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P90X - should I not count my calories? And just follow the guide?
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It's my understanding that P90X Phase 1, Level 1, is made up of 50% Protein, 30% Carbs, and 20% Fat. I am currently following the portion control method and have been plugging in my food to myfitnesspal.com with the parameters set accordingly.

Today I ate all the requirements in the amounts suggested. I was 360 calories under my suggested 1800, 16g of Carbs over, and 88g protein UNDER.

I'm so confused! What am I doing wrong? I even had 2 protein shakes (one smoothie for breakfast and 1 shake after I worked out), a protein bar, tuna, and steak!
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Hello there, I've accomplished round 1 of p90x and have lost bout 20 pounds so far. Unfortunately I was doing the portion plan as well, but I only counted calories. I ate up to and below my calorie intake level of 2400, that helped me loose weight. And I take a protein shake in the morning and sometimes at night. I know that's probably incorrect lol, I just want to let you know what worked for me. But hopefully you find your answer soon as well..this is just an option that helped.

Good luck!
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I do the portion method too, and I love it. Some things to consider though,... protein bars count as a "bar" not as a portion of protein. Be wary of protein bars too. MANY have a ton of saturated fat, and if they are low in fat they are also low in protein. Some also have massive amounts of sugar.

Phase one is the hardest phase nutrition wise. getting in all that protein with as little carbs as possible is tough.

A serving of protein is 3oz or 100 calories. That 3oz is pre-cooked. I buy these Perdue chicken tenderloins that come in 12oz vac sealed pouches. It makes it easy for me because 1 pouch is 4 servings of protein (I'll cook them up and eat them through out the day), if I add in a protein shake at night thats 5.

I'll mix in some tuna, lean steak, etc as I get a craving for something else, but my staple protein is chicken with a variety of sauces.

Phase 1 with only 1 carb serving was tough. I used some Thomas whole grain english muffins. 1 muffin is 100 calories and half a carb serving so I could space out 2 muffins during the course of a day and that made it satisfying. Sometimes I would have cereal or something instead.

The culprit in your case might be those bars which ones are you using? The P90X ones are super low in fat with a good amount of protein.

Also here is a little trick I use to keep track of my portions.
http://www.youtube.com/user/normolomue#p/a/u/1/nOrg3dUuPuc

Good luck!

- Norm
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Nammie:
I do the portion method too, and I love it. Some things to consider though,... protein bars count as a "bar" not as a portion of protein. Be wary of protein bars too. MANY have a ton of saturated fat, and if they are low in fat they are also low in protein. Some also have massive amounts of sugar.

Phase one is the hardest phase nutrition wise. getting in all that protein with as little carbs as possible is tough.

A serving of protein is 3oz or 100 calories. That 3oz is pre-cooked. I buy these Perdue chicken tenderloins that come in 12oz vac sealed pouches. It makes it easy for me because 1 pouch is 4 servings of protein (I'll cook them up and eat them through out the day), if I add in a protein shake at night thats 5.

I'll mix in some tuna, lean steak, etc as I get a craving for something else, but my staple protein is chicken with a variety of sauces.

Phase 1 with only 1 carb serving was tough. I used some Thomas whole grain english muffins. 1 muffin is 100 calories and half a carb serving so I could space out 2 muffins during the course of a day and that made it satisfying. Sometimes I would have cereal or something instead.

The culprit in your case might be those bars which ones are you using? The P90X ones are super low in fat with a good amount of protein.

Also here is a little trick I use to keep track of my portions.
http://www.youtube.com/user/normolomue#p/a/u/1/nOrg3dUuPuc

Good luck!

- Norm



Thanks for the suggestions and link, Norm! Those are very useful! (And your children are adorable! Would love to see move videos from you.)

Kiki
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Thanks guys.

I'm using the South Beach Living protein bars which look like this:

Calories 180 Sodium 290 mg
Total Fat 5 g Potassium 75 mg
Saturated 2 g Total Carbs 25 g
Polyunsaturated 1 g Dietary Fiber 4 g
Monounsaturated 2 g Sugars 5 g
Trans 0 g Protein 12 g
Cholesterol 0 mg

Compared to a P90X bar which looks like this:

Calories 260
Calories from Fat 50
Total Fat 6 g
Saturated Fat 2 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 15 mg
Sodium 190 mg
Potassium 310 mg
Total Carbohydrates 37 g
Dietary Fiber 5 g
Sugars 26 g
Sugar Alcohol 4 g
Protein 18 g


I feel like I should just try to follow the % at myfitnesspal.com since the portion control method seriously doesn't add up correctly.

Also, the Beach Body Coach I was set up with didn't even finish P90X... I'm slightly disappointed in that and looking for support elsewhere.
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Hi Lizzie -
The portion vs. calorie issue can be confusing. For my husband's meals I am focusing more on the portions, but I used the calorie guidelines for each serving as a guideline to double-check my purchases. For example, it says you can have 8 oz. fruit sorbet as a single serving snack, but also says that a single serving is 50 calories. To me that means that I need to make sure that I choose a brand of sorbet that only has 50 calories in 8 oz.



