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P90X Nutrition Guide

p90x nutrition guideAs you all have probably heard me say before, the P90X diet is the most important part of the entire P90X program. I always say that results come from 80% diet and 20% workouts! Even though it’s the most important, it’s what people neglect the most. They feel that they can get results just by completing the workouts, but it doesn’t work that way. You have to feed your body the right nutrition, and that’s where the P90X Nutrition Guide comes into play.

Back before I started my first round of P90X, when I first received my P90X package, one of the things that popped out at me was the P90X Nutrition Guide. I knew that if I wanted excellent P90x results, I had to commit myself 100% to the entire program, which includes the P90X diet. I was prepared to do anything possible to get excellent results, and that’s why I decided to follow the exact plan to a T.

When I first started going through the P90X Nutrition Guide, it looked like a foreign language to me. I had absolutely no previous knowledge of eating properly, so it was all new. At first, I got a little overwhelmed because there is so much information, and it says to eat the exact foods listed in the guide. I remember sitting there thinking that there was no way I was going to spend an hour or so cooking, especially since I worked late hours and lived on my own, so I had to come up with another way to follow the Nutrition Guide, but without having to spend all that time preparing the meals. So what I decided was that I was going to follow the Meal Plan Approach, but substitute the foods listed in the P90X Nutrition Guide with foods that were very similar in nutritional value. I wanted to make sure I was still eating super healthy, sticking with the right ratios, and taking in the right amount of calories, so I decided to log everything I ate into (use because it’s better). I would have to make quite a few adjustments, but it got to the point where I was right on with everything, and then I became very comfortable with what I was doing. After doing this for 90 days, I ended up in the best shape of my life!

Remember, the fat/carb/protein ratios for the first 3 phases in the P90X Nutrition Guide are (1) 20/30/50, (2) 20/40/40, and (3) 20/50/30. You increase the carbs towards the end of the program to sustain your energy throughout the day. Once you being to lose body fat and get into better shape, your body demands more carbs to function, and that’s the reason for the increase.

If you aren’t going through P90X, you can learn more about it and even purchase the program by checking out my P90X Review!


  1. Artemis /

    Hey I’m in the same situation you are in right now and would like to know some of the substitues that you used. I recall in one your vids. you were cooking broccoli and carrots together with what looks like butter on top.Thanks!

  2. @Artemis. It definitely wasn’t butter on top. You can find my complete grocery list in the “Nutrition” section of this site.

  3. Tommy /

    Hey I’m trying to get a complete handle on the nutrition plan as i am begging to understand its importance. In the last paragraph of this post you stated the fact that in phase 1 we should have a 20/30/50 caloric intake split between fat/carbs/protein. So if i am 205 lbs at 14% body fat i should consume somewhere around 3000 calories a day meaning i should consume 1500 calories in protein, which is ~ 375 g of protein. Am i grasping these percentages correctly?

  4. Steven /

    Do you weight your meat portions cooked or uncooked?… Are the nutrition facts for cooked or uncooked?…

  5. @Steven. I don’t weigh my food. It should tell you how many ounces there are per serving on the package.

  6. @Tommy. 3,000 calories is way too many if you’re looking to lose weight/body fat. At your height and weight, you should be more around 2,200 cals per day. To find out what you’re percentage breakdown is, log what you eat into

    Also, am I your coach? If not, you can make me your coach (it’s free) and I’ll be here to help you through the program. Here’s the link:

  7. Steven /

    Hey josh couldnt figure out the right place to ask this question…Is it better to eat dinner before or after you workout?…I dont get to workout till 8 830 sometimes so i try to eat dinner 2 hours before…But there are times i can work out around 6 or 7 and then i eat dinner after?…What would be the best senerio?…What should i aim for, dinner before or after workout?…Whats considered to late to have dinner when workinout?… Thnks Coach…

  8. @Steven. It’s better to eat about an hour after your workout. Remember to make sure you take the Recovery Formula immediately following the workout, though. There are some nights that I don’t eat dinner until 9 or 9:30, which is fine.

  9. Brent /

    Hey Josh! Im 15 years old, about 5’9 and weigh 175. I started p90x this week and I’m on Legs and Back. I’ve been doing the diet perfectly. It’s very hard, beacuse i have practice every day, so there’s not much time to prepare food. I was wondering what your thoughts are on having a cheat meal once a week. My mom seems to think it would be good and give me something to look forward to at the end of each week. I want to try it, but I don’t know if it will affect my results in any way. Any thoughts?

  10. @Brent. Personally, I don’t feel that cheat meals every week are a good thing. It takes me about 2-3 days to work off 1 cheat day. When I have a cheat meal, it’s usually once a month.

  11. Brent /

    Thanks bro! One more thing. I really love corn and thought i could eat it as a vegetable, but I found it’s not in the nutrition guide. Is it just a mistake or is corn bad for you while doing p90x?

  12. Josh /

    @Brent. Corn is a vegetable, but not a very healthy one. It’s a simple carb, and that’s why it’s not in the guide.

  13. Leo /

    Hey man,
    I am 5’10,154pounds and at 13% body fat right now. I am on fat shredder plan. My question is, is it ok to eat only 1600calories a day and also, will my results differ if i have the macro nutrients of either 50-30-20 or 55-30-15?

