My P90X Diet

By Nancy Andrews

Comments on “My P90X Diet “, Page 1

Jun 22nd, 2010 | By Nancy Andrews | Category: Diet Reviews, Nutrition & Weight Loss, P90X Diet, P90X FAQ

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  1. Hi Coach Nancy,

    Your website is such a great resource–thanks! I’ve read most of your posts and comments but I’m afraid I still have a question about the nutrition plan, so I apologize for the redundancy. I’m rather petite–5’3″ and 108 lbs. at most–so I’m really unsure as to how many calories I should be eating per day while on the P90X Classic program. I’m not overweight by any means, but I would like to lose some weight in my trouble areas–my hips, butt, and thighs. I eat healthily in the first place, but I’ve begun to track my habits to make sure I’m within the 40/20/20 range as you suggest.

    However, 1400 calories per day seems like a lot to me. I’ve read that you suggest your body weight times 10 but not if you’re under 140 lbs. However, it seems like a pretty huge jump to go from 1080 calories (although, (I’d out eat that number in a second!) to 1400. I find that I hover around 1200. What do you recommend? I’ve been taking one scoop of protein in a glass of lowfat chocolate milk after the weight-lifting workouts, which helps add to my calories, so it’s not that I can’t eat that many calories (I’m a grazer so I’m constantly eating something), I just worry it’s a bit too much given my size. Also, I’m not yet so in shape that I can comfortably get through all of the workouts. I usually get through 75% of Plyometrics, for example (although I’m getting there!), so I’m not sure I “deserve” the extra calories just yet.

    Thanks for any advice!!!

  2. Hi Angie,

    Thanks for stopping by and asking good questions.

    The answer to your questions has to start with changing your mindset because you have some beliefs that are holding you back. And it’s not your fault you developed this mindset – all around you are women’s magazines, the diet industry and many other media outlets and advertisers who are giving you wrong messages. Over time, you absorb these and assume they are truths. It’s a surround and overwhelm strategy that works for them but doesn’t for you.

    Now let’s start at the beginning. At 5’3″ and 108 lbs, you don’t need to lose another pound. You may even discover if you open your mind that you need to weigh more. You can add muscle and lose fat and move the scale up and find out that your body measurements are smaller and you are curvier in the right places. There are women bodybuilders that are your height or shorter, weigh up to 20lbs more than you and I will bet in a side by side photo shoot would be judged with better bodies. So please let go of your fear of weight and start focusing on body measurements and how good you look naked. If you are not measuring yourself once a week, start now. Also take pictures every 30 days. The pictures will show you just how far you’ve really come.

    Next, You are doing P90X now and eating 1200 calories a day so we would actually compare the 1400 to 1200, not 1080. The point in developing rules of thumb, like the 10x calorie target for women, is that it’s easy to communicate and easy to remember. But the downside of these rules of thumb is that people just want to use them 100% of the time and take them to extremes where they actually don’t work. That’s why I draw the line at 1400. Your body needs a certain amount of calories just to survive and if you don’t feed it enough (in the proper nutrient ratios), you can’t grow muscle and you won’t even burn fat because your body will go into survival mode. In survival mode your body starts to shut down and gets very efficient at burning minimum calories. While this is a pretty cool trick if you ever get stranded on a deserted island and can’t find much food, it’s not what you want in today’s world. Not only do you need to eat enough calories, you need to have a cheat day so really confuse your body and keep the metabolism working properly.

    You don’t tell me how old you are but I’m going to guess that I have a good 15 years or more on you. I bring this up because despite having a significant age disadvantage and a lot more weight I was lugging around when I started and a chronic neck injury, I was able to to Plyo all the way through without thinking I was going to vomit my 2nd time through it. Easy it wasn’t but I am not relating to your comment about getting comfortably through it. This brings me to my last point. Either you are not working this program intensively as you should or you are too weak from not eating enough calories.

