Lunch - 12:00 or 12:30 PM - 430 calories
100 calories Protein (usually deli meat for a sandwich)
100 calories Carb (usually some kind of bread)
180 calories Dairy (cottage cheese, plus a slice of cheese for my sandwich)
50 calories Veggies (almost always baby carrots)

Afternoon Snack - 3:00PM - 200 calories
200 calories Snack (some examples: protein bar, nuts, string cheese, celery with pb, oatmeal)

Dinner - 6:00 PM - 450 calories
200 calories Protein (lean meat)
100 calories Carb (some examples: pasta, rice, couscous, beans, potatoes, tortilla, etc)
50 calories Veggies (any kind of veggie, whatever goes well with the protein & carb I've chosen)
100 calories Fruit (this is our dessert!)

Evening Snack - 8:00 or 9:00 PM - 100 calories
100 calories Snack (usually yogurt)

There you have it! For some people, this may seem WAY too structured to follow. But for the slightly OCD and Type A personalities such as myself, I like having rules!

I'm ready to start sharing my menu ideas.....mostly dinners and breakfasts. I keep my lunches simple with leftovers or sandwiches, and I focus my creative efforts on breakfast and dinner. Stay tuned!

For Your Faith
Titus 1:8 Rather, he must be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined.

Self discipline gives a person the ability to forgo instant gratification in favor of some greater gain, even if this requires effort and time. The Lord calls us to develop self-discipline so that we may resist sin and temptation. It helps us ignore those whispers in our ears like "one cookie can't hurt" or "skip working out today." One of the foundations of success towards any goal is self discipline. And it's a skill each one of us can practice and hone any time, any where. Even if you're not perfect at it yet, keep practicing!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I've read the nutrition guide but it so confuses me! I just started round 2 of P90X tonight and just really followed the Spark guidelines and stayed within my calorie range. Thanks for the ideas!
    2268 days ago
    Love it....I am beginning P90X and have chosen the Shredd Meal Plan. I was just wondering how does this break down into calories per category. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR SHARING. Thank you my friend HornetWife for commenting on this blog.
    2268 days ago
    I just ran across this blog and find it very helpful and interesting! I am on round 2 of P90X and the Fat Shredder plan. Always looking for new ideas. The hardest part for me is only being allowed one fruit and one carb a day.

    2268 days ago
    Thank you for this post! I'm starting P90X today and this post has given me some ideas on how to structure my daily meals.
    2330 days ago
    Thanks for the info about this interesting way of eating.
    2474 days ago
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    Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.