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Importance of the P90X Diet

If I am your coach, then you already know which part of P90X I feel is the most important. If I’m not your coach, then it’s time that you understand that the diet makes up about 80% of your results! Think I’m exaggerating? Think again! If you want to get EXREME P90X results like I did, then you must commit to the diet just as much as you do the workouts. I come across too many people who think that they can just do the workouts and have a crazy P90X transformation, but that’s so far from the truth, and those are the people who usually get discouraged after a month or so into the program and quit. If you want results, follow the P90X Nutrition Guide!

If you ordered P90X from me, you received the P90X Nutrition Guide with the package, which, like I said, is the most important part of the program. When I first started P90X, I knew that if I wanted to really get outstanding results, I needed to completely change the way I ate and follow the Nutrition Guide, and that’s exactly what I did. I went from eating chicken fingers, fries, ice cream, and oreos every day to eating 100% clean. Believe me, it’s not easy to do, but I knew that I had to make sacrifices to get make great changes. If you’re serious about changing your life, then you need to do the same.

So what’s all involved with the P90X diet? The Nutrition Guide has 3 phases, and you will change to a new phase each month. The first phase is called the Fat Shredder Phase, and it involves a low carb and high protein intake. You will actually be following a fat/carbs/protein % of 20/30/50 while in phase 1, and you can keep track of that by logging what you eat into Make sure you log what you eat every day into FitDay because it will help TREMENDOUSLY with your results! I actually have a sample fat shredder diet here on the site, and you can get there by clicking here. You will gradually increase the carbs through phases 2 and 3, and follow a fat/carb/protein % of 20/40/40 and then 20/50/30. However, if you want, there is nothing wrong with sticking with the Fat Shredder Diet for longer than the first month. I actually followed it for most of the entire first round!

One thing that I have found about the P90X Nutrition Guide, though, is that they slightly overstate the amount of calories to take in if you’re looking to lose weight. I was supposed to take in somewhere around 2,500 cals per day, but since I was looking to lose weight with P90X, I dropped down to around 1,900-2,100. I pretty much followed level one in the guide for the entire first round. I also found that there were quite a few foods that were either near impossible to make or I just didn’t like, so what I did was replace the ones listed with ones that were very similar in nutritional value. For example, instead of eating swordfish, I ate tilapia. I did this for many of the foods, and just made sure in FitDay I still had the correct ratios.

But what if you’re looking to strictly gain mass with P90X? If this is the case, then you will need to jump to Phase 3 in the Nutrition Guide and take in more calories. For example, after my first round of P90X, my goal was to gain mass, so I followed Phase 3 and increased my calories to around 3,100 per day. I also made a few other adjustments, and you can learn what those are by reading through the two posts about gaining mass with P90X in the “Workouts” section.

If you’re just starting P90X, remember that you must follow the P90X diet is you want great results!

Interested in trying P90X? Click below!

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  1. Do you think the P90X nutrition plan is a good plan to follow if you are doing Power 90?

  2. Yeah, I think the Nutrition Guide is excellent!

  3. I’ve been told to eat 1-3 hours before your workout depending on quantity and what it is. I was also told bananas are good to eat 30 mins before the workout. Is there any other fruit with a lower sugar content that i could replace with it. And would just eating 3+ servings of vegetables along with a multivitamin remove the need for fruits?
    Also, about chicken. Would breaded chicken be fine to eat or is unbreaded a must?

  4. Hey,

    What would you recommend to do to burn that small amount of fat covering the abs. Should calorie intake be changed or is there a food to eat that would stimulate fat loss in the area? Or is there an exercise i should be focusing heavily on?

  5. How can i tell a complex carb from a simple carb?

  6. I drink a whey protein shake after a workout. What natural food would you recommend before a workout. I was thinking a protein bar, but would that be too much?

  7. Well said, Josh. I’ve also found that the healthier I eat the better I feel throughout the day. Eat healthy, have more energy….imagine that! 🙂

  8. Haha exactly man!

  9. You need to take in simple carbs pre workout to fuel your workouts, so a banana is good. I usually drink 8 oz. of natural fruit juice about 15 minutes before each workout. Also, you need to follow the Nutrition Guide when it comes to what other foods to eat. Breaded chicken usually isn’t good because it’s breaded with white flour, which is a simple carb. You could use wheat germ to bread your chicken, which is what I use.

