P90X2 NUTRITION GUIDE MADE EASY
We’ve gone through the P90X2 Nutrition Guide in order to provide you the same resources we did in our P90X Nutrition Plan Explained. Our P90X2 Nutrition Guide Made Easy resource will save you time and help you reach your goal.
The good news for those of you that have done P90X is that P90X2 nutrition is very similar.
- It still uses a three-phase plan that increases carb intake as your workouts increase in intensity.
- It still has the same basic “Level” ranges of caloric intake.
However, just like the P90X2 workout has evolved, the P90X2 Nutrition Guide also evolved.
- There are now three different plans—Standard, Vegan, and Grain Free.
- The calorie calculator is more accurate and customizable.
We’ve created a spreadsheet that will help you calculate your calories, customize the Level/Phase, and provide you with a daily tracker for your intake under the P90X2 Portion Approach.
In order to understand the P90X2 Nutrition Plan, it’s crucial to understand the terms “Level” and “Phase.”
“Level” relates to the amount of calories you’ll be taking in. “Phase” describes the ratios of carbs/protein/fat that change during the progression of the P90X2 diet.
The P90X2 Levels are as follows:
- Level A: 1,800 to 2,399 calories/day
- Level B: 2,400 to 2,999 calories/day
- Level C: 3,000+ calories/day
The P90X2 Phases are as follows:
- Phase I — 50% protein/25% carbs/25% fat
- Phase II — 30% protein/40% carbs/30% fat
- Phase III — 25% protein/50% carbs/25% fat
It’s very important to get the Levels right and customize the amount of calories you’ll be taking in to your specific needs.
The P90X2 Calorie Calculator we’ve incorporated into our spreadsheet takes into account your Daily Activity Burn (DAB), as well as the average caloric burn for a P90X2 workout. This highlights the importance of having a heart rate monitor that gives you calorie burn and evaluating your progress using a Performance Based Assessment (see below). It also allows you to incorporate a calorie deficit to encourage weight loss or add calories to encourage weight gain.
Again, it is important that you know your goals from the outset. Contact us for help with your calorie calculations if you want some advice.
As you’ll see, the P90X2 diet changes as the intensity of your workouts increases. Why? The answer is related to a substance called glycogen.
Glycogen is essentially converted glucose (sugar) and it is the body’s first line of energy at high intensity exercise. It is created when the body takes in carbohydrates, which are a form of sugar. When you workout at a lower intensity (judged by your heart rate), your body burns more fat and less glycogen. However, when you workout at a high intensity, particularly at or near your anaerobic threshold, you burn more glycogen.
The P90X2 Nutrition Guide acknowledges this fact and anticipates the additional need for glycogen as the workout becomes more and more intense. Accordingly, it responds by increasing carb intake.
That’s all good and well, but don’t be in too much of a rush to jump into Phase III of the P90X2 Diet.
Glycogen is stored in the muscles and liver, but they have limited storage capacity. The fat cells are the only other place that the body can store excess glycogen. So, if you are taking in a lot of carbs, but not working out at a high intensity, you are much more likely to gain weight. That’s really why the U.S. is in an obesity crisis. We are taking in too many carbs. It’s sugar that’s making us fat!
So, be sure you are using a Performance Based Assessment and, if necessary, consult with a Team Beachbody Coach that can help you sort this out. Taking in too many carbs can negatively impact your results, so this is important to get right.
There are three versions of the P90X2 Meal Plan:
- Standard—Includes meat, grains, and dairy, so if you eat everything, this is probably going to be the most manageable one for you.
- Vegan—Excludes meat and dairy.
- Grain Free—The closest version to the paleo or primal nutritional philosophy. (This tends to be how we eat, although we have a few issues with the plan, such as the inclusion of dairy and canola oil and the absence of coconut oil. Fortunately, there are a lot of easy substitutes for dairy and we’re working on developing a Grain Free/Dairy Free option of the P90X2 diet.)
Feel free to experiment with your nutrition. Try new things and pay close attention to how you feel.
For many people, this way of eating will be entirely new. Allow yourself to make mistakes. It’s a learning process. It might be frustrating, but it will be worth the time and effort. In time, you’ll find foods that are healthy and that you enjoy eating.
Our P90X2 Nutrition Guide spreadsheet is very similar to the one we created for P90X with the exception of the following changes:
- We incorporated the P90X2 Calorie Calculator, which is more accurate than the original P90X Calculator.
- We incorporated the Standard, Vegan and Grain Free versions of the plan.
- We made it easier to adjust your daily portions. Each Level/Phase has the total daily calories added up and then provides you with a spot to enter your Snacks. This was something that people really struggled with and we hope we’ve made it easier.
P90X2 Nutrition Guide Spreadsheet (click to download)
Great news! Our P90X2 Shopping Lists (AKA P90X2 Food Lists) are available as Word documents to allow you to customize them.
Just download the file that corresponds to the option you’ve selected (Standard, Vegan or Grain Free), then modify it as needed.
Note that we’ve removed most of the soy items, simply because we don’t care to eat them. If you disagree, just consult the Nutrition Guide and add them back in.
We’ve also replaced canola oil with coconut oil because we just believe it to be a healthier option.
If there are items on the list that you don’t like, simply remove them. If you have something that you really like that is not on the list, add it (unless it is a triple decker cheese burger, of course). Just use common sense.
Once you have an understanding of how many calories per day you get, and the portions of each food group, you’ll want to consider how to break those up in your day.
Monica shot this video describing how she uses the Phase I, Level I of the P90X Nutrition Guide during her day. (You’ll recognize this from the original P90X Nutrition Guide post, but P90X2 meal planning is very similar so it still applies.)