Category Archives: P90X Nutrition

How Should You Count Foods for P90X, X2, or X3?

I am always looking for answers to your questions and I found a good answer on P90X nutrition from two experts, Steve Edwards and Denis Faye.  This post appears in the Team Beachbody blog, so I am sharing it and the video where Steve and Denis provide some answers.

“In a recent chat, experts Steve Edwards and Denis Faye explained how to count your foods for the P90X series portion plans. Should you count each food once, or if it falls into more than one category should you count it multiple times? Push play for the answer.”

PS – If the video does not start at the right time for you, please set it to 57:06.

 

How the P90X3 Nutrition Plan Works for Your Busy Schedule

By Denis Faye – from the Team Beachbody Newsletter

Salad

 

The two main keys to getting fit are exercise and diet—and, for many of us, exercise is the easy part (in a grueling, sweaty sort of way), especially with programs like P90X3. Just pop in the DVD once a day, let Tony put you through the paces for 30 minutes, and you’re on your way.

Diet, on the other hand, can be tricky. There are plenty of plans that tell you exactly what to eat—but what if you don’t like those things, or don’t have time to cook them? And then there are intolerances, allergies, ethical concerns, cooking prowess (or lack thereof), kitchen access, and how much time you can devote to your diet.

In other words, for most people, the only truly successful, long-term diet plan has to be built around their personal wants and needs—so it needs to be a joint project involving the nutritionist and the user.

That’s the goal with the P90X3 nutrition plan. It provides the tools and the guidance, but you call the shots, designing the absolutely perfect eating plan—for you. The trick to accomplishing this is something called “intuitive eating,” the ability to listen to your body’s cues so that you make the right decisions nutritionally.

It’s not a new concept. Intuitive eating is standard practice for many athletes (and healthy people in general). They’ve reached a point in their fitness where all the sugar and fat addictions, hormone imbalances, and weird cravings have dropped away—and with them, the need to count calories. When their body wants something, they know to eat it.

Of course, it takes a little effort to get to this point. To help you do it, the P90X3 plan features plenty of leeway for you to make your own choices, along with a few gentle rules to steer you in the right direction. At the same time, it doesn’t overwhelm the user with responsibility. In much the same way the 30-minute P90X3 workouts fit into your busy schedule, the P90X3 nutrition plan can be used in an extremely basic, rudimentary way, making healthy meal planning quick and easy.

It does this by following these three basic tenets.

Chopping Vegetables 1. Simplicity. Okay, maybe not pop-in-a-DVD simplicity, but simplicity nonetheless. Sometimes, it’s educational to be led by the nose when dieting, but by keeping this plan basic, it better allows you to make your own choices. (In case that kind of responsibility stresses you out, here’s a little secret: the plan eliminates all the bad choices. It’s win-win. Your job is just to figure out how to win more.)

The two biggest simplifiers you’ll notice are the calorie calculator and the food lists.

First, the calorie calculator math has been replaced with a simple quiz because, to be honest, while calorie calculators are excellent learning tools, they’re essentially just educated guesses as to an individual’s needs. They can’t account for dozens of factors, ranging from genetics and altitude to your true fitness level. And even if you find the perfect number (which will shift daily, by the way), the calories you take in will also shift unless you measure everything you eat in a bomb calorimeter. And in order to do that, you need to incinerate your food so, long story short, no one is ever 100% sure of their daily calorie intake (or what it should be, frankly), so you might as well relax a little.

P90X3 gives you a highly educated ballpark figure and helps you adjust that number based on your individual needs. (Frankly, that’s what many users need to do with more complex calculators anyway.)

The old P90X® portion plan has been boiled down to three food lists: carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. Then it is sorted in a best-to-worst hierarchy, so you can decide just how awesome an eater you want to be.

You’ll also notice a lack of emphasis on macronutrient math. Again, eating at percentages is a great way to learn about how you respond to different foods, but eventually it’s important to stop being beholden to math and listen to your body. The plan works out to about 40% carbs, 30% protein, and 30% fat, but these numbers are rough. Instead, we’d prefer you focus on the quality of your food and how much you generally put on your plate. These are the two factors most likely to get you results.

As for preparation of that food, again, we keep it simple. No complex recipes, just basic cooking suggestions, meal ideas, and recipes for healthy spice mixes and dressings.