I hope this info helps!
-CJ
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Bump.
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RE: P90X - should I not count my calories? And just follow the guide?
5/25/10 11:45 AM as a reply to LizzieSaves.
Hey Lizzie -
Can you post EXACTLY what you ate and in what amounts on the day that you were under the right amount of calories? I might be able to help you assess what happened.
-CJ
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RE: P90X - should I not count my calories? And just follow the guide?
5/25/10 11:53 AM as a reply to LizzieSaves.
Yes, could you please list what you ate and how each thing equated to a portion?
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RE: P90X - should I not count my calories? And just follow the guide?
5/25/10 3:09 PM as a reply to AdStaffDenis.
Here's an example from Sunday!


Meal 1 Calories Carbs Fat Protein
Fruit - Banana -Medium, 0.5 whole 45 14 0 1
GS- 100% Whey Gold Natural Vanilla, 1sc 130 5 2 24
Silk - Vanilla Soy Milk, 1 Cup 100 10 4 6
Dole Frozen Mango - Frozen Mango Chunks, 0.5625 cup 68 18 0 1

343 47 6 32
Meal 2
SSM - Whey Protein Chocolate, 1 scoop(39 grms) 150 9 2 25

150 9 2 25

Meal 3
Olde Cape Cod - Light Honey French Dressing, 2 Tbsp 90 12 5 0
Dole - Romaine Lettuce, 2 cups 16 3 0 1
Starkist - Chunk Light Tuna In Water-Canned (5 oz) 100 0 2 20
Miracle Whip - Light Dressing (Mayo), 1 tbsp 20 2 2 0

226 17 9 21
Meal 4
Kraft South Beach Living Snack Bar - 180 25 5 12
Kraft String Part-Skim Mozzarella Cheese, 1 stick 80 1 6 7

260 26 11 19

Meal 5
Bush's Best - Black Beans - 1 cup (130g) 210 46 1 14
Flank Steak - Flank Steak, 3 oz 220 0 15 23
Broccoli - Steamed, 1 cup chopped 30 6 0 3

460 52 16 40
CAL CARB FAT PROTEIN
Totals 1,439 151 44 137
Your Daily Goal 1,800 135 40 225
Remaining 361 -16 -4 88
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Hi Lizzie!
OK, I've broken this down for you using the Portion Approach:

Meal 1
[1 fruit]Fruit - Banana -Medium, 0.5 whole
[1 protein] GS- 100% Whey Gold Natural Vanilla, 1sc
[1 dairy] Silk - Vanilla Soy Milk, 1 Cup
[1 fruit] Dole Frozen Mango - Frozen Mango Chunks, 0.5625 cup

Meal 2
[1 protein] SSM - Whey Protein Chocolate, 1 scoop(39 grms)

Meal 3
[1 condiment] Olde Cape Cod - Light Honey French Dressing, 2 Tbsp
[1 vegi] Dole - Romaine Lettuce, 2 cups
[1 1/2 protein] Starkist - Chunk Light Tuna In Water-Canned (5 oz)
[1/2 condiment] Miracle Whip - Light Dressing (Mayo), 1 tbsp

Meal 4
[1 bar] Kraft South Beach Living Snack Bar -
[1 snack] Kraft String Part-Skim Mozzarella Cheese, 1 stick

Meal 5
[1 carb] Bush's Best - Black Beans - 1 cup (130g)
[1 protein] Flank Steak - Flank Steak, 3 oz
[1 vegi] Broccoli - Steamed, 1 cup chopped

P90x Portion Plan Totals:
0 fat servings, 4 1/2 protein servings, 1 carb serving, 1 dairy serving, 2 fruit servings, 2 vegi servings, 1 1/2 condiment servings, 1 BAR, 1 snack, no Drink.

So based on this, if you are Phase 1, Level 1, you need 2 additional fat servings, 1/2 more protein serving, 1 more dairy serving, 1 FEWER fruit serving, 1/2 fewer condiment servings, and a recovery drink.

This would be why you are coming up short on calories. Remember, NOTHING COUNTS FOR 2 DIFFERENT SERVING TYPES. So for example, when you had a string cheese, it was ONLY a snack, not a snack and a dairy serving.
Does this help?

P.S. I want to make sure that you know that a protein shake and a recovery drink are not the same thing? Protein shakes just help you pack in the extra protein servings needed, while a recovery drink is high in sugar and has a 4:1 carb to protein ratio.

P.P.S. So I guess my answer to the title question in this post is yes, just follow the portion approach in the guide. It is much easier to know if you are doing the right thing!
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I thought my fruit serving was ok because I had half of a banana and half a cup of mango. I thought the guide said that one serving of each was one cup of mango or one full banana?

Everything else makes sense, however. Thanks a lot.
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Oh yeah, you're right. The guide says 1 medium banana and 1/2 a medium mango are each 1 serving. So assuming that 1/2 of a medium sized mango is approx. 1/2 cup, you're ok on your fruit serving. =)
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Here's today. I still need to get myself a good recovery drink. Suggestions?