    Many women just hold back on exercise. Some fear they will bulk up (won’t happen) and others just have been listening too long to the misinformation out there about lifting light for toning and doing hours of moderate intensity exercise to burn fat. The truth is that if you want to burn fat, you need to workout as intensely as you possibly can. What those advocating the moderate instensity aerobics totally miss is what happens during the 24 hour period after you finish exercising. High intensity exercise burns more sugar than fat while you do the exercise (versus the moderate to low exercise with burns more fat than sugar) BUT it burns more calories and more calories from fat during the 24 hour recovery period that follows exercising.

    As for bulking up, where does that fear come from? The truth is that women only have fractions of the testosterone and HGH hormones that men have. Those hormones are the ones responsible for mens’ ability to bulk up. The only women who bulk up are spending countless hours in the gym on specially designed programs and eating to build muscle and take supplements to boost their testosterone and HGH levels so they can put on more mass. Moreover, if you were to see these women not pumped up for pictures, you would not typically see them as all that bulky.

    The thing I like about P90X or any properly designed exercise routine is that you can keep growing with it. You never get through it ‘comfortably’. I don’t have many days I don’t wake up and feel some muscle soreness. That’s because I’m still trying to grow and maintain my muscle so I have to challenge it every workout. Challenging muscles leads to muscle soreness.

    So, if you are not sweating profusely after every workout and feeling a good measure of muscle soreness from the resistance training, you are not working hard enough. If you are reaching this state but are struggling through Plyo a couple weeks into the program, you either need more calories or have some underlying medical condition that likely needs attention.

    So forget about your weight for a week or two. Take your measurements and eat properly and see how far you can push yourself. Trust me, the confidence and personal power you’ll develop by doing so will far outweigh how great you feel when people compliment you on your fantastic figure!


  3. Hi Coach Nancy,

    Thanks so much for your response. You’re right–I need to take the focus off the number. I should know better. Besides, I need to gain weight to gain muscle anyway. I just wanted to make sure that 1400 calories wasn’t too many. I’ve been really enjoying the weight-lifting portions of the DVDs–the arms and shoulders workout is awesome! I do struggle with the cardio workouts. I just think I’m in poor cardiovascular health. So those are the workouts I find myself pushing to get through. I’ll keep up the calories and the workouts.


  4. PS- good guess about my age. I’m 28.

  5. Hi Angie,

    Since you are having trouble with the cardio part of this, you could likely benefit from replacing the Kenpo with a HIIT (high intensity interval training) routine. When done correctly, these are short workouts (15 – 25 minutes) that can not only send your body into hyper drive when it comes to fat burning, it can and will help your cardio. I’m currently working on a video now (actually more than one) for HIIT routines but I’ve got a super simple one posted at


  6. Hi Nancy,

    I am 5 days into P90X Classic, and have worked hard to adjust my diet according to Tony Horton’s requirements (I’m 26 years old, 5’7 and 145lbs). Most of my weight is in my belly, and I’m really worried that I’m going to do all of this work and not lose the fat. If I continue with P90X and switch to 1400 calories at 40/40/20 as you suggest, will I be able to gain lean muscle and tighten up my tummy at the same time? I’ve read that for women, the anabolic (building) and catabolic (burning) modes are completely separate – that unlike men, we can’t build muscle and burn fat simultaneously. Your results are great – exactly what I hope (an plan) to achieve. Is this likely to work for me if I give it my all? Or will I end up with new muscles underneath my flub, just pushing it out further?

    Thank you!


  7. Hi Elizabeth,

    You’ve got some wrong information. First, no one can be in both an anabolic state and a catabolic state at the same time because in an anabolic state you are building muscle and in a catabolic state you are wasting muscle. So they are opposite states. Catabolic does not mean buring fat.