2. Variety. The way people eat is nearly as unique as their fingerprints, so we made the carbs, protein, and fats lists gigantic, allowing vegans, Paleos, and picky eaters to find the foods that work for them. As I mentioned before, the lists are in a hierarchical order, so that you know which foods are healthier options.

And for those concerned that Beachbody® has suddenly forgotten that there’s a world of difference between an apple and a slice of bread, don’t worry. There are optional sub-lists for each category (veggies, fruits, and grains under carbs, for example) that you can use or ignore. Technically, you could fulfill your entire carb requirement eating only bread, but most of you aren’t 6 years old, so odds are you’ll make better choices.

The variety also makes shopping easier because you can work with the foods you have access to. No demands for Canadian antler fuzz or Vietnamese dragonfruit. Just a wide assortment of simple, fresh foods to suit your tastes. (That said, have you ever tried dragonfruit? It’s delish.)

A Fish, Salad and Vegetable Meal 3. Flexibility. This is a big one in Tony’s book. As many of you know, he’s constantly changing his diet to suit his evolving needs—and that’s a good model to live by. For years, he was vegan, until he realized he needed a little animal protein in his diet, so he added organic, cage-free chicken, sustainably caught fish, and free-range, grass-fed red meat into his diet.

Your needs change too. It might be as simple as a calorie increase or as complex as completely eliminating animal products or grains. Either way, this plan is designed to move with you, thanks largely to those first two concepts: simplicity and variety.

It also makes it easier to suit your needs today. While foodies can craft this plan into a culinary tour de force, it’s also easy for on-the-go types to throw together three simple squares on the P90X3 plan.

Of course, rethinking the old P90X nutrition plans this extensively brings up some questions, the first one being, “What was wrong with the old P90X and P90X2 plans?” The answer is, “Nothing.” They just feature slightly different philosophies.

In a way, they’re an evolution. P90X gives you a by-the-numbers nutrition plan. It’s learning by doing. P90X2 takes the same plan, loosens some of the restrictions, and adds vegan and grain-free options to allow you to experiment a little more. P90X3 removes even more restrictions and gives you additional tools not only to guide you toward intuitive eating, but to make healthy meal planning a simple, quick affair.

In my opinion, if you want something with a lot of structure all laid out for you, P90X is the way to go. If you’re ready to move past that—or you’re looking for a plan that’s especially flexible for a busy schedule, I’d lean toward P90X3.

That said, the P90X3 plan doesn’t forsake structure-loving folks. Some users may not want simplicity, variety, and/or flexibility. Maybe you just want to follow that old doctrine of “just tell me what to eat.” All the detail work—the exact food measurements, the micronutrient percentages—are in the guide. They’re just tucked away so that only those who want them can access them.

The end result is a guide that’s useful whether you want to bring your nutrition to the next level or you just want to survive your hectic schedule while staying healthy. Unless you plan to live on dehydrated astronaut food and water, there’s no way a diet plan will ever be as simple as doing a series of DVD workouts—but the P90X3 nutrition plan comes awfully close.

Tony Horton’s Favorite Chocolate Shakeology Recipe

Tony Horton’s Shakeology Recipe: 1/2 cup frozen blueberries, 5 or 6 frozen Strawberries, 1/2 cup of cashews, couple ice cubes, 1/2 glass of filtered water, almond milk, 1 scoop Chocolate Vegan Shakeology.

As a vegan since the Ultimate Reset, I only drink Chocolate Vegan like Tony, but the Chocolate Superfood with whey protein tastes like something that they mixed up with ingredients from heaven!

To learn more about Shakeology, just click here and if you want to learn more about the Ultimate Reset, just click here!

 

Tony Horton Asks, “How Healthy Is That Health Shake?”

When Tony speaks, we listen. See what he has to say about Shakeology – his source of super nutrients to fuel his workouts and his active lifestyle.  If you want to “shake” like Tony, just click here!

Going Vegan, P90X Style

By Denis Faye – From the P90X Newsletter

Tempeh, anyone? Gone are the days when vegans were viewed as anemic, sprout-chewin’ wimps. Athletes like triathlete Brendan Brazier, cyclist Molly Cameron, bodybuilder Robert Cheeke, and track and field Olympian Carl Lewis, just to name a few, have proven to the world that a body can be in top physical form without ingesting animal meat or byproducts.

Vegetables

But then there’s P90X. It’s one thing to win three gold and one silver Olympic medals while sustaining yourself on vegetable matter, but what about pulling off Shoulders & Arms or Back & Biceps? How’s that supposed to happen? And Plyometrics! Who could possibly do PlyoX without the aid of animal protein?

