Posted by Coach Todd
on Nov 22, 2011 in Nutrition
If you are anything like me then the first time you looked at the P90X Nutrition Guide, you were overwhelmed by the amount of information; and I dont know about you, but I was quite intimidated. I had no idea where to start or how to begin and my results reflected that confusion. The P90X Nutrition guide really is a masterpiece of nutritional info, but I will admit that it could have been a little more simple. One of my primary goals as a coach is to simplify the nutrition part for people as this seems to be where the most difficulty is found. If I can help you understand nutrition and how to succeed, then you will have a huge advantage in the results category!!! So what I will do here is clear up any confusion that surrounds the P90X Nutritional Phases.
3-Phase P90X Nutrition Plan: Choosing the plan that fits you and your goals – Watch my video “How to Calculate P90X Nutrition“
Phase-1 Fat Shredder: This plan will concentrate on shredding the fat quick and simultaneously strengthening your muscles.
- Who: I would recommend the Fat Shredder plan for anyone that has a body fat percentage of 10% or above. Excess body fat is BAD for you. It’s bad for me. It’s bad for all of us. It puts us in bad health, and makes us prone to all sorts of disease and illness. Job #1 for ALL OF US should be to get rid of that goo! I don’t care what you weigh! If you have too much body fat, you simply have to get rid of it for your health. Period!
- What: The way the Fat Shredder Plan works is by utilizing a high protein/low carbohydrate diet. The optimal protein/carb/fat ratio for this Phase of the Nutrition Plan will be 50/30/20. These numbers represent the percentages of total daily intake, meaning that 50% of your daily intake should come from proteins, 30% from carbs, and 20% from fats. If you havent seen My 1900 Calorie Diet yet, you need to check it out. I show you EXACTLY what I ate over a 7 day time span during my Fat Shredder Phase. You stick to this ratio and you will be astonished at how quickly your body will shred the fat!
- When: One of the most confusing parts about the 3-Phase Nutrtion Plan for me was “When do I switch Phases?”. I personally stayed in the Fat Shredder Phase for 6 months. I had quite a bit of fat to lose though. I didnt switch to Phase-2 until I was below 10% body fat. You can still lose fat in Phase-2, just not as quickly. So this one is really up to you on when you think you should switch to Phase-2, but again, I recommend staying in Phase-1 until you reach 10% body fat or below.
Phase-2: Energy Booster: This plan offers a balanced mix of carbohydrates and protein, and lower amounts of fat. You’ll get an extra energy boost for enhanced performance.
- Who: This plan is more suited for the person who has gone through a round of P90X, has shed quite a bit of fat (below 10%), and needs the additional carbohydrates for energy since their metabolism is now a roaring fire. This Phase could also be for the person who is already in good physical condition when starting P90X. I have seen a lot of guys who are in decent shape start P90X with the goal of getting ripped. This Plan is the perfect place to start. It will keep the fast burning metabolism stoked and provide you with sustained energy from the additional carbohydrates.
- What: The Energy Booster Plan works using a balance of proteins and carbs with a 40/40/20 ratio of proteins/carbs/fats. You can still lose fat on this plan, it just wont be as rapid as the Fat Shredder Phase.
- When: As you get into better shape, your workouts will intensify and your body will start to crave more carbs to increase its performance. You will start to add starches and “good” complex carbohydrates back into your diet to facilitate harder training in a very balanced approach. See my article “Good Carbs vs Bad Carbs“. This phase would be good for the long term if you were sedentary or exercised occasionally. Keep in mind though that this would be the default phase, meaning it’s the most well-rounded diet for the average joe or jane.
Phase-3: Endurance Maximizer: This plan offers a balanced mix of carbohydrates and protein, and lower amounts of fat. You’ll get an extra energy boost for enhanced performance.
- Who: This is the athlete diet. The person who is in Phase-3 is in peak physical condition and uses this plan to keep energized with a lot of fuel! This phase can also be utilized if you want to add some mass using P90X, by modifying your calorie intake.
- What: Anaerobic exercise burns calories at a hugely accelerated rate, and P90X keeps you anaerobic for large chunks of time. In order to stay energized throughout this final phase, you are going to need a lot of fuel, meaning carbs. With the proper amount of fuel you’ll be able to work out much harder and, in turn, burn more calories and cause more extensive muscular breakdown, leading to greater fitness. So your diet will now be primarily carbs for fuel, with enough protein and fat to keep your muscles recovering quickly and everything running smoothly. The ratio of proteins/carbs/fats for this Phase focuses on a 30/50/20 ratio. If you are looking to gain mass with this Phase, see My Mass Gain Diet.
- When: You should not enter Phase-3 of the P90X Nutrition Plan until you are fully confident that your body NEEDS this much fuel. You will know when exactly that is. You will find that you feel depleted during your workouts and cant push with full intensity. Be sure you dont mistake the depleted feeling because the case just might be that you need more calories. Like I said before, this is the athlete diet: You are in peak physical condition and your body will tell you when you need this much fuel.
A lot of my success gang has come from experimentation. A good example of this was during my Fat Shredder Phase. I was taking in 1900 calories per day, but I was making a lot of progress with fat loss and building muscle. I soon got to the point where I was feeling super hungry all the time even on 1900 calories per day. Now sure I probably could have went to Phase-2, but I wasnt where I thought I should be body fat percentage wise. So I remained in Phase-1 and bumped up my calorie intake to 2300 calories per day. The result was amazing! I again felt completely energized and I didnt feel depleted during my workouts. Most importantly guys is that you listen to your body and play around with calorie intake BEFORE you switch Phases if you feel that you arent ready to switch. That 10% body fat is a good bench mark for when its time to switch from Phase-1 to 2, and Phase-3 comes when you NEED it.
80% of your results are made in the kitchen….This stuff is important!