    Secondly, while it’s harder for women to lose fat and add muscle, the processes work similar to what men experience – it just takes us longer. To build lean muscle you need to get your body to do a few things so let’s take a deeper look while still keeping things simple:

  8. You need to work your muscles hard enough to produce micro tears which the body seeks to repair. The repair process thickens the muscle fibers which produces a larger muscle (i.e., muscle growth).
  9. You need to provide the building blocks for that repair which end up being amino acids which you find in protein.
  10. You need to induce the right hormonal states in your body so that the amino acids get into your muscles promptly so you get the optimal growth in muscle.
  11. Hormonal states can be influenced by many factors. Obviously there is sex – men have loads of testosterone, IGF and Hgh which help to grow muscle and burn more fat. Women have only a fraction of these hormones but have far more estrogen and progesterone which is why we are the ‘softer’ sex. Age is a factor for both men and women because as we age there is a decline in both sexes. For men it’s more of a steady decline but for women we have an abrupt adjustment phase which is menopause. Even before menopause we have peri-menopause which causes us to have wide swings in hormones. But beyond those factors, rest, diet and exercise all impact your hormone levels.

    So to grow muscle you need to work your muscles hard, get them the proper nutrition and rest for optimal hormonal levels. It’s a simple ‘work, nourish, rest’ pattern. Now what you need to know is this is pattern is only tangentially related to the total calories you consume. It’s not how many calories but whether you eat the right portions of the macro nutrients. Macro nutrients will impact your hormone levels.

    The good news is that the right mix of macro nutrients taken in at the right levels can provide an environment in the body where you can burn fat and grow muscle. That’s what my guidelines do. Eat according to my guidelines and perform the Classic routine working at the low rep range where you lift as heavy as you can while still maintaining good form and you will grow lean muscle and burn off fat.

    Unfortunately the P90X nutrition plan does not work for women who want to add muscle and burn fat. It is too many calories for us. A big tip off is the fact that it is not differentiated between men and women. Obviously a man at 5’7″ who weights 150lbs would look entirely different in terms of lean mass and fat composition than a woman who stands 5’7″ and weighs 150lbs.

    I clearly added muscle and burned fat and I did it at the same time. Forget the bad counsel you got from another source and follow my guidelines and you will see huge improvements.


    P.S., I want to point out that I added muscle and burned fat at 50 (I’m now 51) and had entered menopause. This means it was far harder for me than it would be for you at 26 which means you are young with much better hormonal levels to begin with. So lose excuses and just ‘bring it’ – you’ll be so happy you did.

  12. Hi Nancy
    I’m 50, 5’4″ and weigh 150 lbs. I would like to get back to 136 for starters and then we’ll see. My question for you is would I consume the 1500 based upon the formula of weight x 10 since I’m 150 or would I calculate the formula based upon the weight I wish to be … which in this case would only be 100 calories less since you also advised not to go below 1400?

    Thank you, Kathleen

  13. Hi Kathleen,

    You calculate your diet based on your current, not desired weight. So start with 1500. That calorie target with the 40/40/20 carb/protein/fat macro nutrient ratio will be a big change. Trust me if you follow that, you will lose weight. Once you drop to 140, then drop another 100 calories and hold.


  14. Nancy,

    Wow, I cant believer your 50!!! you look amazing. You just pushed me to start P90X, my son has the DVD’s so I have no excuse. I was feeling down because I am 46 and menopausal- past peri and I have gone to Weight Watchers twice and have not lost an ounce. I don’t even know I got to your blog. I have two questions. The first, shakeology- is that lactose free? I am lactose intolerant , but would love to try the shake. Also, I hope this doesn’t sound foolish. I weight 177, so should I start at 1770 calories? So should I take in 40% 708 calories in protein and 708 in carbs and 354 in fat. Thank you for posting this information so women like me (menopausal) don’t feel like this weight is a lost cause.

    I look forward to hearing from you soon. I am so excited.

  15. Thanks again Nancy. I am re-reading over your articles on nutrition info and diet so that I have a basic plan to follow from day to day and I just went to and plugged in the calories and ratios so that it will be that much easier for me to track my day.

    My knee is healing and so my workouts should be better, harder, more consistent this next 60 days and I am very excited about the outcome.

  16. Awesome Katheen! Just do you best, even if you need to make modifications, and the results will come. I can’t say often enough that I made tons of modifications when I started. Even today I make a few!


  17. Thanks Lily!

    You do start at 10x your current weight so 1770 would be correct. You are correct in your caloric breakouts between carbs/protein/fat. Do remember you get a cheat day once a week where these rules don’t apply. On cheat day you eat whatever you want without regard to calories or macro nutrient ratios.