The answer? You!

Here’s how.

A few things to consider before you start.

P90X Nutrition PlanThis article isn’t a complete guide to vegan athleticism. It merely tweaks the P90X Nutrition Plan a little to make it more accessible for those electing to go meat-free. It’ll get you through 90 days, but if you’re looking to make this a lifetime commitment, you’ll want to do your homework. Becoming Vegan by Brenda Davis and Vesanto Melina is an excellent all-purpose guide. If you’re an endurance athlete, check out Thrive: The Vegan Nutrition Guide to Optimal Performance in Sports and Life by Brendan Brazier. It can be a little alarmist and supplement heavy, but there’s still useful information within. Lastly, if you’re looking to build mass, read Vegan Bodybuilding & Fitness by Robert Cheeke and Julia Abbott.

Second, remember that the P90X phases aren’t set in stone. Without the aid of calorically dense meats and dairy, you’ll be eating a lot of volume to get all the protein required for Phases I and II. If it’s just not working for you, go to Phase III. If you’re concerned about getting the fat-cutting benefits of high-protein nutrition, don’t be. Macronutrients are just a small factor in weight loss. The calorie deficit is the primary factor.

Finally, if you spot-check these diets against online calorie counters, you’ll probably find that the protein, fat, and carb numbers don’t match up perfectly with the typical X balances. That’s fine. Again, the calories are the real concern here. Furthermore, unless you plan on consuming massive quantities of supplements, your diet is probably going to be a little carbohydrate heavy. If they’re good carbs, don’t sweat it. It’s just the nature of the beast, so to speak.

Potential vitamin and mineral deficiencies

VitaminsHumans are omnivores, meaning our bodies will survive on just about whatever we shove down our blowers. It also means we thrive better with variety, so when we deliberately kick aside foods we’ve been eating since we started walking on two feet, we need to be smart about it.

The five nutrient deficiencies often associated with the vegan diet are vitamin B12, vitamin D, iron, calcium, and omega-3 fatty acids. The modified Fats portion list below should help with omega-3s.

B12 and D are tricky. It’s hard to find veggie sources, so you’ll probably want to take a good multivitamin, like ActiVit®.

As for iron and calcium, if you keep plenty of variety in your diet, you should be okay, but you’ll want to lean towards the following foods:

Calcium: Leafy greens, almonds, broccoli, oranges, chickpeas, and soy. A salad a day should cover it.

Iron: Spinach, pumpkin seeds, white beans, and lentils

Whole-grain cereals are often fortified with both of these minerals, so check the labels on those as well.

Vegan Recovery Drink recipe

DrinksMost recovery drinks, including our own P90X® Results and Recovery Formula, utilize whey protein because the body absorbs it so quickly. Since whey comes from dairy, we suggest soy protein, or pea and rice protein, in its place. These may not be soaked up as quickly, but they’ll get to where they need to be, so don’t stress. I’ve left hemp protein off this list because it’s typically loaded with fiber, which further slows down absorption.

Just mix 12 ounces of apple or grape juice with the protein powder of your choice. Powders tend to vary in calorie amounts, so do the math. You’ll want approximately 10 to 12 grams of protein to the 45 grams of sugar you’ll find in the juice. You’re shooting for a carb-to-protein ratio of between 3 to 1 and 5 to 1.

The fructose in fruit juice isn’t an ideal sugar for a recovery drink, but it works and it’s about as natural as you can get, which is a priority for many vegans.

The Plan

Woman Shopping for GroceriesIf you know the existing P90X plan, the serving amount modifications below won’t be too difficult to figure out. We’ve modified a few of the portion lists. Most notably, carbohydrates have been split into two subcategories: legumes and grains. The reason for this is that vegans need to get protein wherever they can find it. Legumes contain half the amino acids essential to humans. Grains contain the other half. Eat both and you get yourself complete protein. Note that you don’t need to eat them at the same time to get the benefit. Any time during the same day is fine.

