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P90X: Phase 1 – The Meal Plan

09/02/2010

P90X isn’t some miracle quick fix that promises instant weight loss.  It’s more accurately a life-style change.  As much as the exercises are intense and can result in a fairly rapid change in your overall fitness, the workouts will do you no good unless you are also eating well.  For me, that really did mean a lifestyle change.  I mean, my diet consisted mostly of carbs and cheese.  Every so often I would throw a vegetable in there, just to mix things up.  But I did not have what you would call a balanced diet.

The good people who brought me P90X also brought me a book that included a nutrition plan.  Like the workouts, the nutrition plan is divided into 3 phases:

1.  Fat Shredder – high protein and low carb to kick-start the program and help you shed fat fast (sign me up!).

2.  Energy Booster – a more even balance of proteins and carbs to increase your energy as you get further into the program (welcome back bagel, I missed you).

3.  Endurance Maximizer – this phase is for the “athlete” you become once you’ve hit Phase 3 of the program.  There is a higher emphasis on carbs to give you even more energy as you push towards the end (not sure how I feel about this, am afraid it will make me fat again).

There are 2 ways that you can approach the nutrition plan.  There is the portion approach, in which you follow their guidelines for how much of each type of food (fat, carbs, proteins, etc.) you eat each day, and the meal plan approach, where you are given a menu of all your meals as well as recipes.  I chose the meal plan.  I did this because a) I like to cook and would be cooking anyway and b) I am too lazy to figure out portions.  In order to do the meal plan you have to figure out how many calories you should consume which will determine whether you follow Level I, II or III of the plan.  This requires several calculations based on your body weight, resting metabolic rate and daily activity level to come up with your energy amount.  The energy amount number will tell you which Level to follow.  I clearly came out in Level I and that’s the meal plan I followed.  However, if I eat everything they tell me to, I’ll be eating 1800 calories per day which seems like a lot to me, particularly since they do not distinguish between male and female when calculating these energy amounts and caloric intakes.  This worried me a bit but, as the weeks wore on, I realized that regardless of what they tell me, I can’t possibly eat all the food I’m making for one meal.  Thus, I’m still eating healthy and proportionately like they tell me to, but I’m consuming less than the 1800 calories they prescribe.

Throughout my recap posts of my progress I will try to give you a sense of how each meal was and how I’m feeling on the diet as I move along (also I guess I’ll have to tell you whether I’m sticking to the diet at all!).  For your information, though, here is the weekly menu for Phase 1.  This weekly menu is repeated for each week of Phase 1, i.e. for 4 weeks.  I hope I don’t get sick of it!

Day 1
Breakfast – Mushroom omelet, 1 cup fresh strawberries, 8 oz. cottage cheese
Snack – Protein bar, recovery drink
Lunch – Chef salad
Snack – 2 oz. soy nuts
Dinner – Salmon (yuck, I replaced with tuna), 2 tbsp. lemon-dill sauce, 1/2 cup asparagus, 1 cup wild rice, 1 cup red pepper soup, 1 tbsp protein powder

Day 2
Breakfast – Protein shake
Snack – Protein bar, recovery drink
Lunch – Shrimp stir-fry, 1 tbsp sesame seeds, 1 oz. cashews
Snack - 1 1/2 oz. string cheese
Dinner – 6 oz. turkey, 2 tbsp. gravy, 1/2 cup green beans, 1 cup butternut squash soup, 1 tbsp. protein powder

Day 3
Breakfast – 2 slices turkey bacon, 1 chicken scramble, 4 oz. fresh squeezed juice
Snack – Protein bar, recovery drink
Lunch – Chicken salad, 2 cups salad greens, 1 cup vegetable soup, 1 tsbp. protein powder
Snack – 2 oz. soy nuts
Dinner – 6 oz. halibut, 2 tbsp pesto sauce, 1 cup wild rice, 1/2 cup zucchini