    Shakeology does have whey protein isolate in it which is a higher grade of whey protein than whey protein concentrate. Research shows that “individuals with lactose intolerance should select a pure whey protein isolate, which has less than 0.1 gram of lactose per tablespoon (20 grams). This is less lactose than the amount found in a cup of yogurt and research has shown that most people with lactose intolerance have no trouble taking this very small amount of lactose. Individuals with lactose intolerance should avoid whey protein concentrates as they usually contain lactose and the amount can vary greatly from product to product” (copied from

    If you make me your coach I would be happy to send you a sample of either the chocolate or greenberry so you could try it out. To make me your coach just click on this link (it’s free):

    Make Nancy My Coach



  18. 2 quick things I meant to add:

    • The amount of whey protein isolate in Shakeology is 15 grams which is less than the amount referenced by the research so the lactose would be even less than what they reported.
    • I’m menopausal as well. Hate the hot flashes but intense exercise and eating right have really helped. Moreover, I was menopausal when I started and had the big gut and was able to totally lose it. I actually need to update my pictures again as I’ve shaped up even further than the last pictures show. So even for us meno-gals, a total body transformation is possible.
  19. Nancy,

    I just clicked on make Nancy my coach. Did you get my info. I would love to try the Shakeology. I am so happy that I found this board. I have been struggling with my weight for quite awhile and was told that I have to embrace this “new” body. Looking at your results, I can see now that I too can achieve the body I want- it is possible. I had a friend tell me that i should schedule a consultation with a plastic surgeon because that would be the only way I could loose my belly fat. Thank you Nancy for sharing your story and opening my eyes to the possibility that I too can be sexy strong….LOL…


  20. Thanks Lily!

    Your friend suffers from misinformation. In our society of ‘quick fixes’ we forget what is really possible. We women do tend to accumulate belly fat but as you can see I lost mine and I did it at 50 when I had started menopause. I keep getting leaner as time goes on and I find this ‘control’ over my body the best gift I have ever given myself.


  21. Nancy,

    I’ve completed round one of p90x classic and am in the middle of a p90x/Insanity hybrid, but my belly fat remains. I had noticeable results in my arms and upper body, and my lungs and legs feel stronger. My diet is very much in line with yours so I’m not sure why I haven’t seen much of a change in my midsection. I started at 112lbs, and am down to a comfortable 95lbs. I’m 5’0″ so 112lbs felt heavy on my small frame. I’m 40 y/o, carried all three pregnancies low, so my lower abs stick out and haven’t responded to the hard work I’ve put into reducing it. Maybe it’s a matter of doing multiple rounds and being very patient? I get through the lower ab exercises in ARX just fine so I know the underlying muscles are strong; I just can’t figure out why the stuff on top won’t go away. Your thoughts? Could it be something as simple as changing up my diet?

    I wish I had terrific results after round one like you did. I love your progress!


  22. Hi Kat,

    At 5′ 0″ and 95lbs, I am surprised you feel you have an ab problem. One thing you need to consider is if you are suffering from a bit of what I call body dismorphia. By that I mean are you sure that your lower abs really stick out? There is some very modest protrusion of the lower abs that is perfectly natural.

    Now is you are certain it is not a case of body dismorphia, then your issue is either poor diet choices or poor form when doing exercises for your abs. When exercising your abs on the floor, be sure your lower back is flat against the floor, not arched. And as for diet, while you may be eating fine overall, too many simple carbs (think breads, rice and potatoes) will cause problems.

    If you’d like to send me a photo, I could get a better idea of what to recommend. My email is pressplayfitness @ (I put spaces in there so it’s not scraped by spammers).


  23. Hi Nancy,

    No, it’s not a case of body dysmorphic disorder, but a case of a petite body that didn’t recover from 3 pregnancies, LOL! The bulge begins right above my C-section scar. I’ll send you a pic. I think the fat in the midsection is misleading in terms of overall weight. Although you lost 15lbs. from your first round, from the pics, it looks like you lost much, much more weight than that so 5’0″ and 95lbs. can look like many different shapes. :)

    In regard to my diet, I do not eat more than one starchy carb per day, if even that. I have never been a fan of dairy so following the P90x nutrition guide was easy for me. The only major change to my diet since starting the P90x program was the intake of more protein (I eat fish more often than I used to).

