Monday, February 17, 2014

P90X3 Nutrition Plan and Menu

As promised in my Week 1 Review of P90X3, I wanted to tell you a little bit about the AMAZING nutrition plan the program comes with.

While many weight-loss programs focus on what you can't eat, or have you counting calories to produce a calorie deficit (where you burn more throughout the day than you eat), X3 instead shows you how much protein, fat and carbohydrate you should be eating in each meal or snack based on your gender, weight, activity level and goals. You then refer to the extensive list of foods provided for each category and build your meals.

For example, my daily plan (female, moderately active lifestyle, 126 lbs., wants to maintain current weight) looks like this (although you are allowed to move the numbers around as desired, as long as your daily intake for each category remains unchanged).
If you are a veteran of the original P90X, you will remember the awesome recipe book it came with (I still pull recipes from it weekly!), but be prepared -- the X3 nutrition guide is a little different. It tells you what foods (ingredients) you can use, but not necessarily how to prepare them. (This could be a pro or a con for you, depending on your cooking style). But the list of ingredients provided in each category is pretty extensive so I don't care who you are,  you will be able to find something you like here.

And the X3 guide does have some GREAT recipes for spice blends to use in your cooking (all-purpose, mexican, italian, cajun, lemon-pepper, seasoned salt, asian spice and seafood seasoning) as well as several homemade salad dressing recipes (balsamic vinaigrette, citrus vinaigrette, asian ginger vinaigrette, basil vinaigrette, sweet chipotle vinaigrette, creamy herbed salad dressing, and cumin vinaigrette). I've tried most of them and they are all DELICIOUS!

So you are probably wondering what the numbers mean and how much you can really eat. The guide offers two systems of measuring your food to choose from. The "way of the hand" uses -- you guessed it -- your hand to measure out foods, and the "micromanagement method" which relies on actual weights and measurements. I am a perfectionist (and horrible at eyeballing measurements), so I follow the micromanagement method using my food scale and measuring cups, but I bet most people would find the hand measurements to be much simpler to follow.
As mentioned, the list of ingredients provided for each category is pretty extensive -- to the point that I found it a little overwhelming, so I actually ended up creating my own short list with just the foods that I typically eat. Because it's so long I will save that for a future post. For now I just want to share with you what my meal plan for the first few days looked like. As you can see, I incorporate Shakeology into my routine every morning, and I typically don't vary my meals too much from one day to the next (I like to use up everything I buy at the grocery store). I ate plenty every day and never felt hungry. 

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