Phase I:

Level 1
Proteins 5
Fruit 1
Vegetables 2
Fats (omega-3) 1.5
Carb one (legumes) 1
Carb two (grains) 1
Snacks: double (or two singles), Vegan Recovery Drink
Condiments 1

Level 2
Proteins 7
Fruit 1
Vegetables 4
Fats (omega-3) 2
Carb one (legumes) 2
Carb two (grains) 1
Snacks: single, double (or two singles), Vegan Recovery Drink
Condiments 2

Level 3
Proteins 9
Fruit 2
Vegetables 4
Fats (omega-3) 2.5
Carb one (legumes) 2.5
Carb two (grains) 1.5
Snacks: single, double (or two singles), Vegan Recovery Drink
Condiments 2

Phase II:

Level 1
Proteins 4
Fruit 1
Vegetables 3
Fats (omega-3) 1
Carb one (legumes) 1.5
Carb two (grains) 1.5
Snacks: double (or two singles), Vegan Recovery Drink
Condiments 1

Level 2
Proteins 6
Fruit 1
Vegetables 3
Fats (omega-3) 1
Carb one (legumes) 2
Carb two (grains) 2
Snacks: single, double (or two singles), Vegan Recovery Drink
Condiments 2

Level 3
Proteins 7
Fruit 2
Vegetables 3
Fats (omega-3) 2
Carb one (legumes) 2.5
Carb two (grains) 2.5
Snacks: single, double (or two singles), Vegan Recovery Drink
Condiments 4

Phase III:

Level 1
Proteins 2
Fruit 2
Vegetables 2
Fats (omega-3) 1
Carb one (legumes) 2
Carb two (grains) 2
Snacks: double (or two singles), Vegan Recovery Drink
Condiments 1

Level 2
Proteins 3
Fruit 3
Vegetables 3
Fats (omega-3) 1
Carb one (legumes) 2.5
Carb two (grains) 2.5
Snacks: double (or two singles), Vegan Recovery Drink
Condiments 2

Level 3
Proteins 4
Fruit 3
Vegetables 5
Fats (omega-3) 2
Carb one (legumes) 3
Carb two (grains) 3
Snacks: double (or two singles), Vegan Recovery Drink
Condiments 3

Revised Portion Lists

Revised Protein Portion List
Hemp protein powder – 100 calories, depending on brand
Rice and pea protein powder – 100 calories, depending on brand
Seitan – 3 oz.
Soy burger – 1
Soy cheese slices – 5
Tempeh – 2 oz.
Tofu – 3 oz.
Veggie burger – 1
Veggie dog – 1

Revised Carb One (Legumes) List
Baked beans – 1 cup
Beans (kidney, black, etc.) – 1 cup
Hummus – 1 cup
Lentils – 1 cup
Peanuts (raw or home-roasted) – 1 oz.
Refried beans, nonfat – 1 cup

Revised Carb Two (Grains) List
Amaranth – 1 cup
Whole grain bagel, medium – 1
Bran muffin (2.5 oz.) – 1
Whole-grain bread – 2 slices
Whole-grain cereal – 1 cup
Whole-grain couscous – 1 cup
Whole-grain crackers – 12
Whole-grain English muffin – 2 halves
Oatmeal – 1 cup
Pancakes (3.6 ounces) – 3
Whole-grain pasta – 1 cup
Quinoa – 1 cup
Rice, brown or wild – 1 cup
Whole wheat tortilla, large – 1
Whole-grain waffles – 2
Wheat berries – 1 cup

Revised Fat (Omega-3) Portion List
Flaxseed Oil – 1 Tbsp.
Pumpkin Seed Oil – 1 Tbsp.
Walnut Oil – 1 Tbsp.
Canola Oil – 1 Tbsp.
Chia Oil – 1 Tbsp.

Revised Snack List
Single snacks

Dried fruit – 1 oz.
Frozen fruit bar – 1
Fruit – 1 medium piece
Rice cake – 1
Peanut butter (with celery sticks) – 1 Tbsp.
Popcorn, air-popped or light – 3 cups
Soy nuts – 2 oz.
Seaweed – 10 oz.

Double snacks
Bean dip (with 4 oz. chips) – 4 Tbsp.
Hummus (with carrot sticks) – 1 oz.
Pumpkin seeds – 2 oz.
Raw nuts – 1 oz.

One final note

Couple EatingMaking the choice to go animal-free is a big one. (Almost as big as deciding to commit to P90X!) It takes some serious thought and planning. While we thoroughly tested the menus for the initial P90X Nutrition Plan before release, what you’re reading here is a work in progress. Do we have a test group? Yes. You’re the test group. Please, give the plan a try and tell us what you think. What did we miss? What’s not working for you? If the feedback is constructive and positive enough, we’ll try to weave this vegan plan into future editions of the Guide.

So put your steak knives away, bust out your salad forks, and let’s eat!