    As for my form, I incorporate many of the techniques I learned while taking pilates for a year and a half. Pilates taught me a lot about proper breathing and engaging the core muscles.

    In my hybrid program, I do ARX on Mondays/Wednesdays and Insanity’s Cardio Abs on Fridays.

    Since it may not be a diet or form issue, I started looking into the possibility that it’s cortisol related. My friend from college who is a plastic surgeon said recently that while diet and exercise will help some, my problem is common among small framed women who have had multiple pregnancies and that the only way for me to really get my flat stomach back is with a tummy tuck. I’d like to prove her wrong which is why I’m committed to proper eating and exercising 100%.


  24. Hi Kat,

    Well you can have fairly flat abs even when you’ve had a c-section. I have two sons and my second was c-section. Although a last minute requirement, my c-section was a bikini cut (not sure what yours is) which makes it easier to get your lower abs back.

    Please do send me a picture. I’m going to send you a message offline as well as there are some things I’d like to share directly with you.


  25. Hello Nancy,

    It’s now 1/2/11 and I’ve had enough on the way I feel and look! I’ve already purchased the p90x about a year now and it’s just collecting dust in my media cabinet! I tried it once and couldn’t hack it, but I really need to do something. I’m 35yrs and weighing clearly over 200lbs, i’m also about 5’4-5’5 as well! I need to do something I have my 12 yr and 7yr old daughters telling me they will do it with me if I just make the effort! (I came to tears). I want to do it but my question to you is should I really be starting off with the p90x? I want to make a difference in my life not only for myself, but for my daughters as well!

    Just also want to say you look great and you’re truly an inspiration!

    Thanks for any advise you give!


  26. Hi Kishia,

    Congratulations on committing to a better, healthier life and hug those wonderful girls of yours for me. Do get them working out with you. It will help you commit better and it will start to set for them a healthy habit of exercise which will likely stick with them for the rest of their lives. What a wonderful gift for you all!

    You can do P90X but you’ll have to make modifications. Do push ups from your knees and get some resistance bands (with a door jam component) to do lat pull downs in place of the pull ups. With the Plyometrics, do as much as you can and then stop. Then each time you do it again, add one more cycle to the routine.

    If you really feel overwhelmed, the Slim in 6 workout program (click here to learn more) is an easier program that could work you up to do P90X.


  27. Hola Nancy today will be my 3rd day on excited to tranform my body and be healthy. A few questions. Am I eating enough/ Not enough/too much? Breakfast is 6egg whites/mushrooms/slice of cheese/ a cup of 1%Milk/ a cup of coffee. Two daily snacks have been yogurt and protein bar. Lunch has varied cause Im usually no too hungry. So far its been..a can of tuna (no condiments) or crab salad (crab, corn, tomato,peppers) and finally dinner has been grilled chicken 2cups of steamed veggies..1cup of brown rice. I then work out an hour after eating dinner…with later my recovery drink. Eating first then working out is okay? Thanks for your help. FYI…my body is already sore from only 3days of P90x! Im excited too change!!

  28. Hi Sandra,

    Your diet looks pretty good. It’s fine to workout after eating your dinner (you have to work it in when it works for you). My only 2 questions regard your snacks and your ‘recovery’ drink. When eating yogurt I strongly recommend Oikos brand 0% fat Plain Organic Greek Yogurt. It has a lot more protein and less carb than other yogurts. When I eat it, I use about 1/3 a package of TruVia (stevia) and a couple drops of vanilla extract for flavor and I love it. Sometimes I’ll add a tablespoon of unsweetened organic coconut or some organic walnut pieces. With protein bars, I like Supreme protein bars but any bar that isn’t too heavy on carb and has 15 grams or more of protein and runs 250 calories or less will do. As for recovery drinks, I wasn’t sure what you were taking but if it’s the P90X Results and Recovery drink, that has too much sugar for evening. If you have it, don’t ditch it but instead mix it about 1/3 serving with 1 scoop of vanilla flavored protein. Otherwise just drink a good protein powder shake mixed with 4oz water and 4oz 1% milk.

