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Nutrition / Diet

Q: Can you create a Meal Plan for me?

A: No, I will not create Meal Plans for individuals. If you are interested in a customized Meal Plan, consider the Club Membership, which will create meal plans for you. It’s cheap at only $2.99 per week (billed 38.87 per quarter).  I have posted two articles (click here) of what I ate and meals I made during Round 1 for you to look at if interested in using my diet as a template for your own.

Q: It’s hard to eat healthy during work. What can I do to stay committed with the diet?

A: I HIGHLY recommend Shakeology, which has become the most popular Beachbody product as of recently! Beachbody is so sure that you will like the product, that they are giving a 30 day “bottom of the bag” money back guarantee! If you aren’t sure that Shakeology is all it’s cracked up to be, try it.  It won’t cost you anything if you are disappointed.  I was skeptical until I tried it.  I am now a total believer, and I won’t go a day without it!  To learn more about Shakeology, click here.

Q: Did you follow the Nutrition Guide?

A: I followed the Nutrition Guide as closely as possible, but there were some foods that I didn’t like, so I would substitute them with one’s that were very similar in nutritional value. I also adjusted the calorie guidelines so that I ran a bigger calorie deficit to cut more body fat (see my post regarding this).  It’s very important to get in the proper fat/carb/protein % every day. It should be 20/30/50 during Phase 1, 20/40/40 during Phase 2, and 20/50/30 during Phase 3. Those are just % of total calories. You can keep track of everything by posting what you eat every day into a website program like www.fitday.com. Or better yet, if you have an iPhone, get the “Tap & Track” app and you’ll have all of your nutrition information at your fingertips all day long.  Also, the Club Membership creates specific meal plans for you if you’d like to use that service.

Q: What does your diet look like?

A: I posted what I ate during round 1 here.  I also outlined how I came up with it and some examples here.

Q: Do you have any tips for gaining mass?

A: If you want to gain mass, you have to eat more calories and take in more carbs, which will fuel your muscles to work harder during your workouts (This will look like Phase 3 of the nutrition guide).  You may even have to take in MORE calories than the guide suggests.  Next, take in the proper supplements. 2-3 protein shakes are essential if you’re looking to gain mass! Also, I recommend the Results and Recovery formula, Creatine, and a Pre-Workout supplement like Amplified Maxertion N.O. for increasing muscle recovery and promoting muscle building.  When working out, do lower reps using heavier weights (8-10, push to failure).

Q: I have been following the diet and workouts to a tee, but have not lost any weight (or even gained weight). Am I doing something wrong?

A: You have to remember that you are both burning fat and building muscle at the same time. You can’t base your results from what you see on the scale. Instead, you need to pay attention to the amount of inches lost and what you see in the mirror.  Also, be sure you are tracking everything you eat, and that you are being honest about portion size.  You might be consuming more calories than you think if you are just going with the “I’m trying to eat healthy” approach rather than actually tracking everything!

Q: I just started P90X. Do you have any good advice?

A: The best advice that I can give is to commit yourself to the Nutrition Guide! I tell all the people that I coach that your results are going to come from about 80% diet and 20% workouts. However, this does not mean you can slack on the workouts, because you still have to build muscle and burn calories to increase your metabolism, get stronger, and lose body fat.

QIs it OK to wake up in the morning and work out, or should I eat beforehand?

A: It is not necessary to eat anything before you workout, especially if you are doing it in the morning and crunched on time. The last thing you want to happen is cramp up because you ate something and didn’t give it enough time to digest. However, if you do have time to eat, like an hour, then eat a small simple carbohydrate like an apple. This will give you more energy during your workout. The most important time to eat would be AFTER your workout when the body demands simple carbohydrates and protein for recovery. You have about an hour span after your workout to eat or take your Recovery Formula.

Q: I’m a woman and worried about getting too muscular with P90X. Should I be worried?

A: The answer is NO!  Many women have followed the Classic version, which is a balance of both cardio and resistance workouts, and don’t get muscular at all! They just lost a lot of body fat and got very toned. Also, women don’t have anywhere close to the testosterone levels that men do, which makes it much harder for them build muscle. If you focus on 12-15 reps, you will be fine!

Q: Is it OK to drink coffee?

A: There is nothing wrong with having a cup or two of coffee throughout the day. Caffeine actually speeds up the metabolism, and has been known to have positive affects on your workouts as well. Just about all the pre-workout supplements that you see on the market today have caffeine in them!

Q: Is it OK to drink diet soda?

A: As a former diet soda addict, this is hard to admit, but diet soda is NOT good for you!  It doesn’t have any calories or sugar like regular soda, but it’s so full of fake stuff that if you can keep your diet soda drinking to a bare minimum (1-2 per week) it will benefit you greatly.  I replaced all the diet soda I was drinking with water.  At first it is difficult, but your body really wants the water and over the first few weeks I found myself losing my diet soda craving and craving a cold glass of water.

QI am having trouble reaching my protein mark for the day. What snacks can I add to increase my protein?

A: I always recommend protein bars, beef jerky, non-fat / sugar free yogurt, almonds, and reduced fat string cheese.

Q: Is it OK to have a cheat day or cheat meal?

A: If you are going to “cheat” at all, I recommend it being only a cheat meal, not a cheat day, and make sure you only do it every so often, preferably just once or twice a month. If you have a cheat meal or cheat day every week, it will slow your results and you will become discouraged. It takes a lot of self-discipline to eat 100% clean, but with sacrifice comes great rewards.

Q: Can I stay on the Fat Shredder diet for longer than the first phase?

A: Yes! If you want to lose body fat and weight quicker, stick with the Fat Shredder Phase as long as you want. However, if you hit a plateau or start bonking during workouts while on the Fat Shredder diet, then move to the next phase.

Q: How much water should I drink throughout the day?

A: At least 8 glasses per day.  If you are taking creatine, you will need even more water.

QI just don’t have enough energy to complete my workouts. What should I do?

A: When you don’t have enough energy, it means you are not taking in enough carbohydrates during the day. One thing you can do is eat a simple carb about an hour before you workout. This should increase your blood sugar level in time for the workout, therefore giving you more energy.

Q: I’ve lost my Nutrition Guide. Do you know where I can get another one?

A: If you purchased P90X through a Beachbody Coach or through the main Beachbody site, then you should be able to contact Beachbody Customer Service and get a new one. However, if you purchased the program through a 3rd party, then you won’t be able to get a new one.

QThe Nutrition Guide wants me to take in 3,000 calories per day, but I think this is too much! Should I force myself to eat this many?

A: No! It’s never good to feel stuffed after you eat. Remember, you lose body fat and weight by burning more calories than you take in. You have to find that happy medium to where you feel comfortable after every meal – not full, but not hungry.  I was able to stay at roughly 2,000 calories during Round 1 of P90X, which allowed my body to cut 30 lbs of fat while still getting stronger.  I don’t need to cut anymore fat now, so I take in 2,500 calories per day and while I continue to build muscle and definition, I am not still losing any weight.

Q: Is it OK to use artificial sweetener?

A: You’ll hear multiple opinions on this, and I myself do not use artificial sweeteners.  However this does not mean that you cannot use one like Splenda as a sweetener on strawberries, for instance.  Another suggestion is to use flavored water packets if you are having a tough time with drinking straight water.   I will put a little P90X Results and Recovery in my workout bottle as well as taking a full glass after the workout!