MEAL 1
(1 protein) Publix Whey Vanilla
(1 carb) Publix Oats 1 cup cooked
(1/2 fruit) 1 cup sliced strawberries

MEAL 2
(1 protein) All Whites Egg Whites - .75cup
(1 dairy) Publix Parmesan Cheese 1oz
(1 protein) Chicken Breast 3oz
(1 dairy) emoticonz Skim Milk
(1 protein) Chocolate Whey

MEAL 3
(BAR) South Beach Living Protein Bar
(1/2 fruit) 1/2 Banana

MEAL 4
(1 veg) Romaine Lettuce 2 cup
(1 veg) cucumber 1 cup
(1/2 protein) 1.5 ounce skirt steak
(1/2 protein) 1.5 ounce chicken breast
(1 fat) avocado 3 oz
(1 condiment) Honey French Light dressing 2 tblsp

MEAL 5
(SNG SNACK) 1 cup Breakstone's Cottage Cheese 2% (1 need to get 1% next time!)

My totals read to me as 5 proteins, 2 dairy, 1 fruit, 2 veg, 1 fat, 1 condiment, 1 single snack, and 1 bar.

I track my calories on MyFitnessPal.com and got 1,600 Calories. If I added a recovery drink after my work out (Legs/Back/ABX !!OMG!!) this would have topped me at 1,800. However - with my parameters set at 50/30/20, I'm still below my protein ratios by 65 grams. My fat was a little over from my condiment (really need to make my own dressing!) and my carbs were right on point.

Thanks for all the help guys - it's really amazing support.
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Hey Lizzie!
OK, this looks much better. The one thing I did notice is that you only have 1 healthy fat serving, and Phase 1 Level 1 calls for 2 fat servings. At 120 calories per fat serving, and with the addition of a recovery drink, that would take you fairly close to your correct calories. I really do think that the calories are provided as more of a guide to make sure you are on the right track, but that it'd be better to just follow the portions and not track the calories as much.

As far as recovery drink, I use Accelerade. Do a quick Google search for it and you'll find it on sale lots of places. Another option is to use chocolate milk - I did this for awhile until the Accelerade came in the mail. The key for a recovery drink is that when you look at the nutrition facts, the total carbohydrates should equal 4x the protein. If you buy chocolate milk, you can add sugar to it to make the ratio correct. 1 tsp. of sugar equals approx. 4 grams of carbohydrate, so you can alter whatever chocolate milk brand you buy to make sure that the ratio works. While I can't speak for Beachbody's nutrition plan, when I did use chocolate milk I also counted it as a dairy serving (breaking the nothing-counts-for-two-portions rule!).

Is this helpful?

Good job keeping at this. At first the nutrition part is a bit daunting, but after a bit it becomes second nature. Today I was making a pie that called for only egg yolks, and I kept accidentally keeping the whites and throwing away the yolks!! lol
-CJ
_________________
Visit my website for new P90x recipes daily, and to download the P90x portion plan journal that I created for keeping track of my husband's portions! Buddy me and look at my profile for the URL. Or, just take a guess - my site's topic is My P90x Nutrition Plan. ;-)
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I have a question about the recovery drink. Does it count towards the Protein, Carb, Fat Ratio?

I have found that even when I follow the portion approach, adding the recovery drink causes the carbs to spike to be equal to the protein. So, I end up at a 40, 40, 20 ratio rather than a 50, 30, 20 ratio. If the recovery drink carbs are not considered, the 50, 30, 20 ratio is maintained.

I know it is considered in the overall calorie count but it messes up the ratios. I have considered just omitting the glucose from the recovery drink and going with a straight protein drink instead. I don't want to do that if the recovery drink is more important that not having it.

I have not been able to find a clear answer to this.

Thanks, Dan
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RE: P90X - should I not count my calories? And just follow the guide?
12/21/12 2:30 PM as a reply to LizzieSaves.
And this is why I count calories and macros. The portion control seems mind boggling.
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According to the portion plan you're supposed to count it as a snack. Your point is a good one, though, since in real life you are really changing your macros. If you're really concerned about it then eat another protein or skip the recovery drink.

Zoome360:
I have a question about the recovery drink. Does it count towards the Protein, Carb, Fat Ratio?

I have found that even when I follow the portion approach, adding the recovery drink causes the carbs to spike to be equal to the protein. So, I end up at a 40, 40, 20 ratio rather than a 50, 30, 20 ratio. If the recovery drink carbs are not considered, the 50, 30, 20 ratio is maintained.

I know it is considered in the overall calorie count but it messes up the ratios. I have considered just omitting the glucose from the recovery drink and going with a straight protein drink instead. I don't want to do that if the recovery drink is more important that not having it.

I have not been able to find a clear answer to this.

Thanks, Dan
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RE: P90X - should I not count my calories? And just follow the guide?
12/30/12 5:04 PM as a reply to AdStaffAndrew.
Thanks for the response. I think I am going to eliminate the recovery drink form my post workout and substitute a protein shake mixed with a banana. The banana will be my daily fruit allowance. That should help to keep the ratios correct and still give me a suitable recovery drink.

Thanks again. Zoome
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