    The first week is hard with P90X but it starts to get better the longer you do it. Think of muscle soreness as a welcome sign that change is happening. Also be sure to drink lots of water to keep muscle soreness minimized as much as possible.


  29. Question you said no more than 1800 calories even if you weigh more than 180lbs but what if you are 6 feet tall no one really talks about diet for tall women they always have these low calorie diets that would have a tall girl about to pass out

  30. Hi Lara,

    Well 1800 calories is not what I’d call a pass out low calorie diet even for a tall gal, 1100 – 1200 would be. But before I’d make any modification, what do you weigh and are you 6 foot or taller? What program (exercise) are you doing

    You have to acknowledge that if you are more than 20% over weight, you are just eating way too much no matter how tall you are.


  31. Hola Nancy, I just completed my 60day of P90 classic. Lost 8pounds the first month and Zero for the 2nd month! So disappointed!! Only missed one workout. Follow diet plan as close as possible. What happened? Is my body adjusting to the workouts? I have to admit I was really sore last month. Not sore at all this month. Would greatly appreciate any tips/suggestions from you Pls!

  32. Hi Sandra,

    In the first month your body is shedding water and what I like to think of as ‘easy fat’. But then your body adjusts to what you are doing and eating. So if you are not sore at all, then you are not pushing hard enough. Lift heavier than you have been. Remember you want to gain muscle not only because muscle is less voluminous than fat but because the process of adding it raises your metabolism. And the added muscle itself will slightly raise your metabolism.

    If it makes you feel any better, I had a similar pattern where I lost at a good rate in month 1 and then only lost 1lb in the second month. But I could see the muscle coming on so I was fine with that. Really, really work hard in the 3rd month and, if you have time, you may add some walking or other low impact, low intensity cardio on your resistance days.

    Also, I don’t know if you are taking the cheat day I recommend but if you aren’t, you are sabotaging your results as your body will quickly settle to a new, lower caloric baseline. Cheat days are included for a number of reasons!

  33. I am trying to get back on the program. And honestly, my biggest problem is breakfast in the mornings. I am a working mother of 3. Do you have any suggestions on what I could do for breakfast that would be quick and not take to much time to prepare? I have a late lunch so something that would be filling would be ideal.

  34. I’m a carboholic (loves carbs) & find it hard to not eat them all the time. Can you share with us a sample menu/diet you had at your heaviest.
    I’m 5’4 & after baby #2 weigh 170 & have flabby tummy & want to burn everything & tone asap… I’m @ week 2 of classic p90x

  35. Hi Kim,

    I tend to put information like that over in my members area (free). I have a post at that you may find helpful.


  36. Hi Nel,

    You are just going to have to get over being a carboholic if you want to lose your belly. There is no way around that. But remember that on my eating plan I permit the 1 cheat day each week and on that day, you can eat whatever you want so get out our pent up carb cravings on that day. As for what I’ve eaten at different points, please go over to the members area (free) where I have several posts about what I eat in the ‘Nancy’s Diet‘ section.

  37. Just signed up as a member on your site, great info!!

    I’m in the third week of p90x, and not loosing much bf%. I’m 5’9″ and 208 lbs, and can’t seem to drop the weight after I had my son 3 years ago, but i have struggled with my weight my whole life. I am following the Phase 1 Level 1 (1800 cals) portion plan pretty religiously since starting. I started doing the lean program (but still doing plyo for the intense cardio), but after reading here, i’ll be switching to classic! I feel like i am bringing it each time, my heart rate max’s at 176 for plyo with an average of 151, and I sweat tons. I also noticed that my muscles seem to start burning much quicker as the weeks go by?!

    Should I cut cal’s? why isn’t my bf% dropping?

    Just have to say what a great thing you are doing by providing all this life-changing information!!