Day 4
Breakfast – Soy sausage muffin, 8 oz. skim milk
Snack – Protein bar, recovery drink
Lunch – Steak & arugula salad, 2 tbsp. balsamic vinaigrette
Snack – 1 oz. turkey jerky
Dinner – 6 oz. chicken breast, 2 tbsp. honey-chile sauce, 1 cup quinoa, 1/2 cup snap peas

Day 5
Breakfast – Spinach scramble, 8 0z. skim milk, 1/2 grapefruit
Snack – Protein bar, recovery drink
Lunch – 6 oz. turkey burger, 1 1/2 oz. low-fat swiss cheese, 1/2 cup coleslaw, 1 cup gazpacho, 1 tbsp. protein powder
Snack – 8 oz. cottage cheese
Dinner – 6 oz. swordfish, 2 tbsp. mango-ginger sauce, 1 cup wild rice, 1 artichoke

Day 6
Breakfast – Protein shake
Snack – Protein bar, recovery drink
Lunch – Island pork tenderloin salad
Snack – 1 oz. turkey jerky
Dinner – Beef & broccoli stir-fry, 1 cup miso coup, 1 tbsp. protein powder

Day 7
Breakfast – 2 slices turkey bacon, 1 cheese scramble, 8 oz. skim milk, 1/4 canteloupe
Snack – Protein bar, recovery drink
Lunch – Tuna salad, 2 cups salad greens, 1 cup chilled cucumber soup
Snack – 8 oz. cottage cheese
Dinner – Lemon-garlic chicken, 1 cup wild rice, 1 cup asparagus soup, 1 tbsp. protein powder

If it is not apparent what a certain item is, that’s because there’s a recipe that goes along with it.  In general, the recipes are pretty involved and require a lot of preparation, including chopping copious amounts of vegetables.  Given that I am getting up very early in the morning to work out, adding even more time to my pre-work routine in order to prepare lunch is not really an option.  I found it made the most sense to prepare my lunch and some parts of my breakfast at night, while I was making dinner.  If I was going to be making a mess of the kitchen anyway, might as well get it all over with at the same time.  I will say that I think a lot of this plan is overly complicated and requires a bit too much of a working woman (or man).  It also requires major shopping trips that can end up costing a lot of money.  If I were to repeat P90X at any point and do the meal plan, I would modify a bit.  I would also be aware of how much of each meal I actually eat and would cut down the portions/ingredients accordingly.  But, for my first round of P90X, I wanted to stick as close to the plan as possible so that’s what I did.

A note about the protein bars and recovery drink: I don’t know that these are actually necessary.  As above, I wanted to follow the plan as closely as possible so there could be no excuse as to why it didn’t work for me when I was done.  Whether you really need to buy their products is a debate for another day.  The recovery drink is good, I am sure it helps you regain some nutrients you’ve lost during the workout, and it tastes better than water which is a refreshing change in the morning.  As for the protein bars, I need to eat a pre-lunch snack and a protein bar is an easy way to do that.  Again, we can debate whether it’s necessary to buy the P90X brand of these things but it was the easiest way for me this time around so it is what it is.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. Bryan permalink
    07/09/2011 9:40 pm

    For dinner what do you do with the one tbsp protein powder? I don’t know what that means so I just turn it Into a shake … I think I’m doing something wrong with dinner . The protein shake one tbsp may be overloading my calories limit. I’m 3 days new to p90x and I would like some advice on nutrition guides.

    • klegeyt permalink*
      07/25/2011 9:16 pm

      I actually forgot about the protein powder. I never used it in my dinner. I had vanilla-flavored protein powder (that was leftover from a phase my husband went through, from GNC) which I used for the protein shakes. I may have added it to a couple of the sauces in the dinner once or twice but I didn’t use it as much as they told me.

  2. Mercy Ramos permalink
    09/07/2011 3:58 pm

    I’m about to start the P90X and will be modifying the diet part but do my best to stick to it as much as possible, just wondering how did it work out for you?

Trackbacks

  1. P90X: The Schedule « LeGeytimate Thoughts
  2. P90X Phase 2 – The Meal Plan « LeGeytimate Thoughts

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