I started P90X workouts about a year ago on the condition that my husband and I would also follow the accompanying nutrition plan. I was not willing to devote time to daily workouts and risk not seeing results! Doing this diet in conjunction with the workouts was the smartest thing I did because it has helped me develop the skills necessary to eat healthy.
Similar to the workouts, the P90X nutritional guide leads you through calculating the daily portions of how much you should eat, based on your fitness goals and your physique. It also gives recommendations for healthy foods, and teaches basic skills of what to look for on food labels to control your daily consumption.
The nutritional guidelines shift through three phases that are about a month long each, matching the workout schedule. The transitions hinge on dietary component ratios. Recommended proportions go from a low carb, high protein diet during phase one to a balanced diet in phase two and finally to a high carb, low protein diet in phase 3; meanwhile fat intake remains at about 20% of your consumption throughout the program.
The reason that the nutrition plan works so well is that the phases align with how intensely you are physically able to do the workouts. At the beginning, you’re most focused on fat loss and muscle gain, so you boost the protein component of your diet. Toward the end you are expending a lot of energy during each workout; to maximize your stamina the diet incorporates more carbohydrates instead.
Eating according to this diet was more challenging for me than the exercise component of P90X. Particularly during the first two weeks, my mind wanted me to put everything sugary in my mouth instead of the nuts or cheese I had to snack on. I often wanted to keep eating despite having finished my allotted portion for dinner-even though I was not hungry at any point!
Overall, I was only able to follow the P90X diet because the nutrition guide has basic instructions and because my husband was willing to help me stick to it by cooking healthier meals. I’m incredibly happy with the results of the program, which exceeded my goals more than threefold. Above all, however, my takeaway has been to learn much more about dieting and determine what foods and dietary proportions are best for me given my energy needs, which change from day to day. The P90X nutrition guide was one of my first stepping-stones to healthy eating because it provided a foundation with which to educate myself about nutrition.