  14. Josh /

    @Leo. First of all, am I your coach? If not, make sure you make me your coach by going to this link:

    At your height and weight, 1,600 is too low, and you’re going to want to increase to more around 2,000 cals per day. Also, just try to get as close as the recommended ratio as possible.

  15. Aliza /


    I’m just about to start week seven of p90x doubles. I think I’ve lost a few pounds and I’ve definitely built more muscle but I was hoping to loose more fat. I’m eating about 1700 calories per day, sometimes less; cutting my two servings of allotted carbs to one and a half servings daily. Would it be smart to cut more calories? I’m just worried because I’m doing a decent amount of working out everyday and p90x emphasizes that you should not undercut calories.. Also, any other thoughts on how to loose that belly fat?


  16. @Aliza. Before you cut any more calories, I need to know your height and weight. Also, have you made me your coach yet? If not, make sure you do so, so that I can help you through the program. It’s free, and here’s the link:

  17. Aliza /

    I’m 5’9 (1/2)” (gotta add that half in there ha ha) and I haven’t weighed myself in a while but most likely in the 165-170 zone but like I said before I think I lost a bit of weight since starting p90x. My mother is convinced I’m eating too many calories because I haven’t had as much weight loss as I hoped at this point and I’ve been working my a** off everyday. I switched back to the first phase diet starting today and cut it down to about 1530 calories a day. Any type of help to get me to flatten out this stomach would be much appreciated 🙂

    P.s. This is random but I’ve noticed that I’ve really leaned out in my legs and arms and from about and inch above my belly button and up.. I’ve also lost some love handle and a bit of my lower stomach. Is this normal? It seems like my weight loss has add..
    Thanks a lot

  18. @Aliza. 1530 calories is very low for someone at your height and weight. You need to be more around 2,000 per day . Also, you’re going to lose body fat where your body wants it too. For me, for example, the last place I lose fat is in the love handles.

  19. Aliza /

    Hey.. It’s me again!

    Sorry to be a pest but I just had a few more questions. Tomorrow I’ll basically be finished with my second phase (but remember I’m doing doubles so basically the first phase of the three times a week cardio mixed in) then starting Monday it’s recovery week. During this phase I didn’t really notice a significant weight loss but I have seen that I can push myself harder and am stronger. Now, I totally get that p90x isn’t necessarily a weight loss regimen but more of a strengthenenjng routine but I feel like I should have lost more fat. I’ve been following the diet pretty well and haven’t skipped one routine except for maybe one ab ripper x. Do you think I’ll lose more fat in the third phase because I’m introducing more cardio? Also do you have any tips on how to up my fat loss in my remaining time in the program?

    Thanks for your help

  20. Aliza /

    O also.. Forgot to ask.. I’ve been reading a lot about shakeology and wanted to know if it works/ if you use it/ if it is even worth ordering for the last five weeks?

    Thanks again

  21. @Aliza. You’re not being a pest! This is what I’m here for 🙂

    How many calories are you taking in?

  22. @Aliza. Yes / EVERY day for lunch / and YES! By far the best supplement I’ve ever used, hands down!

  23. Aliza /

    I only did the 1530 ish calorie thing for two days but im normally eating 1800 to 2000.. And I think I’m gonna order shakeology I just need to scrape some moo laa together.. Ahh to be a poor college student… Ha ha


  24. @Aliza. Great! I’m your coach right? If so, just make sure you log into when you order.

  25. Aliza /

    Hey again,

    Well I got weighed a week ago and so far I’ve lost twelve pounds which is really exciting! However, once again I have a few more questions for you. As I told you before I’m doing p90x doubles and I started the third phase about two weeks ago. Since starting the third phase I’ve noticed that my measurements haven’t really budged nor gave I lost any more weight. I’m still sticking to the second phase of the nutrition plan just to limit carb intake and I’m eating about 1850 calories a day. I’ve been adding in a second fruit (an apple for some fiber and energy before morning workouts) and substituted shakeology for my after workout snack, yet I seem to be tired constantly and my weight hasn’t budged. Im not sure if I should be eating more calories and If I am how much more. I’m also freaking out because this past week my schedule got a bit screwed up because I was working really long hours this week so for about two days I only got in the resistance portion and didn’t do both workouts. Sorry for the novel length message but the lack of losing weight has been stressing the hell out of me


  26. @Aliza. Awesome! Congrats on the weight loss!

    OK, it sounds to me like you’re not taking in nearly enough calories since you’re doing Doubles. Increase to around 2,300 per day and see how that works.

  27. Hey man I was just wondering about the nutrition plan. I’ve completed the first phase, lost weight, and I’m very pleased with my results. I can already see my six pack. I do, however, still have some fat I want to lose. Now the carbs increase substantially in the last two phases and I know that’s to maintain energy. The last phase though is really high on carbs and lower on protein. Will this stop me from losing the fat I want to get rid of? And when I finish P90X, which of the three phases of the diet should I follow long-term to maintain my results? Thanks in advance.

  28. @John. It really just depends on how your body responds. For me, I stuck with Phase 1 for pretty much the entire first round because I lose fat the quickest that way. However, my energy was terrible for the last month and probably should have moved to the next phase. Some people, though, lose more weight and body fat with the increase in carbs. Try it out, and if you feel that you’re not losing fat, then move back to the previous phase. Make sure you give it a week or so though. Also, have you made me your coach yet? If not, make sure you do! Here’s the link.

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