  38. Thank you Julie,

    Based on what you told me, if you do Classic and be sure you are eating high protein, high fiber and low glycemic index you should see progress. Be real careful about the total grams of sugar you consume. If you want to burn fat, keep your sugar grams to 40 per day or less. That means limiting fruits to only 1 to 1.5 servings a day and restricting those choices to berries (all kinds are good), cherries, apples, pears, peaches and grapefruit. For example, a banana has 28 grams of sugar but a cup of strawberries has only 7 grams. Also watch your intake of cereal and whole wheat bread products – many of them are chock full of sugar. You think you are eating healthy when you see whole wheat but often you are not.

    By switching to Classic, you will add some lean mass which is a good thing. Women don’t ‘bulk’ – that’s a myth. In your 20′s you have only 1/16th the testosterone levels of men and as you age, it gets lower and lower. Those women who say they are bulking up are really not managing their diet so they add some muscle while keeping the fat. Those women bodybuilders are a genetic abnormality and/or are taking steroids. I lift very heavy (far heavier than those wimpy weights you see the women lift in P90X) and the heavier I lift, the leaner I get. Lift as heavy as you can in the 8 – 10 rep range as Tony instructs the men to do. Ignore his advice for women – I have no idea why he does that as he knows better.

    Good luck!


  39. Great, thanks Nancy!!

    I cut cal’s to 1500 per day last week and felt ok, do you recommend I keep that up?

    Also, I’m a little worried about not keeping my endurance up? Can you recommend ways to incorporate some endurance training into P90x, or do you think that will come as I begin to drop weight? We went for a 3 mi run on Sunday and it wasn’t as easy as it used to be a month ago!!

  40. I have started doing the P90X workout but noticed that you are supposed to drink the Results & Recovery formula after breakfast. If I workout at 5:15 in the morning, how do I follow the nutrition plan? I can’t wake up earlier to eat breakfast. I tried to workout this morning on an empty stomach and got really nauseous. Any suggestions?

  41. Hi CG,

    Well don’t drink the Results and Recovery drink if you wish to burn fat. If you are only looking to build muscle, then it’s fine. As far as pre workout, try a good BCAA drink (I recommend the Xtend BCAA drink) which will be almost immediately absorbed by your body and reduce the amount of cortisol your body will produce (cortisol ends up ‘eating’ away at your musle mass). You can mix some BCAA into your workout water and sip on it during the workout as well (I do). However, nautiousness may be just a sign of really bringing it. Getting a little nautious occasionally isn’t a bad thing even thought it’s not fun.


  42. Hey Coach Nancy!
    I’m five days into P90x and I’m trying to eat clean. I’ve read your posts and I just wanted to double check with you that I’m doing it right. This is all new to me and I don’t want do something wrong and hurt my body. I’m 145 lbs (27 yrs old, 5’4″) so I should eat 1450 cal per day. I used your breakdown of 150 g protein/ 150 g carb / 33.5 g fat to go by since it’s based on 1500 cal per day. I also figured my protein requirement to be 116 g. I’m guessing I will be ok if i eat somewhere between 116-150 g of protein per day? I’m using the myofusion shake. I’m doing one scoop after my workout in the morning and another scoop or protein bar in the afternoon. Can I hurt my body by taking this amount of protein (116-150?) and how many ounces of water minimum should I drink per day? Also I was getting queasy after the workouts in the morning so I’ve been drinking a cup of skim milk or eating a light cheese stick before working out. Sorry to be asking so many questions but you’re the only one I know to ask. I’m also drinking xtend and taking vitamins. Thanks for any help and advice you can give me. You are an inspiration!

  43. Hi Courtney,

    The amount of protein (120 – 150 grams per day) will not harm any reasonably healthy individual. However, should you have any issues with your kidneys, liver or pancreas, you should not eat that much protein and should be on some diet recommended by your physician. But for young healthy people, there is no issue at all with getting 33% – 40% of your daily calories from protein. What’s odd is that we live in a culture where anyone would think that’s too much – no wonder we are all fat because inevitably when those protein grams are not eaten they are replaced by poor carbs (refined grain products) and fats. Most fats are not bad (with the exception of trans fats and partially hydrolyzed fats) but when eaten with carbs, go immediately to fat storage on your body. Refined grain products, sugar, and most sugar substitutes are the things to cut out of your diet. You’ll not only lose more weight, you’ll improve your health in ways you may not be aware of (lowered triglycerides which studies are now showing are more important to heart health than cholesterol).

