Although most will try and attain the perfect body through hours at the gym, the best way to guarantee your best body is by putting in work in the kitchen. Diet and exercise will both contribute to a healthier, leaner, stronger you but, in the end, the most important aspect of achieving any type of fitness or weight loss goals is your diet. Your diet can be accredited to helping you achieve your results by 75 to 80%. The remaining 20 to 25% can be attributed to the fitness regimen you choose. When it comes to selecting a fitness program to help you reach your fitness goals, it is important to choose one that includes a balanced nutritional plan that will fuel you adequately enough to endure tough workouts while including clean, whole foods to help you meet your weight loss goals. One plan that has accomplished this is the P90X workout plan. It features a top notch nutrition plan that works in combination with its workouts to improve overall fitness, physical appearance and athletic performance.
The P90X Nutrition Plan
The P90X Nutrition Plan is a three phase plan designed to provide you the right amount of calories, nutrients and fuel to help you endure the tough plan workouts while building lean muscle and burning stored fat. One of the unique features of the P90X nutrition plan is that it allows each individual user to customize the plan according to his or her specific needs and goals. P90X, along with Beachbody and most of its other workout programs, recognize that not everyone is built the same and one size does not fit all.
The P90X Nutrition Plan includes three phases. The first phase is the P90X Fat Shredder. The second is the P90X Energy Booster. The third and final phase is referred to as the P90X Endurance Maximizer. During each of the three phases, you will be expected to consume five meals per day. These meals will consist of breakfast, a mid-morning snack, lunch, an afternoon snack and dinner.
When you begin the P90X workout program, you will be in Phase 1. The amount of time you remain in each phase is generally up to you. Although it is recommended that you make it through all three phases prior to completing the 90 day program, the time you take with each one depends on your daily caloric needs, energy level and previous eating habits. If the first phase seems too strict and you find yourself having difficulty making it through your workouts, you can move onto the second phase as soon as you choose. This may or may not affect the amount of weight you lose on the program but, regardless, the important thing to remember is fueling your body to complete the 90 day process. This is where the P90X Nutrition Plan allows for the diet to be customized according to your needs and desired end results.
Phase 1: Fat Shredder
The Fat Shredder phase was designed to do exactly as the name states. It is designed to help shred the extra fat layer off your body through a diet comprised mostly of protein, minimizing carbohydrate and fat intake. This phase of the P90X Nutrition Plan is very similar to the South Beach low carb diet in that it drastically restricts carb intake. The carbs included in this phase tend to be low glycemic carbs that have minimal effect on blood sugar. The approximate caloric breakdown during this phase is 50% protein, 30% carbohydrates and 20% fats. Most of your meals in this phase will consist of vegetables, lean protein and healthy fats. If you do not have experience with these types of diets, this phase may take a bit of getting used to. In the beginning, you may feel fatigued and experience headaches, bad breath and mood swings. This is just the body getting accustomed to a new way of eating. After a few days, these feelings will pass. The purpose of eating this way is to produce quick weight loss. Limiting carbohydrates will reduce bloat, decrease water retention and burn fat stores. All of these effects will help reveal a leaner, more shredded version of you. The body burns fat stores because its usual source of fuel, glucose obtained from carbohydrates in your diet, are no longer available. The longer you remain in this phase, the more weight you will lose.
Phase 2: Energy Booster
The second phase of the P90X Nutrition Plan will help give you more energy to continue taking on the P90X challenge. This phase increases carbohydrate intake and maintains amounts of fat consumed. During this phase, your caloric breakdown will be 40% protein, 40%carbohydrates and 20% fats. This may slow down weight loss, but it will also help build lean muscle and provide extra energy for enhanced performance
Phase 3: Endurance Maximizer
The final phase is referred to as the Endurance Maximizer and is considered a phase that can be continued beyond the 90 days spent completing the P90X program. Carbohydrate intake is increased once again during this phase and fat consumption will remain the same. The caloric breakdown during this phase will be 20% protein, 60% carbohydrates and 2-% fat. The Endurance Maximizer is an athletic type of diet which includes a well-balanced blend of complex carbohydrates, lean protein and healthy fats. This phase was designed to give you that extra push to finish the program strong and in the best shape of your life.
If, at any point during the 90 days on the nutrition plan, you feel fatigued, are not seeing positive results and/or do not seem to be adjusting well to the changes in nutrition, it is important to transition to a phase that will meet your dietary and energy needs. Some individuals can remain in Phase 1 for the first two months and culminate with phase 2 and 3 in the last month, while others will almost skip over phase 1 all together because of how restrictive it is. As previously mentioned, this plan was designed to be customized and it should be. Assess your dietary needs and your measurements on a regular basis to make sure you are progressing adequately through the program. Ideally, you should reassess on a bi-weekly basis and make changes accordingly.