  10. Focus on the proper diet! The lower abs are usually the last place to lose fat, and you will just have to be patient. Focus on the proper diet and complete all the workouts, and you will continue to see results! Also, am I your coach? If not, click on the link to make me your coach:

  11. You can find a few posts about that in the “Nutrition” section of this site.

  12. I usaully drink 8 oz. of natural fruit juice before each workout.

  13. Jared /

    hey josh,

    I have a p90x diet question. I am allowed 1 carb a day at phase one. After i workout, i take my protein shake and eat a non- whole wheat bagel for the 4:1 carb to protein ratio. Does that bagel count as my carb for the day or as part of the drink?

  14. It counts as your carb.

  15. Matt /


    after my workout i’ve been using about 1/3 of a scoop of whey isolate and getting around 9g protein and i’ve been eating a waffle to get the adequate carb to protein ratio. Is 9g of protein too little to be beneficial after a workout and should i increase the carb/protein amount or should i keep it the same?

  16. Josh /

    9g of protein isn’t enough. I usually take in about 30-40g of protein.

  17. Matt /

    So how would i be able to keep the protein carb ratio with 40g protein if im only allowed 2 carbs for the day?

  18. Josh /

    Log what you eat into to keep track of the %’s. Remember, there are many foods that might not be considered carbs in the Portion Approach, but still have carbs in them.

  19. jessie /

    Hey josh.

    Im starting p90x and am on the 3rd day. I did 60 days last year and had to stop due to scheduling.

    I am 6″ 135 pounds (I know, very skinny) and 19 years old. I would be happy to gain about 15 pounds but if its not possible at this point im not going to go crazy. Following the meal plan is next to impossible for me due to lack of funds and food availability. I am eating clean (no junk/fast food) Is this good enough to get results?

    Today I had 2 bowls of low fat cottage cheese with cucumber, peanut butter wrap, and 2 lean beef burgers, one with a bun, one without. At this point I dont have a good protein powder or bar, but soon I will. My concern is getting enough calories/protein each day.

    My main question is, if I eat clean every day but dont necessarily have a solid ratio down, will my results be there?

  20. Josh /

    You don’t have to eat the exact foods listed in the Nutrition Guide, but you still need to follow the basic principles, which means the proper amount of cals and % of fat/carrbs/protein. You can keep track of that by logging what you eat into Also, have you made me your coach yet? If not, click on the link to do so:

  21. Ellis /

    I am looking to start the P90x workouts and food plan but have already gotten myself into what I thought was a good habit of eating 5-7 servings of fresh fruit a day. Do I really have to give this up and eat only 1 a day? Even the later phases frown on fruit. Did I miss something in all of the nutrition information that is out there? Is there a way to substitute fruit into the plan and still make P90x work for me?

  22. jessie /

    thanks for the reply.

    I will add you as my coach.

    One more question though quickly.

    Im on day 4 and will be doing yoga tonight. Tony says that you shouldn’t work abs every day, but day 3 has ab ripper, then yoga has an ab workout as well. If your abs are sore from ab ripper, would it not be detrimental to do the ab workout again?


  23. Josh /

    @Jessie. The ab exercises aren’t that intense in Yoga, so it’s not going to hurt to do it.

  24. Josh /

    @Ellis. Yeah, if you want great results, then you need to follow the guide. Eating all that fruit is actually not very good for you because of all the carbs. In order to burn fat, you have to limit the carbs. Also, have you made me your coach yet? If not, click on this link:

  25. Hello again!
    I have one more question.
    Do the fat/carbs/protein % of 20/30/50 aplies to % of grams of fat/carbs/protein in daily diet or % of calories from fat/carbs/protein in daily diet? If my daily diet contains 400g of fat,carbs and protein then sholud i eat 80g fat/120g carbs/200g protein) or 20% calories from fat/30% calories from carbs/50% calories from protein?

    Thank you very much for answer.

  26. @Peter. It’s % of calories that you take in.

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