    Let me know if you have any other questions.


  44. Ok great! Thanks. Do you have a recommended water intake per day and I’m guessing it’s ok to eat something right before my morning workouts to avoid nausea? Thanks!

  45. Hi Courtney,

    Minimum water intake should be .5 oz per pound of body weight. Max is 1 oz per pound. So for you, it’s 72 oz minimum.

    As for eating prior to workouts, if you need it then do it. Try to keep it to lean protein sources. So skim milk is a good choice. You could just take about a half scoop of whey protein as well. There have been studies showing taking in whey protein before working out improves fat burning.


  46. Hi Nancy, I’ve read a lot of your advice on the site regarding how and what to do during P90x. I’m really looking forward to getting started on the program in the next couple of days!

    One question, though… Do I eat my exercise calories back? I.e., if my daily allotment is 1600 calories and I burn 500 calories during P90x, do I consume 2100 calories that day? Or do I just stick to the daily allotment based on my weight x 10? Thanks so much for your help!

  47. Hi Virginia,

    Great question! If you want to lose weight, don’t ‘eat back’ the calories. Stick with the 10x. P90X is tough but you can do it!!!

    Coach Nancy

  48. Hi Nancy! I’m 18 and petite at 5’0 and 103lb. I will be starting P90X Classic next month when I get home from college for the summer. My goal is to shave off some fat and gain muscle, not necessarily to lose weight. I cannot afford the P90X recovery formula, protein bars, or Shakeology, but I will be using a cheap recovery formula called Mike’s Mix. I have a couple of questions for you:

    1. How many calories would you recommend I consume? The P90X Nutrition Guide has me at Level 1 and eating 1800 cal/day, but MyFitnessPal has me at around 1400.

    2. The P90X booklet says the ratio for the Phase 1 Fat Shredder (which I intend to follow for a little bit before moving on to Phase 2) should be 50-30-20. Your 40-40-20 ratio is what is recommended by P90X for Phase 2. Should I stick with your 40-40-20 ratio while on Phase 1 as well? Or should I go by the P90X booklet and start with 50-30-20?

    3. Would you recommend that I follow the Meal Plan (Portion Approach), or should I just stick to watching my calories and macros? Or do both?


  49. Hi AC,

    On the Mike’s mix stuff, if it’s the ‘mike’ version (men’s formula) don’t take more than 1 scoop even though the label says a serving is 2 scoops. Remember that recovery drinks that are 4 to 1 in carbs to protein are best used after a resistance training workout and help shuttle amino acids into muscle. But the also will shut off fat burning which is why you don’t want to take it after plyo, yoga or kenpo.

    On the calories, I’d start with 1500 and see how you feel. With resistance training you want to be sure you get enough calories but the P90X nutrition guide calcs too many calories for women typically. Now if you are active on top of doing P90X (a runner for example) then you probably should go higher than 1500. But start there and see how you feel.

    I can’t believe you need to lose much body fat at you size which is what the fat shredder plan is aimed at. It’s probably a toss up for you but again, if active, go higher with the carbs than 30% of total calories.

    I’m no fan of the portion approach. While it’s just my belief, I think that it’s harder to stay on track with it and if you do get off, it’s harder to figure out exactly what to change to get back on track.

    Feel free to ask more questions!


  50. Hello,
    I have some questions, but first ill give you my stats; im 30 at 5’9″ 180. I look great at 145. I have been doing p90x classic fpr 2 wks and i love it! I have always been a runner in the past (before 2 pregnancies), so my big question is can i do additional cardio? I guess p90x doesnt feel like as much cardio as im used to, and i feel like i wont lose the weight as quickly without it.

    Im also eating about 1500 calories a day on about a 40/40/20 plan, tho i have a really hard time getting my protein up and carbs down most days.

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