The Food Portion Plan for P90X

If you’re doing the P90X program, you’ve probably noticed that a lot of the recipes in the nutrition guide aren’t foods you commonly have in the house (at least not in my house), so I would suggest using the “Portion Plan” of the nutrition guide instead, especially if you don’t have a lot of time to cook. Whether you’re doing P90X or not, this is a great nutrition blueprint for anyone.

The Portion Plan is great, because it will give you an idea of how many servings of each food group you can have and how many calories each item contains. This way you can pick and choose which foods you want to eat. I’ve included a PDF download of the P90X Portion Plan Guide if you want to download it. This isn’t an official document, but it’s based off of the actual nutrition guide. I put this together so that I had it all in one place and because I could print it out and take it with me to the store instead of taking the entire nutrition guide.

There are three phases for your nutrition plan in P90X. Phase 1 (days 1-28) is the fat shredding plan which was created to burn fat from your body while taking in lots of protein to help you strengthen your muscle. Phase 2 (days 29-56) is more of a well-rounded diet for the average person, and will provide more energy for your workouts. Phase 3 (days 57-90) is an athletes diet which puts lots of carbs back into your body for energy and maximum endurance while you’re really pushing hard during your workouts.

Next you have to figure out which level of each phase you should be doing. Take your body weight x 10 which equals your Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR). Now multiply your RMR by 20% which will give you the number of calories you burn daily outside of exercise. Now Add your RMR, your Daily Activity Burn and 600 to figure out your Energy Amount. The energy amount is what you’ll use to figure out which level you should be in.

Level 1

  • 1800-2399 Energy Amount
  • 1800 calories per day

Level 2

  • 2400-2999 Energy Amount
  • 2400 calories per day

Level 3

  • 3000+ Energy Amount
  • 3000+ calories per day

Now that you have that figured out, download the P90X Portion Plan Guide and get started!

13 Replies to “The Food Portion Plan for P90X”

  1. Hi Alex 🙂
    I am wandering, how do you manage your vegan eating with fitness? If you’d care to share some advise, i’ll highly appreciate 🙂
    thank you,

    1. Hi Nina, thanks for stopping by 😀

      I own lots of vegan cookbooks to add a little color to my weekly meals, but I mostly stick with the healthy foods most nutritionists seem to recommend. I would also suggest a book called Thrive by Brendan Brazier. He’s an amazing triathlete and he’s totally vegan. I’ve learned a ton from his book and he also included lots of recipes and some great meal plans.

      Being vegan and athletic is definitely hard at first, but I’ve learned to create meal plans that give me the right amount of calories each day. I’ve included a sample meal plan below (not from Thrive, just something I put together). I’m currently trying to gain weight so this is definitely much more calories than most people would eat.

      Breakfast Parfait – 6 oz soy yogurt, 1/2 cup granola, 1/2 banana, 3 strawberries
      1/2 cup Oatmeal

      2 PB&J Sandwiches
      1 Avocado

      1 cup Beans & 1 cup Veggies
      2 burritos (1/2 cup beans, 1/3 cup rice, vegan cheese, hot sauce)

      1 cup beans/ 1 cup veggies/1 cup rice

      Black Bean Burger (recipe from Veganomicon)
      Vegan scalloped potatoes

      I hope this helps!

  2. Hi this information was very helpful! Thank you so much. today was my first day on p90x i feel i did OK with the workouts although some i wasn’t able to really do, should i do that dvd over tomorrow or move to the next? also i usually work out at around 11.30am this is the easiest time for me to work out at. what do you suggest i eat prior to workout and after? Am i suppose to have my protein shake alone or with a meal?

    1. That’s awesome Carla. Sorry for not getting back to you sooner. It’s probably too late now, but I would definitely recommend not to do the videos over if you don’t complete them. You need to give those muscles time to rest. That rest will make them stronger so that you can do even better when you do the video again next time. Stick to the P90X schedule and you’ll do fine 😀

      I don’t remember what the P90X meal plan suggests for food intake after a workout, but I don’t think it’s necessary to drink your shake with your meal if you don’t want. It also won’t hurt if you do want to though. You usually want to get some protein in your body within 15-30 min. of working out to help your muscles heal quickly though.

  3. Thanks so much for responding, and no worries your not late. I haven’t been working out since i agreed with my new P90X i would start from scratch on Monday. I appreciate you getting back to me, and appreciate all the information you have provided me with, i will certainly make note of it all. Thanks so much! 😉

  4. Hi, I started the P90X challenge yesterday. I’m Level 1 and I’ve followed the exact meal plan that was available in the Nutrition Guide. I feel, howeve, that it takes a lot of time to prepare and cook the meals. So, I am looking into the Portion Plan instead. In the guide it says, for example, Level 1 – 5 servings. What does 5 servings mean? Have my protein x 5? Is this per day or per meal?

    1. Hi Carol, thanks for stopping by!

      I know what you mean. I thought it took way too long to cook everything too, so I would just cook in bulk and package my meals for the week. So I would make 5 meals from the meal plan, but I’d make enough to eat it for all 7 days of the week.

      For your question about the portion plan, the serving sizes are listed in the nutrition guide, for example on page 16. The guide lists one serving of protein as 3 oz of chicken or 6 egg whites, or 3 oz. tuna, etc.

      I hope that helps!

  5. When you are working out the levels are the figures the same for men and women. I have a lot of weight to lose so it puts me in level 3. I don’t want to work hard at this and find I am eating too much still.

    1. Hi Ellen, I just checked the nutrition guide that comes with P90X and it doesn’t mention any differences on calculating these figures between genders, so yes it looks like it’s the same for both men and women.

      Do you feel like you’re eating more than you normally would? I think the food recommendations are designed to help you maintain energy levels for your body as you’re going through P90X and losing weight. As you lose weight, the amount of calories you need to eat per day will drop, for example when you reach Level 2.

  6. Thank you!! I have lost my guide and could not find an online copy anywhere! I finally found the meal plan but who has time to cook like that every day?

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